Work-Study & Other Jobs

Students who work can make a significant contribution toward meeting their college costs. And having a job while in school or during the summer may help prepare students for life after college as well. 

The Student Employment Office serves all students, whether or not they qualify for Work-Study employment; jobs are available on the U-M campus and in the surrounding communities for Work-Study students and those who do not qualify for the Work-Study program.

(Check out the brochure above "Jobs for Students at the University of Michigan" and also see web links at right for other campus employment.)

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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.

Why? Some possible explanations:

  • Working students become better organized and manage their time better.
  • Employment exposes students to more mentor-type relationships and increases interactions with "real world" people.

Federal Work-Study is a financial aid program for students who have financial need.  The program provides funds for 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, and the remainder is paid by the student's employer (therefore, many qualified employers are eager to hire Work-Study students).

Here’s how it works:

  • Students who wish to be considered for the Work-Study program must apply for financial aid through the U-M Office of Financial Aid. 
  • Students who receive a Work-Study financial aid award may apply for the Work-Study jobs listed on the Student Employment Office website (these jobs are not available to students without Work-Study).  
  • To be eligible to apply for a Work-Study position, students must be enrolled at least half-time (remember that wait-listed courses do not count toward your enrollment level).
  • Students may use their Work-Study awards to work for community service agencies. Contact the Student Employment Office for details.
  • When applying for Work-Study positions, students will need to show potential employers a copy of their award 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 financial aid award notice. Work-Study wages do not appear on the student’s university eBill; rather, the student earns a paycheck.
  • The Office of Financial Aid and the Student Employment Office administer the Work-Study program. Award amounts vary, based on available funding. When state funding is available, there is also a State of Michigan Work-Study program.

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 awards 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 Erin Byrnes via email at

The chart below shows how many hours a week a student will need to earn basic Work-Study award amounts during the academic year (approximately 30 weeks). The rate of pay ($9.62/hour) is based on the current average hourly rate for temporary employment positions at the university.

Work-Study Award Amount  Hours Needed to Work per Week to Earn the Award
(at $9.62/hour)
$3,000  10.4
$2,500  8.7



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.


"Finding the right job takes careful consideration, research and networking." 

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

After you have secured a job, you will need to complete the following forms to get paid:

  • Direct Deposit Authorization Form (we encourage students to choose direct deposit)
  • Federal W-4
  • Michigan W-4

All three forms are available on Wolverine Access. For more information on how to complete these forms online, see the Human Resources website.

If you have a Work-Study job, don't forget to 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.

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Office of Financial Aid * 2500 Student Activities Building, 515 E. Jefferson, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316 * Tel 734-763-6600 * Fax 734-647-3081 *