Office of Student Financial Aid

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For Students who have been awarded Work-Study on their Financial Aid Award Offer

1. What is Federal Work-Study?

A Federal Work-Study award on your Financial Aid Award Offer is an offer to get a part-time job through the Work-Study program. Work-Study is different from other types of financial aid because you do not receive Work-Study monies until you locate a job and begin working. A Work-Study award is not a guarantee of a job nor a guarantee that you will earn all of your award amount. You must apply and interview for Work-Study jobs; the amount you earn is dependent upon the job you obtain. Most students who want to find employment are able to do so. One main advantage of Work-Study employment is that when you apply for future financial aid, your Work-Study earnings are not included as a financial resource. To be eligible to apply for Work-Study jobs, you must be enrolled in full-time units and you must have accepted your Work-Study on your Financial Aid Award Offer.

2. How do I get a Work-Study job?

Most Work-Study jobs are located on campus and offer convenient hours and locations. Some Work-Study jobs are located off-campus at selected non-profit organizations with whom SFSU has an established Work-Study contract. Available Work-Study jobs are listed on the Student Involvement and career center web site below.

Searching for Job:

  • To find a job -

  • When you find jobs that you are interested in, apply as indicated.For more information about the web site or if you need assistance finding a job, visit the Student Involvement & Career Center in Student Services Building 206, or call 415-338-1761.

    Clearance Form:

    Before you can be hired for a Work-Study job, you need a Work-Study Clearance Form. This form can be picked up at our One Stop Center starting the second week of August; or thereafter if you are enrolled in full time units and you have cleared all Holds on your financial aid record. Instructions will be included with the form. If at any point in the semester your work-study award changes, a revised Work-Study Clearance Form will be mailed to your eomployer.

    I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) Form:

    Additionally you must have completed the I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) process. To complete the I-9 process you must come to the OSFA and bring one of the following: U.S. passport, Certificate of U.S. Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization or Alien Registration Card with recent photograph. If you don't have one of these documents, you may bring in 2 of the following - one from each column:

    Column B

    • State-issued driver's license
    • State-issued ID card with a photograph
    • U.S. Military card
    • Student photo identification card

    Column C

    • Original Social Security Card
    • Birth certificate bearing a seal or other certification
    • Unexpired INS Employment Authorization


    The amount of Work-Study you earn is dependent upon the number of hours you work each week and your hourly pay rate, determined by your employer. Most students work between 10 - 15 hours per week and current hourly pay rates range from $8.50 - $17.26 per hour. The maximum you can earn on a Work-Study job is determined by the amount of your Work-Study Award. When your earnings equal the total amount of the award, you must stop working immediately or have your employer arrange to pay you out of other student employment funds. It is your responsibility to plan and keep track of your earnings so as not to exceed the Work-Study award. Earnings in excess of your Work-Study award may jeopardize the rest of your financial aid package.

    3. How Do I Get Paid?

    If you have an on-campus Work-Study job, you will with your employer on filing your on line voucher each month, recording the hours you work. At the end of every month and you are paid two weeks later by direct deposit. You use these funds to pay for whatever educational expenses you have. Necessary payroll forms and a payday schedule are available from your employer. If you have an off-campus Work-Study job, you are placed on the agency's regular payroll and your employer pays you directly, at least once a month. Your off-campus employer will provide you with the necessary payroll forms to fill out. If your Work-Study employment is at an off-campus government agency, you will be paid by SFSU each month.

    Work-Study Earnings are Taxable Income

    Your student status does not automatically qualify you for filing exempt from taxes. With both on and off-campus employers, you must fill out your employer's payroll withholding forms to indicate whether you want to have taxes withheld.

    4. What else do I need to know about my Work-Study award?

    Academic and Summer Award Periods: The Work-Study award period for the academic year begins 5 business days prior to the first day of classes and ends May 31. If you have an academic year award, you may work only during this time period. Students with a Fall or Spring award may work only during the semester indicated on the Clearance Form. Unearned Work-Study award amounts may not be carried forward into the next award period. To be employed through the Work-Study program in June, July or August you must apply for a separate Summer Work-Study Award. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid in April regarding the Summer Work-Study program.

    Summer Employment

    Work-Study Increases:

    In some instances you may be eligible for an increase in your Work-Study award during the academic year. Students should contact the OSFA staff to inquire about award increases prior to the student earning in excess of the original award amount.

    Work Hours:

    The first day you can begin working is 5 business days prior to the first day of Instruction on the academic calendar. During the academic year, when classes are in session, you are limited to working 20 hours per week. If you have more than one job, the total number of hours per week for both jobs may not exceed 20. During school breaks, you can work up to 40 hours per week. If you have more than one job, the combined work hours must not exceed 40 hours per week. Finals week is not considered a recess period, therefore you are still limited to working 20 hours per week. However, if you have completed all of your academic obligations prior to the end of Finals week, you may make arrangements with your employer to begin working extra hours. The final day a student can work during the Fall semester is the last scheduled final on the academic calendar. The final day a student can work during Spring semester is May 31.
    Graduating Students can only work up to the last day of finals on that academic calendar.


    You are entitled to take certain breaks during work shifts that exceed three hours. The supervisor determines when the breaks are to be taken.

  • 4-5 hour shift: One 15 minute paid break

  • 5-7 hour shift: One 15 minute paid break and one mandatory 30 minute unpaid meal break

  • 8 hour shift: Two 15 minute paid breaks and one mandatory 30 minute unpaid meal break

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