During each year, over 1,000 University of Iowa students are employed through Work-Study positions.

Work-Study Definition

Work-Study is a limited-fund financial aid program where students are paid for the hours worked at their work-study job. Students are not paid to study. Payment for the hours worked is deposited in the student's bank account, it is not credited to the student's University account (U-Bill).

Students are not guaranteed a job if they are awarded work-study. As with any on or off-campus job, students must apply, and a great place to start is the Handshake website. Some Handshake job postings can only be filled by students awarded work-study. Often students that have been awarded work-study can more easily find a job.  Employers are anxious to hire work-study students since they pay only 50% of the student's wages and the work-study program pays the other 50%.

Work-Study students can be employed at University jobs or with approved off-campus government or non-profit agencies. Some jobs are designed to specifically benefit the community and are designated as community service positions.

To be awarded Work-Study, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program
  • Demonstrate financial need by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year
  • Request to be awarded Work-Study when completing the FAFSA
  • Be enrolled for at least six hours as an undergraduate student or five hours as a graduate student. For the summer, graduate students must be enrolled for at least three hours. View information on the impact of dropping a class or withdrawing from the semester.

Earning Potential and Hours Limitations

The maximum Work-Study award is $2,500 per semester ($1,750 per semester for freshman and transfer students). The minimum award is $500 per semester. Summer award maximums are determined each year based on funding availability.

Student hourly work limitations are established by State of Iowa Law. Students may work a maximum number of 20 hours per week during the academic year. However, students may work a maximum of 40 hours per week during Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks and over the summer.

Proof of Work-Study Eligibility

Students can print proof of the dollar value of their work-study award from MyUI. Some employers request this information be provided to them as part of the application process and others will ask that it be provided to them during the interview. Students have the ability to print the proof and upload it to the Handshake system.