Life on Campus

Federal Work Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program is a federally subsidized, need based, financial aid program. As such, a student's eligibility for this program is determined through Financial Aid Services. Unlike other financial aid programs that are credited directly to a student's account, FWS eligibility must be earned through a bi-weekly paycheck. The FWS award listed on your award letter is the maximum you may earn through the program (e.g. the funding commitment). However, unless you actually work the hours necessary to earn the award, you will not receive the maximum eligibility.

Unlike the Institutional (CC) Student Employment Program, the FWS Program is funded through multiple sources. While you will see no difference in your paycheck, the department is only charged for 25% of your wages. The other 75% is paid through a federal grant. This requires SES to monitor FWS paperwork very carefully. It also limits off-campus employment through the FWS Program to approved, local, nonprofit sites that are able to provide 25% of the student's FWS eligibility.

While FWS earnings are taxable income as reported on the federal and state tax returns, FWS earnings are not considered income when calculating your eligibility for financial aid. This allows you to earn money without impacting your eligibility for need-based financial aid resources.


  1. must be governed by employment conditions, including pay, that are reasonable according to the type of work performed, the geographic region, the employee's proficiency, and any applicable federal, state, or local law; and
  2. must not displace employees or impair existing service contracts (replacement is interpreted as displacement); and
  3. must not involve constructing, operating, or maintaining any part of a building used for religious worship or sectarian instruction; and
  4. must not solicit, accept, or permit soliciting any fee, commission, contribution, or gift as a condition of the student's FWS employment (union dues excluded if paid by all employees).

Making an Informed Choice

While the FWS Program offers an excellent opportunity for many students, it may not be the best option for everyone. If you already have a job that pays well or offers good experience in your field of study, you may prefer to decline your FWS award. If you choose not to take advantage of your FWS award, you should notify Financial Aid Services as soon as possible.

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  • Student Employment
    Campus Center, 4th Floor

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