Financial Aid & Scholarship Office

Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study is an employment aid program that helps eligible students earn part of the funds needed to meet their educational expenses. If you are offered Federal Work-Study, you can apply for a position through Handshake(opens in new window). Once hired, you will earn the money based on the number of hours you work each month and your rate of pay. The money you earn will be sent to you via direct deposit or by check. These earnings are taxable income.

Students will not receive any Federal Work-Study funding unless they are hired for a Federal Work-Study position. For questions about work-study, email

For Undergraduate Students: You may be awarded work-study as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. If you are interested in work-study but haven't been offered work-study, please email

For Graduate Students: If you are interested in work-study, please email

Benefits to Working in the Federal Work-Study Program

  • Income: Earn money to help cover your living expenses while attending college.
  • Opportunity: Although you are not guaranteed a job if you are awarded Work–Study, you are much more likely to be hired if you have Work–Study eligibility. In addition, your job will be close to where you study.
  • Student–Friendly Schedule: Your employer knows your first priority is as a college student. Employers try to be as flexible as possible in scheduling work hours around your class schedule.
  • Future Financial Aid Eligibility: As a financial aid need-based program, Work–Study income  does not count against your future financial aid eligibility for that particular tax year.
  • Work Experience: Students who have job experience and who have worked while attending school are more attractive to future employers. Your supervisor may become an excellent reference.
  • Academic Success: Campus research has shown that Work–Study students connect with the campus community, learn about resources available to students, and establish stronger relationships with faculty and staff. 

If you decide not to use your Work–Study award, there is no effect on your grant aid. If you have not been awarded your maximum loan amount, you could qualify for more loan money. If you wish to cancel your Work-Study award and request remaining loan eligibility, submit a Federal Direct Loan Application.

Work–Study Pay and Hours

Students enrolled at least half-time, with financial need, may be eligible to participate in the Federal Work-Study program. The hourly rate can vary somewhat depending on job classification, time, and work performance. Most Work-Study jobs are located on campus but, on occasion, a limited number of off-campus opportunities become available. Please visit Chico State's Career Center & Student Employment to search for jobs on Handshake and filter for work-study jobs. Here's a video showing you a few tips on how to use Handshake.

You may begin earning Work–Study at the start of the semester, if your financial aid file is complete. Please note: Students who hold a conditionally classified status, such as qualifying for credential or qualifying for master's, are ineligible for Work-Study.

  • For an academic year award, you may work from the start of the semester in August through the last day of the spring semester in May.
  • For a fall semester award, you may work from the first through the last day of the fall term.
  • For a spring semester award, you may work from the first through the last day of the spring term.
  • Summer Work–Study requires approval from the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office - contact us if you are interested.

You may earn up to your Work–Study awarded amount during the academic year, half each semester. Students may work up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session and up to 40 hours per week when classes are not in session.

If you find you would like to add Work–Study to your award, contact the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office as soon as possible.

Summer Work-Study

On a limited basis, some employer have on-campus summer employment opportunities available. Summer employment is typically offered to continuing students who are enrolled in the following fall term. Please check with your campus employer or supervisor about continued summer employment availability. You may also wish to visit Chico State's Career Center & Student Employment website to learn more about summer employment opportunities.

Students are required to obtain approval from the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office prior to working in a summer Federal Work-Study position.