what is federal work study

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a financial aid program in the United States that provides part-time employment opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to help them cover their educational expenses. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Education and is available to students who demonstrate financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Through Federal Work-Study, eligible students can secure part-time jobs, both on and off campus, which can help them earn money to pay for their education-related expenses. These jobs can be in various areas, such as community service, research, administration, or tutoring.

Here are some key points about the Federal Work-Study program:

  1. Eligibility: To be eligible for Federal Work-Study, students must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program and meet the financial need requirements as determined by the FAFSA.
  2. Part-time employment: Students who are awarded Federal Work-Study funds can work part-time while attending school. The program encourages employers to provide flexible working hours that accommodate the students’ class schedules.
  3. Work opportunities: The program offers a range of work opportunities, both on and off campus. On-campus jobs are often available in areas like the library, administrative offices, academic departments, or student services. Off-campus jobs are typically with nonprofit organizations or public agencies that serve the community.
  4. Wages: The wages students earn through Federal Work-Study are at least equal to the federal minimum wage, but they can be higher depending on the job and skill requirements. The total amount earned is limited by the student’s work-study award, which is determined by their financial need.
  5. Financial aid consideration: The income students earn through Federal Work-Study is not counted as income when determining eligibility for need-based federal financial aid in subsequent years. This can be beneficial when applying for aid in the future.

It’s important to note that not all schools participate in the Federal Work-Study program, and the availability of work-study positions may vary. Students interested in the program should check with their school’s financial aid office for specific details and application procedures.

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