State Work Study: Employers


State Work Study (SWS) provides the possibility for students to earn money for college costs. Research has found that students who work between 10 and 19 hours per week are more likely to graduate and get better grades. Also, students graduating with job-ready skills and competitive résumés are more likely to find a job after graduation. 

As an employer, you gain access to a well-educated and highly motivated pool of workers who help you operate more productively. The state will reimburse 40-70% of the student's wages if you participate in the program. Nearly 1,000 employers are currently involved in the SWS program. You can join them! 


Eligible employers include government agencies, for-profit corporations, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations. (The state prevents any political or religious organizations from participating)

Interested employers should complete the Employer Contract and Business Profile and Job Description in order to determine whether you are eligible for SWS funding. In some cases, the Washington Student Achievement Council may request that you fill out a “Religious Affiliation Questionnaire” to determine whether your organization is religiously affiliated.

To qualify for reimbursement, you must hire a college student who is eligible to participate in the SWS program and has received an SWS Statement of Eligibility from SPU. 

Download the State Work Study Employer Handbook (PDF) for detailed information relating to these topics and more:

  • Policies, procedures, and paperwork
  • Job descriptions
  • Posting jobs
  • Reporting a hire
  • Summer employment
  • Employer reimbursement
  • Links to SWS forms

2021-2022 Reimbursement Rates

  • 40% For-profit employers
  • 60% Government/public institutions
  • 70% Non-profit employers & STEM employers

More information

A wealth of information is provided on State Work Study by the Washington Student Achievement Council.

If you have questions, contact the student employment manager at 206-281-2047 or