Student Employment

A student employment or work study award is an opportunity for a student to get an on-campus job to earn money for college expenses.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) or Institutionally Funded Work Opportunity (WOA) are need-based awards that may be offered to students as part of their “self-help.”  Through work study, students can earn money to help meet expenses that are not billed by the institution, such as books and other personal expenses.   These programs are administered by the Office of Financial Aid in conjunction with guidelines set forth by the federal government.

If your financial aid eligibility includes a work-study award, it is important to note that it is neither an obligation nor a guarantee of an on-campus job. If students wish to take advantage of their work study eligibility, they must secure a job and work hours to earn these funds. Student employment earnings are not credited against the Lehigh student account (like grants and loans) but are paid directly to the student via a paycheck. Employment is readily available at Lehigh, so students have ample opportunity to earn their full awards. Research has shown that students who work an average of 10 hours a week while pursuing their degree tend to do better academically because they learn new skills and good time management.

To be considered for a student employment award, students must complete the FAFSA, CSS Profile, Lehigh University Application and appropriate year tax information.

Finding a Job

It is your responsibility to identify, apply for and receive an offer for on-campus employment so that you can earn your FWS or WOA award. All work study positions are able to be viewed and applied for through the Lehigh Office of Career & Professional Development Handshake system. If you have any questions about Handshake, please contact the Center for Career & Professional Development at

Available work study positions will be able to be viewed beginning August 1, 2017

Once You're Hired

Determining Your Hours

Current wage levels range from $7.25-$10 per hour. Please reference the Work-Study Wage Grid to determine the number of hours you can work per week based on your allotted eligibility. You may hold only one position at a time and you cannot earn more than your work-study award for the year. If your earnings do reach or exceed your award limit, your position will be terminated. It is your responsibility to budget and monitor your hours and earnings.

Remember that your supervisor needs your academic schedule. Please be aware that although the scheduling of hours can be flexible, federal guidelines state that you are not permitted to work more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. Most Lehigh work-study recipients work an average of 10 hours a week.

Getting Paid

Paychecks are distributed every two weeks for hours worked and are sent directly to the department in which you are employed. You may also choose to enroll in Direct Deposit, in which case the funds would be electronically deposited into a designated personal bank account. Wages are subject to taxation, including state, local and occupational privilege tax. Please visit the Payroll Office page for additional information and forms regarding payment. A Time Entry Quick Reference (for students and supervisors) to assist in entering your hours and Bi-Weekly Pay Schedule are also available for your information.

Student Employment Forms

Once you have secured a work study position, you must complete and submit the following forms. These forms may be obtained either online or from your supervisor.

Submit to Payroll

Submit to Office of Financial Aid

Student Employment Authorization Form
Must be submitted prior to the beginning of employment.

Submit to Risk Management Office

Information Access & Privacy Statement

Students hired under the work-study program are required to review the following statement. Signing a Work Study Authorization form includes verification that you have read and understand this information:

I understand that by the virtue of my employment at Lehigh University, I may have access to records which contain individually identifiable information, the disclosure of which is prohibited by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. I acknowledge that I fully understand that the intentional disclosure by me of this information to any unauthorized person could subject me to criminal and civil penalties imposed by law. I further acknowledge that such willful or unauthorized disclosure also violates Lehigh's policy and could constitute just cause for disciplinary action including termination of my employment regardless of whether criminal or civil penalties are imposed.

Types of Aid

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Grants & Scholarships

Grants and Scholarships are resources also known collectively as “gift aid” – they do not need to be repaid or earned by working.  Most grants are considered need-based awards, while scholarships typically are merit-based.

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All loans must be repaid.  Need-based loan options are available through both Lehigh and the federal government.  Non-need-based loan options are available through the federal government and private sources. As part of our commitment to meet 100% of demonstrated need and graduate students with low debt, Lehigh caps loans used to meet need at $5,000 per year, or $20,000 over 4 years, though many students' total loans to meet need are below this $5,000 cap.

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External Scholarships

These gift aid resources may be need-based or merit-based and are administered by third-party agencies and organizations.


Independent Student

For Federal aid purposes, an independent student must meet any one of the following criteria as defined by the federal government: 24 years of age; married; have status of a graduate or professional student; have legal dependents other than a spouse; be an orphan or ward of the court (or have been a ward of the court until age 18), or be a veteran.

For Institutional aid purposes, a student is dependent regardless of the responses to the dependency questions on the FAFSA. A counselor may determine that the student can be considered independent based on their ability to financially support themselves (and in some cases, a family). Regardless of their age, a student must prove financial dependency from their parents by providing copies of their tax returns and bills that are in their (or their spouse’s) name.

Title IV Funding

The programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act are the major source of federal student aid. Title IV programs include: Direct Loans; Federal Perkins Loan; Federal Pell Grant; Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Work Study.