Federal Work-Study allows you to earn money to help cover non-billable educational expenses by working within your college or campus, University office, or at an off-campus, nonprofit organization. Positions are available at every Penn State campus. If you are interested in summer Work-Study, see our page.
To be eligible for Work-Study, you must:
- Be an undergraduate or graduate student
- Meet and maintain Federal and Penn State Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements
- Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( )
- Complete the
Due to limited funding, not all students who are eligible will receive this award. If you are not awarded Work-Study, other employment opportunities are also available.
How to apply
To be considered for Work-Study, you must submit the FAFSA. If you are awarded Work-Study, it will appear on your Student Aid Summary on eLion. Pennsylvania residents interested in State Work-Study may visit the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).
How to find a job
Work-Study job listings are updated every Tuesday for all Penn State campuses and are available on eLion under "Work-Study Job Search." You may also explore Penn State's America Reads for work in the literacy field with preschool- to elementary-age children.
To apply for a job, contact the supervisor listed in the job description. Your employer will provide and ask you to fill out the required forms.
Plan your work schedule
Work-Study participants may never work more than eight hours a day (20 hours/week during fall and spring semesters). If you are enrolled for fewer than six credits during the summer, you may work up to 40 hours/week.
To ensure optimal use of your award through the semester, plan your work schedule before you begin earning funds. For example, if you have a $1,500 award and you work 20 hours/week, you will have approximately 8.5 weeks of funding.
Track your hours worked
You and your supervisor are responsible for keeping track of the number of hours you have worked and the amount of your award that is remaining.
If you have more than one work-study job, you must keep each employer informed of your total hours worked so you do not exceed your award amount. Submitting falsified time cards is considered fraud against the University and the federal government and legal action may be taken against the employee or employer.
Both you and your supervisor will receive a warning email when your remaining funds drop to $250 for undergraduate students and $300 for graduate students.
How you will be paid
Undergraduate work-study students earn $8.50/hour. America Reads and graduate work-study students earn $10/hour. Wages are direct-deposited into your checking or savings account every two weeks.
Earnings are not applied as credit on your tuition bill. Wages earned through work-study are reported as "Earned Income" on the FAFSA for the subsequent year and may be deducted as "Title IV exclusions."