Work-Study Employment

Work-Study is a financial aid program that offers hourly employment to students.  Funds are limited.  As an employment program, students are paid for the hours they work. Students are not paid to study. Payment for hours worked is deposited in the student's bank account, it is not credited to the student's University account (U-bill).

Many campus jobs can be either Work-Study or part-time hourly. The work is the same. The difference is the source of the funds used to pay the student's wages. Federal and State financial aid dollars fund the Work-Study program whereas part-time hourly student employees are paid from departmentally budgeted funds.

Since work-study is a form of financial aid, the amount earned is not considered as income when filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the following year.

To be awarded Work-Study, a student must:

The maximum academic year Work-Study award is $1,750 per semester ($1,250 per semester for freshman and transfer students). The minimum award is $500 per semester. Summer award maximums are determined each year based on funding availability.

Student hourly work limitations are established by State of Iowa Law. Students may work a maximum number of 20 hours per week during the academic year.  However, students may work a maximum of 40 hours per week during Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks and over the summer.

Student employees must be prepared to document their eligibility to work under federal law by completing an I-9 form prior to or on their first days of employment. Be prepared to present the documents necessary (PDF) to complete the I-9 Form. Additional information is available at

There are approximately 1,700 students employed under the Work-Study program each academic year.  Generally more Work Study jobs are available than there are Work Study awarded students to fill them.  Additional information on utilizing your Work Study award will help you find the right job.

Should a student experience difficulties with their job regarding the interpretation or application of established policies and/or procedures governing the terms of their employment, working conditions, hours of work, or compensation, information regarding the Grievance Procedure is available.


Getting Paid

  • The amount a student earns is determined by multiplying the hourly rate of pay by the number of hours worked.  The student's rate of pay is established by the employer.  The State of Iowa minimum hourly wage is $7.25. The Work-Study wage survey (PDF) provides information on rates of pay.
  • The Payment System web page provides an explanation of the documents required and the process.
  • Students are paid biweekly according to the Payroll Biweekly Schedule. Payment for hours worked is deposited in the student's bank account, it is not credited to the student's University account (U-bill).
  • Employment hours are entered electronically through ISIS.
  • For additional information on resources available to students regarding their payroll information, view ISIS & Self Service Human Resource Access for Students.