Work-Study With The GI Bill

Professionals holding a meeting.

If you're a full-time or 3/4-time student in a college degree program or a vocational or professional program, you can "earn while you learn" with a VA work-study allowance.


The VA work-study allowance is available to anyone training under the following programs:

VA will select students for the work-study program based on different factors including:

  • Disability
  • Ability to complete the work-study contract before the end of his or her eligibility to education benefits
  • Job availability within normal commuting distance  
  • VA will give the highest priority to a veteran who has a service-connected disability or disabilities rated by VA at 30% or more.

The number of applicants selected will depend on the availability of VA-related work at your school or at VA facilities in your area.

How Much Will You Earn?

Your hourly wage from the VA will be 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% 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 work, or every 2 weeks - whichever comes first.

You can work when enrolled, or during breaks between terms. 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.

What Kind of Work Can You Do?

Services you perform under a VA work-study program must be related to VA work. Examples of acceptable work are:

  • Processing VA paperwork at schools or VA offices
  • Performing outreach services under the supervision of a VA employee
  • Performing services at VA facilities

The work you actually do will depend on your interests and the type of work available. See the VA's workstudy page for more details.

Keep Up With Your Education Benefits 

Whether you need a guide on how to use your GI Bill, want to take advantage of tuition assistance and scholarships, or get the lowdown on education benefits available for your family, can help. Subscribe to to have education tips and benefits updates delivered directly to your inbox.

Story Continues
Veteran Benefits