Federal Work Study Program Facts

The Federal Work-Study Program (previously called the College Work-Study Program) provides students with part-time jobs to earn money that helps them pay for college. The program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students who fullfill the requirements. Students who qualify can get a job at one of the 3,400 participating postsecondary institutions who will hire them. Hourly wages will not be less than the federal minimum wage so students can be assured of fair wages for their work.

Students who qualify for the federal work-study program will join work programs through their college or university to earn money for tuition and other expenses. There are many different types of jobs that qualify for the program. Students who work through this program will be receiving at least federal minimum wage wWhile they have a job under this program.  The program also encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

This program helps to ensure that college students who are financially in need and do not have a job are the ones who get the jobs in this program.

Jobs will be available on and off campus. If you work on campus, you’ll usually work for your school. If you work off campus, your employer will usually be a private nonprofit organization or a public agency, and the work performed must be in the public interest.

Some schools might have agreements with private for-profit employers for work-study jobs. These jobs must be relevant to your course of study (to the maximum extent possible). If you attend a proprietary school (i.e., a for-profit institution), there may be further restrictions on the types of jobs you can be assigned.

Please note that International or foreign students do not qualify for the Federal Work-Study program.

Elegibility rerquirements:

  • students must apply for federal assistance through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program.  Students should check with the current requirements for FAFSA. Students can start to investigate the FAFSA as early as junior year of high school.
  • U.S. citizen
  • U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swains Island)
  • U.S. permanent resident

Qualified students who want to apply for the Federal Work Study Program must first file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When you file for this program please note that on the FAFSA application there will be an option that asks if the student would like to be considered for the work-study program. This option must be checked by the applicant. This will ensure that the student is considered for the Federal Work-Study program.

The student’s financial need will be determined based on their application. The students may be employed by any number of places including a federal, state or local agency, a private organization or by the institution itself. The student must indicate an interest in the FWS program on their application for FAFSA. If the student is eligible the amount of the FWS award will be listed along with the FAFSA award.

Students who did not indicate an interest in the FWS program on their FAFSA can still get into the work program. Each institution has its own deadline for these funds. It is worth noting that the deadline for the Federal Work Study Program is typically earlier than the deadline for filing a FAFSA. Therefore it is important to apply as early as possible. Once the funds at the institution have been exhausted there are no further FWS funds to be provided. The amount of aid that a student may receive depends on the total amount of assistance that the student is receiving.

To apply for the Federal Work Study program students should first apply to their own school for a job. Each institution has its own campus-based program that will indicate the exact procedure for applying as well as the specific deadlines.

Since the FWS program is typically a first-come-first-served program in most institutions, if the student applies after the deadline, the student will most likely not get in. The program will accommodate the number of students that it can through use of the money that was funded federally. more n the FAFSA application