Federal Work Study Eligibility

Understanding Federal Work Study Eligibility

The FWS, or Federal Work Study program, offers valuable experience and funding for students in financial need. Before applying, you must understand the eligibility requirements of the program and what is required to remain eligible throughout your school career. Complying with the eligibility requirements is actually very easy; they’re broadly outlined below.

Who can apply?

Any student can apply, provided they have serious financial need and are enrolled for the required number of hours per semester. An undergraduate student must be enrolled for a minimum of six hours per semester. A graduate student, on the other hand, must be enrolled for at least three hours per semester.

What other requirements are there for application?

There are no other qualifications to apply for the FWS. You must, however, be in real financial distress to be considered. Your FAFSA will reflect your condition. If you feel that your last tax filing does not accurately reflect your current situation, you can have your actual financial condition appraised through the program to determine actual eligibility.

Are there requirements that must be met during education?

Yes, there are several requirements that must be met during your education and employment. Your total grant amount cannot exceed the federal maximum, or your FWS may be reduced or cut out completely. You must also continue your enrollment for at least the minimum number of hours per semester, each semester. In addition, you must make at least the minimum required grade point average and perform adequately in course work.

Additionally, there are many stipulations that go along with the FWS program. For instance, you are not allowed to work during course times, nor are you allowed to work between semesters. You may not begin working before the start of classes for the semester, nor can you continue to work after the end of the exams and you must meet the minimum hour requirement on the job. If you do not use up all of your allotted FWS funding during a year, it cannot be rolled over to the next year.

You are also not allowed to work more than 39 hours each week, though 20 is the preferred number. Additionally, you cannot work after your FWS award has run out; any cost overruns are the responsibility of the employer, though that will usually be transferred to you, the student. Tracking the amount of FWS award remaining is your responsibility and that of your employer.

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