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Work Study

Work study is a program that helps students get part-time jobs, primarily on Duke's campus. When a work-study student finds a job, financial aid pays a portion of his/her wages. For this reason, many on-campus employers will require a student to participate in the work-study program in order to be hired for a job.

If you have applied for financial aid and have been offered work study, you have an opportunity to gain great work experience and network with professionals inside and outside the Duke community.

Undergraduate Work-Study Information

All students who apply for financial aid will be offered work study, regardless of financial need. To learn more about the work-study program and how it may benefit you, please keep reading on this page.

To apply for work study, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Once Duke receives your FAFSA results, we'll be able to offer you Federal Work Study eligibility if you qualify for that. If you don't qualify for Federal Work Study, we'll offer Duke Work Study eligibility.

(Note: students seeking need-based institutional aid must also file the CSS Profile and complete the full aid application process). 

Once you have been awarded Work Study you can begin applying for jobs.  Employment opportunities for both on- and off-campus jobs are posted to the Student Employment website.  There are undergraduate research jobs posted on Muser as well. You will need to apply for open positions and be hired by the supervisor in order to begin earning your work study.  While you are not guaranteed to find a job, you will want to begin applying early in the semester and check the Student Employment site as well as Muser often for open positions. 

In addition to jobs on campus, some off-campus positions may be available as well. Learn more at the Duke Student Engagement site here.

You may begin looking for a job once you have been awarded work study.  You may begin as early as the summer before you arrive on campus.

No, you're not required to get a work-study job. Work study is a way to help students earn money, typically to pay for miscellaneous expenses like gas for their car, laundry, etc. Nothing will happen if you choose not to get a work-study job. Many students are able to pay for their miscellaneous expenses using funds from their family, loans, non-work-study jobs, or other means.

Students can't access the Student Employment site unless their work-study financial aid is in the "accepted" status, so we went ahead and listed that as "accepted" for you to make the process one step easier. 

If you don't want a work-study job, that's fine! You don't need to take any action. Nothing will happen if you don't take any further action, and you won't be penalized in any way.

There's no need to "decline" your work-study award. Nothing will happen regarding your work-study financial aid until you apply for work-study jobs and begin working hours, so if you choose not to find a work-study job, you will have effectively "declined" the award.

Once you have been hired, your wages will be paid to you via direct deposit to your personal bank account.  Since your earnings will be paid directly to you, work-study does not directly impact your bill at Duke.  It will be up to you to determine how to spend your earnings.

Enrolled students can work up to 19.9 hours per week.  The amount that you earn is dependent upon the number of hours worked and your hourly wage.  Your total earnings should not exceed your annual work study award amount.  If you find that you are reaching your annual award limit, email us to find out if you have additional work study eligibility, and contact your employer to find out if you can continue working without work study funding.

The amount of work study you are awarded is determined by a number of different factors.  The maximum work study award for 2022 is $2,200.


The 2022/23 rates for hourly student employees are as follows (effective July 1, 2022):Please note: these allocations reflect total wage earnings.

Position TypeMinimumMaximum
Student Assistant - General$15.00/hr$19.50/hr
Student Assistant - Specialized$16.00/hr$22.50/hr

(Specialized examples include research assistantships, advanced computer work, and technical work)

 

Depending on your financial need, you will be offered either Federal work study or Duke work study.  As a student, you may not notice a significant difference; your hourly wage and maximum earnings are the same in both programs.  The difference between the programs is the amount of the subsidy paid by financial aid to your employer.  Employers hiring Federal work-study students receive a 75% subsidy, and employers hiring Duke work-study students receive a 50% subsidy.  Because of this, you will need to be sure to let your employer know which type of work study you have when applying for the position.

In addition to jobs on campus, some off-campus positions may be available as well. Learn more at the Duke Office of Civic Engagement site here.

If you are enrolled in classes during a summer term and are eligible for need-based aid, you will likely receive a Summer work study award.  Work study for summer works the same way as it does for the academic year, except the award amount is smaller because the summer term earning period is shorter. 

See more Work Study FAQs


 

Graduate Students

As a graduate student, you'll need to contact your program's financial aid office to determine if you are eligible for work study.  If you've already been offered work study, the links below provide helpful information about the program.

Find your program's contact information

A comprehensive listing of all on- and off-campus jobs, including both work study and non-work study positions, is available on the Student Employment site. Students with federal work study eligibility may also apply for employment through the Duke Office of Civic Engagement for placement with America Reads, America Counts, and other non-profit organizations. If you work multiple jobs, the student and employers are responsible for monitoring the student's total earnings.

You will receive a regular paycheck paid to you directly via direct deposit for 100% of the wages you’ve earned.

Enrolled students can work up to 19.9 hours per week.  The amount that you earn is dependent upon the number of hours worked and your hourly wage.  Your total earnings should not exceed your work study award amount.  If you find that you are reaching your award limit, contact your school's financial aid office to find out if you have additional work study eligibility, and contact your employer to find out if you can continue working without work study funding.

The 2022/23 rates for hourly student employees are as follows (effective July 1, 2022):

Position TypeMinimumMaximum
Student Assistant - General$15.00/hr$19.50/hr
Student Assistant - Specialized$16.00/hr$22.50/hr

(Specialized examples include research assistantships, advanced computer work, and technical work)

Your eligibility during Summer Terms will be determined by your program's financial aid office. You can contact your aid office to learn more.


 

Duke Employers

Duke University departments hire work study students directly. Each pay period, student hours are submitted to payroll.

  • For Federal Work Study student participants, payroll will deduct 75% of the allocated earnings to be paid to the student from a Work Study WBS Element; the remaining 25% of the allocated earnings is deducted from the department's cost center. All (100%) of the student's earnings in excess of the allocation will be deducted from the department's cost center.
  • For Duke Work Study student participants, payroll will deduct 50% of the allocated earnings to be paid to the student from a Duke Work Study cost center; the remaining 50% of the allocated earnings is deducted from the department's cost center. All (100%) of the student's earnings in excess of the allocation will be deducted from the department's cost center.

Finding Students

Employers can post job openings using the Student Employment site, Duke's #1 source for student employment opportunities.

To ensure that your information is listed correctly, it is important that you review your opportunity after posting it.  Please do not use abbreviations with which students might not be familiar or other information students may not know.  The job description can be brief, but should be appealing.  We recommend using images and providing salary information in the description.

Employers who wish to do so may place ads in the Chronicle at their own expense as an additional way of advertising their job vacancies.

Our office (the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support) does not place students in job positions. Students find information about student employment opportunities on the Student Employment site, and it is up to the students to apply to the jobs that most interest them.

Each department is responsible for hiring the number of students it needs, and for informing each student of job responsibilities, work schedule, and rate of pay. Each hiring department must maintain records for its student employees.

Students may be hired at any time. The department must submit the appropriate paperwork to Payroll before the deadline for the pay period in which the student is to begin work.

The work study allocation listed on the Work Study Verification Form is the total combined amount for both the work study code and the department code. 

Example:

  • Work Study Type: Federal
  • Work Study Allocation: $2,200
  • Maximum amount for work study code: (75%)($2,000) = $1,650
  • Amount for departmental code: (25%)($2,000) = $550
    • PLUS 100% of all earnings in excess of the allocated $2,200

The allocation figure may change during the course of the year. Employers can navigate this via the Student Employment site. Please note that the hiring department is responsible for any earnings that exceed the student's work study allocation.

Considering the hourly rate, the employer and student should plan a work schedule that would permit the student to stay within the earnings authorized . When a student employee has earnings that equal his/her allocation, the department must begin paying the student 100% from the department budget.

Paying Students

Dates

Work study allocations must fall within given dates. These dates vary between terms and school. All (100%) of student wages earned outside of the allocation dates will be deducted from the department's cost center.

Hours

It is critical that a student's campus employment be a manageable part of his/her academic career, not an overwhelming experience. Please discuss with your student employees the number of hours they feel comfortable working given all other obligations of their time. We highly recommended that students not be required to work the maximum number of hours each week.

StudentsEnrollment StatusMax Weekly Hours
UndergraduatesEnrolled19.9
Not enrolled*39.9
GraduatesEnrolled19.9
Not enrolled*39.9

*Periods of non-enrollment include holiday vacations, spring break, and summer (if not enrolled in classes)

 

Student employees are paid on the Duke University bi-weekly payroll system, with the exception of Ph.D. graduate students employed as teaching assistants who are paid on a monthly basis. 

  • Complete the necessary forms to place the student on payroll.
  • Direct deposit is required for all student employees.

Duke departments needing assistance in placing students on payroll should contact Duke's Corporate Payroll Services for help.

If a student wishes to hold multiple work study jobs, the two (or more) employers must first agree on how much of the student's allocation will be earned at each of their departments. This is accomplished by completing the Multiple Work Study Job Form and returning it to the Student Loan Office before placing the student on payroll.  

A student employee under age 18 must obtain a Youth Employment Certificate.  This certificate must be completed and submitted with the other payroll documents before the student can be placed on payroll.

The hiring department is responsible for any earnings that exceed the student's work study allocation

If your student employee has not yet exceeded but is about to exceed his/her work study allocation, you must take the following steps immediately:

  1. Either remove the student from payroll or transfer the student to 100% earnings from your department
  2. Notify the student of the change

If your student employee exceeded his/her work study allocation, you must take the following steps immediately:

  1. Review your pay records and determine the date the student exceeded the work study allocation.
  2. Remember that payroll operates on a prior week basis; determine any outstanding paychecks for the student.
  3. Either remove the student from payroll or transfer the student to 100% earnings from your department, and
    1. Notify the student of the change
    2. Submit a Manual Salary Cost Transfer iForm with an effective date reflecting the time immediately preceding the exceeding of the student's work study allocation, using either
      • a 6077 GL account when transferring the student to 100% from your department, or
      • a non-work study GL account specific to your department

 

Nonprofit Employers

Non-profit agencies participate in work study programs administered by Duke University through collaboration with the Duke Office of Civic Engagement.  If you are interested in participating in Duke’s Work Study program, please submit your request using their online form.

Once an agency has been approved, the Duke Office of Civic Engagement will post their position on Duke List, and the Office of Civic Engagement’s website.   Students submit their applications directly to the agency. The agency is responsible for interviewing, hiring and paying the students. 

Approved Non-Profits are reimbursed for a portion of the student’s wages depending on the type of work study the student has been awarded. 

Agencies who employ Federal Work Study students will be reimbursed for 90% of the student's earnings.  Those who employ Duke Work Study students will be reimbursed for 50% of the student's earnings. 

It is critical that a student's campus employment be a manageable part of his/her academic career, not an overwhelming experience. Please discuss with your student employees the number of hours they feel comfortable working given all other obligations of their time. We highly recommended that students not be allowed to work more than 19 hours per week if they are an undergraduate, and no more than 30 hours if they are a graduate/professional student.

The student’s wages must follow the same guidelines as the University’s, and they must be paid at least once a month for work performed. All requests for reimbursements must be submitted no later than 30 days following the pay period end date. Reimbursement requests submitted late will not be processed.

When a student employee has earnings that equal his/her work study award, the agency will no longer be eligible for reimbursement, and will be responsible for 100% of the student’s wages.

Work study awards are only valid for the dates specified on the student’s verification letter. The dates coincide with the academic calendar. 

If a student wishes to hold multiple work study jobs, the two (or more) employers must first agree on how much of the student's allocation will be earned at each of their departments. This is accomplished by completing the Multiple Work Study Job Form and returning it to the Student Loan Office before placing the student on payroll.

A student employee under age 18 must obtain a Youth Employment Certificate.  This certificate must be completed and submitted with the other payroll documents before the student can be placed on payroll.


 

Summer Non-Enrolled Work Study

We will not be offering Summer Non-Enrolled Work Study for Summer 2022.

Depending on the year, you may be able to use work-study funding to work during the summer even if you’re not enrolled in summer classes. This is called summer non-enrolled work study.

Your earning limits for the summer would be higher than they would be during the school year because you'd be working full-time. Please note that non-enrolled students earning work study during the summer are subject to FICA tax withholding.

If summer non-enrolled work study is offered during a summer, there are only 3 requirements you have to keep in mind:

  • You have to be eligible for federal work-study (your financial aid application has to be complete)
  • You have to be enrolled at Duke for the fall semester after the summer you plan to do non-enrolled work study (you can't be graduating in spring or summer of that year, and you can't be studying abroad the fall semester following your work-study summer)
  • You have to be employed for the summer either on Duke campus or at local non-profits that are partnered with the Duke Office of Civic Engagement

If all 3 of these will describe you, using work study will be a huge benefit to you. The work-study program exists to create professional development opportunities for students, and these work experiences can help students build a network of advisors and develop resume-worthy skills.

 

Where do I find a summer work-study position?

Quick places to find amazing opportunities at Duke and in the surrounding Durham area include:

Would you like to work in a certain professor's lab, or create a professional experience for yourself? You can get creative and design an experience if you don't find positions that match your interests. If you are interested in developing a summer research position for yourself, contact ursoffice@duke.edu to learn more.

You can also get in touch with the Career Center to help you find a good fit.

 

What are the steps I need to take in order to take advantage of this?

  1. Make sure your financial aid paperwork for the upcoming academic year is complete. Look on DukeHub to see whether you are missing any financial aid checklist items.
  2. Email finaid@duke.edu to let Financial Aid know you are potentially interested. If your checklist items are complete, and you email our office by the end of the first week of March, you can expect a notification of your summer work-study eligibility by the end of March (if summer work-study is being offered that year).
  3. Find a summer job. You can look on the sites above, or contact Undergraduate Research or the Career Center about creating your own position. If you are interested in working for a nonprofit, let us know at finaid@duke.edu so that we can assist you.