Students gathering in front of the North Entrance of the Cascade Building

Work-Study FAQs

Why a work-study job over a non-work-study job?

You’re a highly sought after employee because work-study saves employers money! Depending on your type of work-study (federal or state), the employer is given a subsidy to offset your wages.

Work-study earnings don’t count against your aid eligibility when you fill out next year’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Non-work-study earnings are considered additional income on the FAFSA and may affect your financial aid award.

How can I tell if I am eligible for work-study?

You can verify your work-study eligibility by logging into ctcLink to view your awards or you can contact the Financial Aid Office.

What is the average work-study award?

Students are typically awarded between $1400 and $1600 per quarter. Award amounts may vary based on financial need and other types of funding received.

How much can I earn?

You cannot earn more than your work-study award. In the event you have exhausted all of your work-study funds you will either need to stop working until the next quarter (when your new award amount is available) or your employer will have to pay your full wages.

Like any job, wages can range from minimum wage and up. Employers set the rate and jobs that require higher responsibilities or skills tend to pay more.

You will be paid directly by your employer (whether it is Pierce College or a community partner. Pierce College student workers are paid on the 10th of each month.

Can I start working before my classes start in the upcoming quarter?

No, the first day you are eligible to work is the start of the quarter.

What are the benefits of work-study?

  • To gain work experience and improve marketable skills.
  • To explore possible career opportunities.
  • To meet a new set of contacts who may eventually become valuable references for future employment.
  • To reduce loan indebtedness and participate in the “working your way through school” concept.
  • Many work-study recipients are eligible to receive food stamps through DSHS.
  • When filling out the FAFSA for the next year, you will report your work-study earnings, but they will not be used to determine your financial need when filing the FAFSA.