Department of Veteran Affairs Student Work-Study Allowance Program

You may be eligible for the VA work-study allowance if you fall under the following programs:

  • Montgomery GI Bill®--Active Duty (38 U.S.C. Chapter 30)
  • REAP Participants
  • Montgomery GI Bill®--Selected Reserve (10 U.S.C. Chapter 1606)
  • Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (38 U.S.C. Chapter 32)
  • Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (38 U.S.C. Chapter 35)
  • Eligible dependents under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 35 may use work study only while training in a State.
  • National Call to Service Participants

The VA work-study program permits eligible students to perform services for VA in return for a monetary allowance equal to the prevailing Federal or State minimum wage, whichever is higher. VA work-study payments are non-taxable. Eligible students may contract for a maximum of 1300 hours of service in any 12 month period. The maximum number of hours a student may work will be based on 25 times the number of weeks in the student's enrollment period; e.g., 250 hours for a 10 week term; 300 hours for a 12 week term. Work-study services may be performed at VA regional offices, educational institutions, VA medical facilities, VA national cemeteries, certain other organizations approved for outreach activities. For Chapter 1606 trainees only, services may be performed at DOD, National Guard and Coast Guard facilities, and their work-study services must be related to the administration of the Chapter 1606 program.

Work-study services at educational institutions may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Processing enrollment documents (NOTE: Work-study students may not sign an Enrollment Certification.)
  2. Assisting institutional officials in maintaining veterans' records
  3. Providing supportive assistance to the campus office of Veterans' Affairs
  4. Providing outreach services

Veteran students who are assigned by the institution to perform outreach activities must be working under the supervision of a VA employee. Such supervision may be accomplished by a combination of personal and telephone contacts. If the institution wishes to establish a VA outreach activity, the Veterans Services Officer at the regional office should be contacted prior to development of plans for an outreach program.

Rate of Payment

In return for the student's agreement to perform services for VA totaling, for example, 250 hours during an enrollment period, VA will pay an allowance in an amount equal to the prevailing Federal or State minimum wage, whichever is higher, times 250. VA will pay proportionately less to students who agree to perform a lesser number of hours of services. Advance payment will be limited to the amount that would be paid for the first 50 hours of each work-study contract, or 40% of the amount of the total contract, whichever is the lesser. Thereafter, payments are made in arrears for each increment of 50 hours of service performed.

In the event the student ceases to be at least a three-quarter time student before completing an agreement, the student, with the approval of the VA regional office, may be permitted to complete the portions of an agreement in the same or immediately following term in which the student ceases to be a three-quarter-time student. If the student terminates all training before completing an agreement, VA may permit him or her to complete the portion of the agreement represented by the money VA has advanced to the student for which he or she has performed no services, but will not permit him or her to complete that portion of an agreement for which no advance payment has been made. The student must complete the portion of an agreement in the same or immediately following term in which he or she terminates training.

If the veteran has received an advance for hours of unperformed service, and VA has evidence that he or she does not intend to perform that service, the advance will be a debt due the government, and will be subject to recovery the same as any other debt due the United States. The amount of indebtedness or each hour of unperformed service will equal the hourly wage that formed the basis of the contract.

Benefit guidelines

You will earn an hourly wage equal to the Federal minimum wage or your State minimum wage, whichever is greater. If you're in a work-study job at a college or university, your school may pay you the difference between the amount VA pays and the amount the school normally pays other work-study students doing the same job as you.

You may elect to be paid in advance for 40 percent of the number of hours in your work-study agreement, or for 50 hours, whichever is less. After you've completed the hours covered by your first payment, VA will pay you each time you complete 50 hours of service.

You may work during or between periods of enrollment. You can arrange with VA to work any number of hours you want during your enrollment. But, the total number of hours you work can't be more than 25 times the number of weeks in your enrollment period.

Documentation required for the Student Work-Study Allowance Program

Complete and submit the following forms to the Office of Military Services, NOT the VA, by fax, email, or in person to:

703.993.2392 (fax), military.gmu.edu, or in person to Aaron Emery at our office in the Johnson Center, room 245.

  1. Application for VA Work Study (22-8691) 
  2. Office of Military Services Application

*All three forms must be submitted each semester in order to be considered for the work/study position.

**Processing can take weeks to months, depending on when you submit your application and if you've been approved to receive benefits.  Before your application can be sent to the VA you must be certified first by Mason.  Please ensure you register for classes and submit your VRRF as soon as possible in order to be eligible.