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Work Study FAQs

Work study is a work program in which a student is employed part-time while enrolled in school to help pay your education expenses. These on-campus jobs allow students to work approximately 10 hours per week. Work study is limited in funding and requires action from you, the student.

Hiring Steps

Types of Work Study

Federal Work Study: The Federal Work Study program is for students with financial need. Students must have the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the Office of Financial Aid. Once the application has been processed, the student must contact the Financial Aid Office, (406-683-7511) to determine eligibility status.

The advantage of Federal Work Study is that the earnings do not count against your financial aid eligibility when you file your next year’s FAFSA. The earnings are taxable and required to be included as income on your federal/state taxes, if you are required to file, but the earnings can be identified on your FAFSA as federal work study earnings which will remove those earnings from your eligibility calculation on the FAFSA.

State Work Study: The State Work Study program is non-need based which means the student does not have to show need after completing the FAFSA. It requires the student to be a Montana resident and requires full-time (12+ hours) enrollment.

How do I find a work-study position?

A list of departments allotted work study positions is maintained by the Career Services Department & posted here. The student must contact the Financial Aid Office to determine eligibility and if eligible, can contact the departments listed in the link above.

How many hours per week can I work?

Based upon a student’s eligibility, students may work an average of 10 hours per week. This also depends upon the work study positions available and funding allotted for the year.

It is the student’s and supervisor’s responsibility to monitor the student’s hours each week and not exceed the total hours per week within the pay period. (ie:  10 hrs per week  x  4 weeks = 40 hours for the pay period)

How many hours must I be enrolled?

Federal Work Study: Students must maintain a minimum enrollment of 3 hours during summer and 6 hours enrollment during the Fall/Spring semester.

State Work Study: Students must maintain an enrollment of full-time (12+ credits).

Can I be employed during the Summer if not enrolled?

Federal Work Study: Yes, with the following requirements:

  1. Student must be pre-registered in a minimum of 6 credit hours for the following Fall semester and
  2. All earnings from Summer will be counted against Fall semester financial aid eligibility.

Check with the Financial Aid Office prior to accepting a position to determine how the summer earnings may affect your Fall eligibility.

State Work Study: Yes and enrollment is not required. Due to limited state funding, there may not be any positions available.

How will I be paid? A student is paid for the hours worked once a month. It is the student’s and their supervisor’s responsibility to submit time sheets in a timely manner.

Work Study Information

  1. Work Study funds are earned.

Your funds are paid with the monthly payroll based on the number of hours you and your supervisor certify that you worked during the pay period (remember that you cannot work over the number of hours for which you are eligible to work each pay period).  To receive your work study funds you must work.  Work study is just like any other job, you must perform the duties assigned you in order to earn your pay.

  1. Work Study positions are not guaranteed.

There may be more students eligible for Work Study positions than there are positions available.  Financial Aid will make every effort to assist a student in locating a position but the final decision is made by the supervisors.

  1. Talk to Department Supervisors.

Department Supervisors might be interested in hiring you for a position in their department that is paid out of other types of funds. These positions may be posted at https://w.umwestern.edu/section/non-work-study-positions/.