Federal Work-study allows you to earn money to help cover non-billable educational expenses by working within your college or campus, University office, or at an off-campus, nonprofit organization.
Positions are available at every Penn State campus.
How to apply
To be considered for work-study, you must submit the FAFSA. If you are awarded work-study, it will appear on your Award Summary in LionPATH.
To be eligible for work-study, you must:
- Be an undergraduate or graduate student
- Meet and maintain Federal and Penn State Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements
- Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Demonstrate financial need
- Complete the verification process
Due to limited funding, not all students who are eligible will receive this award. If you are not awarded Work-Study, other employment opportunities are also available.
Types of Work-Study
There are three types of positions:
- Traditional Work-study - Federal Work-study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student's course of study.
- Nittany Lions Read/Nittany Lions Count - A mentoring program designed to enhance early reading, math, and science skills of children from surrounding communities, while providing Penn State students the opportunity to give back to their community, gain work experience, and earn federal financial aid through Federal Work-study.
- Community Service Work-study - Penn State Federal Work-study that encourages eligible Penn State students to participate in community service and service-learning experiences that benefit the community, promote social responsibility, and enhance their educational experiences.
How to find a job
Work-study positions for all campuses are available on the Penn State job search website.
How you will be paid
Undergraduate work-study students earn $9.50 an hour, Nittany Lions Read/Nittany Lions Count and Community Service work-study students earn $12 an hour and graduate work-study students earn $11 an hour.
Wages are direct-deposited into your checking or savings account every two weeks.
Plan your work schedule
Work-study participants may never work more than eight hours a day (20 hours/week during fall, spring, and summer semesters).
To ensure optimal use of your award through the semester, plan your work schedule before you begin earning funds. For example, undergraduate work-study students earning $9.50 an hour who have a $1,750 award and work 20 hours a week, will have approximately nine weeks of funding.
Track your hours worked
You will receive a warning email regarding the balance of your award when you have earned 50% or more of your award total.
If you have more than one work-study job, you must keep each employer informed of your total hours worked so you do not exceed your award amount. Submitting falsified time cards is considered fraud against the University and the federal government and legal action may be taken against the employee or employer.
You will receive a warning email when you are close to exhausting your award.