Work Study and Student Employment

What is Work Study?

Work-study enables you to earn a portion of your financial aid assistance by working part-time, usually on campus. As long as you qualify and you are enrolled in at least 6 credits, you can work up to 20 hours a week and will be paid through the college’s payroll department for those hours.

In addition to financial and other benefits, work-study employment may provide you with valuable experience, an introduction to what may become a lifelong career, and networking opportunities that may lead to future employment.

Funding for work-study comes from both the federal and state governments, and you don't necessarily have to have financial need to qualify for work-study. The Federal Work-Study Program is authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965 and is reauthorized in the Higher Education Act of 1986. The Colorado Work-Study Program was authorized in 1969 by the 47th General Assembly. State Work Study is for students who are Colorado residents.

View your Financial Aid award on the ROCK portal to see if you have been awarded work-study.  If you have not been awarded, contact Financial Aid to get on the work-study waitlist. 

If you are eligible for the work-study program, you may be awarded a fixed dollar amount that represents the maximum you may earn for the semester. Your earnings cannot exceed this amount unless adjustments are made through the Office of Financial Aid.

Who is Eligible for Work-Study?

To be eligible for work-study, you must:

  • Be aauthorized to work in the United States.
  • Be enrolled in at least six credits, in an eligible degree or certificate program.
  • Have earned the equivalent of a high school diploma or GED.
  • Be in good standing in accordance with RRCC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
  • Be registered with the Selective Service (males only).
  • Not be in default of a student loan or owe a repayment on a federal grant at any educational institution.
  • Have submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and have been determined to be eligible for either need-based work-study or non-need-based work-study.

How You Can Apply for Work-Study

First complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. The Office of Financial Aid will begin processing your application approximately 10 days after you submit your application.

Once RRCC receives your completed FAFSA, we will email your student email address if any additional forms are required.

After your file is complete, it will be evaluated through a process known as "need analysis," which determines your financial need.  Financial need is determined by deducting the amount you or your family can be expected to pay from established educational expenses (also known as the Cost of Attendance). You will receive an award letter stating the types and the amounts of financial assistance for which you qualify. If you indicate on the FAFSA that you are interested in work-study, and if you are eligible, a work-study award may be included in your award letter. Work-study is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to apply before the April 15th priority deadline for each fall semester.

NOTE:  In order to accept work-study funds, you must be offered work study, and be hired for a work-study position. Failure to secure a job by the date written on your referral form (normally Census Day) may result in the cancellation of a work-study offer.

Need-Based Work-Study Eligibility

Need-based work-study requires that you have unmet need once the estimated cost of attendance (COA) and expected student/family contributions (EFC) are taken into consideration. The Office of Financial Aid will determine whether you are eligible for need-based work-study.  On occasion, a Financial Aid Advisor can make an adjustment to the COA and/or EFC which may change your eligibility.

No-Need Work-Study Eligibility

To qualify for no-need-based work-study, you must be a Colorado resident, meet the other general eligibility requirements, and have only non-need-based financial aid. No-need work-study policies and procedures are the same as those for need-based work-study awards.  No-need work-study funds are very limited and are not automatically awarded.  Ask Financial Aid about your eligibility for no-need work-study.

Amount of the Award

Work-study awards are made according to a standard budget as a portion of the financial aid package.
The amount of the work-study award is determined by several criteria (the total allocation that the school has received from the federal and State governments, your budget and unmet need, and other financial aid you receive). You and your supervisor are responsible for monitoring the original amount of the work-study award, and distributing work hours evenly throughout the semester.  It is sometimes possible for the Office of Financial Aid to add to your original award if funds are available. 

Work-Study Position Availability

ckick here to see current work-study positions availability

After you have received a work-study award and have picked up a work-study referral form from the Office of Financial Aid, your next stop is the RRCC work study and Student hourly job listings. If you see an available position that interests you, contact that supervisor to see if you are a good fit. If so, you will be referred to Bob Miller in Human Resources to begin the employment process with RRCC.

If you are hired, a completed “Hire Packet” must be filed with Human Resources prior to your first day of work.

Off-Campus Work-Study Opportunities

Some off-campus positions provide opportunities to work with various community service agencies. Other employment possibilities involve working with local elementary schools as a reading or math tutor in the America Reads and America Counts programs. If you are interested in employment with such agencies, discuss these options with SES once you receive your referral form from the Office of Financial Aid.  Off-campus work-study positions require a signed contract between you and the off-campus agency. 

Semester Break Employment

Semester break under the work-study program is subject to the availability of funds. To qualify you must: 1) be enrolled in 6 credits during the current or subsequent semester 2) must be meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy 3) must have enough eligibility remaining on your work-study award.  You may work up to 28 hours per week during school breaks.    

Summer Employment

To qualify to earn summer work-study, you must be a continuing student enrolled in at least 6 credits during the prior spring, current summer, and upcoming fall semesters.  You must have a FAFSA on file and be awarded work-study for both the previous aid year and the upcoming aid year.

Work-Study Pay Scale

You can expect pay that is:

  • Competitive with similar employment opportunities within the community college system.
  • Determined by SES, based on your job description.

Work Study Pay Schedule

Like other hourly employees of RRCC, you will be paid every two weeks. Your supervisor should have a copy of the payroll schedule. 

You and your supervisor are responsible for keeping track of the hours you work. You should both keep a record of the actual time worked so there is no disagreement as to the time submitted for each pay period.

Time Sheets

Time sheets are completed online. Instructions for logging in, filling them out, and submitting them can be found here. You cannot earn more than your original work-study award and under no circumstances can you earn overtime pay. By electronically signing your time sheet, you and your supervisor are verifying the claimed hours throughout that pay period. You will not be paid for doing homework, attending classes, or for hours not worked due to illness or school closure.

Termination of Work-Study Students

A supervisor has the right not to hire you or may terminate you for just cause. Your supervisor must give you sufficient warning of possible termination so that there will be no question as to why you were terminated.

Student Responsibilities with Receiving Work-Study Awards

Work-study positions are just like any off-campus job.  You are expected to adhere to the  following strong work ethics that are traditional at Red Rocks Community College:

  • Be punctual and dependable.
  • Call the supervisor when you are not able to be at work.
  • Have a positive work attitude.
  • Have a professional appearance.
  • Contribute to the position.
  • Work confidentially (respect the privacy of other students’ records).
  • Abide by all established institutional and office policies and procedures.

The college has no obligation to continue your employment if you fail to meet work schedules or live up to expected performance standards. 

For questions regarding work study, please contact us.

Student Hourly

Any enrolled RRCC student can seek student-hourly employment on campus, regardless of their financial aid eligibility. You are not required to submit a FAFSA to qualify for student hourly funds. For more information on student hourly positions, visit the Human Resources Office.