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Financial Aid 101

Work-Study and Student Employment Opportunities

University of Denver Financial Aid

There are many good reasons to work while attending the University of Denver: you'll minimize borrowing by earning money to help pay for college expenses, you'll gain valuable skills and experience, and many studies show that working while taking classes can actually improve your academic performance!

Most schools—including DU—offer work-study to a percentage of students who apply for financial aid. If work-study is listed in your financial aid offer, this email will help answer some of your questions about how the program works. If you don't see work-study listed, we'll offer some other options in this email as well.

What is work-study?
Work-study is a federally subsidized program that provides part-time jobs to help eligible students pay education expenses. It's not a grant or scholarship (because you must work to earn it), and it's not a loan (because you don't have to repay it).

Who is eligible for work-study?
Students who submitted the FAFSA and demonstrate financial need may be offered work-study. Because work-study funding is limited, however, we must offer it through a lottery system, which means not all students who would otherwise be eligible will receive it.

Work-study is listed in my financial aid offer...

  • What kind of job can I get? There are a wide variety of both on- and off-campus positions available to students with work-study. On-campus job categories include Athletics and Recreation; Catering and Hospitality; Finance; General Office; Human Services; Laboratory; Legal; Library; Media/Theatre/Arts; and Research and Teaching Assistants. Some students choose instead to work off campus with a nonprofit organization.
  • Will I be placed into a specific job? No. You will need to search, apply and interview for the position you want.
  • How much will I be paid? Your hourly pay rate will depend on the type of work you do and the skills required for the position—there is no pre-set pay rate, and it is not contingent upon your level in school.
  • How much can I earn? First-year undergraduates can earn up to a maximum of $2,500 over the course of the 2022-23 academic year. If you receive work-study as a sophomore, that amount will increase to $3,000. Your actual earnings will depend on your work schedule and hourly rate.
  • How will I get paid? You will receive a paycheck every two weeks for the hours you worked. Just like any other part-time job, paychecks are sent directly to you or directly deposited into your checking account (not credited to your DU tuition bill).
  • How many hours will I work each week? You will build your hourly schedule with your supervisor; there is no minimum number of hours required. We do not encourage full-time students to work more than 20 hours per week, however.

Work-study is not listed in my financial aid offer...

  • Why? The amount of funding we have available for this type of aid is extremely limited. In fact, only about 20% of our currently enrolled, eligible students have work-study. Therefore, many students who would otherwise be eligible won't have it included in their financial aid offer. If you don't see work-study listed and believe you are eligible for it, chances are funding was depleted.
  • Is there a way I can get it? If you have already committed to attending the University of Denver by submitting your admission deposit, you may ask to be placed on the work-study waitlist by sending an email to After July 1st, we will evaluate our funding level. If we have enough work-study funds available, we will begin to offer it to students on the waitlist.
  • What other work opportunities are there?Career@DU maintains an online job board of other on-campus and off-campus positions in the greater DU and Denver area. These positions are available to all students, regardless of financial need or work-study eligibility. Additionally, as you progress through your studies at DU, Career@DU can assist you in finding internships that will help you become more competitive in the job market once you graduate.

Do you still have questions about work opportunities at DU? Feel free to contact us. We're happy to help!

Want to review past Financial Aid 101 emails? Check out the archives!

Up next week: Overview of Federal Student Loans


We're here to help you.

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or call us at (303) 871-4020

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