Information for Students

The Federal Work-Study program provides students with part-time employment opportunities to help meet the costs of educational expenses by promoting access to meaningful work experiences. Work-study employment is an important component of the education and training that students receive at the University of Southern Maine.

Eligible students who file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be offered Federal Work-Study as part of a financial aid offer. The Student Financial Services Office determines Federal Work-Study eligibility based on demonstrated financial need and the availability of funds. The offer of financial aid can be found in MaineStreet “Financials”.

To qualify students must:

  • File the FAFSA and be eligible for Federal Aid
  • Be enrolled at least half time (Undergraduate & Law – 6 credits or more; Graduate – 3 credits or more)
  • Be admitted to a degree program
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students who do not begin working by October 1 may lose their Federal Work-Study offer. They must notify Student Financial Services before October 1 if their employment will start after the deadline to avoid loss of eligibility.


Work Opportunities: The University of Southern Maine has Federal Work-Study jobs with both on and off campus employers. Students are encouraged to pursue Federal Work-Study positions that complement and reinforce their educational program and/or career goals. Most student employment opportunities are located on campus and cover a wide variety of positions. Off campus jobs are available through some private, non-profit agencies and local, state, or federal public agencies.

Prospective off campus employers interested in exploring options to employ University of Southern Maine students using Federal Work-Study should contact Student Financial Services and will be required to sign a Federal Work Study Agreement and pay the federally required wage match.

How to find a job: A Federal Work-Study position is a real job. You will gain valuable interpersonal skills and work experience to add to your resume. Before applying, decide what type of job best fits your interests, career goals and your course schedule. Available Federal Work-Study positions are posted on the USM Job & Internship Board. You can access this webpage in the Launchpad of your MyUSM Campus Portal.

  • Most job applications require resumes. The Career & Employment Hub is available to help. Contact Career Services to schedule a meeting with a Career Advisor.
  • Please check the Campus Student Employment website for more information about getting a job on campus.

Graduate Students may be offered Federal Work-Study Grad Aide. These funds are used to financially support graduate students who work in various university departments, from student services to academic divisions, and benefit from meaningful experiential learning. 

Federal Work-Study Grad Aides are awarded to programs in 10 hour units. One Aide unit is equal to 10 hours of work per week during the academic year, excluding semester breaks. Federal Work Study Grad Aides are paid a monthly stipend of $500 or $4,500 per academic year. 

Graduate students can contact the Graduate Studies Office for more information.

Wages: The University of Southern Maine pay scale for Undergraduate and Law students range from $17.00 for entry level positions to $18.00 for positions requiring more advanced knowledge and skill.  Each job is advertised with the position title, pay rate, department/agency name, contact person, job location, and preferred application process.  Work-study earnings are paid bi-weekly directly to the student based on actual hours worked and are not credited towards a student’s university bill.  Unearned Federal Work-Study funds do not carry forward to the next academic year.

We’ve moved detailed information for current students, faculty, and staff to MyUSM Campus Student Employment, streamlining access through our secure, single sign-on portal.  Login required.  

Work Schedule: You and your supervisor will establish a work schedule. You may hold more than one work-study position. Student employees are strongly encouraged to work no more than 20 hours per week.

Work Authorization & Getting on the Payroll: Students must complete a new employment work authorization form before they can begin work. Supervisors will complete the work authorization using a web-based program provided by the Student Payroll Office. After the work authorization is submitted, students must accept the job via MaineStreet Employee Self-Service (an email will be sent from Additionally, students must complete a timesheet each week through Employee Self-Service.

First time student employees must complete W-4 forms (federal and state withholding) and I-9 form (INS employment eligibility) within three days of starting a new job. Two forms of identification are needed, such as: a driver’s license, State ID, Military ID, birth certificate, Social Security Card, Passport, etc. Forms will be completed when the employer processes the work authorization.

Students working for an off campus agency must obtain a work authorization from Student Financial Services.

Paychecks: The payroll schedule is bi-weekly for Undergraduate and Law students. Graduate Assistantships are paid monthly. Students are encouraged to set up direct deposit via Employee Self-Service.

Failure to complete Work Authorization, W-4 forms, I-9 forms and/or timesheets will delay your paycheck. Emergency Loans will not be issued for late time reporting or missing paperwork. 


Information for Supervisors