21+ Schools Offering Work Study Programs in USA 2023

Schools Offering Work Study Programs in the USA: Do you know that there are states where international students can live, work and study in the US?

You can leverage a work and study program in the USA for international students and save more while being a student. With the rising costs of education, many students have to work and go to school simultaneously. 

Can an international student in the USA work to pay tuition? This and many other questions like this come into our comment box almost daily.


Well, anyone who tells you, you can come to the USA as a student and then work to pay your tuition and living expenses is deceiving you.

One of the conditions for approving your F1 visa is that you have proven to the Visa Officer (VO) that you either have savings to pay your tuition and living expenses or you have someone who will sponsor you.

As a student in the USA, you cannot work for more than 20 hours a week legitimately. At the best rates, you get paid $14 an hour. That’s $1120 a month before tax and around $1k after tax.

By the time you are done paying rent, utilities, health insurance, groceries, and phone bills, you are left with nothing to pay for Tuition.

Inability to pay your tuition will mean you won’t be able to register for classes the next semester and once that happens, you are out of status and on the next flight to MMIA.

However, there is a hack. There are some skills you can monetize here to make some extra cash. For instance, the guy who barbs my hair makes at least $600 a week. (I know this cause I asked him).

He works from his room only during the weekend. That’s about $2,400 extra income every week. With this amount, he can comfortably pay his tuition. This is just one example.


Also, try and have one digital skill that you can monetize. The market here will pay you higher for it than in any other place in the world.

Bottom line, don’t come to the USA to study if you don’t have plans on how to sustain your stay financially.

Work-study programs were introduced to help students find their educational expenses if they are unable to get scholarships, grants, or student loans.

This option is open for all categories of students ranging from full and part-time college students to traditional, college-age students and older adults returning to school.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, approximately 3,400 colleges and universities offer federal work-study programs.

Therefore in this guide, we have been able to put together a list of schools in the US with reasonable tuition and also offer students maximum flexibility to incorporate work into their schedules.


Welcome Aboard Scholar!!!

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What Is Work Study?

Work-study is a program that allows students with financial needs to get part-time jobs and work while studying.

Sometimes it’s a federal arrangement and sometimes a state-funded program, whichever way, it aims at helping college students earn while being a student.

By following this routine, college students will also gain experience in their desired field of work or study.

Students who get that receive the funds of their hourly work in a paycheck just like a normal job. 

Such platforms exist in the USA. 

See more about what the work-study program is in our article WHAT IS WORK STUDY PROGRAM.

Why Do Students Need A Work Study Program?

Work study programs are open to undergraduate and graduate students who are in need of financial assistance.

This option comes in handy when you do not get a scholarship, grants, or other forms of financial aid. 

With the work-study program, students in need of financial assistance can apply for work and earn and pay for their expenses without breaking the bank. 

Do USA Schools Allow International Students To Work And Study? 

Yes, international students with a student work visa are allowed to work and study as long as their school program allows it.

Your US student visa allows you to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and full-time during school break periods (up to 40 hours per week).

According to U.S. immigration law, international students can work on-campus but are not allowed to work off-campus without permission.

To work and study in the US as an international student, you must be enrolled in a full-time program and have a valid F-1 visa status.

So, yes you can work in the US as an international student.

How Can I Go To The USA For Study?

If you’re an international student seeking to study in the USA, here is a step-by-step guide that will help you to apply to study in a university or college in the U.S :

#1. Research Your Options. 

Are you going for an associate, bachelor’s, first-professional, master’s, advanced intermediate, and research doctorate degree?

What schools are offering such programs?

Are they accredited and fit to deliver quality education?

Find out the options and make a choice.

While searching, keep in mind that the U.S. educational system does not offer a second or higher doctorate but does offer postdoctoral research programs.

#2. Seek A Means to Finance Your Studies

The U.S. government does not provide loans, grants, or help with scholarships for international students. 

As an international student, you will have to find alternative sources of funding.

You can leverage the work study programs or other school or organizational scholarships in the USA.

#3. Complete Your Application. 

Colleges and universities have their own admission requirements. 

So once you have made your choice of the school follow the application requirements set by the admissions office of the school you’re interested in.

#4. Apply For Your Visa. 

Before you can apply for a student visa, you must be accepted by a SEVP-certified school.

If you have, then apply to the US consular post in your country.

#5. Prepare For Departure. 

You’re set to study in the USA.

Gather the resources you need and set sail.

ALSO READ: 21+ Tuition-Free Universities in USA For International Students in 2023

Top Schools Offering Work Study Programs in USA 2023

Here is a list of schools in the USA that allows students to work and study;

#1. Hunter College

  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Acceptance Rate: 40%
  • Location: Manhattan, New York

If you’re looking for a school that allows you to study a program and work in the USA then Hunter College should be your first consideration.

Hunter College is an extension of the City University of New York (CUNY) with over 20,000 students enrolled in over 170  undergraduate and graduate programs.

You should consider Hunter College first because its tuition is cheap, about 5,000 per year for New York residents and $11,000 for out-of-state residents.

Even with the cheap tuition, Hunter College allows its students to work and study.

And good news, Manhattan is a place that provides ample employment opportunities making it the best state to live, work and study in the USA.

#2. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Graduation Rate: 90%
  • Acceptance Rate: 24%
  • Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

One of the best states in the southeast to live, work and study in the USA is North Carolina.

And you can make that happen by studying at the University of North Carolina. 

UNC-Chapel Hill, popularly known as one of the original public Ivy League schools that provide quality education at an affordable price.

Across its 14 colleges and the College of Arts and Sciences, University of North Carolina offers over 70 courses for undergraduates and about 100 masters and doctoral programs.

Besides the opportunity to study and work in the USA that the University of North Carolina affords, Chapel Hill is a great place for vacation.

And as such have a lot of work-study jobs for students.

#3. University of Iowa

  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Acceptance Rate: 86%
  • Location: Iowa City

If you’re looking for a work and study program in the USA for international students, the University of Iowa is a good consideration.

The University of Iowa is a public ivy school that offers over 100 courses across its 11 colleges. 

The University of Iowa is a good choice for a work and study program in the US because of its location. 

Based on a 2021 report, Iowa City has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. of about 3.5% which is about half the national average.

#4. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

  • Graduation Rate: 90%
  • Acceptance Rate: 27%
  • Location: Ann Arbor 

If you’re planning to get a study and work visa in the USA then you need to apply to a school that allows a work and study program.

One of such schools in the US is the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

The University of Michigan is a public research university that offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. 

Not just quality education, the University of Michigan also provides quite a number of employment opportunities for her students.

Besides that Ann Arbor has a lot of industries and a busy downtown district that has a lot of work for people who need it.

#5. Amherst College

  • Graduation Rate; 95%
  • Acceptance Rate: 12.9%
  • Location: Amherst, Massachusetts

Wondering how you can go to the USA to study and work?

Applying to the private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts, Amherst College.

Amherst College has a small class size and flexible academic programs. 

This allows students to design their own curricula and majors and also allows them to work.

In Amherst College, students who are in need of financial assistance can synchronize their academic and work schedules. 

There are job opportunities on campus for work-study students.

#6. Goddard College

  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Location: Plainfield, Vermont, Port Townsend and Washington

Another study and work program in the USA is one that’s offered by Goddard College.

Goddard is a private liberal arts college with many campuses where it offers both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Goddard College offers sixteen weeks of independent study which is a good option for students with busy lives and careers who don’t have time to attend college full time. 

This curriculum allows you to design your own curriculum and that allows you to work while you study.

#7. NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study

  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Acceptance Rate: 30%
  • Location: Downtown New York City

NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study allows students to design their own curriculum. 

This school is ideal for students with existing careers or those who need to obtain jobs to get through college.

The flexibility of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study is open to undergraduate and graduate students.

Since Gallatin is affiliated with New York University, students can choose a wide variety of NYU courses to complete their degrees. 

#8. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Acceptance Rate: 64%
  • Location: Nebraska-Lincoln

University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a public university that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, even law school. 

Nebraska-Lincoln is one of the best states to live, work and study in the USA if you have a work visa.

Nebraska-Lincoln is one of the U.S. cities with the lowest unemployment rates which makes it easy for students to find jobs while attending school. 

Also, the Online & Distance Education program that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers allows students to study and their pace and work as well.

#9. Antioch College

  • Graduation Rate: –
  • Acceptance Rate: 97%
  • Location: Yellow Springs, Ohio

Antioch College allows students who have a USA study and work visa to work while studying with them.

This College is a private liberal arts college with very flexible programs that allow students to work jobs related to their course of study. 

Also, the college offers an innovative Co-op Program that arranges paid positions for students with local, national, or international employers. 

This comes with a two-way advantage, first students have the opportunity to earn while studying and second they gain experience in their field of expertise.

So by studying at Antioch College and you have a work study visa, international students can work in the USA.

#10. Brown University

  • Graduation Rate: 96%
  • Acceptance Rate: 8%
  • Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University is a private university that offers a variety of courses in a non-traditional Ivy League way.

At Brown University, there are no distribution requirements which makes it convenient for working students.

However, the Brown University curriculum is demanding and as such may require more out of the students who want to combine work and study.

Also, Providence which is the capital of Rhode Island is New England’s third-largest city which means there are many opportunities for finding employment in the area.

ALSO READ: Kettering University Scholarships in USA for International Students 2023

#11. Thomas Edison State College

  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Acceptance Rate: —
  • Location: 

If you’re a mid-career professional who wants to study further and work in the USA, then you should choose a school that affords you such luxury.

Thomas Edison State College is a college designed specifically for mid-career professionals. 

Majorly, the students in Thomas Edison State College include military veterans, mothers, and many other kinds of non-traditional students.

Across its departments are varieties of undergraduate and graduate courses and programs both online and on-campus.

#12. Eckerd College

  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Acceptance Rate: 73%
  • Location: Florida Gulf Coast

International students in the USA with a study and work visa can apply to Eckerd College.

Eckerd College is one of the colleges in the US that supports work study programs.

Eckerd is a private college with programs that focus more on nature and the environment.

The College has a lot of study abroad opportunities for international and local students.

These opportunities allow students to travel all over the world to pursue academic work. 

Also, Eckerd College is ideal for adult learners with work responsibilities.

#13. Bennington College

  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Acceptance Rate: 57%
  • Location: Bennington, Vermont

Bennington College is another private college in the US that allows work study routines for international students. 

Adult students pursuing a degree in the Master of Fine Arts writing program can apply at Bennington College.

A peculiar difference between Bennington and other schools in the USA that has a work study program is that Bennington College requires its students to spend at least one term working off-campus as long as they have a student work visa.

#14. College of Wooster

  • Graduation Rate: 81%
  • Acceptance Rate: 56%
  • Location: Wooster, Ohio

Wondering how you can go to the USA for a work study program?

It’s that simple, apply to study at the College of Wooster.

As long as you have a student work study visa, the College of Wooster makes provision for you to study and work in the USA.

College of Wooster is a private college that is ranked by U.S News and World Report as one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges.

At the College of Wooster, the Independent Study Program is quite flexible for students who are working their way through college. 

However, the curriculum is rigorous therefore it requires more work, for non-traditional students.

Also, the College of Wooster provides ample opportunities for internships as well as study abroad programs.

#15. College of the Ozarks

  • Graduation Rate: 69%
  • Acceptance Rate: 13%
  • Location: Point Lookout, Missouri

The College of the Ozarks is a small, private Christian college that doesn’t charge tuition fees.

Yes, the College of the Ozarks allows you to study for free. All other student expenses you can take care of by work-study and donation programs.

What this means is that you have everything monetary advantage studying at the College of the Ozarks.

And with your work study visa, you can work, make extra cash and still study for free.

This invariably means that students can look forward to graduating without any debt.

#16. Wesleyan University

  • Graduation Rate: 94%
  • Acceptance Rate: 16%
  • Location: Middletown, Connecticut

Wesleyan is a private liberal arts college in the USA that has a work study program.

Across its 40 undergraduate and 11 graduate departments, Wesleyan University has a variety of disciplines. 

Wesleyan offers students a great deal of flexibility because there are no classes for Wesleyan students. 

The curriculum of Wesleyan University is well suited to independent-minded, non-traditional, and working students.

study and work in usa program
study and work in usa program

#17. The New School

  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Acceptance Rate: 62%
  • Location: Downtown New York City

If you’re looking for a school with a work and study program in the USA for international students, consider the New School.

The New School is an innovative private college that contains several different schools.

At New School, there are varieties of undergraduate and graduate programs.

Because The New School practices what it calls a student-directed curriculum, students have the freedom to choose courses across disciplines.

This affords them the opportunity to work and Study as look as they choose a curriculum fit for such.

And in addition, Downtown New York City is one of the best states to live, work and study in USA.

#18. University of California, Santa Cruz

  • Graduation Rate: 78%
  • Acceptance Rate: 51%
  • Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz California is one of the best states to live, work, and study in the USA due to its reputation of being a tourist spot.

With this, students studying in the University of California, Santa Cruz have ample opportunities to find employment on or off-campus. 

The University of California, Santa Cruz has a long history of being a non-traditional college because students choose their courses.

#19. Agnes Scott College

  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Location: Decatur Georgia

Agnes Scott College is a private, liberal arts college that offers undergraduate, Master of Arts, and  cooperative programs tailored to non-traditional and returning students.

If you work full-time, Agnes Scott College is the college for you.

The college offers summer school classes online, allowing students to access the material from wherever they might be.

#20. Charter Oak State College

  • Graduation Rate: 62%
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Location: New Britain, Connecticut

Next on our list of work and study programs in the USA for international students is the program offered by Charter Oak State College.

Charter Oak State College is a public liberal arts college that attracts students who have taken college courses previously but have not completed their degree. 

The curriculum at Charter Oak State College is flexible for students with many responsibilities.

#21. Beloit College

  • Graduation Rate: 81%
  • Acceptance Rate: 54%
  • Location: Beloit, Wisconsin

Beloit College is a private liberal arts college that emphasizes practical and theoretical learning. 

The College is a good choice for students who want to start working in their chosen profession while still studying.

Also Beloit, Wisconsin is one of the best states to live, work and study in usa.

Other Colleges in the US that allows students to work and study include;

  • Excelsior College
  • Smith College
  • Sam Houston State University
  • Fort Hays State University

ALSO READ: Top 21 Need-Based Scholarships for College Students in USA 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About Working And Studying In the USA

Do I Need A Work And Study Visa In The USA?

If you plan to work and study in the USA you will generally need a student visa. 

Yes, you will need an F-1 Student Visa or M-1 Student Visa.

The F-1 Visa is for academic students and the M-1 Student Visa is for vocational students.

To get your student visa, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a full-time student at the institution
  • Must be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency.
  • Be enrolled in an “academic”, language-training program, or a vocational program.
  • Must maintain a residence abroad that you have no intention of giving up.
  • Your school must be approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
  • Students must have sufficient funds available for self-support.

What Are The Best States To Live, Work And Study in the USA?

The best states to study, live and work in the USA are;

  • Utah
  • Iowa.
  • Florida.
  • Virginia.
  • Vermont.
  • Nebraska.
  • Washington.
  • New Hampshire.

Are international Students Eligible For Work-study in the US?

International students don’t frequently qualify for work-study because most work study programs are federally funded.

Therefore only available to students who have completed the FAFSA can qualify.

How Many Colleges And Universities In The US Offer Work-study Programs?

According to the U.S. In the Department of Education, approximately 3,400 colleges and universities offer a federal work-study program.

Now, I believe you know where to apply if you have intentions to work while studying in the USA.

Keep in mind that you have to secure a visa to fit your studies to grant you the liberty to work and study.

And just in case you need Scholarships, here are some of the USA Scholarships you can apply to that will help you find your education.

We wish you good luck!!!

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