Financial Aid and Scholarships

Questions and Answers - College Workstudy Programs

“What is college workstudy?”

College workstudy is a student assistance program, which provides part-time employment for students.  The earnings can be used to help pay educational expenses. Both on campus and off campus positions are available.  Off campus positions are in areas of community service including the America Reads program, a reading tutor position in local elementary schools.

“How do I apply?”

To be considered for workstudy, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current award year.  On the FAFSA, you should answer “YES” to the question asking if you are interested in Workstudy.  The information submitted on this application is analyzed to determine whether you are eligible for workstudy.  

Once the financial aid office has determined your eligibility you will have it listed with your other federal/state funding If you are not awarded workstudy, there could be several reasons:  a) You did not request workstudy on the FAFSA; b) You are ineligible for workstudy funds; or c) We have exhausted our workstudy funds and haven’t any more money to award to students.  In this case, you may ask to be put on a waiting list in case more funds become available.  Earliest applicants are considered first, so, if you are eligible, filing your FAFSA before March 1 will allow you the best opportunity for this award.

“How do I find a job?”

You can access the MSU-Billings Career Services website at, click on Career Link, and view active jobs.  You may then contact the employer if you are interested in an interview for a particular job.

"I've been hired! Now what do I do?"

First of all, congratulations! Now you need to:

⇒ Pick up a Workstudy Authorization form from the Financial Aid Office – First Floor of McMullen Hall.

⇒ Have your new supervisor and the fund controller (unless they are the same person) complete the bottom portion; return the form to the Financial Aid office promptly.  You may not start working until the form is returned. 

Go to the Human Resource Office located in McMullen 310 to fill out necessary paperwork. Be sure to bring with you:

a. A driver's license or picture I.D.

b. Original Social Security Card.

c. If you do not have one or both of these items, ask the Human Resources Office personnel for information on other acceptable forms of identification.

"How much does a workstudy job pay?"

Workstudy hourly pay range is between $7.35 - $10.00.  This however depends on duties, level of responsibility, etc. 

"How do I get paid?"

In order to get paid, you must fill out an electronic timesheet through your myInfo log-in under the Employee Services tab; or a paper time sheet at and turn it in to the Payroll Office (McMullen 309). It is important that you turn in your timesheet every pay period if you worked at that time. You will be paid every two weeks (on a Friday) provided you have:

⇒Worked during the two week pay period for which paychecks are issued;

⇒Turned in a completed authorization form to the Financial Aid Office;

⇒Completed all necessary paperwork in the Human Resources Office (McMullen Hall Room 310);

⇒Turned in a complete timesheet including your signature, supervisor’s signature, department and index code.  Timesheets must be in the Payroll office by 5:00 PM on the Monday following the Friday payday.  If you are unable to access the electronic time sheet or have questions about getting paid, contact Financial Services/Payroll at 406-657-2131.

"Does 'workstudy' mean I get to go to work and get paid to study?"

No, “workstudy” means you have an opportunity to work to help with your school expenses.

"Can I work more than one workstudy job?"

You can work as many jobs as you want to – as long as you fill out a new Authorization form for each job and inform your supervisors that you are working in different areas.

"Can I quit my workstudy job?"

Yes, please notify your supervisor and the Workstudy Coordinator in the Financial Aid office

"Can I LOSE my workstudy eligibility?"

Yes.  Please read the guidelines regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements online at . Failure to meet these requirements will result in the loss of financial aid eligibility.  It is YOUR responsibility to notify your supervisor that you are ineligible for workstudy.

"If I earn all of the workstudy I was awarded, can I request more?"

Yes, and we will be happy to award you additional funds to earn, provided we have funds to give you and you are eligible for additional funds.

"How many hours a week can I work?"

You may work up to 20 hours/week.  You cannot be paid over-time for workstudy hours.  Remember, your first priority is your schoolwork! 

"What are the advantages of having a workstudy job?"

Workstudy jobs give you experience and references, which you can list on your resume. Also, it provides valuable professional contacts and networking opportunities in your chosen field.

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at (406) 657-2188 if you have any additional questions.

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