If you are an employer, please visit the Work-Study Employers section.
What is a Work-Study Referral? How do I Get One?
Your Work-Study Referral is the document that verifies you are a Work-Study recipient. You must present a Federal Work-Study Program Referral to your (prospective) employer(s). Your Referral authorizes your employer to hire and pay you with Work-Study funds. Work-Study Referrals are made available 10 days before the first day of Fall quarter instruction and to those award recipients that have either paid or deferred their Fall-quarter fees. At that time, you will be able to print your on-campus or off-campus Referral from Tab 4 of My Aid Status or visit our office to receive a Referral.
- Was I Awarded Work-Study?
What is Work-Study?
Federal Work-Study is a need-based form of Financial Aid. The intent of the Federal Work-Study Program is to encourage your part-time employment while attending college. The Program does so by paying a portion of your salary, thus making you a "better financial deal" for your employer.
Unlike other forms of Financial Aid that you may receive (e.g.: loans, grants, scholarships), your Work-Study award never credits to your BARC account. Your Work-Study award is paid directly to you, as it is earned, through a paycheck. Work-Study payroll cycles are two weeks long, from Sunday to the second following Saturday. A payroll check is issued approximately a week and a half later (e.g. WSP pay period February 3rd - February 16th; check date February 27th).
How do I Find a Job?
Both on-campus and off-campus employers advertise their available Work-Study positions on Gaucholink. Incoming freshman, transfer, and graduate students first need to establish a UCSBNetID to log into GauchoLink to begin searching for Work-Study job openings as early as September 1st. However, access to GauchoLink is also restricted to those students that are officially registered for classes at UCSB. Continuing students need only use their pre-existing UCSBNetID to log into GauchoLink to begin searching for Work-Study jobs, also beginning on September 1st.
If you find a job opening that interests you, just apply by whatever means is indicated on the job posting. Make sure to print your Work-Study Program Referral from the My Aid Status, Tab 4 and take it with you to your job interview. If an interview is scheduled prior to the availability of the Work-Study Program Referral, you may consider printing your Financial Aid Award Letter as temporary proof that you have been awarded Work-Study. If and when you are hired, you must provide a Work-Study Program Referral to your employer for completion. Please note: the first official working day as a Work-Study employee, and the first day you may print your Work-Study Referral either on Tab 4 of My Aid Status or at the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships is 10 days prior to the first day of fall instruction.
How do I Qualify?
To qualify for a Work-Study award, a student must file a FAFSA prior to March 2nd and have sufficient financial need. Our office determines your Financial Aid eligibility and notifies you of your aid in a Financial Aid Award Letter, which may include a Work-Study award.
Unit Load Requirement:
Additionally, all qualifying Work-Study recipients must maintain a minimum study load of six (6) units each quarter. Students found to have registered below six units at the Census Date will not qualify for Work-Study funding during that quarter. The Census Date occurs one day after the last day to drop classes on Gold. On that date,the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will take a snap-shot of your unit registration load in Gold. Employers will be notified immediately of changes to your Work-Study eligibility, which may result in the loss of employment. Employers have full discretion concerning whether to keep you employed or not. The Work-Study Unit will gladly re-instate Work-Study funding if you re-enroll in more units after the Census Date.
I Found a Job. How do I Get Hired?
If you are hired for an on-campus position, your employer will:
- Accept your Referral
- Prepare and submit employment paperwork to our office
- Provide you with a time sheet
- Release you to begin working
- Provide you with a job description
- Train and supervise you, evaluating your job performance.
If you are hired for an off-campus position, you must meet with a Work-Study Program administrator at our office and bring:
- An off-campus Referral signed by your employer
- A completed Off-Campus Referral Packet
Identification. For a list of acceptable forms of identification, view the last page of the Form I-9 (PDF) Please note that if you do not have a passport, you are required to bring in two other types of identification, one from column B and one from column C.
Can I Have More than One Work-Study Job?
Yes. If you want to split your Work-Study among multiple Work-Study employers, visit our office.
Will My Work-Study Award Expire if I Don't Use It?
Your Work-Study will eventually expire if you do not secure employment. However, you will have until the early part of Spring to find a job before unused Work-Study allocations are removed from Financial Aid Award Letters. Our prior “Use It or Lose It” deadline policy is no longer in effect. You are not required to defer your Work-Study award and it will automatically carry forward into the Winter and early Spring quarters. You may not carry forward your unearned Work-Study into Summer or the next academic year.
Nevertheless, you may wish to convert your unearned Work-Study eligibility to PLUS or Direct Loan eligibility. To do so, please visit our forms page to download the Work-Study Conversion request form. After you have completed the form, please submit it to our office for review.