State Work-Study Frequently Asked Questions

What Is State Work-Study (SWS)?

State Work-Study is a need-based financial aid award to support your education through employment and make it easier for you to find a job. Students must qualify to receive a state work-study award and be a Washington state resident. Although there are some on campus state work-study positions, most SWS positions are through off-campus employers. The state work-study program subsidizes a percentage of a student's hourly wage, which creates jobs that would not otherwise exist.

For the student, it is just like working any other job: you work a number of hours in a pay period, at some wage rate, and receive a paycheck for your earnings. The off-campus employer gets reimbursed a percentage of the student’s paid wages through the Washington Student Achievement Council.

Who Gets State Work-Study Funds?

Priority is given to eligible Washington resident students who apply early for financial aid and indicate on the FAFSA/WASFA that they are interested in work study. All students may work on campus as regular student employees whether they have applied for financial aid or not.

How Do I Apply For State Work-Study?

The first step is to apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form or if you are a DACA student – complete the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA). The next step is to respond promptly to any request for information from the Financial Aid office.

How Does State Work-Study Fit in My Financial Aid Package?

Since state work-study is financial aid, it must fit in your aid package and fills financial aid need. An important difference from other kinds of aid is that SWS is earned slowly throughout the academic year as you work, while loan and grant funds disburse to your student account at the beginning of each semester. Accepting SWS will give you the opportunity to seek subsidized employment to meet some of your expenses without increasing your student loan debt. All students with SWS can still look for a regular student employment job and earn wages from a non-work study job in addition to all other aid you are receiving.

What Are My Responsibilities as a Work-Study Employee?

  1. Search and apply for work-study jobs using Pierce College Job Connections.
  2. Complete the New Hire forms and return to the Financial Aid Office.
  3. Inform your employer/supervisor of any changes in your award that may occur due to the following: dropping below 6 credit hours, withdrawing, aid suspension, etc.

How Do I View and Apply for Student Jobs?

Check Pierce College Job Connections for available job openings, or contact employers directly to request an interview. Registered students may apply for both non-work-study and work-study jobs. You are encouraged to seek a job relating to your major course of study, and/or high skill level jobs. It is a good opportunity to try out areas of employment that you find interesting. You will be earning money and building skills and experience for your resume, ideally in the field you are preparing to enter. You can make valuable contacts through working which can provide references and an opportunity to network professionally.

If this is your first time accessing Pierce College Job Connections, you will need to create an account. When filling out your profile, select "State Work-Study" as your Applicant Type.

When searching for jobs, be sure to choose "State Work Study" for Position Type.

I have a great job off campus already. Can I convert it into a state work study job?

It is possible! Please refer your employer to the prospective employer section and contact our Financial Aid office to initiate a work study contract.