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Using Your Work-Study Award

Learn about Financial Aid at UC San Diego.

What is work-study?

Work-study is awarded by the Financial Aid Office as part of your financial aid package. It allows you to earn money for your educational expenses. It is paid through the bi-weekly payroll process, and does not credit your student account. To determine if you have an award, review your Award Notification on TritonLink.


Featured video: What is Work-Study and Making the Most of Your Award


What requirements must I meet to use my work-study award?

  • be a UC San Diego undergraduate student enrolled in a minimum of 6 units
  • must pay UC San Diego Student Services Fees each quarter working
  • demonstrate satisfactory academic progress in a program leading to a degree, according to federal standards
  • have been offered and officially accepted a work-study award for the current academic year.

How do I use my work-study?

From TritonLink, take a copy of your award information to the job interview. If you already work on-campus, notify the timekeeper that you would like to use your award. Most campus departments and some off-campus agencies employ students with work-study.

What work-study programs are available to me?

There are three programs offered to students at UC San Diego.

  • Federal Program- funded by the Federal government; educationally-related and/or community service positions that are on-campus or with local nonprofit, governmental or community-based organizations.
  • Reading/Math Tutoring Program- funded by the Federal government; work as a reading tutor with pre-K through 6th grade students and/or family literacy programs or as a math tutor, K through 9th grades. Both assist schoolchildren in developing or improving their reading and/or math skills and are with school districts and other nonprofit agencies.
  • University Program - funded by UC for campus positions.

How do I create a work-study job?

If you would like to use your work-study award in your current on-campus job, contact the Timekeeper in your department to make them aware that you have an award they may utilize.

How do I view available on-campus positions?

Port Triton, use the Advanced Search tab.  In Position Type select (one or all of the following): On-Campus: Work-Study not required but may be used; On-Campus: Work-Study Required and/or Off-Campus: Work-Study Required.

How is a work-study job different from a "regular" job?

It is the same as a "regular" job. You work hours and receive a paycheck. The Federal government pays a portion of your wages and the employing department pays the other portion.

Do I get a check for the amount shown on my Award notification?

Once you are working, you submit hours worked and receive a paycheck for those hours. You can earn up to the dollar amount of your work-study award. Once the award amount has been earned, it is up to the employing department to determine if your job will continue.

Does work-study guarantee that I will get a job?

All jobs are competitive and may require a resume & interview.  If you are having difficulty securing a work-study job contact Mary Lewis to schedule an appointment to discuss.

Do I have to pay the money back?

A work-study award is not a loan. It is an award for you to earn and use. There is no penalty if the award is not earned. You do not pay it back.

Are taxes taken out of my work-study earnings?

Yes, if you earn enough according to IRS tax rules.

Where may I obtain assistance?

The Career Services Center is located on the Library Walk. Our office hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Wednesday 8:00 am to 7:00 pm and Friday, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. To speak with our Work-Study Coordinator, come to the 2nd floor of the Career Services Center to schedule an appointment or email Mary Lewis.