Faculty and staff who employ students with work-study have a few extra responsibilities, but we're here to help! Find important information about the work-study program below and many more resources for becoming an effective supervisor through Student Employment.
Work-study is a type of need-based financial aid that allows students to work on-campus to earn money to help pay for educational expenses. Only students who have work-study included in their financial aid offer can apply for a work-study position. Wages for these positions are primarily paid through funding from the U.S. Department of Education, with a small portion matched by the University.
To be eligible for a work-study position, a student must:
- Submit the FAFSA and meet general federal aid eligibility requirements
- Have it included in their financial aid offer and accept it in PioneerWeb
- Be enrolled at least half time (6 credits or more for undergraduates, 4 credits or more for graduate students)
Due to limited funding, not all students who would otherwise be eligible will be offered work-study. The amount a student is offered is the maximum amount they can earn for the academic year. Typical award amounts offered are:
- $2,500 for first-year undergraduates
- $3,000 for 2nd-, 3rd, and 4th-year undergraduates
- $5,000 for graduate students
Students are paid every two weeks for hours worked. Paychecks are not applied directly to the DU tuition bill—they are sent directly to the student via direct deposit.
Offices can hire as many students with work-study as they deem appropriate. However, many times there are more work-study positions available than there are students with work-study.
Additional information about this program is available in the work-study handbook.
Frequently Asked Questions
I already have a student I want to hire and don't need to recruit. Do I have to post the job anyway?
For work-study positions, there must be an approved job description in PCO. However, it doesn't need to be posted for students to see.
For non-benefited positions, you don't need a job description listed in the job board.
I'm hiring the same work-study employee as last year. Do I need to submit another background check?
Probably not. If the student was previously employed at DU within the last 120 days, another background check is not required. However, you must still submit the hiring request through PioneerWeb in order to hire the student.
How many hours per week can a student work?
While there isn't a limit to the number of hours a student can work per week, we don't recommend that students enrolled full time work more than 20 hours per week. However, work-study funds cannot be used to pay for overtime hours. Wages for hours worked over 40 hours per week must be paid out of departmental funds.
Can students work during University breaks?
Yes. If the department is open and supervisors can approve time, students may work during breaks (this includes winter break, spring break, etc.). However, remember that work-study funds cannot be used to pay for overtime hours.
Is there a limit to how long a student can work?
Yes. Work-study earnings are limited to the student's work-study award. For example, if a student's work-study award is $3,000, that's the maximum amount he or she can earn during that academic year. Be sure to factor that in when putting together your student's work schedule. You can monitor earnings through the Banner form RZIWORK.
Non-benefited students can only work up to 1,000 hours per year.
Can students study while at work?
No. While the name of the program is somewhat misleading, students should not be compensated for studying while at their work-study job. These positions are meant to enhance the academic and professional development of students while they're in college, and should be treated as such.
Can students have more than one job?
Students are not permitted to be employed in more than one work-study position at a time, and work-study may not be utilized in combination with a GTA/GRA within the same quarter or semester.
However, students are permitted to hold a work-study position and another on-campus non-benefitted position at the same time.
Dates, Forms & Resources
Important Work-Study Dates:
- March 15, 2021 - Deadline for current students to submit the 2021-22 FAFSA for priority consideration of work-study for next year
- May 20, 2021 - Last day law students can work utilizing work-study for the 2020-21 academic year (last day of spring semester)
- June 8, 2021 - Last day all other graduate students can work utilizing work-study for the 2020-21 academic year (last day of spring quarter)
Community Service Work-Study Program
Are you a nonprofit or government agency within 30 miles of DU that improves the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income residents? You may be eligible to become part of the community service work-study program!
This program allows students to utilize their work-study (part of their financial aid offer) to earn money to help finance their education through part-time employment. Partnerships between the University of Denver and community-service agencies are mutually beneficial to students and organizations, as students engage in meaningful service designed to meet community needs, and agencies share the responsibility of compensation with the federal government. An organization that employs a student with work-study is expected to cover only 30% of the student's wages.
Become a Community Service Work-Study Employer:
- Determine eligibility. Does your organization seek to improve the quality of life of community residents? Is it a nonprofit or government agency? If yes, see next step.
- Enter verification process. Contact us to begin the verification process. We will need a copy of your agency's 501(c)(3) status and its bylaws or regulations.
- Sign a contract. Off-campus employers must sign a contract with us that outlines your federal share of student wages, typically 30 percent. Ensure that we have the original copy of the contract and wait to receive approval to begin the hiring process.
- Enter the hiring process. Sign up for an account to post a position through Pioneer Careers. Then, post your position and collect applications. Once you make an offer to the student of your choice, contact us to complete the rest of the hiring paperwork.
Community Service FAQs:
How does the University of Denver define "community service"?
DU defines community service as actions designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income residents. Fields that typically meet this definition include:
- health care
- literacy training
- social services
- housing and neighborhood improvement
- public safety
- crime prevention and control
- rural development
- urban and rural revitalization
How does the University of Denver define a "nonprofit organization"?
None of the organizations' net earnings should benefit any private shareholder or individual. An organization must be a government agency or incorporated as a nonprofit under federal or state law to enter into an agreement with DU.
Are any organizations deemed ineligible for this program?
Yes. In addition to for-profits, organizations that participate in political activity, lobby on a federal, state or local level, or primarily serve the interest of an elected official are not eligible to participate in this program. Also, students cannot hold positions that involve constructing, operating or maintaining any part of a building used for religious worship or sectarian instruction.