The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, the form that colleges and universities use to determine a student’s need for financial aid, has protections in place for student earnings. For the 2018-19 school year, the amount a student can earn before it is counted as income is $6,570.
To make more than that, a student would have to work more than 17 hours a week for 52 weeks a year, assuming they made the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
“For most dependent undergraduate students, what they’re going to earn for their summer job is a few thousand dollars so it won’t be an issue,” said Kathy Ruby, director of college finance at CollegeCoach.
Even after that amount, money earned might not have an effect on financial aid, said MorraLee Keller, the director of technical assistance at the National College Access Network.
“There are other nuances in the formula,” Keller said. “There’s no clear blanket statement.”