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Student employment

If you’re looking for another way to help pay for college, state or federal work-study may be a great option for you. Work-study is a way for students to earn money to pay for school through part-time on- (and sometimes off-) campus jobs. The program gives students an opportunity to gain valuable work experience while pursuing a college degree. USW participates and each award year has limited amount of funds that can be awarded to eligible students. This is why it is so important for students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form so that eligibility can be determined. Federal and state work-study positions are based on need. The need is calculated from your FAFSA and scholarships you have received.

  • USW has work-study positions on and off campus.

  • USW has work-study funds that can be federal or New Mexico (if you are a resident)

  • Work-study jobs are first-come, first-serve at USW.

  • USW uses Handshake for the process of hiring students for work-study positions.


  • Be enrolled AND registered for courses as a full-time resident or commuter undergraduate student

  • Have a FAFSA completed  

  • Be able to provide original (no copies) documentation for identification and authorization

How to Apply

1.  Complete a FAFSA
2.  Check your eligibility:

  • Log in to Handshake:

             a. Click here for computer login
             b. Click here for mobile login

  • Enter your USW username (student ID number) and password (must be registered for courses to be able to log in)

  • If having difficulty logging in, contact Career Services

  • Select "Jobs > Filters > Job Type > On Campus > Show Results"

  • Select a work study program and click “Apply”

  • After applying, you will receive an email, notifying you of your eligibility status.

  • In Handshake, if your application status under "My Jobs" is updated to:

    • "Hired" = You are eligible for work study

    • "Declined" = You are NOT eligible for work study

3.  If eligible, apply to a work study job:  

  • A resume will be required. For help with building or improving your resume, see Career Services.

  • After preparing a resume and logging into Handshake, select “Jobs > Filters > Work Study > Show Results"

  • Select and apply to a work study position.


Here are some things you should know about the work-study program:


Being awarded work-study does not guarantee you a job.


Applying for the work-study funds is just the first step. In order to receive those funds, you need to earn them, which means you need to start by finding a work-study job.

USW requires the student to find and apply for positions on Handshake. Supervisors will interview for positions, just like any other job. When a supervisor decides to hire you, you will see the Financial Aid Office for the rest of the paperwork process.

The personnel office will require two forms of ID for the tax forms you will complete as part of the paperwork process.

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Not all work-study jobs are on-campus.


The availability of work-study positions includes community service options with non-profit employers, which means some work-study jobs are available for off-campus work. If you are curious about securing a community service work-study position, these are also on Handshake and Career Services can help you apply for them as well.


Work-study funds are not applied directly to your tuition.

Unlike other types of financial aid, work-study earnings are not applied directly to your tuition and fees. Students who are awarded work-study receive the funds in a paycheck as they earn them, based on hours worked, just like a normal job. These earnings are meant to help with the day-to-day expenses that students have and are not meant to cover large costs like tuition and housing.

Work-Study is not guaranteed from year to year.

There are several factors that can determine whether or not you receive work-study from year to year. These include your family income or financial need, whether you used the work-study funds that were offered to you in a prior year, and/or how much work-study funding your school receives that year.

Pay may vary.

Work-study jobs vary in qualifications and responsibilities, so the pay will depend on the job that you are hired to do. Pay may also depend on your school’s policies and/or the minimum wage requirements.

Hours worked may vary.

How many hours you work each week will depend on the type of job you get and your employer’s expectations. Most employment positions for students, however, will work around your class schedule and only require between 10 and 20 hours per week, but again—that can vary!

Work-study earnings are removed from your FAFSA calculation.

One of the benefits of earning income through a federal work-study position is that those earnings do not count against you when you complete the FAFSA form. There’s a question on the FAFSA form that asks how much was earned through work-study during a particular tax year; make sure to answer that question accurately so the amount can be factored out. If you do not know how much you earned, you can contact the personnel office at USW for help.

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