The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is an opportunity for students who have pronounced financial need to earn money for postsecondary education while enrolled in classes. Both part-time and full-time students are eligible for FWS benefits. FWS provides part-time employment for both undergraduate and graduate students. FWS tends to emphasize community service work. The job you work will be related to your program of study, allowing you to gain some work experience in your field.
Students who participate in FWS don’t always work directly for their university or college. When it’s at all possible, FWS programs try to place students in civic duty positions with nonprofit organizations or public agencies. Not only will your work correspond with your degree track, it will also serve public good.
FWS offers you control over your money. Your school must pay you directly at least once a month, unless you expressly request that another arrangement be made. For example, you could have your pay sent directly to your bank account or automatically applied to your tuition, fees or room and board.
FWS is flexible employment. Your employer will consider your class schedule and academic progress when scheduling your hours. Often, FWS jobs even allow students to study while on the clock.
The number of hours you can work each week is dependent on the size of your FWS award and the hourly wages your employer pays. Your hourly pay must be at or above the national minimum wage. Your employer will work with you to find a schedule that best fits your needs and allows you to earn the entire amount of aid available to you.
To apply for FWS, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FWS is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Make sure you apply early if you want to receive aid. The amount of aid you receive will be influenced by your level of financial need and by the amount of funding your school has at its disposal.