Federal Work-Study (FWS)

What is the Federal Work-Study Program?

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program gives part-time jobs to undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. Under the program, these students can work to make money to pay for their education expenses, including tuition, books, and food and housing. If you are eligible, your college or university will include work-study in your financial aid award letter.

What kind of work can I do?

The program encourages civic education work, as well as work that is related to your classes.

How much money will I make?

You'll be making at least the current federal minimum wage. Some people earn more, but it depends on the type of work and the skills required.

The total amount of your Federal Work-Study award will depend on when you apply, your level of financial need and the funding level of your school.

Commissions or fees must not be paid to Federal Work-Study students.

How will I be paid?

If you're an undergraduate, you'll be paid by the hour. If you're a graduate student, you might be paid by the hour, or you may receive a salary (which means you'll be given a set sum of money for a certain timeframe, such as every week or every other week).

Your school must pay you at least once a month. Also, your school must pay you directly, unless you request that the school make payments to your bank account. You can also ask them to use the money to pay school costs, such as tuition, directly.

Will I be working on campus?

Federal Work-Study jobs can be on campus or off campus.

If you work on campus, you'll usually work for your school. If you work off campus, you will usually work for a private nonprofit organization or a public agency. Generally, the work performed off campus must be in the public interest, which means it must benefit some portion of the general public.

Some schools may make agreements with private for-profit employers for Federal Work-Study jobs. If you work in one of these jobs, your work must be as related to your classes as possible.

I'd like to make a lot of money. Can I work as many hours as I want?

No. The total amount you earn can't be more than your total Federal Work-Study award.

When scheduling your work, your employer or financial aid administrator will look at your class schedule and your academic progress.

How can I get more information?

For more information on Student Financial Assistance Programs, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center:

Internet: StudentAid.gov

Phone: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)

TTY: 1-800-730-8913

Spanish speakers are available (se habla espanol).