Work-study is a need-based financial aid award 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 awards.

staff helping a student

Work-Study FAQ

  • How do I get work-study?

    Because work-study funding is limited, it's not included in all students' award packages. Priority is given to those who applied for financial aid by the priority deadline. If you're eligible, it will be included on your financial aid award letter. If you received a work-study offer, you will need to accept it through PioneerWeb by July 15 and secure a position by October 15 or it will be cancelled. Current students who are studying abroad in the fall have until January 31 to secure a position.

  • How do I receive funds earned through work-study?

    You will be paid in the form of a paycheck every two weeks. Work-study funds will not be applied directly to your DU tuition bill.

  • What kind of work-study positions are available?

    We offer a wide range of options for work-study positions, each with the potential to dovetail with your education and develop skills that will serve you throughout your life. Some of the positions we've had available for work-study students include:

    • Research Assistant with our Graduate School of Social Work's Center for Effective Interventions
    • Video Production Assistant for Athletics & Recreation
    • Project Coordinator for 2HEARTS, a support group for individuals with congenital heart diseases
    • Social Media Specialist with our Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning
    • Client Manager supporting the Denver Healthy Food Access Initiative
    • Performing Arts Assistant with the Newman Center for Performing Arts
  • Are there any work-study positions that involve community service?

    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.

  • How do I find a work-study job?

    Available work-study positions are posted through Pioneer Careers. Students are not placed into work-study positions—you must find and apply for the job you want. To find and apply for a position:

    1. Log in to using your PioneerWeb DU ID and password.
    2. On your homepage, select OCI and Job Listings.
    3. Under the "Type of Job" filter, select "Student Employment: On DU Campus" as the job type.
    4. To ensure a position you are viewing is work-study eligible, be sure the "Compensation" field in the post says "Work Study Required."
  • How much will I be paid?

    The pay rate varies depending on the type of job you obtain. It is not contingent upon level in school.

  • Is there a limit to how much I can earn?

    Yes. The amount listed on your award letter is the maximum amount you can earn throughout 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. If you are close to earning your maximum award, you can contact Student Employment to request an increase.

  • Can I study while at work?

    No. You're expected to be fully engaged with the job you're being paid for.

  • Why wasn't I offered work-study?

    The amount of funding we have available for this type of aid is extremely limited. In fact, only about 20 percent of our currently enrolled, eligible students have work-study. Therefore, many students who would otherwise be eligible won't receive an offer as a part of their financial aid package. If you don't see work-study on your award letter, chances are that funding is depleted. If you choose to attend DU and submit your admission deposit, you may contact us to submit your name to the work-study waitlist.

  • Are international students eligible for work-study?

    Because work-study is a type of federal financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen to qualify. Per federal regulations, nonimmigrant students on an F-1 or F-2 nonimmigrant student visa, or on a J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant Exchange Visitor Visa, do not qualify for work-study positions.

    Learn more about eligibility for federal aid on the Federal Student Aid website.

aerial view of campus

Other Part-Time Positions

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 Pioneer Careers and are available to all students, regardless of financial need or work-study availability. Many of the off-campus positions posted are just minutes from the DU campus and typically pay up to $20 per hour.

Pioneer Careers


Work-Study Office

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

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