Federal Work Study

Understanding the Federal Work Study Program

Finding the needed financing for college is a complex problem and there are more choices to take into account than just loans, grants and scholarships. The Federal Work Study program offers a unique method for students to get the money that they require. Making sense of the Federal Work Study program can be difficult for those unfamiliar with the program, so here is a brief introduction.

What is the Federal Work Study Program?

The work study program, often called simply FWS, is a program designed to allow students to hold a job, while offering them financial benefits that can be applied towards their educational needs. The money is earned through a part time employment opportunity and is mitigated by family contributions and several other factors. The amount of money paid to the student differs based on these mitigating factors, as well as the cost of living for the student and the course of study undertaken.

What kind of jobs will you find with the FWS program?

Many of the jobs found through the work study program will be on the campus of the university or college. Other areas of employment may be through nonprofit organizations in the local area or for city or state departments. All of the works will be performed for public service and your employer is required to pay you directly. If you work for the university or college, though, you can arrange to have your wages put directly towards your tuition costs if you wish. Other organizations will pay you directly. Usually, jobs will provide vital training in your field of study, though this will not always be possible.

Who qualifies for the Federal Work Study Program?

High need students are the primary recipients of this program. If you have severe financial needs, you may be eligible. If you are an undergraduate student, you must be enrolled for at least six hours per semester to be eligible; a graduate student must be enrolled for at least three hours per semester.

How do you apply for FWS?

Filling out the FASFA and indicating that you wish to be considered for the program. The school will consider your application and list your FWS with your other awarded aid. Usually, these programs work in conjunction with grants, loans and scholarships to ensure that you get the required monies to pay for your education fully.