Learning-Aligned Employment Program (LAEP)

The Learning-Aligned Employment Program (LAEP) is a state work-study program established in the Spring 2023. LAEP provides eligible underrepresented undergraduate and teaching credential students the opportunity to earn money to help defray their educational costs, while gaining education-aligned, career-related experience.

LAEP is still in the implementation phase and students can only be employed with on-campus partners. Students receive an allocation of funds to be earned through part-time employment. LAEP participants are paid once a month, with the minimum being the California's minimum wage.

Research-based employment

Potential employers (e.g., on-campus departments) are eligible if their learning-aligned employment opportunities provide participating students with direct opportunities to participate in the research that is undertaken by the respective department.

Research is not limited to scientific research and can take place outside of an academic discipline. The research should be directed and supervised by faculty, staff or another mentor who will determine the research requirements.

Student Eligibility

Once LAEP has fully launched campus-wide, the office of Financial Aid will be notifying students of their potential eligibility. Students who have a LAEP award on their account can then begin the process of applying for a research opportunity on-campus. Please see the requirements below to participate in this program. Based on available funding, the demand for LAEP, and as required by CSAC, the Office of Financial aid will also further prioritize the awards as described in the Prioritization section.



LAEP Criteria


Required for participation

Required for Participation

Not required for participation but must be prioritized when applicable

Student must match one or more of the descriptors to participate

Student must meet all of the criteria to participate.

Student must match one or more of the descriptors to be prioritized.

·                 First generation college students

·         Pell Eligible (low-income students)

·         Current or former foster youth

·         Homelessness or those at risk of becoming homeless

·         Students with disabilities

·         Displaced workers

·         Students with dependent children

·         Formerly incarcerated students

·                 Half-time enrollment (minimum)

·         CA resident classification

·         Demonstrated maintenance of satisfactory academic progress

·         Demonstrated financial need

·         Eligibility to work in the United States

·                 First generation college students

·         Current or former foster youth

·         Homeless students or those are risk of becoming homeless


The Office of Financial aid further prioritizes students matching these descriptors who are majoring in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) discipline.


Hour Limits

Students may work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the school year between Mid-August through Mid-May. Hours are contingent on the amount of LAEP awarded and employer needs. Students cannot work over their approved LAEP award.

On a case-by-case basis, summer employment may be available under LAEP. To be eligible to participate in a summer LAEP opportunity, the student must be:

  • Enrolled at least half-time in summer courses required for completion of a degree or certificate, or

  • Accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis for the following normal academic term (i.e., Fall term). Students in this scenario may work up to a maximum of 40 hours (full-time work) contingent they do not go over the LAEP award.

Employment Policies

Once the student has secured a research opportunity, the student must complete the LAEP employment authorization process before starting the position. Students must provide I-9 Employment Verification Documentation Opens in new window to Human Resources.  


The employer will submit all necessary paperwork for student to begin working. At any time during the employment period, if the student becomes ineligible for the LAEP award, the Office of Financial Aid will communicate to the employer of the status change and coordinate any remaining LAEP payments and adjust the award for the wages student has earned.

Pay Periods

Pay periods are based on the calendar month. At the end of the month, the student signs and submits their LAEP timesheet to their supervisor for payment on or before the 15th of the following month. The employer will complete and submit an Attendance Report to Payroll services. If the Attendance Report is submitted late, student will still be paid, but the payment may be delayed.

Pay Checks

The employer distributes the pay checks. Pay day is on or before the 15th of each month. Students are paid only for the hours they have worked and reported on their LAEP timesheet for the previous month.

Monitoring Laep earnings

The student and the employer are responsible for monitoring LAEP wages and ensuring the LAEP award is available throughout the duration of the employment. It is strongly recommended for the Employer to develop a semester hour schedule with an estimated employment end date. It is also the employer responsibility to notify the student when the LAEP funds have been exhausted for the employment period (i.e., semester or aid year).


Moreover, the employer must communicate with the LAEP coordinator if they suspect the student has put in hours over the LAEP award amount.  The LAEP coordinator in conjunction with the SBS accounting team tracks wages earned, however the data is not live, therefore the Office of Financial Aid cannot prevent a student earning over the LAEP awards.


Need more assistance?

Contact the Office of Financial Aid

Phone: 657-278-3125

or submit an inquiry through our Financial Aid Questions ticketing system on our Contact Us page.