How to find a work study position, internship or job on campus

Frequently asked questions about on-campus jobs

How to find a work study position, internship or job on campus

Student employment does not place student in jobs but provides an online job board called Handshake where students can search and apply for jobs. Students can interact with the system 24/7 and have the option to cater their job search based on campus and funding source. To begin your job search, go to Handshake.


Who hires students on campus?

There are many departments and offices where students work or intern:

  • Student Services Center (Cougar Center)
  • Office of Student Involvement
  • Student Diversity Center
  • Café
  • Recreation Program
  • Fitness Center
  • Diversity Council
  • Student Resource Center
  • Computer labs
  • Library
  • Academic departments
  • Child Development Program

Where do I look for campus job or internship postings?

All of the above offices and others post their student positions in various ways. The first place to check is Handshake.


Other common places people post on campus are:

  • A-Frames and flyers around campus
  • WSU Vancouver Human Resources Website (under student/temporary work)
  • Check department websites: for example OSI, ASWSUV, and Office of Diversity list their
    reoccurring internships on their websites
  • Social Media: Join CougSync and like WSU departments on Facebook
  • Word of mouth—let people on campus know you are looking for a job and ask faculty, staff and friends who might be hiring

Keep in mind that some offices hire their students months in advance. For example some places hire for the fall semester during the prior spring semester or summer term. If you are interested in working in a certain office on campus and currently they do not have a position open, it is recommended that you visit that office. Ask when they typically do their student hiring so you will be prepared for future openings.

Employment tips

On-campus employment

While the majority of on-campus jobs are listed on Handshake, occasionally departments will choose to list available positions on their specific departmental websites. To expand your job search it can be helpful to search within each department.

Don’t be afraid to get out there and ask departments if they are hiring or plan to hire in the future. Making this connection could potentially increase your chances of finding employment. In addition, if you have a work-study award relay this information to the potential on-campus employer, as it may make a difference in the type of employment opportunities available to you.

Off-campus employment

Numerous local businesses use Handshake to advertise their available jobs and hire Washington State University students. Off-campus employers offer employment for students with or without work-study. If you are new to your campus, you can reference the local Chamber of Commerce in your area for employment information where local businesses may have employment opportunities.

What is work-study?

Work-study is a need-based financial aid award through the FAFSA process. It is neither a grant, as you must work to earn it, nor a loan, as you do not have to pay it back. However, funds are limited and you must have need eligibility determined from the FAFSA in order to receive work-study. Work-study never reduces grants or scholarships, only loans! Work-study funds are awarded to qualifying students to assist them in obtaining employment.

The work–study program subsidizes students' wages. Work-study funds are used to reimburse a percentage of students’ gross pay but do not cover 100% of the wages. The gross pay comes from two sources; work-study funds plus employer funds. While the program serves as an incentive for employers to hire students it also creates jobs that would not otherwise exist. When the accumulated gross pay earned during the term reaches the work-study award limit, the work-study funding stops and the employers’ pay 100% of any wages earned that exceed the work-study award limit for the term.

Once a job is approved by student employment it is very similar to working any other type of job as you work a particular amount of hours at a certain pay rate and receive a paycheck for what you have earned. For the employer, the work-study program subsidizes a percentage of the student’s wages which make it appealing to hire students who are work-study eligible.

Eligibility: how does work-study fit into my financial aid award?

To be considered for work-study a student must have:

  • A valid FAFSA filed on or before the published priority filing date
  • Indicate on the FAFSA he or she is interested in work-study
  • No problems with maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Have at least $1000 of unmet need-based eligibility

Students will not see a work-study award on their financial aid award letter, but will be notified through a myWSU portal notice if they are eligible, and included will be a link to the Work Study Authorization Form (WSAF). The student will then need to secure employment and both student and employer will complete their section on the WSAF as soon as possible, as the awarding of work-study funds is made on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once funding is exhausted, students and employers will be notified that all awards have been made. A WSAF does not guarantee a student work-study funding. Students seeking work-study after this point will be put on a waiting list in the Financial Aid office and if funding becomes available will be notified via email.