Student Work-Study-Career and Professional Development Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Student Work-Study

Carnegie Mellon participates in three works-study programs: Federal Work-study, Federal Community Service and State Work-study.

The job posting will indicate if work-study is required or preferred or if any qualified student may apply.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Carnegie Mellon participates in the Federal Work-study program during the academic year only. This is a federal financial aid program offered to students who demonstrate financial need. If you are eligible, a dollar amount will appear on your financial aid letter. All students receiving Federal Title IV student financial assistance must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress. In order for a student to continue to receive federal financial assistance, he/she must earn a minimum number of units and maintain a minimum grade point average. These requirements vary from major to major. Students who accept their offer of FWS are not guaranteed a job. Your work-study will be used toward your payment for any job that you have on campus

Work-study students are paid by the hour on a bi-weekly basis. In order for a work-study award to be used for a job, the pay rate must be a minimum of $7.25/hour and no more than $12.00/hour for undergrad students or $16.00/hour for graduate students, and the students’ total gross earning must not exceed the award limit amount. Any hiring department that an undergraduate student works for can use their federal work-study award. Because this program offers employers a cost-savings benefit, students with a work-study award have an advantage when applying for certain jobs.

Federal Community Service Work-Study (FCS)

Carnegie Mellon participates in the Federal Community Service program during the academic year and summer work periods. This program offers qualified nonprofit employers the opportunity to advertise community service jobs and hire Carnegie Mellon students at a reduced rate. Some on campus jobs also qualify. Any Carnegie Mellon student who qualifies for a federal work-study award is eligible to participate in this program.

What is Community Service?

The definition of a Community Service, according to the Federal Government, is: "Services that are designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low income individuals, or to solve particular problems related to their needs.

Students can become engaged in real world experiences, given the chance to improve the quality of life within the community, and develop new skills and experiences that enhance their resume. Most positions are involved with one or more of the following: community involvement, neighborhood improvement, social services, childcare, and literacy training. All jobs must pay a minimum of $8.00/hour to a maximum of $12.00/hour and provide opportunities for experiential learning and professional growth. Students are paid through the Carnegie Mellon Payroll System every 2 weeks.

State Work-Study (SWS)

Carnegie Mellon participates in the PHEAA State Work-Study Program (SWS) for the academic year and summer work periods. The purpose of the SWS is to provide eligible Pennsylvania students an opportunity to gain career-related work experience and earn funds to help pay for school-related expenses. The SWS is an excellent resource for on-campus employers with appropriate openings to secure talented and qualified student workers at a reduced cost. A student must apply for a State Work-Study Award and meet the eligibility guidelines established by PHEAA. The job itself must also meet certain criteria. In general, any job that is high-tech or community service and is in some way related to a student’s career goals would be eligible. The maximum pay rate for a student is $10.00/hour. Contact Elaine Taillon, Enrollment Services Program Administrator, for program specifics at 8-1947.

PLEASE NOTE: It is possible for a student’s work-study award amount to change before and during the academic year. Changes could be the result of changing financial circumstances, receipt of additional financial aid, or other factors. All questions about work-study awards should be directed to the HUB at 268-8186.


If you are not eligible or did not apply for financial aid, you can still work on campus. You may apply for any job with qualifications specifying that “Any qualified student” or “Prefer Work-study.”

Students are paid by the hour on a bi-weekly basis through the Carnegie Mellon Payroll System.