Office ofFinancial Aid

What is State Work Study?

The State Work Study program helps Washington students with financial need to earn money for college while gaining work experience in jobs related to their academic and career goals. Students at PLU are hired by off campus employers who are then reimbursed 30% - 60% of the student wages (depending on the type of employer) by the state work study program funds.

Who is eligible?

In order to obtain State Work Study you must:

  • Be a Washington state resident.
  • Have state OR federal work study as part of your aid package. Juniors and seniors are awarded state work study in their initial award packaged. Freshmen and sophomores, however, are awarded federal work study, but may have it converted to state work study if an eligible position is available with an appropriate off campus employer. Freshmen and sophomores converting a Federal Work Study award to State Work Study must be WA state residents.
  • State work study awarded for fall or spring semester requires at least part-time enrollment and student must maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Work a maximum of 19 hours per week while enrolled at least half time.  After July 1, 2012, students may work up to 40 hours per week during periods of non-enrolment, or when enrolled less than half time.
  • Work with your employer to track your earnings so that they do not exceed the amount you have been awarded.

How do you apply?

To be considered for Work Study you must first submit a FAFSA form (remember to include PLU's school code 003785). Upon receiving your FAFSA information from the federal government, PLU will compile an award letter. If you are awarded Work Study then complete the following:

  • Find a job that interests you within the State Work Study listing. Looking for a student job?
  • Obtain a Referral from the Office of Student Employment that indicates your award eligibility amount and authorizes you to work at a State Work Study Job
  • Apply for the job! Counselors at Student Employment and Career Development will work with you if you have questions about applications, cover letters, and resumes
  • Bring your referral with you to the State Work Study employer and have them fill out the appropriate information
  • Return the Referral to the Financial Aid Office in the Administration Building. This will complete the processing of your application, including adjusting award amounts to fit with your employer's request, if necessary
  • Make sure you and your employer return your State Work Study Time sheet at the end of every month and that all the information is current and accurate. Return time sheets to the Student Employment Center.
  • Continue to work with your employer to track your earnings so that they do not exceed the amount you have been awarded.

How much will you make and are there other benefits?

Your earning potential is dictated by the 19 hours per week limit while enrolled in school, the hourly wage paid by your employer and the amount of your eligibility, based on your FAFSA information.  Beginning July 1, 2012, students may work up to 40 hours per week during periods of non-enrollment or when enrolled less than half time.  In 2011-12, students averaged $2550 in earnings, with the highest amount earned at $7397 for the year.  Participation in the State work study program:

  • Offer positions that typically provide higher compensation than on-campus employment.
  • Offer positions that typically provide more "real world" work opportunities that test academic learning and help confirm future career interest.
  • Offer the potential for making a bigger impact in terms of post-graduation resume' and reference strength/competitiveness
  • Offer greater potential for post-graduation employment with the same employer.