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Work-Study and Student Employment

Federal work-study provides undergraduate and graduate students with part-time employment in an approved on- or off-campus position. These are federal funds based on a student’s need. A work-study offer does not automatically guarantee a position of employment.

To apply, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and indicate on the FAFSA your interest in work-study. View and apply for available positions. Positions are posted throughout the semester.

What is Work-Study?

The Federal Work-Study Program allocates funds for undergraduate and graduate students with demonstrated financial need to work part-time. 

Eligibility is based on the information entered into your FAFSA. The University of Central Oklahoma assesses your or your family’s income to put together your financial aid package, which may include a combination of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. Learn more about the financial aid process, including understanding and accepting your award. 

How Does Work-Study Work?

 While work-study is considered a type of financial aid, it differs in multiple regards from other forms.

  • Funds you earn assist with paying for education-related expenses, but you are responsible for determining their allocation. You can set aside part of your work-study earnings for your tuition, or you may decide to put them toward books, fees and other expenses. 
  • Students are typically paid an hourly rate that must meet the federal minimum wage. The amount varies based on the position you secure.
  • The University of Central Oklahoma presents several opportunities for work-study. These are in addition to positions with a federal, state or local public agency or a participating private or for-profit organization. 
  • Positions frequently involve working with and benefiting the surrounding community. All schools participating in the Federal Work-Study Program must assign at least seven percent of all funds toward community service roles, such as tutoring. 
  • Contrary to belief, work-study isn’t strictly for full-time undergraduate students. Part-time students may be eligible, as well as those enrolled in graduate and professional programs. 
  • Work-study isn’t meant to cover all tuition costs. Instead, it functions as a supplemental form of aid that, in conjunction with scholarships, loans and grants, helps cover the cost of attendance. 
  • You’re given a set amount of funds for work-study. Your earnings cannot exceed your assigned award. 
  • Work-study isn’t automatically renewed each year. Instead, your eligibility is based on the Federal Work-Study Program funds UCO receives, if you used your full award from the previous semester, and your or your family’s income and financial need. 
  • Work-study assignments are not guaranteed. You’ll be expected to find your own placement based on UCO’s specified on-campus positions and organizational partnerships.
  • While work-study income is taxable, what you earn from your assignment doesn’t go toward your or your family’s reported income. However, you will be expected to enter your work-study earnings onto your FAFSA form. 

Finding a Work-Study Assignment

Both through on-campus and partnering organization positions, work-study assignments fall into the following types:

  • Tutoring;
  • Working on campus in an administrative or clerical role, including in the library, as an assistant or a front-desk position;
  • Working in the dining or residence halls; and,
  • Research and technical positions.

Ideally, the position you find relates to your area of study, allowing you to begin gaining experience and developing connections before you graduate. 

 The current hourly payscale for on- and off-campus positions is:

  • Clerical: $7.25 - $8.40
  • Technical: $7.25 - $9.60
  • Tutors: $7.25 - $10.10

Understand that finding a work-study assignment may take preparation and strategy and can mirror applying to any other job. Be ready to complete an application and even be interviewed for your role. 

The Benefits of Work-Study

Beyond being a form of financial aid, work-study offers students multiple benefits:

  • Start gaining experience in a position related to your field of study and even access mentorship opportunities;
  • You’re seen as a student first, and your hours are based around your class schedule;
  • Work-study funds applied toward your tuition can decrease the number of loans you take out;
  • You have more control over where your money goes;
  • Strengthen essential interpersonal, communication, analytical and critical-thinking skills you’ll need out in the working world; and,
  • You have an opportunity to take part in the Central community and become more involved and engaged on campus.

Non-Work-Study On-Campus Employment

Interested in having an on-campus job while attending UCO? Explore student employment opportunities in our career section: search on-campus job postings and create an application to apply for any open positions that interest you. For questions regarding postings, send an email to jobs@uco.edu.

Learn More About Work-Study and Student Employment at UCO

Are you considering work-study but have questions before you complete your financial aid forms? Reach out to Student Financial Services today by phone at 405-974-2727 or set up an appointment with a money coach