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Work-Study Employment Program

What is Work-study? 

Work-study is an employment program that provides paid jobs for students who need to work to earn a portion of their education expenses. Work-study funds come from the state and federal government depending on which award you receive.

Priority work-study funds are allocated first to students that earned work-study in the prior academic year.

Listed below are the details about work-study. If you have any questions, please contact Financial Aid and Scholarships at 303-556-8593.

Click on the following topics for information on work-study.

Need-Based Federal and Colorado Work-Study:


Federal Work-Study (FWS) and Colorado Work-Study (CWS) funds are different from grants or loans. Students earn Work-Study funds by working at an approved Work-Study job. Work-Study funds come from the state and federal government
depending on which award you receive. The amount of the award is typically $5,000 for the academic year, or $2,500 per semester, and is based on each student’s eligibility. Since this money must be earned through employment, it will be disbursed to each student semi-monthly (twice a month), depending upon the number of hours worked and the pay rate.

Federal Need Based Work-Study Criteria:

  1. You must have completed a FAFSA for the academic year;
  2. Your financial aid file must be complete for the academic year;
  3. You must remain enrolled in at least 6 credits;
  4. You cannot be on financial aid suspension;
  5. You must have an unmet need of at least $3,000 for the academic year;
  6. You must turn in a work-study form confirming your employment;

Colorado Need-Based Work-Study:

  1. You must have completed a FAFSA for the academic year;
  2. Your financial aid file must be complete for the academic year;
  3. You must remain enrolled in at least 6 credits;
  4. You cannot be on financial aid suspension;
  5. You must have an unmet need of at least $3,000 for the academic year;
  6. You must turn in a work-study form confirming your employment;
  7. You must be a Colorado resident;
  8. You cannot have a previous bachelor’s degree; Colorado Need-Based Work-Study cannot be used for off campus employment

Colorado No-Need Work-Study (NNWS):

  1. You do not have to fill out a FAFSA.
  2. If you do complete a FAFSA, your financial aid file must be complete for the academic year;
  3. You must remain enrolled in at least 6 credits;
  4. You cannot be on financial aid suspension
  5. You must not have any need-based aid;
  6. You must turn in a work-study form confirming your employment
  7. You must be a Colorado resident;
  8. You cannot have a previous bachelor’s degree;

    Colorado No-Need-Work-Study cannot be used for off campus employment. PLEASE NOTE: If you are awarded work-study, you may not begin your employment until the work-study form confirming your employment is turned into the OFA and all employment paperwork is submitted and approved in the Human Resources Office.

Work-study is awarded on a first come, first served basis. Students who are interested in receiving work-study must submit the appropriate WK__ form for the academic year. This is available on the Forms section of the Financial Aid page.

  • This form must be signed by the supervisor and all the necessary information must be complete. 

Continuing student employees who have already received work-study in the previous year and have a completed file with the Financial Aid Office by the priority packaging deadline will be offered work-study before new applicants. These students must submit the WK__ form for the award to be accepted by a set deadline or the award will be canceled. 

Students who apply after the deadline and/or after funds have already been allocated are placed on a wait-list. The wait-list is awarded in date order that the WK__ form is received and that requirements are complete. Students who do not earn their work-study within the first three payrolls will have their work-study award canceled.

Things You Should Know About Work-study.  

  • As a new Work-Study student, you will be required to provide the Office of Human Resources with proof that you are eligible to work in the United States. Please have a photo ID and a Social Security card, birth certificate or U.S. passport when you fill out your new-hire paperwork. If you are a non-citizen, you must have a Social Security card, an I-20 and your student visa to fill out the paperwork. The Office of Human Resources is located in Suite 310 of the Student Success Building.
  • You cannot earn Work-Study if you are on financial aid suspension.
  • You cannot earn Work-Study if you drop below six credit hours.
  • If you are not awarded Work-Study and wish to be considered for this award, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

How Much Can I Earn?

  • The average award for an academic year is $5,000 (this may vary depending on funding). This is based on your available unmet need. The hourly pay ranges from $9.30 to $12.00 per hour
  • Monitor your earnings. This is your responsibility. If you earn more than your award each semester, the department you work for will be billed for the overpayment.

Cancellation or Reduction of Work-Study

  • Work-Study funds will be canceled if the following occurs:
    • A student does not earn work-study money after three payrolls for the semester;
    • A student drops below 6 credit hours (Any hours earned during the payroll will be charged to the department)
    • A student’s satisfactory academic progress appeal is denied.
  • Work-Study funds will be reduced if the following occurs:
    • A student receives a scholarship or outside sponsorship award.
      (If a reduction occurs during a payroll and the student over earns, the department will be charged the additional earnings).
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