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Student Guide

What is Work-Study?

Work-Study is a government-subsidized student employment program designed to assist students in financing their post-secondary education. Programs include Federal Work-Study and Texas College Work-Study. Work-Study is different from other types of part-time jobs because your employer only has to pay 30% of your wages - the remaining 70% is paid by the Work-Study program.

How can I get Work-Study?

To be eligible for Work-Study, you must demonstrate financial need every year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Be sure to complete the FAFSA by UT Austin's priority deadline of March 15 each year, and to request Work-Study on the application.

Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible, although graduate students must contact their financial aid counselor and ask to be considered for the award. Because Work-Study funding is limited, awards to graduate students are typically considered after all eligible undergraduates have been accommodated.

Note: Students must be Texas residents to be eligible to receive funds from the Texas College Work-Study Program.

Why is Work-Study so great?

  • It provides real-world job experience suited to your skills, preferences and possible career goals and offers the opportunity to develop career contacts.
  • Your work schedule can be arranged around your class schedule.
  • Work-Study earnings are not counted towards next year's student contribution for financial aid.
  • Most Off-Campus Work-Study job locations are easily reached by UT shuttle or city bus.
  • Grades and time management: Studies have consistently shown that students who work no more than 20 hours per week have better grades than students who do not work. Additional time demands appear to force students to manage their time more efficiently, thus creating a higher commitment to study time by the student.

What kinds of jobs are available?

Off-Campus (Community Service) jobs with non-profit employers may include positions in public television, museums, childcare centers, health care clinics, and tutoring programs. Please see Community Service Work-Study for more information.

Many on-campus Work-Study jobs are clerical, but there are also many jobs in lab research, social science research, photography and curatorship, child care, library services, and housing and food services. Students can search for these and other available Work-Study jobs on the Hire a Longhorn Job Bank after they have completed their FAN (Financial Aid Notification) and accepted their Work-Study award.

In compliance with HB 2504 of the 81st Texas Legislature, we are providing a list of the on-campus Work-Study jobs posted from January through December of 2015, this includes Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters. We hope you will use this comprehensive list to learn about all the on-campus Work-Study job opportunities that are typically available to qualified students.

    »Work-Study Job Listings (XLSX)

Note: Work-Study jobs are posted (and available) on the Hire a Longhorn Job Bank from May 1-July 1 for Summer, July 1-October 1 for Fall, and November 1-March 1 for Spring.

Because jobs change on a daily basis, we encourage students to log in to the Hire a Longhorn Job Bank frequently to see the list of currently posted Work-Study jobs.

How much will I be paid?

All Work-Study jobs pay at least minimum wage, $7.26 per hour currently, depending on experience and skills. Regardless of your hourly wage, you cannot earn more than your semester's Work-Study award. Please note that Work-Study students are not eligible for paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, or medical and dental insurance through their Work-Study job.

When will I be paid?

Because Work-Study regulations require that employers pay students at least once a month, you should receive a paycheck at least once a month. This means that if you work at UT Austin, you must create and approve your electronic timesheet at least once a month. If you work at an approved, off-campus agency, you must complete your Work-Study timesheet and give it to your supervisor at least once per month.

When can I work?

You may earn your Work-Study award during these employment periods:

FALL: September 1 — December 31
SPRING: January 1 — May 15
SUMMER: June 1 — Aug 31 (Work-Study program approval required)

You may work up to 19 hours per week, but most students work 10-12 hours per week, so that they earn their Work-Study award evenly over the semester. You should never be scheduled to work during class time and you should never work more than 8 hours in one day, or more than 40 hours per week during those times within the Award Period when classes are not in session (e.g. Spring Break).

How do I get a job?

Begin your job search early so that you have a broader range of jobs to choose from, and so that you can begin working and earning your award as soon as the award period begins! Here's how:

  • Search for Work-Study (WS) jobs via the Hire a Longhorn Job Bank.
  • Visit various On-Campus departments to find out if they have any Work-Study positions available.
  • Attend the annual Work-Study Job Fair held during the first or second week of the Fall semester.

Can I have more than one Work-Study job?

No. You cannot work in more than one Work-Study job at the same time. If you plan to work in a Work-Study job and a non-Work-Study job at the same time, please be aware of the "Quantity of Work" guidelines. The Quantity of Work guidelines were established to help students achieve balance between their schoolwork and their job(s). Finding the right balance is the key to maintaining satisfactory academic progress. The Quantity of Work guidelines say that students should not commit to more than 40 hours per week for all their jobs and classes combined. For example, if you are enrolled in 12 credit hours and your Work-Study job requires you to work 18 hours per week, you would be advised to work no more than 10 hours in a non-Work-Study job (12 + 18 + 10 = 40).

What are the enrollment requirements for Work-Study?

You must maintain at least half-time enrollment in regular UT coursework at all times in order to be eligible to work in your Work-Study job. In Fall and Spring, half-time enrollment is at least 6 credit hours for undergraduate students, 5 hours for graduate students, and 7 hours for law students. In summer, half-time enrollment is at least 6 credit hours for undergraduate students, 3 hours for graduate students, and 3 hours for law students.

Note: These hours must be taken over both summer sessions which together total 12 weeks.

Work-Study and Enrollment in UT Extension Courses

In order to be eligible for a summer Work-Study award, you must be enrolled in 6 regular UT hours that are spread over both sessions in addition to your UT Extension credit hours. In Fall and Spring, you must be enrolled in at least 6 regular UT hours in addition to your UT Extension hours. If you drop below 6 regular UT credit hours at any time during the year, you must stop working in your Work-Study job immediately! In addition, if you drop a regular UT class that results in your being enrolled in one summer session only, you must stop working immediately.

What about the interview?

What to take to the interview:

  1. A copy of your Work-Study Verification (WSV). You can find your WSV at the bottom of the My Financial Aid page in CASH.
  2. Your resume or other record of your work history and experience OR the UT Employment Application.

If any of these documents are not presented to the employer at the time of the interview, the employer will not conduct the interview.

During your interview you should ask for clear information about job duties, responsibilities, work schedules, and dress code. For tips on interviewing skills, visit any of the campus career centers.

When you accept a Work-Study position, your employer expects you to stay for the length of the employment period. This means if you have a Fall or Spring Work-Study award, you are expected to stay in the same position through the end of the Fall or Spring employment period. Sometimes circumstances may cause you to resign from your Work-Study position before the end of the employment period — in those cases, you are expected to keep your supervisor informed.

You are discouraged from changing Work-Study jobs in the middle of the year. This is because if you have Fall and Spring Work-Study awards and are hired for Fall, your employer is expecting you to return to that job in the Spring.

What if I do not get a job?

If you do not find a Work-Study job within the first six weeks of the Fall or Spring semesters, or first four weeks of the summer session, your Federal Work-Study award will be canceled for that semester.

How do I get my Work-Study money?

Work-Study students are paid at least once a month, depending upon the individual employer. Most students choose to have their Work-Study paychecks deposited into their checking or savings account. You may also pick it up in person from your employer or at the UT Payroll Office if you work at UT. No matter which payment option you choose, remember that your earnings will NOT be automatically applied towards your UT debts-your paychecks are for you to use as you choose.

Please note that Work-Study regulations require that you be paid at least once per month. This means your supervisor must receive your timesheet at least once per month. Failure to do so may result in your immediate termination and dismissal from the Work-Study program.

Will I get Work-Study every year?

Work-Study funding is limited. In order to be considered for Work-Study each year, you must:

  • Complete the FAFSA each year by the priority deadline of March 15th.
  • On the FAFSA, be sure to answer 'Yes' to the 'Are you interested in being considered for Work-Study?' question located at the end of Step 1 for the Student.
  • Show enough financial need (based on the information on your FAFSA).
  • Earn 80% or more of your Work-Study award each year.
  • Maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA and remain enrolled full-time each semester.

IMPORTANT! If you receive additional resources, such as scholarships or tuition waivers, the Office of Financial Aid may have to reduce your Work-Study award amount. If this happens, you and your employer will be notified promptly.

What if I want to keep working after I've earned my Work-Study award?

If you earn your entire Work-Study award before the end of the employment period, your employer may allow you to continue working while paying 100% of your wages from their own funds. Please be aware that income earned under these circumstances will be counted toward next year's student contribution for financial aid.

Rights and Responsibilities

When you accept a Work-Study position, you become a member of a department or agency that depends on you. It's important for you to report to work on time, notify your supervisor when you will be late or absent, and dress appropriately for the work location (dress code should be discussed during the interview). When asking for time off, you should consider the employer's needs as well as your own. In addition, some Work-Study positions may require access to confidential information-abuse or misuse of such authorization is grounds for dismissal!

You must submit your Work-Study Timesheet at least once a month. Failure to do so is grounds for dismissal. You cannot earn more than the Work-Study award reflected on your 'My Financial Aid' page in CASH. It is your responsibility to use the Work-Study Balance Sheet to monitor your earnings and make sure they do not exceed your Work-Study award.

If a problem develops on the job, you should first discuss the issue with your supervisor. If the problem cannot be resolved, you should contact the Work-Study Office in the Office of Financial Aid. Quitting a Work-Study job should be a decision of last resort. There is no guarantee that the Work-Study award can be replaced with another type of aid or that you can secure another Work-Study position.

Note: Acceptance of a position through Work-Study implies a commitment to the employer for at least one semester.