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Office of Student Employment

Frequently Asked Questions about DU's Work Program

About work-study:
What is work-study?

How many jobs can I have?
What is the benefit of having a job that requires work-study versus an off-campus job?

I don't want to work this year. Can I apply my work-study award to the next academic year?

Does work-study mean I get to study while at work?  
If I decline work-study now, can I get back into the program later this year?
If I accept work-study now, can it be declined later if I decide not to work within this program?

The hiring process:
How can I find a job that requires work-study?

What documentation do I need to be hired?

Does Student Employment place students into specific jobs?

What type of job will I have?
What do I have to do to begin working?
How many hours do I need to work?

What if I cannot find a job?

Pay information:
How much will I be paid?

How often will I be paid for my work?
Can I schedule direct deposit of my paycheck into my bank account?

How do I get paid if I do not have direct deposit?

Do I have to earn the specific amount of money indicated per quarter?

Do I have to earn the full amount of money within the academic year indicated on the financial aid award letter?
Is work-study taxed? Is the award amount pre-tax or post-tax?

About work-study

  Q: What is work-study? A: Work-study is a need-based financial aid award that allows undergraduate and graduate students to work on campus (or with an approved off-campus employer) to earn money to pay for college expenses. It is not a grant (you must work to earn it), and it is not a loan (you don't have to repay it). If you are awarded work-study, it will be a part of your financial aid package.

  Q: How many jobs can I have? A: You may only have one work-study job at a time. If you decide to switch jobs at some point in the year, you will need to resign from one position to be hired into another.

  Q: What is the benefit of having a job that requires work-study versus an off-campus job? A: Positions that require work-study are generally on campus, and the supervisors may be more flexible than those managing off-campus positions. Also, your earnings will not be counted against you as earnings when completing a FAFSA for the next year.

  Q: I don't want to work this year. Can I apply my work-study award to the next academic year? A: You may decline or reduce your work-study at any point. However, this award is highly competitive, and this does not guarantee that you will receive it in subsequent years.

  Q: Does work-study mean I get to study while at work? A: No. Work-study is paid as a wage for work performed.

  Q: If I decline work-study now, can I get back into the program later this year? A: No. Funds are extremely limited. Once you decline your work-study, it will be offered to another student on the waitlist.

  Q: If I accept work-study now, can it be declined later if I decide not to work within this program? A: Yes. You may decline or reduce the award at any time. However, if you do not utilize work-study, it may impact another student's ability to have this type of position.

The Hiring Process

  Q: How can I find a job that requires work-study? A: You may view all available positions by logging into webCentral, selecting the "Student" tab, and clicking on "Find a Job" on the lower right-hand side of the page. Jobs for the 2013-14 academic year will begin to be posted June 3, 2013.

  Q: What documentation do I need to be hired? A: Because we intend all positions to provide professional development, your supervisor(s) will treat you as a University employee. Therefore, you'll need to complete an I-9 and verify that you're eligible to work in the United States by providing proof of identification and previous employment. You can find a list of accepted documents on page 5 of this I-9 employment eligibility verification form.

  Q: Does Student Employment place students into specific jobs? A: No. You will navigate a job search to find an ideal position. You should be prepared to go on interviews to determine the right fit.

  Q: What type of job will I have? A: Student positions vary. Some categories include: Athletics and Recreation; Catering and Hospitality; Computer; Financial; General Office; Human Services; Laboratory; Legal; Library; Media/Theatre/Arts; and Research and Teaching Assistants.

  Q: What do I have to do to begin working? A: You must be offered a position and complete hiring paperwork with your supervisor by October 15. However, you may begin your position in winter quarter if you feel you need more time to adjust to your schedule. You'll need to work out your schedule with your supervisor.

  Q: How many hours do I need to work? A: Consult with your supervisor(s) to decide how many hours you'll work. We don't require you to work a minimum amount of hours, and we don't encourage full-time students to work more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session. You may work up to 37.5 hours per week during periods of non-enrollment such as winter and spring breaks. When assigning work hours, your supervisor will consider your class schedule and your academic progress.

  Q: What if I cannot find a job? A: Because there are more positions than there are students with work-study, it's unlikely that you won't get a position. However, feel free to contact Student Employment if you have further questions about obtaining a job.

Pay Information

  Q: How much will I be paid? A: Employers determine your pay rate based on the type of work you do, not by your education level or the size of your work-study award.

  Q: How often will I be paid for my work? A: You will be paid every two weeks.

  Q: Can I schedule direct deposit of my paycheck into my bank account? A: Once you're hired, log in to your webCentral account to schedule direct deposit of your paycheck into a bank account of your choice. Once logged in, go to the "Employee" tab and click on "Paycheck Direct Deposit." Please note: Your check will not be deposited directly into your tuition account.

  Q: How do I get paid if I do not have direct deposit? A: The payroll office will mail your paycheck to you on payday. Unfortunately, you can't pick up your paychecks directly from the payroll office.

  Q: Do I have to earn the specific amount of money indicated per quarter? A: No. You and your supervisor will decide how many hours you'll work. You may need to reduce or increase your work hours based on your course load each term.

  Q: Do I have to earn the full amount of money within the academic year indicated on the financial aid award letter? A: No. This is the most you may earn. There are no consequences for not earning the full amount of funds.

  Q: Is work-study taxed? Is the award amount pre-tax or post-tax? A: Your earnings are taxable, so you'll need to complete a W-4 to indicate the number of exemptions for withholding. The full amount of your work-study--listed in webCentral--is the amount of pre-tax income you may receive for the academic year.