Washington State Work-Study Program

This guide is for students. Employers interested in learning more should refer to the Washington State Work-Study Employers Guide.

Simply put, if you qualify for the Washington State Work-Study Program and get a job at a business which qualifies for the program, Washington State provides the business with money to pay a portion of your wages.

The state offers this program for three basic reasons:

  • To help students afford post-secondary education.
  • To encourage businesses to hire students.
  • To give students on-the-job experience in their chosen field.

This program is funded by the Washington State Legislature and administered on-campus by the Walla Walla University's (WWU's) student employment manager. The manager finds businesses that are eligible to receive work-study program funding and connects them with students who meet the business's employment qualifications.

Your Qualifications for the State Work-Study Program

In order to be considered for participation in the Washington State Work-Study Program, you must be a Washington State resident. You must also complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a WWU Financial Aid Application. You may submit these forms online or request them from the Financial Aid office.

If you are a single, undergraduate student and you apply for financial aid, your eligibility for Work-Study will automatically be considered. If you are eligible, your award letter from Student Financial Services will tell you how much Work-Study money you are eligible to earn.

If you are a married student and/or a graduate student, contact the student employment manager to find out whether you are eligible for Work-Study.

After you have been notified of your eligibility for Work-Study, begin looking for a job with qualified businesses.  Job Scene -- the Student Employment Office's listing of available jobs -- can help you get started.

Note: Students pursuing theology degrees are not eligible for the Work-Study Program.

Getting A Work-Study Position

  • Contact the Student Employment manager to find out whether a Work-Study position that suits your interests and abilities is available.
  • Obtain a work-study letter of eligibility from the Student Employment manager. (only one letter of eligibility will be given at a time)
  • Give your letter of eligibility to a prospective employer and go through the business's hiring process.
  • When you get a job, have your employer complete the bottom portion of your letter of eligibility and return it to the Student Employment manager. This must be done before you may begin working.
  • Upon being hired, fill out I-9 and W-4 forms with your employer's Human Resources department.
  • Students employed where they have unsupervised access to children, elderly, disabled, or other vulnerable populations, must comply with state regulations on background checks and fingerprinting and may be responsible for the fees.

Work-Study Program Pay

Employers pay students participating in the program. The amount, the method, and the timing of payments are determined by the business and not by WWU.

Keeping A Work-Study Position

In order to remain eligible for Work-Study, you must:

  • Be enrolled at least half-time as an undergraduate or graduate student. (Under certain circumstances, students may participate in the Work-Study Program during summer vacation even though they are not attending classes. Summer Work-Study students are required to apply 40% of their gross summer earnings to the payment of their tuition and other expenses once school starts.)
  • Not owe a refund or repayment on a state or federal financial aid grant.
  • Not be in default on a need-based loan that was made, insured, or guaranteed by a federal or state student loan program.
  • Steadily move toward the completion of a degree. (See the WWU Student Finance Bulletin for the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.)
  • Meet all scheduled work appointments and perform your assigned duties satisfactorily.
  • Accurately complete your Work-Study Program time sheets (in pen, not in pencil) and submit them promptly according to scheduled pay periods.
  • Sign your time sheets before leaving for vacation breaks or before the end of the school year.
  • Not work more than 19 hours per week when school is in session or 40 hours per week during the school vacations.
  • Make sure your gross earnings do not exceed the limit specified in your letter of eligibility. If you are close to reaching your award limit, see the student employment manager.

You are responsible for reporting any changes in your Work-study eligibility, enrollment, or financial situation to the student employment manager and to the Financial Aid Office.