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Work-Study FAQs

What is the Federal Work-Study Program?
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program is a government subsidized student employment program designed to assist students in financing their post-secondary education. In order to be eligible for Work-Study (WS), students must document financial need every year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
What is Texas Work-Study?
The Texas College Work-Study Program’s purpose is to provide part-time jobs to eligible students with financial need to enable them to attend college. Students must be Texas residents and maintain enrollment of six credit hours.
What are the advantages of Work-Study jobs?
Although a WS job should be treated as any other job, it does have several distinct advantages:
  • Students have the benefit of working in an environment suited to their skills, preferences and possible career goals.
  • Students and Work-Study employers arrange a work schedule around the class schedule.
  • Work-Study wages are not counted towards next year's student contribution for financial aid.
  • Although the majority of WS positions are located on-campus, the program also offers a growing number of off-campus positions. Most off-campus locations are easily reached by automobile or city bus. Regardless of location, the ultimate advantage of a WS position is that it affords students invaluable experience when preparing to enter the job market after graduation, not to mention the departmental and/or professional contacts that can be made.
Studies have consistently shown that students who work no more than 20 hours per week do better academically than students who do not work. Additional time demands appear to force students to manage their time more efficiently, thus necessitating a higher commitment to study time by the student.
Am I allowed to have more than one Work-Study job?
Students are not allowed to hold multiple UH paid positions while being employed as a CWS student.
I do not have Work-Study, who should I contact
If interested in CWS, please email a request to or visit our office to be added to our waitlist. 
What types of jobs are available?
The On-Campus Work-Study jobs are as diverse as the personnel needs of the University. Clerical assistants, data entry operators, photography technicians, artists and laboratory research assistants are but a few examples.
Off-campus positions with employers/agencies approved to participate in the Federal Work-Study Program offer further variety. These positions are available through non-profit organizations and are usually in areas of community service. Off-campus positions may include Photography, museum guides, public relations, editorial, research assistants and tutors.
What is Community Service Work-Study?
Community Service Work-Study is a federally-funded program that allows students to earn their Work-Study award while serving the community in such areas as education, recreation, child care, health care, public safety, social services, crime prevention, emergency preparedness and response and tutoring and mentoring.
Also, schools can now use Federal Work Study Program funds to compensate students employed in projects that teach civics in schools, raise awareness of government functions or resources, or increase civic participation.
Community Service positions benefit the student as well as the community by increasing awareness of community needs through employment in areas that are dedicated to improving the quality of life for community residents — particularly low-income individuals — or to solve problems related to their needs.
But Community Service is much more than a definition...It's the satisfaction you get from knowing that through your time and efforts, you've helped to make your corner of the world a better place to live. Community Service Work-Study is a great way to make a difference in the lives of others and earn your Work-Study (WS) award at the same time. UH Career Service's provides information about the advantages of Community Services employment. Whatever your interests, there is an agency in Houston that can provide you with satisfying and meaningful work experience.
How much will I be paid?
All jobs offer competitive wages and most pay more than minimum wage based upon experience and skills. The job titles, duties and hourly rates are the same as those for non-WS employees. WS students must also have the same job qualifications as non-WS individuals. Students working at University of Houston- under the Work-Study Program are paid on an hourly-wage basis under wage regulations set by the University's Office of Human Resources. WS students working off-campus are also paid on an hourly basis at wage rates set by the Off-Campus employer.
Am I eligible for benefits?
No. Work-Study (WS) students are not eligible for paid vacation, sick leave, holidays or medical and dental insurance through their Work-Study job.
How much can I earn?
Students may earn up to the amount of their award as listed on the Financial Aid Notification or the Work-Study Authorization Form. Students may not earn more than the amount of the Work-Study (WS) award.
The Federal Work-Study Program reimburses employers 100% of the students' earnings up to the amount of the award. Any wages earned after that amount must be paid 100% by the employer. It is the student's and employer's responsibility to monitor earnings to be sure the award amounts are not exceeded.

Any scholarship counts as a financial resource and must be considered when constructing a student award package. Total student aid cannot exceed a student’s cost of attendance. The cost of attendance (COA) is an estimate of what it costs the typical student to attend the University of Houston. Your COA includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses. University of Houston awards are subject to change depending on the entire student award package and the students’ COA.
What are the required working hours?
The work schedule is to be determined by the student and employer. The following guidelines apply.
  • Students should never be scheduled to work during class time.
  • Students should never work more than eight hours in one day.
  • Students should never work more than 20 hours in one week while classes are in session.
  • Students must take a 30-minute break if allowed to work a consecutive 6 hour period.
  • Student may work up to 39 hours in one week only during approved breaks when classes are not in session.
How do I apply for a job?
To apply for Work-Study jobs, you must accept your Work-Study award via your myUH self-service account. After accepting the award and enrolling in the minimum of six (6) credit hours, you will have access to apply for any job posting on Cougar Pathway within four weeks prior to the start of the semester.
What if I do NOT get a job?
If students are enrolled at least half-time and do not get a Work-Study job within the first two weeks of the start of class, their Work-Study award will be canceled for the academic year. Once canceled, the Work-Study awards — will not be reinstated. In addition, this may jeopardize the awarding of any future Work-Study.
How do I get my Work-Study money?
To receive their Work-Study funds, students must get a job, work no more than 20 hours per week, and earn it! Students are strongly encouraged to begin the job search as early as possible. Many popular WS positions are highly sought after and tend to be filled fast!
Upon hiring by The University of Houston, the hiring department must complete the Electronic On-Campus Position Action Request (EPAR) and submit it through workflow. The hiring department also ensures the student completes:
  • The University of Houston's Personal Data Sheet, Public Access Authorization, Selective Service Registration, Federal Employment Inquiry, Patent Disclosure and Assignment Agreement and Direct Deposit Acknowledgement and acknowledgment of Personal Documents Receipt
  • The INS Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) must be completed within three days of hire. The Authorization to Work section provides information about the documents required for proof of citizenship
  • Form W-4 Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate.
Work-Study students are paid bi-weekly. On Campus employees work week always begins on Wednesday and ends on Tuesday. Work-Study students must sign in for work as they report to work and sign out as they leave on each occasion.
Upon hire by an off-campus employer approved to participate in the Federal Work-Study Program, the Work-Study student will be paid according the Agency Payroll Schedule, which must be on file in the University's College Work-Study Office.
Will I get Work-Study every semester?
Work-Study eligibility is based upon performing the assigned job duties in a satisfactory manner, maintaining satisfactory academic progress, continuing to show financial need, and the timeliness of your Financial Aid Application.
If a student's eligibility changes at any time during the award period, the WS award (as well as any other financial aid awards) may be re-evaluated. This often occurs when the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid learns of additional resources, e.g. scholarships or tuition waivers, and must reduce the amount of WS award.
Also, eligibility from one year to the next is not guaranteed. Each year students must complete a need-analysis form called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for financial aid, including Work-Study. Students should apply by the April1st priority deadline, since Work-Study funding is limited.
As with all Financial Aid Satisfactory academic progress is monitored. Under no circumstances may students continue Work-Study employment after dropping below half-time enrollment.
Rights and Responsibilities
By accepting a WS position, students become members of a department or agency that depends on them.
  • Students should report to work on time, notify the supervisor when they 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, students should consider the employer's needs as well as their own.
  • In addition, some WS positions may require access to confidential information--abuse or misuse of such authorization is grounds for dismissal!
  • Students cannot earn more than the Work-Study award as listed on the Financial Aid Notification.
  • It is the student's and employer's responsibility to monitor earnings to be sure they do not exceed the award amount using the Work-Study Balance Sheet.
  • If a problem develops on the job, the first point of contact should be the supervisor.
  • If the problem cannot be resolved, the student should contact the Work-Study Office in the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid.
  • Quitting a WS 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 the student can secure another WS position.
  • Students agree to abide by the regulations and policies as outlined in the Work-Study Employee Manual.
  • Failure to follow these policies and regulations may result in the cancellation of their Work-Study award and the loss of their Work-Study position.
  • Acceptance of a position through Work-Study implies a commitment to the employer for at least one semester.
Additional Employment
If WS students earn the total amount of the WS award prior to the end of the award period, they may wish to continue their work relationship with the employer. This is considered additional employment, not another Work-Study position and the employer must pay 100% of the student's wages out of their own funds. Income earned in the non-WS position will be treated as base-year income and will be counted toward next year's student contribution for financial aid. Before accepting additional employment, the student may want to discuss the implications of such employment with the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid.