Student FAQs

Student Employment Manual

Student Employment Website

What is work-study?

Work-study is part of the financial aid packages of many MHC students.  Receiving work-study means that the college will support you in securing a job so that you can earn spending money to support your expenses while attending college.  

Work-Study is not a grant (you must work to earn it), and it is not a loan (you don't have to repay it).  Being awarded work-study means that you are eligible for more of the student jobs than students who have not been awarded work-study. For example, Mount Holyoke holds all entry-level jobs for work-study students and strongly encourages supervisors of all other jobs to prioritize work-study eligible students in hiring students.

Outside of priority hiring, there are no differences between work-study-eligible and non-work-study-eligible student employees at Mount Holyoke.

A typical work-study award is for $1,200 per semester or $2,400 per academic year, an amount that represents approximately six to eight hours of work per week while classes are in session.

Earnings from student employment are never automatically applied to your charges owed to the College. Once earned, it is up to the you to decide how you will use your earnings. Most students use their earnings to pay for books and personal expenses. You may decline the offer of work-study by notifying Student Financial Services at  

What is Federal work-study?

Federal work-study is funded jointly by the U.S. Federal Government and Mount Holyoke College.  A Federal work-study award enables you to both work on-campus and also in our local community for our partner non-profit, educational and/or government institutions. 

What is Mount Holyoke work-study?

Mount Holyoke work-study is funded entirely by Mount Holyoke College.   A Mount Holyoke work-study award enables you to work on-campus, but not in the Federal work-study sites in our local community.

Am I required to find a job on campus if I have a work-study award? 

No, student employment is optional.  Whether you work, and how much you work, will only impact how much spending money you have for the year. 

Does a work-study award offer assure me of a job?

There is no guarantee, but work-study-eligible students have priority for on-campus jobs, especially during the first few weeks of the semester.  If you have difficulty securing a student job, the Student Employment Office will assist you. Contact us at

Can I decline work-study? 

Yes, you can decline work-study.  Contact the Student Financial Services Office to learn more (

What happens if I don't use my work-study offer?

Nothing happens to a student's financial aid if the work-study funds are not utilized.  You just won’t earn any wages.

What happens when my work-study award is exhausted?

Nothing. You will continue to be paid at your normal hourly rate.

What if I do not earn my entire work-study award?

If you do not earn your entire fall semester award, the balance will be carried over and added to your spring semester, assuming you are enrolled and maintain eligibility.  However, any unused award at the end of spring semester will be forfeited. 

Are my work-study earnings applied to my tuition?

No. Work-study is not applied to your bill, it is earned in the form of bi-weekly paychecks for the hours worked. 

Students are paid directly through direct deposit. Work-study is not disbursed to the student's account and does not reduce the tuition bill.  The way to receive these funds is to be hired, work, and submit time. Students generally use these funds for personal expenses they incur during the year, but there is no restriction on how you use your earnings (so if you want to save them for tuition, that is up to you).

Can I receive my work-study earnings in advance?

No, your work-study earnings will not be provided to you in a lump sum in advance.  You will earn your work-study funds and only be paid for the hours you have worked. You may be able to swap your work-study award for a student loan, if that is your preference.  Contact Student Financial Services at to learn more.

When and how am I paid?

Student employees enter their time in my.mtholyoke: use the Self Service menu on the upper right, click on the Employees section and choose Web Time Entry and Approval. Your paycheck cannot be processed unless you complete your timesheet through Web Time Entry in my.mtholyoke.

How many hours can I work in my work-study position?

Hours vary depending on the job.  It is Mount Holyoke’s strong recommendation that no student work more than 10 hours per week on or off campus during the academic terms.  In addition to this guidance, there is an official maximum-hours policy: no student may work more than 15 hours per week (across all positions they may hold). Most international students may not work more than 20 hours per week due to their visa restrictions, but when MHC has set a lower hours/week cap for all students, as it has in 2022-23, all students must abide by the lower cap. 

What is the 22-23 pay rate for work-study positions?

Mount Holyoke student employment jobs are paid at five different levels:

  • Level 1: $15.00 - Position requires basic skill, no prerequisites, training provided on-site. Examples: Dishwashers, Ball-runners, Receptionists
  • Level 2: $15.30 - Position requires specialized training, experience, knowledge or skills to perform duties central to the position or involve higher levels of responsibility, such as handling money. Examples: K-12 Tutors, Tour Guides, Cashiers, Technical Support, entry level research
  • Level 3: $15.61 - Position requires certification, coursework or prior advanced training/experience and involves a higher level of responsibility, such as supervision, training, mentoring, higher ed. tutoring, project management, lifesaving, etc. Examples: EMTs, SAW Mentors, Teaching Assistants, advanced research assistants, Supervisors of Level 1 and 2 Positions
  • Level 4: $15.92 - Position requires prior certification, coursework or advanced training/experience, involves a high level of responsibility and works independently. This includes positions that require advanced supervision of other students. Examples: Dining Managers, Admissions Fellows
  • Level 5: $16.24 - Position is para-professional in nature, with responsibilities comparable to paid staff, successful completion of level 4 or equivalent experience required. Examples: Senior Dining Managers, LRC Fellows
  • Stipend: Stipends are extremely rare and must be approved by the Student Employment Advisory Committee.

Massachusetts minimum wage increased from $14.25/hr to $15/hr on January 1, 2023 and MHC wage levels were adjusted accordingly.

Can I have more than one work-study job during the academic year?

Yes, but remember that you may only work for 15 hours/week across all of your jobs.