Is Work Study Income Taxable?

In addition to scholarships and grants, joining a federal work study program is a great way to pay for college (and should definitely be considered before taking out a loan).

Work Study Programs and Taxes

In a work study, students will have a part-time job—typically related to their field of study—and have their earnings funneled towards tuition and other college expenses.

Generally speaking, you’ll have to pay federal and state income tax on your work study earning. You should be, however, exempt from FICA taxes if you’re a full-time college student that’s working part-time.

It’s important to note your work study earnings on your FAFSA when you refile it for the next year. (And remember to report the earnings based on the calendar year, not the academic school year.)

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Tax Exemptions

There are, of course, exceptions to the rules. If you participate in certain programs, you may be tax exempt. Be sure to talk with your financial aid office to see if you qualify, or to clarify any other work study questions you may have.

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