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Work-Study: Purpose and Facts


The purpose of the Work Study Program is the employment of students who are enrolled as undergraduate, graduate or professional students who are in need of earnings from employment to pursue courses of study at eligible institutions.

Employment under the Work Study Program must be reasonably available to the extent of available funds to all students in the instruction who desire such employment. Students are responsible for finding qualifying work study employment.

A student is terminated from Work Study Program at the end of the academic year (Spring term), if the student's enrollment drops below the minimum requirement of half-time, or if determined ineligible for Federal Aid by the Financial Aid Office.

At a Glance - Facts About Student Employment

Students wishing to participate in the Work Study Program must be awarded financial aid and have work study eligibility as a part of their award package.

To apply for financial aid, students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and indicate employment as their first choice for self-help aid.

Students who demonstrate financial need, based on the FAFSA, will be awarded financial aid as long as funding permits. Award packages may include a combination of gift and self-help aid. The self-help aid may be either loans or employment, or a combination, depending on what the student requested on his/her application.

Separate applications for financial aid are required for each academic year that a student wishes to be considered for employment under the Work Study Program.

The Financial Aid Office recommends the students and departments limit the student's working hours to no more than 20 hours per week. For on-campus positions, this is a requirement. During student/faculty holidays the student may work full time if desired by employer. However any overtime will not be paid through Work Study account.

Once the student has earned his/her work study award maximum, the student must be terminated from the work study program. The student may contact the Financial Aid Office to determine if they have any remaining work study eligibility.

After an evaluation of eligibility, students have different options for work study or employment depending on the results of the evaluation:

  1. Eligible: the student may put in a written request for additional work study funding.
  2. Ineligible: the department can either hire the student at 100% departmental funding, or the student must stop working and the department will terminate him/her from the ISU Human Resource System.
    • Keep in mind that students may work for more than one department at a time.

It is the employer's and employee's responsibility to ensure that the student does not exceed his/her Work Study Award limit.

Work Study awards are not credited to the student's account at the Cashier's Office. A pay check is issued every two weeks to the student for the time worked.

A list of job opportunities can be accessed on Handshake via the Career Center's web page. Please contact the Career Center for assistance with Handshake.