Federal Work-Study Programs provide government subsidized, need-based employment opportunities for students. The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program enables students to meet part of their educational expenses by working in various positions on campus and in community service locations approved by the College. A work-study job lets you earn money for your education and supplements your discretionary income. When you apply for federal financial aid by completing the FAFSA, you can indicate on your application that you want work-study assistance.
To be eligible for a work-study award, you must have an established financial need. The amount of a work-study award is determined when you apply for aid. This is based on your level of financial need and the funding level at the school. Most schools require students to be enrolled at least half-time.
As a Federal Work-Study Program participant, you are guaranteed to earn at least the current federal minimum wage. You may be eligible to earn even more, depending upon the job and skills required. The total amount you can earn through the Federal Work-Study Program cannot exceed the award amount given by the Financial Aid Office for the school year. Therefore, the number of hours you can work is limited. At some schools the current compensation for FWS positions is $20.00 an hour.
Work-study programs help students fulfill the American tradition of working one's way through school. A major advantage to the Federal Work-Study Program is the real working experience you gain. You have a unique opportunity to show future employers that you are reliable, hardworking and can balance the demands of school and work. The disadvantage of the Federal Work-Study Program is that you will have less time to study and participate in extracurricular activities.