Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study aid is awarded as part of a program that enables students to work a part-time job in departments on campus, earning money that helps pay for education and living expenses while enrolled at UNC Charlotte.  

Benefits of work-study

  • Flexible job–one that fits around your class schedule – because your studies come first. 

  • Maximum of 20 hours per week (during regular class sessions). This maximum includes other student worker jobs on campus.

  • You may choose to work in a field related to your major, with a manager who may serve as a future job reference.

Earn money.  Gain experience.

  • The hourly rate earned will be at least minimum wage; however, you may earn more, depending on the type of work and skills required for the position. 

  • Money is earned as you work throughout the semester, so you will not have the money “up front” in the beginning of the semester to pay your student account bill.  

  • The exact amount of work-study earned depends upon the hours actually worked and the pay rate per hour. The rate of pay varies depending on the department and the student’s experience level.  

  • Students are awarded an average of $3,000 for the academic year.  Total federal work-study earnings for the academic year cannot exceed the annual award amount. 

How do I apply for Federal Work-Study aid?

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to the March 1 priority deadline.  

  • You must also show demonstrated financial need, which is based on the results of the FAFSA. Once UNC Charlotte receives your FAFSA, you will be notified if you are awarded Federal Work-Study.  

  • You must be enrolled at least-half time.  

After being awarded Federal Work-Study

Accepting or declining your Federal Work-Study award

  1. Log in to My UNC Charlotte (my.uncc.edu).
  2. Click on My Award Information
  3. Click on Award By Aid Year. 
  4. Select Aid Year.
  5. Click on the Accept Award Offer tab.
  6. Select Accept or Decline for each offer.
  • All Federal Work-Study students who accept their awards will be contacted via email by The Student Employment Office (in Human Resources) in August, prior to the start of the fall semester.  
    • The email will provide students with details on how to apply for jobs, documents needed prior to working, and dates for the required Federal Work-Study Orientation.  
    • New students can begin working after completing orientation. 
  • Returning FWS students will be contacted prior to the start of the semester, advising when their Reappointment Form can be picked up at the Human Resources main desk in King Building, Room 222.

Four steps to find a work-study job

Note: Only students that are awarded and have accepted work-study can apply for work-study positions or the pool.  For more information on the Federal Work-Study hiring process, view the Student Employment Office website.

  1.  Watch for an email to come from the Student Employment Office prior to the start of the fall semester. The email will provide many details and links for how to apply for jobs, documents needed prior to working, and dates for the required Federal Work-Study Orientation.

  2.  Apply for jobs. There are two ways to find a work-study job.  

  • Option 1:  Submit your application to the work-study job pool. With this option, your application is posted along with a “pool” of many other applicants. Departments will search through the pool applicants to choose those they wish to interview.
  • Apply to a specific posted position. Click on the Federal Work Study button under the Student heading.  You will find specific job postings for each department, so you can apply for the jobs that interest you. 
  1.  Interview and accept a job. This process will give you valuable experience for when you interview for future career positions. Accept the job that best fits you and your skills, or experience you wish to gain. 
  2. Attend the Work-Study Orientation. Attendance is required before you begin working.

  • Several sessions are held in the beginning of the fall semester. You will need to bring your ID verification, completed I-9 form, and hiring packet to orientation (provided via email).


What is the difference between applying to the pool vs. a specific posting?
  • If you apply to the “pool”, you are allowing any department on campus to select you for any position. You are competing with hundreds of others, as departments scan the pool for qualified applicants. Set yourself apart from the crowd by applying to a specific posting that interests you. You can search by department and position description to find one that best fits your skills or interests.

How do I know if I got a job? 
  • After you interview with a department, ask their hiring manager when and how they will contact you if you are selected. Each department will have a different process and timeline for hiring students.

How do I get paid?
  • You will complete weekly time sheets to keep track of your hours worked, and you will be paid monthly. Money earned is paid to the student, either by direct deposit, or by check.

Can I work for the summer?
  • Yes, but only after your first year. You will have to have completed a FAFSA for the current academic year and the upcoming academic year, and show demonstrated need.  You must also complete the Summer Financial Aid Application which is available on April 15th prior to the upcoming summer.  Summer federal work-study funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as funds are available.