Work Study

Work Study can refer to any of these three programs: Federal Work Study, State Work Study, and Institutional Work Study. They include on campus and off campus positions. Work Study is not a grant (you must work to earn it) and it is not a loan (you don't have to repay it). 

How work study works

Work study earnings will be given to you as a paycheck. You may use the earnings to pay down your tuition and fees, or to cover other educational costs. Work study earnings are taxable income. However, earnings received through the Federal or State Work Study Programs are not counted as income on the FAFSA when determining your financial aid eligibility for the following academic year.


If you work on campus, you may work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and up to 40 hours per week during academic breaks, only if you intend to enroll at least half-time when classes resume. If you work in a State Work Study position off campus, you must meet the same enrollment requirement, but may work only up to 19 hours per week while class is in session (and up to 40 hours per week during breaks).


Being a work study student brings many benefits, including:

  • Gaining real-world work experience, improving your skills, and building your résumé.
  • Having the opportunity to explore possible career opportunities.
  • Helping to pay your way through school.


State or Federal Work Study

Eligibility for Federal or State Work Study is determined by the information provided in your FAFSA. Keep in mind that work study employment is not guaranteed. If you are awarded work study, you are eligible to participate in the program. In order to use a work study award, you are required to find a work study job. 

Institutional Work Study

If you are not eligible for State or Federal Work Study, you are eligible for Institutional Work Study which includes all on-campus jobs. After a student is hired, SFS determines whether the job should be classified as a Federal Work Study job or an Institutional Work Study job.

Positions in the Campus Bookstore, Campus Dining, University Ministries, School of Theology, Center for Biblical and Theological Education, and ASSP are Institutional Work Study only positions.

How to find a job

If you are looking for work, being an SPU student is an advantage. Nearly one in five off-campus State Work Study positions lead to permanent employment after graduation.

Job Fairs

SPU hosts an annual Student Employment Job Fair during the first week of Autumn Quarter. Job fairs are a great way to make connections and secure a work study job. You can meet on- and off-campus employers who are interested in hiring SPU students.


Handshake is SPU’s job board. It's updated daily and includes on and off campus positions.

Need Help?

For assistance in navigating the student employment website, or for strategies for finding a job, contact the student employment coordinator at 206-281-2047 or