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Federal Work Study Information

The Work Study Program is a federally funded financial aid program whose purpose is to stimulate and promote part-time employment for students in need of earnings to finance their educational expenses. Work-study jobs are not intended to replace existing staff positions.

Eligibility Requirements

The student must demonstrate financial need through a federally approved method of needs analysis by completing and mailing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and the student must be enrolled at least half time:

Half time - Six credits - Undergraduate Program
Five credits - Masters' Program
Three credits - Doctoral Program
Processing For Employment

For On-Campus Employers

Once a student is hired, the student must be processed through the Enterprise Business System (EBS). Work-study reimbursement will begin automatically with the students' first payroll processing after having received the award and will be retroactive to the beginning of the current financial aid award period.

Community Work Study Instructions

Community service jobs include positions that "are designed to improve the quality of life for community residents or to solve particular problems related to their needs".

For Off-Campus Employers

An Employment Notification and Acknowledgement form must be completed, and returned to the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible. The effective beginning date cannot be prior to the beginning of the financial aid award year and will be noted on each time sheet mailed to you.

Percentage Paid by Work Study

Fifty percent (50%) of the student's gross wages are paid with work-study funds. On-campus student wages are calculated through the payroll system. Off-campus student wages are paid in full by the employer, and reimbursement of fifty percent is made to the employer afterwards. The student's gross wages are deducted from the work study award.

Weekly Limits

According to University guidelines, a work-study student can work no more than 29 hours per week during the academic year. Students may work up to 40 hours per week during finals weeks and breaks.

Processing Student Aid

There are two periods each year for processing student aid - Fall/Spring academic year and Summer semester. For these periods, the student must be given a NEW AWARD by the Office of Financial Aid through the same needs analysis test (FAFSA form) as described above.

Cancelled or Declined Work Study

Many factors may affect a student's work-study allotment, including revisions which could reduce or increase the award due to other changes in the aid package or requests made by the student.

Pay Rates

Pay rates for work-study students are determined by the University and by the job classification. All on campus rates must correspond with the standard job classification system. Any additional questions for student employees please send an email to or call
MSU Human Resources Solutions Center at (517) 353-4434.

Please note that all off-campus pay rates must comply with state and Federal Minimum Wage laws.

Award Amounts

Work study students can continue employment after exhausting the work study award amount for the aid period, provided the employer is willing to pay 100% of the student's earnings. These additional earnings will not jeopardize the student's current financial aid package

Work Study Questions Regarding Student Eligibility

Employers may call Kelly Benbraham at 353-3005 or email to Students may call the Office of Financial Aid at 353-5940.