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Summer Work Study

***April 2020—Summer Funding Update***

The deadline to apply for law school summer funding (only Federal Work Study/Other Law School Funding) has been extended to June 1, 2020.

We recognize that your summer employment plans may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the law school is committed to helping you have a fulfilling summer experience despite these impacts. If you did not apply for summer funding, but now believe that you may need summer funding because your summer employer has cancelled their summer internship program or is no longer able to pay you, we encourage you to submit an application for Federal Work Study/Other Law School Funding.

Unpaid public sector employment and Research Assistant positions with Faculty are eligible for summer funding. Unpaid private sector employment may be eligible on a case-by-case basis. All applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

For specific questions about the Work Study/Other Law School Funding application, please reach out to Bonnie Baber ( For general questions about summer funding or your summer employment, please email CP&P at

Your trouble-free participation in the summer work-study program is dependent upon your adherence to the deadlines and policies below.

  • The Penn Law Summer Work Study Application is available here. The application will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Monday, June 1.
  • The Student/Employer Information Form must be submitted to as soon as possible.
  • The 2019-2020 AND 2020-2021 FAFSA must be submitted by March 6.
    • Parental information is not required.
    • International students are not required to submit a FAFSA.
  • All work-study employment documents must be submitted to the Student Employment Office no later than April 30, 2020.
  • To view a complete list of summer funding opportunities, visit Summer Funding Programs.
  • Complete the Summer Funding Changes survey if your employment plans change or you secure funding from outside sources, or email Bonnie Baber at  with a note about the change.


Policies & Procedures

The Law School participates in the Federal Work-Study program during the summer and academic year in order to allow law students to seek employment that is related to their course of study. Students may work for nonprofit organizations or government agencies. In many cases their work benefits the community at large.


A student’s eligibility is determined by the FAFSA and the Penn Law Summer Work Study Application, which is submitted electronically. A student must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non citizen*, have a valid social security number, be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, be making satisfactory academic progress, and be financially needy. The deadline to complete the Summer Federal Funding Application is March 6, 2020.  The FAFSA  (2019-2020 AND 2020-2021) is due at the same time. Parental information is not required.

Apply online: Summer Federal Funding Application

Students may have two work-study jobs during the summer.  The employer information must be submitted on two separate Student/Employer Information Forms

*Note: International students can still apply for summer funding, and do not need to submit a FAFSA.

Notifying the Financial Aid Office of Your Assignment

A student is responsible for finding his/her work-study job. Once a student receives an offer of employment, the student must submit the Student/Employer Information Form  to the Law School Admissions and Financial Aid Office, Room T-151 by April 3, 2020. If you do not yet know where you will be working, you can wait to submit this until you have secured a position. This will allow ample time to establish your work-study project with your employer prior to your start date. You cannot begin working until the Financial Aid Office notifies you of your approval for a Federal Work-Study award and the Student Employment Office receives your work-study employment documents.

Note: All students applying for or receiving Federal Work-Study funding are subject to policies and procedures as set forth in the Student Employee Handbook located on the Student Employment Office  website.

Program Dates

The Summer Federal Work-Study Program begins May 18, 2020 and ends August 21, 2020. There are no exceptions to these dates.

Employment under the Federal Work-Study Program

Federal Work-Study employment may involve public interest work for 1) the University (on-campus), 2) federal, state, or local government agencies, or 3) nonprofit organizations (off-campus). Work in the public interest is considered to be work performed for the national or community welfare. Work performed to benefit a particular interest, individual, or group is not permitted.

Work is NOT eligible for Work-Study employment if:

  • It primarily benefits the members of a limited membership organization such as a credit union, fraternal or religious order, or a cooperative.
  • A student’s political support or party affiliation is taken into account in hiring the student.
  • It impairs existing service contracts.
  • It displaces regular employees.
  • It fills jobs that are vacant because regular employees are on strike.
  • It involves the construction, maintenance, or operation of any part of a facility used or to be used for religious worship or sectarian instruction.
  • It involves any partisan or nonpartisan political activity associated with a faction in an election for public or party office.
  • It involves work for an elected official outside the regular administration of federal, state, or local government.
  • It involves lobbying on the federal, state, or local level.

On-Campus & Off-Campus Employment

Based on the employer information you provide on the Student/Employer Information Form, an off-campus work-study packet will be mailed to your employer. You cannot begin working until your employer has a contractual agreement with the University. There are three different kinds of agreements:

  • University Off-Campus Agreement:  Any nonprofit organization or government agency can become an approved work-study employer if it signs an agreement that obligates it to a number of terms, including a matching share of 25% of the student’s gross earnings (e.g., $4,500.00 x 25% = $1,125.00). The University pays the student weekly.  At the end of the summer program, the Student Employment Office will bill the employer for the agreed upon matching share of the student’s gross earnings. If an employer cannot afford the matching share, it does not necessarily disqualify the employer from participating in the work-study program.
  • Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) Off-Campus Agreement: Only work-study students who are Pennsylvania residents may participate in the PHEAA program. Any off-campus nonprofit organization or government agency, which is located in Pennsylvania, can become an approved work-study employer if it signs an agreement with PHEAA. If the employer is not an approved PHEAA employer, please have the employer apply online at . The University pays the student weekly.
  • On-Campus Employment: Any University employee who does not already have a job listed must create his/her job description on the Student Employment Management System (SEMS), which is located on the Student Employment Office  website. The department will be charged 80% of the student’s earned wages.

Federal Work-Study Employment in a Foreign Country

Normally, employment in a foreign country is not permissible under the law. However, a school with a branch campus in a foreign country may employ students under Federal Work-Study if the branch has its own facilities, administrative staff, and faculty. Students may also be employed by a U.S. government facility such as an embassy or a military base. A student may not be employed for a nonprofit organization in a foreign country.

Student’s Employment Documents

A student who is awarded Federal Work-Study will receive a work-study packet from the Student Employment Office that contains the Job Appointment Form, W-4 Form, I-9 Form, Wage Tax Exemption Request, Pay Schedule, and Direct Deposit Form. This packet will be available in the Law School Admissions and Financial Aid Office, Room T-151, beginning April 1, 2020. The Job Appointment Form and other employment documents must be returned to the Student Employment Office before you begin working. All documents must be returned no later than April 30, 2020.


If you choose to work for an on-campus department, you may be required to accept the hourly wage rate established for that department’s particular job.

A student is paid only for the actual hours worked.

  • Forty hours (40) is the maximum number of hours a student may work per week.
  • The hourly wage rate is now $17.14 for 1L students and $22.86 for 2L students.
  • A student is required to take an unpaid break or lunch of at least one-half hour after five consecutive work hours.
  • Students cannot be paid for lunch hours, breaks, holidays, or other time off.
  • Work-Study earnings are subject to the same federal and state income taxes and local wage tax as any other earned income.
  • The hours worked each week will be submitted by your off-campus supervisor to the Student Employment Office, or in the case of on-campus employment your supervisor will submit your hours to the department’s business office. The gross amount earned will be deducted from your work-study award.
  • The Student Employment Office will mail the paycheck to students employed out-of-state or locally according to the summer address provided on your Job Appointment Form.
  • For students employed on-campus the Payroll Office will send your paycheck to the employing department.

Direct Deposit of Paycheck

With law students employed across the nation, we highly recommend that you take advantage of direct deposit.

Visit this link to enroll in direct deposit.

Once you complete the required information, allow approximately two weeks for Direct Deposit to become active. 

Time Report Forms

When your off-campus employer returns the signed agreement and job description form to the Student Employment Office, a set of pre-printed weekly Time Report Forms will be sent to your supervisor. Instructions for completing the form are printed on the reverse side of the memorandum enclosed with the forms. Time Report Forms must be faxed according to the summer pay schedule in order to receive a paycheck on time.


If you have any questions, please contact Bonnie Baber: ; 215-898-7743.