FAFSA Work Study

The FAFSA Work Study application process is undergone by every student in the country when they apply for federal student aid. However, not all students meet the criteria for this program. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid requires the input of financial and other information that enables an educational institute to make determinations concerning a student’s ability to qualify for certain programs. The FAFSA Work Study application section specifically seeks to approve and make allocations for the Federal Work Study program, which is a federally funded program designed to provide financially needy students with assistance in paying educational expenses.


Although the program is not detailed on the actual paperwork a student will fill out, the FAFSA Work Study application is specifically for the Federal Work Study program. This program awards students with financial need with an allotment, or grant. The student is then able to procure employment that will enable them to work part time and earn up to the total amount of the award. Ideally, students who have filled out the FAFSA Work Study application and been approved will seek out employment with the school, a government agency, a non-profit organization, or a private employer. Once employed, funds from the Federal Work Study award are used to pay the student’s wages. In some cases, the employer also contributes to the student’s wages. In this way, a student can gain financial assistance and critical job training as part of the same program.

The FAFSA Work Study application must be filled out in conjunction with other crucial forms in order for the student to be in full compliance with federal student aid requirements. As income earned while enrolled in the Federal Work Study program is taxable, one such form is the IRS from 1040, which reports taxable earnings. Additionally, students must fill out and employers must maintain IRS form W4, which indicates a student’s legal ability to work in the United States. Other forms that may be required in connection with the FAFSA Work Study application include state, county, and city tax records, and other records as may be necessary to report a student’s status concerning social security, Medicare, or Defined Contribution Plan savings.

A new FAFSA Work Study application must be filled out each year by students seeking to continue to participate in the program. This is because the program renews annually, and funds are allotted to schools and distributed only once per year. In any case, all students that utilize federal student aid of any type must fill out a new FAFSA each year in order to continue to meet eligibility requirements, and the Federal Work Study component of the form will need to be refreshed each year as well. This actually works to the student’s advantage, as information reported on the FAFSA will be used to make determinations and awards of all types, including loans, grants, scholarships, and the Federal Work Study program. Students seeking additional financial resources should seek private providers of other types of grants or scholarships. However, it should be noted that private awards may affect a student’s federal aid, and should therefore be fully accounted for when completing the FAFSA Work Study application.

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