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Work Study – What is it?

Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

  • It provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school.
  • It’s available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with financial need.
  • It’s available to full-time or part-time students.
  • It’s administered by schools participating in the Federal Work-Study Program. Check with your school's financial aid office to find out if your school participates.[1]

[1] “Work Study Jobs”, 2018.  Retrieved from

Federal Work Study

The Federal Work Study Program is authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965 and is reauthorized in the Higher Education Act of 1986 and based upon a student’s need. Off-campus positions may also be available with non-profit agencies and local elementary schools.

State (Colorado) Work Study

The Colorado Work Study Program was authorized in 1969 by the 47th General Assembly and available for students who are Colorado residents based upon a student’s need and can be administered as both a need-based award and a no-need award. 

  • Need-Based Work Study - Funded by the Colorado General Assembly for work programs and awarded to undergraduate Colorado residents with documented financial need.
  • No-Need Work Study - Funded by the Colorado General Assembly for work programs and awarded to undergraduate Colorado residents without documented financial need

In order to participate in the Colorado Work-Study Program, a student must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be an undergraduate student in an approved certificate or degree program;
  • Be a Colorado resident; Be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program, except during vacation periods between consecutive terms of enrollment;
  • Show documented need. This criterion applies to at least 70 percent of work-based funds. The institution has the discretion to use up to 30 percent of work-based funds to award to students without regard to need. [2]

[2]Colorado Department of Higher Education State-Funded Student Financial Aid Policy, Section 5.03


Hourly Employment

Working wages are paid by the hiring department. Students must:

  • Be enrolled at least part time
  • Work no more than 20 hours a week