Work-study is a need-based financial aid program that allows students to work and earn money for their educational expenses. Pitzer offers Federal Work Study for U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens who demonstrate financial need. Institutional Work Study is available for international students who demonstrate financial need.


Work-study eligibility is determined during the review of the student’s financial aid application. All students who apply for need-based financial aid are automatically considered for work-study, regardless of whether they received, declined or used work-study in prior years.

  • Students are encouraged to accept their work-study, even if they do not intend to work.
  • Students must accept their work-study by completing the Self-Help Agreement.
  • Students cannot request an increase to their work-study allotment.
  • Students cannot reinstate their work-study after it has been declined.
  • Work-study must be earned. There are no consequences or payments owed if work-study is not earned.
  • Students are not eligible for work-study while studying abroad. However, they receive additional grant assistance during their abroad semester to replace their work-study funds.

Work-Study Allotment

A student’s eligibility is determined by various factors including their financial need. First-year students have a maximum allotment of $2,500. Returning students have a maximum allotment of $3,000. All international students have an allotment of $2,400.

All students receive notification of their eligibility through their financial aid notification letter. For incoming students, this letter is released electronically during the admission decision process. For returning students, this letter is posted to your Student Portal over the summer.

Benefits of Work-Study

Work-study functions like any other job and you must be hired and work to earn this portion of your aid. While work-study does not guarantee students on-campus employment, supervisors are encouraged to hire work-study recipients. Students with work-study are also able to work for approved off-campus organizations and get paid up to their work-study allotment.

In addition, the portion of your on-campus earnings that are considered ‘work-study earnings’ are ‘protected’ for future financial aid eligibility. See Earnings Impact on Future Aid below.

Monitoring Allotment

Most students with work-study do not need to monitor their work-study allotment. Students are paid by their department, and it is the department’s responsibility to ensure they have enough funds in their student employment budget to pay their student employees.

However, students who work with approved off-campus organizations (i.e. Claremont Colleges Libraries, Uncommon Good, etc.) must monitor their work-study earnings (as this is the source of their pay). Students that work for these organizations will receive email reminders from the Office of Financial Aid with updates regarding their work-study allotment.

What happens if I earn more than my allotment?

If you earn more than your allotment AND you work for an off-campus employer, you will be asked to stop working and your supervisor will be notified. Their department will be responsible for the repayment of any excess funds above your work-study allotment.

What if I have multiple jobs?

Students with multiple jobs do not need to worry about their work-study allotment unless one of their employers is an off-campus department. See Finding a Job for a list and breakdown of all employers.

Work-Study & Future Aid

At the end of the calendar year, Pitzer will issue you a W-2 form for your earnings. It is important that you retain a copy of your Pitzer W-2 and any other W-2 forms you are issued, as you will be required to provide them as part of your financial aid application in future years.

W-2 Forms & Aid

If you earned any income from January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021, you were provided with a 2021 W-2, which you will be required to submit as part of your 2023-24 financial aid application. See chart below:

Calendar YearFinancial Aid Application Cycle

Human Resources (HR) has issued all 2022 W-2s. If you have misplaced a W-2 from a previous year, please contact HR. The Office of Financial Aid cannot access or obtain a copy of your Pitzer W-2.

Earnings Impact on Future Aid

Students are required to report all earnings (from all jobs) on their financial aid application, including those earned from working at Pitzer (through work-study or non-work-study). However, work-study earnings are protected when determining financial aid eligibility. For example, if you earn $6,000 in 2022 and $2,000 of those earnings are work-study, your aid eligibility will only be based on earnings of $4,000 vs. $6,000.

Earnings exceeding your work-study allotment may have an impact on your financial aid eligibility. We encourage you to speak with our office if you have significant earnings above your allotment or outside of work-study to see how they may affect your financial aid eligibility.