What is Federal Work Study (FWS)?
Federal Work Study (FWS) is a financial aid program which is awarded to eligible students as part of their financial aid award package. Students awarded FWS are given an opportunity to earn up to the amount of their annual FWS award by working on campus.
The goal of the FWS program is to provide students with real world work experience, while allowing them to earn money to help finance their education. FWS can be used as a means to build a substantial resume in preparation for a job after graduation.
Wages for the program are equal to minimum wage unless the position has a higher paying salary such as tutors, instructional aids, and van drivers.
The amount you earn cannot exceed your total FWS award. How much FWS funds you are eligible to receive depends on your financial need, the amount of other aid you receive, and the availability of funds at your school. Unlike the Pell Grant, which provides funds to every eligible student, campus-based programs provide a certain amount of funds for each participating school to administer each year. When all the money for the FWS program has been allocated, no more awards will be made.
Make sure you apply for federal student aid as early as you can by submitting the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. Each school sets its own deadlines for campus-based funds, and those deadlines are usually earlier than the Department of Education’s deadline for filing a FAFSA. When filing the FAFSA answer ‘YES’ to the question, ‘Are you interested in being considered for work-study?’
Benefits of Participating
There are several benefits associated with the FWS Program:
- Valuable professional development opportunities at convenient on-campus locations
- Enhance interpersonal communication and time management skills while developing work related skills
- Flexible work scheduling around your class times
- Opportunity to find employment that corresponds with your educational interests
- FWS earnings are not counted against your financial need for the next year's FAFSA
Was I awarded FWS?
To find out if you have a work-study award, please check financial aid awards in your WebAdvisor account.
To be eligible for a FWS award you must:
- Have a completed financial aid file.
- Be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units.
- Be maintaining satisfactory academic progress (not be in a 'disqual' status).
- Have at least $2000 unmet need.
What can I do if I was not awarded FWS?
If you meet the qualifications above, but were not awarded FWS, please contact the Financial Aid Office at the campus you are attending to request FWS.