Work-study is a type of need-based financial aid that allows you to work on campus or with an approved off-campus employer to earn money to help pay for educational expenses. It's not a grant (because you must work to earn it), and it's not a loan (because you don't have to repay it). In addition, work-study positions give you the opportunity to develop valuable skills and experience. Studies also show that working while taking classes can improve academic performance.

While most eligible students will be offered Federal Work-Study (which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education), Colorado Residents may be awarded Colorado Work-Study, which is funded by the Colorado General Assembly. Other than the source of funding, there is no difference between these types of work-study.

staff helping a student

About Work-Study

For a complete list of policies and eligibility requirements, please review the work-study policy guide.

  • Eligibility Requirements
    • You must submit the FAFSA and meet general eligibility requirements for federal aid.
    • You must have financial need as determined by the FAFSA.
    • To be employed in a work-study job, you must have work-study included in your financial aid offer.

    Note: Because work-study funding is limited, it's not included in all students' aid offers. Priority is given to those who applied for financial aid by the priority deadline.

    If work-study wasn't included in your financial aid offer, you may request to be added to the waitlist by sending an email to

  • Pay Rate and Earnings
    • Pay rate is tied directly to the job you obtain and depends on the experience and skills required for the position. It is not contingent upon year in college or the amount of work-study you have in your financial aid offer.
    • The amount of work-study listed on your financial aid offer is the maximum amount you can earn for the academic year. Typically, new students can earn up to $2,500 in their first-year at DU, and 2nd-, 3rd- and 4th-year students can earn up to $3,000 each year.
    • Students employed in a work-study position are paid every two weeks for hours worked in the form of a paycheck. Work-study earnings are not applied directly to the tuition bill.
  • Positions Available
    • There are a wide variety of work-study positions available, each with the potential to dovetail with your education and develop skills that will serve you through your life. All available positions are posted in PCO, the job and internship listing site for DU students.
    • Students are not placed in work-study jobs. You must search and apply for the positions you're interested in.
    • Students with work-study may partner with nonprofits and government agencies that strive to enhance the quality of life for residents—especially low-income individuals—in the DU and Denver community. These positions enable students to engage in meaningful service that helps meet community needs. If you have work-study and are interested in working with a nonprofit, please email

    Note: Students can only have one work-study funded position at a time. However, students may have more than one position if the additional positions are not funded through work-study.


Video Playlist: Work-Study Basics

Thumbnail of A Minute to Learn It - 6 Good Things You Need to Know about Federal Work-Study
students studying

Next Steps for Students With Work-Study

Was work-study included on your financial aid offer? Here's what you need to know:

  • Accept Work-Study in MyDU

    In order to utilize work-study, you must first accept your work-study award through MyDU. To do so:

    • Log in to MyDU.
    • Click on the "Accept or Decline My Financial Aid Offer" link on your dashboard (this link will be in the "Financial Aid Information" box).
    • Choose the 2023-2024 Aid Year from the drop-down menu.
    • Go to the Terms and Conditions tab, read through, and click Accept.
    • Then go to the Accept Award Offer tab, choose Accept from the drop-down menu next to your work-study award, and submit.
  • Find a Job

    All available work-study positions—both on- and off-campus—are posted in PCO, the job and internship listing site for DU students. Most employers will not begin posting positions for the 2023-24 academic year until early June. To find and apply for a position:

    1. Log in to
    2. On your homepage, select OCI and Job Listings.
    3. At the top of the page, select the “Type of Job” filter and choose Student Employment: “On Campus” OR “Off-Campus”.
    4. Go to "add filter" and type in "compensation".
    5. Add this filter and select "work study funded".

    Note: Students can only have one work-study-funded position at a time. However, students may have more than one position if the additional positions are not funded through work-study.

  • Complete the Hiring Process

    Once you find a position, your supervisor will initiate the hiring process. All student employees at DU must complete a background check—you'll receive an email with further instructions once a background check request has been submitted. (Most returning students will not have to complete the background check if it's been less than 120 days since they last worked at DU.)

    After the background check is complete, you will need to complete an I-9 and W-4 form with University Financial Services. When completing the I-9, you must provide proof of citizenship and show an original form of identification in person (photocopies will not be accepted). The most common acceptable citizenship identification documents include a U.S. Passport or a Driver's License and Social Security Card. See the full list of acceptable documents on page 3 of the I-9 form.

  • Forms, Resources and Dates

    Forms & Resources:

    Important Dates:

    • November 21, 2023 - Last day students who are graduating at the end of fall quarter can work using work-study
    • March 22, 2024 - Last day students who are graduating at the end of winter quarter can work using work-study
    • June 13, 2024 - Last day students can work using their 2023-24 work-study
aerial view of campus

Other Part-Time Jobs

Even if you weren't offered work-study, we offer a variety of opportunities to supplement your educational and living costs through work on- or off-campus. These positions can be found through Career & Professional Development and are available to all students, regardless of financial need or work-study availability.

Find a Job

Frequently Asked Questions


Work-Study Office

For questions specific to the work-study program at DU.

M-F 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.