Student Employment Services

Federal Work Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program provides employment opportunities for students who have demonstrated financial need by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Unlike other financial aid awards, work-study is paid to students in the form of a paycheck for hours worked. Students are paid from funds that the college receives from the U.S. Department of Education. The work-study award is part of the student’s financial aid package; therefore a student must reapply each year by completing a new FAFSA. There is no guarantee that a student will continue to receive a work-study award from one year to the next. Federal Work-Study funds are limited, so awards usually go to those applicants who complete the FAFSA early and demonstrate financial need.

It is important to know that a work-study award provides students with the potential to earn funds and is not a guarantee that the student will earn the entire amount awarded. Students must accept the award, find a job, and work hours to earn the award. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about how work-study works.

Work-study is a great opportunity to earn real, on-the-job training and is a way to obtain important pre-graduation work experience. Students should expect to treat work-study jobs as professional positions where they can develop skills, network in their fields, and build solid references for future employment. Work-study employees are vital to the University’s daily operations and are a valued part of our workforce.

On-Campus Work Study Positions

To search for on-campus work study positions, please follow these steps:
  1. Visit the UNK Employment Opportunities webpage. Once there, select the “CLICK HERE” button under the “Applicants” heading.
  2. At the left side of the screen, select “Applicant Login.” Click “Create an Account,” and then complete the required information to set up your account and build your job application.
  3. After creating your account, click “Job Opportunities” on the left side of the screen under “Applicant Login.” You will see a listing of all current job openings at UNK. Scroll to the bottom of the list and look for positions designated as “Work-Study” in the “Employment Type” column. Please note that work-study jobs may not always be available depending on the time of year.
  4. When you find a position that interests you, click on the position title. Then, in the upper right corner of the page, click “Apply.” If you are still logged in, you will be directed to your account page. Click the hyperlink with the position name, and attach the job application you completed in Step 2. Remember, you can create new job applications for different jobs or use the same application for each job. The application(s) you have created can be edited or deleted as desired.

Note: After applying for an on-campus work-study job, you may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your account. After logging in, you will be able to check the status of positions you applied for as well as edit, delete or create new applications.

Note: The timeframe for the review of your application and the hiring process in general will vary depending on the specific position and department to which you apply. At the start of the fall semester, some departments may be just starting to look at their applications while other departments may have already made their hiring decisions. Other departments may continue to open job postings throughout the first 6-8 weeks of school. New jobs often become available at the beginning of each spring semester as well.

Off-Campus Community Service Work Study Positions

Community Service (off-campus) Work-Study positions provide opportunities for UNK students to work with community agencies that provide services to families and individuals in the Kearney area. The goal is to create in the student an awareness of social responsibility and its importance to the life of the community.

To search for a Community Service Work-Study position, please follow these steps:
  1. Visits the Community Service Work-Study positions website.
  2. Each Community Service Agency will be listed separately. An agency may have multiple positions listed so please read each section fully.
  3. When you find a position that interest you, call or email the contact person listed. When speaking with the contact person, let him/her know that you are interested in applying for a work-study position with his/her agency.

Before applying for these positions, students must be sure they have a Federal Work-Study award. Students can check their work-study award by logging onto MyBLUE or by contacting the Office of Financial Aid at (308)865-8520 or

America Reads Work Study Position

America Reads is an off-campus work-study program dedicated to ensuring every American child has appropriate reading and math skills by the end of third grade. Work-study students who are hired as America Reads Tutors will be assigned to one of Kearney’s 11 elementary schools to assist children with reading and some math. To apply, please complete the America Reads application (returning tutors do not need to complete the application). All applications will be reviewed, and selected applicants will be contacted for interviews with the elementary school principals after the start of the fall semester.

Required Documentation for Work Study Positions

Once you have been hired for a new work-study position, you will need to complete hiring paperwork. This paperwork will need to be completed BEFORE you begin working. If you are hired for an on-campus work-study position, your employer will provide you with the proper forms to complete. If you are hired for an off-campus work-study position, you will need to make an appointment to complete the paperwork with UNK’s Work Study Coordinator. To schedule an appointment please call (308)865-8520 or email

The hiring paperwork you will be completing consists of the following:

  1. A Federal W-4 withholding form
  2. A direct deposit form
  3. An I-9 to verify your eligibility for U.S. employment

Please be sure to bring the following items with you to Kearney when classes begin in August so that you will be prepared to complete your hiring paperwork:

  1. Social Security Card
  2. Photo ID (ex. Driver’s License, Passport, UNK Student ID)
  3. Blank check or other official document showing your bank routing number and bank account number. This documentation is required in order to set your paychecks up for direct deposit.

In addition to using these items to complete your hiring paperwork, you will also need to provide your employer with two forms of identification from which they can make copies for their records. The preferred documents for this purpose are your driver’s license and your social security card. Again, please be sure to bring these documents with you to school.

Work Study FAQs

What is a Federal Work-Study award and how does it work?

A Federal Work-Study award consists of an allocated amount of federal, need-based funds offered to qualifying students who have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students’ eligibility for work-study depends on both the result of the FAFSA and the availability of work-study funds at UNK. If you have been awarded work-study funds, you will see it listed as part of your financial aid package in MyBLUE.

By accepting your work-study award in MyBLUE, you indicate that you are interested in using your work-study funds. After you accept the award, the UNK Office of Financial Aid will send you an email directing you to this website for further instruction. After reviewing the information on this website, you will need to seek out and apply for work-study jobs in which you are interested. Once hired, you will be paid your work-study earnings once every two weeks. Unlike other financial aid awards, the work-study funds will not be applied directly to your UNK bill, rather the funds you earn through work will be directly deposited to a bank account of your choosing.

To determine whether you are eligible for work-study, check your financial aid award in your MyBLUE account. If you are eligible, your work-study award will be listed along with your other financial aid. For questions about how to become eligible for work-study, contact the UNK Office of Financial Aid at (308) 865-8520 or

If I have a work-study award, will I be automatically assigned to a work-study job?
No. To utilize your work-study award, you will responsible for seeking out, applying for, and being hired for a work-study job. If you have questions or difficulty in finding a work-study job, please contact the UNK Office of Financial Aid at (308) 865-8520 or for assistance.

What paperwork will I need to complete for my work-study job?
When you secure a work-study job for the first time, you will be required to complete hiring paperwork, including a W-4 form, an I-9 form and a Direct Deposit form.

If I will be working at the same work-study job I had last year, is there anything I need to do?
If you have made arrangements with your employer to continue working at the same work-study job you have had in the past, please complete the following steps:

  1. Check your MyBLUE account to be sure you have been awarded work-study! If you do not have a work-study award, contact UNK Office of Financial Aid at (308) 865-8520 or to determine whether you are eligible.
  2. Make contact with your employer to discuss your schedule and complete any required paperwork.

How will I get to and from my work-study job?
Work-study positions require that you have reliable transportation to get to and from work. If you live on-campus and have an on-campus work-study position, you will likely be able to get to and from your job without the use of a vehicle. Off-campus work-study jobs will require that you have your own transportation to travel to and from work.

How much will I earn through my work-study job?
Most work study jobs start at minimum wage ($7.25/hour), though some may pay more. The maximum amount you can earn during the academic year is the amount listed in MyBLUE as part of your financial aid package.

Will my work-study award apply toward my UNK bill?
No, not directly. The work-study award amount that you see listed as part of your financial aid package in MyBLUE indicates the maximum amount of money that you can earn by working at a work-study position. The amount listed is the maximum amount of work-study funds you can earn during the full academic year (fall and spring semesters combined). The work-study award indicates your earning potential for the academic year. It is not money that will be available up front to help pay your UNK bill. You can use the work-study earnings as you choose, such as using the money toward living expenses, transportation, saving the funds to put toward next semester’s tuition or books, etc.

Once I begin working, how will I be paid?
After you begin working at a work-study job, your earnings will be paid to you by UNK once every two weeks. To view payroll schedules for Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 click here. Your earnings will be directly deposited into the bank account that you indicated on your hiring paperwork. You will be able to view your pay advices online using Firefly. Click here for information and instructions on navigating Firefly.

How will I be sure that my earnings don’t exceed my allocated work-study funds?
It will be up to you and your employer to monitor your earnings throughout the academic year to be sure your earnings stay within the amount of your work-study award. If you end up going over your allocated amount, UNK will have to bill your employer for the amount that would have otherwise been covered by work-study funds.

Keep in mind, it is possible for the amount of your work-study award to change upon the receipt of additional information by the UNK Office of Financial Aid. The types of additional information that may affect your work-study award include changes to your FAFSA, receipt of additional scholarships, etc. If there is an adjustment made to your work-study award, the UNK Office of Financial Aid will notify you by email. The email will instruct you to log into MyBLUE to view your updated financial aid award.