Financial Aid: Federal Work Study FAQs

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What is Federal Work Study (FWS)?
Federal Work Study is a federally funded employment program awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. The work study award is an option to work, not a requirement or a guaranteed job. If you receive work study as part of your financial aid award, you may apply for work study jobs and are eligible to earn up to the amount of your work study award. Close to 1,000 students on campus work under this program each year.

How do I become eligible for the Federal Work Study program?
You must file a FAFSA online and show financial need. If you are eligible, you will be awarded work study as part of your financial aid award. The amount of your work study award will be listed in CampS under Financial Aid.  

How do I locate a Federal Work Study job?
You can find available positions on the job board at Handshake. If you are interested in working in a specific office or department, you can inquire directly to see if they have work study openings.  

How much can I earn in this program?
Your work study award indicates the maximum you can earn under work study. If you have earnings above your work study award, you must get an increase award authorized through Blugold Central. Otherwise, those additional earnings will need to go through non-federal student employment rather than work study.  

How will I be paid?
As a student employee, you will be paid by the hour, and you will need to submit a timesheet every two weeks to payroll. Paychecks are directly deposited to your savings or checking account.

What happens once I have earned my Federal Work Study allocation?
When you find you are getting close to earning your total work study amount, go to Blugold Central to discuss the possibility of increasing your award. Once the full amount for the academic year or semester is earned, employers have the option of either switching you to non-federal student employment or ending your employment.

You and your employer need to track your earnings to ensure that you do not go over the amount of work study allocated. Your employer will be sent an Earnings Comparison Report after every payroll to monitor your earnings.

What if I have a job off campus or I do not want to work while going to school?
Your work study award is an option to work, not a requirement. If you choose not to work, no additional action is needed. If you choose not to work, you may want to check with Blugold Central to see if you would qualify for additional loans.