The Federal Work Study Program is a federally funded financial aid program that enables a student to work part-time while attending school. The federal government pays for a portion of your earnings and the department that you work for pays the remaining portion.
All students who apply for financial aid by the appropriate deadline dates are reviewed for eligibility. Students must have financial need, which is determined by the information that is submitted on the required financial aid applications. Students are notified of their financial aid awards through the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid via the Financial Aid Award Notification.

Student Eligibility

You must be enrolled in classes full-time to be eligible to participate in the Federal Work Study program during the fall/spring term. Enrollment of at least 1 credit is necessary to participate in Summer Work Study.


Steps to Participate in Work Study

To participate in the Federal Work Study program, you need to:

  1. Accept your Federal Work Study award on
  2. Search for available Federal Work Study positions on PittSource. The Federal Work Study Office does not provide placement assistance.
  3. Once hired, complete all necessary Federal Work Study and onboarding paperwork.
  4. Each week you and your supervisor are responsible to accurately record and submit hours that you worked. Time must be submitted into PRISM TRKS following the calendar determined by the University Payroll department. Your earnings will be deposited directly into your personal bank account, if you sign up for Direct Deposit (highly recommended).
  5. Keep track of your gross earnings to make sure you do not exceed your Federal Work Study award. It is the responsibility of the student and supervisor to keep track of earnings.

NOTE: You are not permitted to begin working until you have fulfilled the onboarding requirements and receive an email with your official start date.

Hours and Pay Rates

Each department will determine the hourly pay rate for their student employees. Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
During the academic year, you may work no more than 20 hours per week. During the summer, you may work no more than 40 hours per week. Students typically work 10-15 hours per week. Payment through Federal Work Study earnings are based on an hourly rate for actual hours worked. Students who are absent due to illness, holidays, or other reasons are not paid or given credit for their time missed. Students are not paid for time taken for meals.


By accepting financial aid awards, students agree to provide any additional documentation requested by an authorized University official to verify information given on the original financial aid application. The University reserves the right to reduce or cancel an award in cases where there is conflicting or missing information. In addition, if the total awarded financial aid exceeds your federally determined eligibility, a Federal Work Study award can be reduced or cancelled. In this case, the Federal Work Study office will notify you. It is your responsibility to ensure that your supervisor knows of the change.

Summer Federal Work Study

If sufficient funds are available, students who were employed during the regular school year will have an opportunity to apply for Summer Federal Work Study awards. Students are notified in February about planning for the summer program. The Application for Summer Employment through the Federal Work Study program will be sent to qualified students. Awards are limited and are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority is given to those who apply by the deadline date on the application. Students must be enrolled during summer term to participate.

Exceeding Federal Work Study Award Amount

If the authorized Federal Work Study award amount is exceeded, the department or organization hiring the student is responsible for the amount which exceeds the award. Inactivation of a Federal Work Study student may be necessary for students who earn more than heir award.


Students are responsible to their supervisors for punctual, regular, and efficient performance of job duties. Supervisors must be notified in advance of any time off or absence.


If you plan to change to a different Federal Work Study position you must notify the Federal Work Study Office in writing so that you will be emailed a new Job Permit Card. You must apply for the new Federal Work Study position via PittSource.

Job Limits

You may hold more than one Federal Work Study job at a time. You will need to complete a new Job Permit Card for each position. Please contact the Federal Work Study Office before attempting to find a second position. Also, no student can hold a Federal Work Study job and a non-Federal Work Study job within the University at the same time.

To Stop Participating in the Federal Work Study Program

If you intend to withdraw from the Federal Work Study Program, either temporarily or permanently, you must advise your supervisor and the Work Study Office. You should try to notify your supervisor two weeks in advance. If you leave a job, you should not expect to have earnings replaced by any other type of financial aid.


Please contact our office if you have questions.
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
Federal Work Study Program
4227 Fifth Ave, 120 Alumni Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260-6601
Phone: 412 624-4119