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Work-Study FAQ

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program is a government subsidized student employment program designed to assist students in financing their post-secondary education. In order to be eligible for Work-Study (CWS), students must document financial need every year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Texas College Work-Study Program’s purpose is to provide part-time jobs to eligible students with financial need to enable them to attend college. Students must be Texas residents and maintain enrollment of 6 credit hours.

Although a CWS job should be treated as any other job, it does have several distinct advantages:

Students have the benefit of working in an environment suited to their skills, preferences and possible career goals.

Students and Work-Study employers arrange a work schedule around the class schedule.

Work-Study wages are not counted towards next year's student contribution for financial aid.

Although the majority of CWS positions are located on-campus, the program also offers a growing number of off-campus positions. Most off-campus locations are easily reached by automobile or city bus. Regardless of location, the ultimate advantage of a CWS position is that it affords students invaluable experience when preparing to enter the job market after graduation, not to mention the departmental and/or professional contacts that can be made.

Studies have consistently shown that students who work no more than 20 hours per week do better academically than students who do not work. Additional time demands appear to force students to manage their time more efficiently, thus necessitating a higher commitment to study time by the student.

The On-Campus Work-Study jobs are as diverse as the personnel needs of the University. Clerical assistants, data entry operators, library technicians, tutoring laboratory assistants are a few examples.

Off-campus positions with employers/agencies approved to participate in the Federal Work-Study Program offer further variety. These positions are available through non-profit organizations and are usually in areas of community service. Off-campus positions may include social work internships, assistants, public relations, editorial, research assistants, and tutors.

Students are not allowed to hold multiple UHD paid positions while being employed as a CWS student.
If interested in CWS, please email a request to or visit our office to be added to our waitlist.

Community Service Work-Study is a federally-funded program that allows students to earn their Work-Study award while serving the community at approved sites in education, recreation, child care, health care, public safety, social services, crime prevention, emergency preparedness and response, and tutoring and mentoring.

Community Service positions benefit the student as well as the community by increasing awareness of community needs through employment in areas that are dedicated to improving the quality of life for community residents--particularly low-income individuals--or to solve problems related to their needs.

The UHD Community Engagement and Service Learning provides information about the advantages of Community Service employment. Visit their site at Community-Engagement-Work-Study .

All jobs offer competitive wages and most pay more than minimum wage based upon experience and skills. The job titles, duties and hourly rates are the same as those for non-CWS employees. CWS students must also have the same job qualifications as non-CWS individuals. Students working at the University of Houston-Downtown under the Work-Study Program are paid on an hourly-wage basis under wage regulations set by the University's Office of Human Resources.
No. Work-Study (CWS) students are not eligible for paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, or medical and dental insurance through their Work-Study job.

Students may earn up to the amount of their award as listed on the Financial Aid Notification. Students may not earn more than the amount of the Work-Study (CWS) award.

The Work-Study Program reimburses employers 100% of the students' earnings up to the amount of the award. Any wages earned after that amount must be paid 100% by the employer. It is the student's and employer's responsibility to monitor earnings to be sure the award amounts are not exceeded. Any scholarship counts as a financial resource and must be considered when constructing a student award package. Total student aid cannot exceed a student’s cost of attendance. The cost of attendance (COA) is an estimate of what it costs the typical student to attend the University of Houston. Your COA includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses. UHD awards are subject to change depending on the entire student award package and the students’ COA.

The work schedule is to be determined by the student and employer. The following guidelines apply.

Students should never be scheduled to work during class time.

Students should never work more than 8 hours in one day

Students should never work more than 20 hours in one week while classes are in session.

Students must take a 30-minute break if allowed to work a consecutive 6 hour period.

Student may work up to 39 hours in one week only during approved breaks when classes are not in session.

To apply for Work-Study jobs, student must accept their Work-Study award via their  MyUHD_Student Account. After accepting the award and enrolling in the minimum of six (6) credit hours, student will have access to apply for any job posting on Student Jobs within four weeks prior to the start of the semester or after.
If students are enrolled at least half-time and do not get a Work-Study job within the first two weeks of the start of class, their Work-Study award will be canceled. Once canceled, the Work-Study awards may not be reinstated or reinstated at a later date.

To receive Work-Study funds, students must get a job and work no more than 20 hours per week. Students are paid every two weeks.

The work week always begins on Wednesday and ends on Tuesday.

Upon hiring, the UHD hiring department must complete the TALEO process for new hires and the Electronic Position Action Request (EPAR) for rehires. The hiring department also ensures the student completes:

The UHD Student Responsibilities Form, Confidentiality Form, and the Mandatory Acknowledgement Form.

The UHD Office of Human Resources will collects the Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9), it must be completed within three days of hire. The Authorization to Work section provides information about the documents required for proof of citizenship, The W-4 Form and the Direct Deposit Form.

Work-Study students must log in and out for their assigned work shift.

Work-Study eligibility is based upon performing the assigned job duties in a satisfactory manner, maintaining satisfactory academic progress, continuing to show financial need, and the timeliness of your Financial Aid Application.

If a student's eligibility changes at any time during the award period, the CWS award (as well as any other financial aid awards) may be re-evaluated. This often occurs when the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid learns of additional resources, e.g. scholarships or tuition waivers, and must reduce the amount of WS award.

Also, eligibility from one year to the next is not guaranteed. Each year students must complete a need-analysis form called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for financial aid, including Work-Study. Students should apply by the April 1st priority deadline, since Work-Study funding is limited.

As with all Financial Aid, Satisfactory academic progress is monitored. Under no circumstances may students continue Work-Study employment after dropping below half-time enrollment, unless approved by the Work-Study Coordinator (special request).