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Work-Study Rules & Regulations


A work-study employee must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program each term and registered for:

  • 6 credits as an undergraduate student
  • 5 credits as a graduate student

A student may be employed at only one work-study job at a time.

It is highly recommended that students try and locate a work-study job within the first 4 weeks of the term. 

A work-study student's change in eligibility may necessitate changes in the work-study allocation amount or withdrawal of the work-study award.

Hiring departments should confirm that the student has a valid work-study award.

Students will be compensated at an hourly rate which is commensurate with their duties and responsibilities.

Student work-study earnings should be monitored by both the employing department and the student to ensure that earnings do not exceed the work-study allocation. Work-study students are not eligible for overtime.  Employers should run the Work-Study Earnings Report after every pay period.

  • This report provides an alphabetical listing of all work-study students employed by your department and includes the employee’s work-study limit, work-study start and end dates, academic year (AY) work-study earnings to date, and amount paid on work-study for a specific pay period selected.

Work-study students may work during the fall semester break provided that they are enrolled at least half-time spring and have an academic year award. They may not earn more than 50% of their total work-study allocation before spring semester starts. Fall semester only work-study awards end the last day of fall term.

All work-study students are subject to the Office of Financial Aid's Satisfactory Progress Policy.

Work-study allocations are $3000 per academic year. The Work-Study Allocation Table lets the employer and student determine the average number of hours necessary to work per semester, at a determined pay rate, to earn the allocation. Students will be paid only for the amount of the allocation that is earned. Increased work-study allocations are subject to available funding.

Seventy percent of work-study students' gross earnings are funded by state or federal work-study funds, and thirty percent of the students' gross earnings are paid by the employing department. If the student's earnings exceed his/her allocation, the employer will be charged for all of the earnings in excess of the allocation.

The student may not work more than 40 hours per week on work-study and should try to average no more than 20 hours per week during the award period to avoid negative impacts to academics. Work-Study students can not work during their scheduled class times. A minimum of 90% of the total allocation should be earned during the award period. The student is only paid for the amount of the allocation that is earned. It is the hiring department's responsibility to provide sufficient hours to enable the student to earn his/her work-study allotment. If there is trouble meeting this requirement, or if the student wishes to reduce or decline the award, Student Employment Services must be contacted within the first four weeks of the term.

Although break or meal periods for students employed by Colorado State University are not mandatory, it is recommended that departments implement a policy for best practice, allowing breaks and/or meals as necessary.  The length and frequency of such periods are up to employer discretion.  Generally, a break period (10-20 minutes) is paid and taken on the premises; a meal period (30 minutes or more) is un-paid, if uninterrupted/duty free.

Usually, need-based work-study students can only change jobs between semesters. Merit Work-Study jobs are job-specific; therefore, students holding these positions cannot change jobs. Declined work-study awards will usually not be reinstated; reinstatements will be contingent upon availability of funds.