UCSC Federal Work-Study Program

Beginning the Process

Hiring Information

Hours and Pay

Administrative Information

What is Federal Work-Study?

The Federal College Work-Study Program stimulates and promotes part-time employment for currently registered students who are eligible for Financial Aid and are awarded Work-Study. This program gives the student the opportunity to earn a portion of their financial aid, and to explore career possibilities while gaining valuable and practical work experience.

Students are encouraged to look for a position that relates to their academic interest or career goal. Work-Study can only be used during the academic year mid September through mid June, and during quarters in which the student is enrolled in at least 6 units (undergraduate students) and 5 units (graduate students). Any unused portion cannot be carried over to the summer or to the following year.

The Work-Study program has been designed to benefit both students and non-profit off-campus employers. 75% of student’s wages are paid by Federal College Work-Study funds, or other funding sources. The remaining balance (25% salary + 10% administrative fee) is paid by your organization. Your Organization will benefit by hiring employees at a minimal cost.

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Does my organization qualify for the Work-Study program?

To qualify, the following requirements must be met:

Non-Profit: The organization may be public or private but must be non-profit and tax exempt as certified by the IRS.

Non-Political: The Work-Study job may not involve the employee in political activities which include working for a candidate for public office or an elected official, working on a political campaign, or lobbying on the federal, state, or local level.

Non-Religious: The work may not involve constructing, operating, or maintaining any part of a building used for religious worship or sectarian instruction.

Work must be "in the public interest." Work in the public interest is defined as work performed for the welfare of the nation or community, rather than work performed for a particular interest or group.

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As a Work-Study employer, what are my responsibilities?

Your responsibilities are to:

  1. Provide reasonable supervision of the work performed by student participants and permit reasonable inspection by representative of the University.
  2. Provide to the UCSC Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, for each payroll period, records indicating the number of hours worked each week, containing your signature/certification as to the accuracy of the hours reported and of satisfactory performance on the part of the students.
  3. Pay to the University, upon receipt of an invoice from UCSC Student Business Services, 35% of the total compensation to be paid to the students participating in the program. Such percentage includes a 10% administrative charge.
  4. Notify the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office (cc: Career Success), in writing, of the date and reason for the termination of any Work-Study student.
  5. Provide Worker's Compensation coverage for the student.

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How do I become a Work-Study employer?

You need to download the Work-Study contract forms and complete and sign the Work-Study agreement. Once the agreement has been completed and signed by the authorized signatory person of your organization and received by Career Success, we will forward the agreement to the director of the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.

If you had an agreement with UCSC the prior year, the Director of Experiential Learning & Student Employment will approve the Work-Study agreement. Proof of IRS/State Franchise Board letter(s) of Exemption or Articles of Incorporation will NOT be necessary in this case.

Please contact ucscel@ucsc.edu to verify if your Work-Study contract has been approved, and to receive support if you have any questions about posting your work-study jobs.

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Where and how can I advertise my Work-Study job listing?

Work-Study jobs must be posted on Handshake. Follow our instructions and help guides to learn how to create an account, post positions, and select students for hire.


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When are students able to see my job listings?

Jobs can be posted at any time during the school year except during summer. The earliest jobs can be posted is September 3, 2024. Students can view and apply to your job postings by logging into Handshake. Only students registered for the current term and who have accepted their Work-Study award may apply online. When a student applies to a job posting, you have the option of receiving notifications via email.

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How do I view the applications?

As soon as the job posting has been approved by Career Success, you may login to Handshake to view your job listings and applications. You must contact students that you would like to interview directly.

For off-campus work-study, once an applicant has been selected, you must submit a google form for each student you plan to hire. Career Success will then onboard the student. 

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How do I hire a Work-Study student?

For off-campus work-study, once an applicant has been selected, you must submit a google form for each student you plan to hire. Career Success will then onboard the student. 

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How do I rehire students returning to a job they had last year?

To re-hire a student who worked for you before, for the current year, please follow the steps below.

Note: before hiring the student, you must confirm with them that they want to use their Work-Study award with your organization.

  • Work-Study students returning to the same job they had last year must be rehired each year. They are not required to re-apply online, but Work-Study award usage must be clarified before you submit the google form for the current year. 
  • For off-campus work-study: submit a google form for each student you plan to re-hire. Career Success will then onboard the student.
  • For on-campus work-study, please submit a "create hire" form in the HIRES platform. See our help guide for more information about how to utilize the HIRES platform.

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How do I know when the student can begin work?

You will receive a direct email from Career Success confirming the first day that the student may work at your organization. Contact Career Success at ucscel@ucsc.edu if you have any questions.

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What documents does the student need to begin work?

All employment paperwork will be processed electronically through Career Success. If not active in the payroll system, the student will complete the onboarding process electronically with documentation showing identity and eligibility to work in the US. Please see the onboarding page for more information.

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What do I do if a student employee is no longer working for my organization?

You must contact the work-study processor in the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office as well as Career Success at ucscel@ucsc.edu to let them know there has been a change.

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How many hours is a student allowed to work for my organization?

The maximum number of hours a student may work per week is fifteen hours during the academic year. The maximum hours a student may work per week during a quarter break is 40 hours.

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If I hire a Work-Study student, what are their maximum earnings?

Each eligible student receives a Work-Study award amount that represents the maximum amount the student may earn under the Work-Study program. This generally does not exceed $4,000 for an academic year. If a student employee's earnings exceed their Work-Study award as authorized by the UCSC Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, your organization will be charged for 100% of the wages that exceed the award amount. You may wish to hire the student directly on your payroll if their Work-Study funds run out. Off-campus employers will need to either terminate the student or hire and pay them directly once the funds run out.

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Am I responsible for keeping track of the student's Work-Study earnings?

Yes. The employer and the student share the responsibility for monitoring the amount of Work-Study money earned. When a student is within $200 of their earnings limit, the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office will send you a notice. You may also monitor the student's remaining work-study balance by looking at the work-study tab of HIRES. You or your organization are responsible to pay 100% of wages earned above the student's earning limit. Time sheets will not be accepted and students cannot be paid through the University payroll system after the work-study allocation is exhausted.

In addition, it is your responsibility to ensure that student hours are distributed equally throughout the academic year. In most cases, students will be enrolled for three quarters, so we encourage you to plan their hours in advance.

To ensure the student receives the maximum benefit of the Work-Study award, it would be helpful for the employer and the student to estimate the maximum number of hours the student can work each week during the academic year (usually 10 weeks for each quarter) based on the award amount and the student's pay rate.

Work-study Amount Pay Rate Weeks Remaining
Hours Per Week

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How do I report student's hours?

Please see the new time reporting procedure.

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What if I am late turning in time sheets?

As an employer, it is your responsibility to submit time sheets before the established deadline. If the time sheet is received after the deadline it will result in a one-month delay in your Work-Study student's pay check.

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If I want to give my student a pay raise, what should I do?

To change an employee's pay rate, please submit an email to Career Success at ucscel@ucsc.edu AND the Financial Aid and Scholarship office, please include the following information:

  • Employee's name
  • New rate of pay
  • Effective date of the change
  • Reason for the raise

The change will take approximately one month to complete.

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Who determines Work-Study eligibility and award amount for UCSC students?

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office is responsible for determining the financial need and eligibility for each student who applies for financial aid. Nationally established guidelines determined by federal and university policies are used to calculate eligibility. Students who are eligible may be awarded aid through a variety of programs including grants, loans, scholarships, and Work-Study.

A student must complete an application for financial aid in order to be considered for a Work-Study award. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted to Federal Student Aid Programs, www.fafsa.ed.gov by the published deadline in early May. As funding permits, late applicants are processed on a first-come, first-served basis after all applications completed on-time have been awarded.

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Am I responsible for dividing a Work-Study award between multiple jobs?

No, work-study funds will be used on a first come, first served basis when there are multiple jobs. Employers will be notified via email when a student is hired into an additional work-study job. A student has the option of working with their supervisor to convert any job from work-study to non work-study.

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As an employer, do I need to know the student eligibility requirements?

Yes. Student employees must meet specific requirements to remain eligible for a Work-Study position.

Students are not eligible to work if they:

  • are registered less than half-time at UCSC.
  • lose eligibility for financial aid/Work-Study.
  • have withdrawn, are on a leave of absence or have been barred from enrollment.
  • have earned wages that exceed the total Work-Study award.

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Who bills me the other 35% of the student wages?

UCSC Student Business Services will invoice for the 35% due which includes a 10% administrative surcharge monthly. The invoice will include an itemized description of the amounts due to UCSC.

Checks should be made payable to: UC Regents

Please mail to: SBS Financial Service Center
UCSC, Hahn 102
SANTA CRUZ, CA 95064-1077

Please include the top portion of the statement with the check. Please identify your payment with the account number listed on the invoice. Questions regarding the bill should be directed to the work-study processor in the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.


Questions concerning billing should be directed to:

Jessica Cayaban

Phone: 831/459-2136

Email: cpringle@ucsc.edu


SBS Financial Service Center office:

Phone: 831/459-2278

Email: thirdpartybilling@ucsc.edu


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How do the the UCSC Payroll/Personnel System policies apply to Work-Study employees?

As UCSC casual-restricted employees, students are eligible to accrue sick leave and holiday pay when they work over 50% of the hours of the month. However, if a student works more than 19 hours per week for one month or longer and qualifies for these benefits, your organization must pay 100% of those benefits. The Work-Study Program will not pay for any time other than hours actually worked, (although a 15 minute rest period may be granted for each work period of three continuous hours or more, not to exceed two rest periods per day).
For further information please contact Career Success at ucscel@ucsc.edu

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