Work-Study is a need-based form of Financial Aid that you earn through on or off-campus employment and receive in the form of a paycheck. The Work-Study Program intends to encourage part-time employment and reduce loan debt incurred while attending college. Work-Study does so by paying a portion of your salary, thus making it more advantageous for an employer to hire you. Any earnings made through work-study do not count against your aid eligibility when completing the following year’s FAFSA.
If you are a “financial need eligible” graduate student, federal work-study is available for you to complete part-time paid internships, community service, research projects, or other endeavors closely related to your academic degree program.
Graduate students who are eligible for work-study can find jobs under one of two programs:
Federal Work-Study Program awards up to $2,000
When you receive your official Financial Aid Notification (FAN), you will need to request this award from the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office by submitting the Work-Study Award Request Form. If awarded, you can then apply for work-study positions.
Graduate Work-Study Program award up to $15,000
The Graduate Work-Study Program provides federal work-study to graduate students with a demonstrated need to complete part-time paid internships, community service, research projects, or other endeavors closely related to their academic degree program. Students can request a maximum of $15,000. After you receive your official Financial Aid Notification (FAN), you must apply and be approved for a specific job by the Graduate Division-Fellowships & Financial Services.
To participate in the Graduate Work-Study Program, you must meet the following conditions:
- Complete the FAFSA by March 2, annually
- EFC must be $12,000 or below.
- Be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- Be identified as eligible for Graduate Work-Study. Students will be notified via their aid letter to fill out an application.
- Complete the GWSP Application participation request by the deadline for summer and/or academic year.
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
- Be enrolled half-time (4 units) per quarter. If you are employed as Teaching Assistants/Associates/Fellows, Readers/Special Readers, Tutors/Remedial Tutors, or Graduate Student Researchers you must be enrolled in 12 units per quarter.
- For summer appointments only: you must be enrolled during the summer and the preceding Fall term (due to federal guidelines). If you are not enrolled, the amount you earn will be deducted from next year’s financial aid eligibility.
Federal guidelines require enrollment during the summer. In the event that you are not enrolled, federal guidelines require the application of 'Summer Savings' and mandatory enrollment during the preceding Fall term. Summer Savings is an advancement of the academic year's funding; therefore your eligibility throughout the academic year will be impacted.
Example of Impact to Academic Year Eligibility
|Original Academic Year Financial Aid Eligibility||$32,000|
|Reduction to Academic Year Financial Aid||-$5,000|
|Revised Academic Year Financial Aid Eligibility||$27,000|
Academic Year Appointments
You must be enrolled at least half time (4 units) to maintain eligibility. Any appointments greater than 50% must be approved by Graduate Division and Financial aid and Scholarships.
The UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarship office is responsible for determining your financial need and eligibility for Federal Work-Study funds. The following briefly describes the application process:
- You submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. The priority filing deadline is March 2, annually, to be considered for Work-Study funds in the following academic year.
- The aid letter notifies students of their eligibility. Students must select the link provided on their aid letter to confirm interest in GWSP.
- Search for a job at the Online Work-Study Job Bulletin (WSJB). If a position is not available or does not match the graduate field of study, students can seek out potential employers to participate in GWSP and have them post a position that meets their needs. Students are responsible for contacting potential employers and arranging job interviews.
- Complete the GWSP application available on the Graduate Work Study Program Website. Applications must be submitted by the deadlines for summer and the academic year.
- The student and the Department must submit the GWSP application to Graduate Fellowships and Financial Services Office (1228 Murphy Hall) for initial review and processing. Please make sure the form is completed in its entirety and is correct. If not, it will result in processing delays.
- After approval by Graduate Fellowships and Financial Services, the application is forwarded to the Financial Aid and Scholarships office for verification and final approval. Once approved, students will receive an approval notification from Financial Aid and Scholarships.
- Once approved, students must notify their On-Campus employer or Off-Campus employer to retrieve their work-study referral form from the Work-Study Employer’s website to initiate the formal hiring process.
- The employer must complete and submit the student's Work-Study referral form on the Work-Study Employer’s website every academic year and/or summer they are awarded work-study. The work-study referral form serves as a confirmation to the employer that the student is eligible to work under the work-study program.
Off-Campus Hiring Paperwork Process
- Once students accept the work-study award, they can send our office a message on Message Center to request a hiring appointment.
- During the hiring appointment, students will present their hiring documents (view acceptable i-9 forms). Be prepared with any questions about the hiring process, timesheets, or work-study in general.
- Once all hiring paperwork is complete and approved by UC Path, Financial Aid and Scholarships will e-mail the student and their employer indicating when they can begin working. We will also give the Off-Campus employer access to the online referral form to complete and submit.
Permissible Working Hours
Work-Study students may work a maximum of 20 hours during the academic year. (The employer is responsible for 100% of hours worked in excess of 20 per week.) During winter and spring breaks, along with the summer period, students may work up to 40 hours per week. The employer must mentor, supervise and monitor the activities of student hires.