Federal Work-Study & Other Jobs

Working in college can make a significant contribution toward meeting your college costs. And having a job while in school or during the summer may help prepare you for life after college, as well. The U-M Student Employment Office serves all students, whether or not you qualify for federal Work-Study employment. Jobs are available on the U-M campus and in the surrounding communities for Work-Study students and for those who do not qualify for the Work-Study program.


Because of the University of Michigan's academic reputation, many families assume that it is unwise for students to work during the academic year. However, studies show that students who work a modest number of hours per week will, on average:

  • have higher grade point averages
  • graduate at a faster rate
  • be less likely to drop out and
  • have more job skills to include on their resumes

In many cases, working students become better organized and manage their time better. Employment also exposes students to more mentor-type relationships and increases interactions with professionals in a variety of fields.


Federal Work-Study is a financial aid program for students who have financial need. The program funds part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students, allowing students to earn money to help pay educational expenses. Under the Work-Study program, a percentage of students’ earnings is paid through federal funds, with the remainder paid by the student's employer. Because of this, many qualified employers are eager to hire Work-Study students.

Here’s how it works:

  • To be considered for Work-Study, a student must apply for financial aid.
  • Students receiving Work-Study funding may apply for Work-Study jobs listed on the Student Employment Office website (these jobs are available only to Work-Study students).
  • To be eligible to apply for a Work-Study job, students must enroll at least half-time (wait-listed courses do not count).
  • When applying for Work-Study positions, students will need to show potential employers a copy of their Financial Aid Notice (from Wolverine Access) and proof that they are enrolled at least half-time.
  • Students may earn wages up to the amount listed on their Notice. Work-Study wages do not appear on the student’s university eBill. Rather, the student earns a paycheck to help pay college expenses.
  • Funds are limited. If you decline your initial Work-Study offer, the Office of Financial Aid may not be able to restore it.
Great Work-Study options for working with children

America Reads is one example of a campus employer that hires and trains U-M students with Work-Study to tutor at-risk, struggling readers in grades K-3. The goal of America Reads is to see that every American child can read independently by the third grade. For more information, see the America Reads website or contact Raven Jones via email at jonesrav@umich.edu or by calling 734-647-7801. 

The chart below shows how many hours a week a student will need to earn basic Work-Study funding amounts during the academic year (approximately 30 weeks). The rate of pay ($12.14/hour) is based on the current average hourly rate for temporary employment positions at the university.

Work-Study Award Amount  Hours Worked per Week to Earn the Award
(at $12.14/hour)
$3,000 8.2
$2,500 6.8


Students who do not have Work-Study can still find jobs — the university and Ann Arbor communities enjoy an active employment market! On campus, the university library system and the Housing Information Office are frequently in search of good employees — and these are just two of the many departments employing students who do not have Work-Study. See the Student Employment Office website for temporary (non-Work-Study) job listings.


Students who want to work at U-M or with a university-approved off-campus employer must first complete the online Student Employment Application on Wolverine Access. Select "Student Employment Application" from the Self-Service menu. For answers to questions about the Student Employment Application, contact U-M Human Resources.

After completing the application, check out the U-M Student Employment Office's job search website to find jobs that interest you. You can conduct searches for Work-Study as well as non-Work-Study positions, view listings, and apply for jobs online. Special search tools enable you to view jobs by type. For example, the most recently posted jobs or jobs that have a community service component.

Once you have been offered a job, you must complete the following forms to be officially hired and to get paid.  For more information on how to complete these forms online, see the Human Resources website:

  • Direct Deposit Authorization Form (Instructions): Direct Deposit is the university's recommended method of delivering your paycheck. Your paycheck is deposited directly into your bank account and you can access your pay stub from any computer using Wolverine Access > Student Business.
  • W-4 (Federal and Michigan Tax Withholding): Upon hire, the university assumes a Federal and Michigan tax filing status of "single with no exemptions." If your filing or exemption status is different from this, please update the information in Wolverine Access > Student Business. Look for the Federal and Michigan W-4 links.
  • Federal Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form: You must present an original document or documents that establish your identity and employment eligibility. Please review the back side of the I-9 form for all acceptable documents. Find the form and information here.

If you have a Work-Study job, update your address and direct deposit information regularly to make sure you get paid on time.


The summer months are an ideal time to work and save for the coming year's expenses. Working and saving during the summer can reduce the need to work during the academic year. If you live away from home during the summer, living expenses will reduce your savings and increase your college costs.