Federal Work-Study Program

The work-study program is a federally funded program that fund amount for college and graduate students who work part-time usually on-campus professions

Updated by Deepthi Raj on 29th June 2018

What is Federal Work-Study Program?

  • Federal Work-Study offers part-time employment for undergraduate as well as graduate students with their basic financial needs

  • This indeed helps a student to earn money and pay his/her educational expenses

  • Community service and work related to student’s course of study is encouraged by Federal Work-Study program

  • The program is available for full-time along with part-time students

  • The Federal Work-Study Program highlights service in civic education and Study, of course, related work every time possible

  • An approximate of 3,400 participating postsecondary institution students can receive FWS funds

  • Students may use assets earned through work-study to wage for college expenditures

  • Work-study is presented by colleges that take part in the Federal Work-Study Program

  • Work study can be a federal as well as the state-funded program.

How can you qualify for Federal Work-Study Program?

  • Students applying for the FWSP need to be financially qualified according to federal and college rule.

  • Students must fill up the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 

  • The FAFSA can be done at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. the federal website

  • Complete the verification process

  • A student must be an undergraduate or graduate to obtain the work-study

  • A student needs to demonstrate financial need

  • Being granted Federal Work-Study doesn’t give an assurance of a job. Schools that take part in the work-study program grant jobs on a first-come, first-served basis

  • Enduring students must also encounter the minimum earnings obligation, which is established by the OFA, in order to be eligible for further years.

How will I be paid?

  • Before one can begin working student applying for FWSP must register in the Rutgers payroll system by the department they work for

  • Payment of a student depends partially on whether you’re an undergraduate or a graduate student

  • Undergraduate students are paid by the hour.

  • Graduate and professional students are paid by the hour or by means of salary, depending on the quality of work done

  • School in which a student is studying pays at least once a month

  • A school will pay its students directly until they appeal a direct deposit into a bank account or automatic payment to educational expenditures, such as tuition and fees. 

  • A student can continue working till he/she have earned their entire FWSP award or end of the academic year

  • According to the Sallie Mae report a student earns the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, an average student with the federal work-study job would earn $2,619.

  • FWSP students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year

  • However, total work-study award depends on various factors such as when a particular student has applied, level of financial need, school funding level.

Does work-study affect future financial aid?

  • The amount earned through work-study is taxable and must be reported on ones FAFSA the following year in two areas

  • Students need to enter their work-study earnings when he/she report over-all income received from work that year

  • A later question asked about how much you earned through work-study the previous year. Fill that out, too, because the money you earn through work-study won’t count in the calculation that determines how much aid you’re eligible for the following year

  • Following the above procedure, the student needs to fill the question “how much you earned through work-study the previous year”, as the amount earned during work-study is not taken into account while calculating the financial aid eligibility for the succeeding year

What is the benefits of participating in work-study? 

  • Additionally, to earning money for college expenses, students selected for work-study could attain professional skills and make on-campus links.

  • Students can get an opportunity to work in a field associated with their major.

  • Work-study benefits also include benefits such as easy commute, Interesting jobs, flexible hours, connections.

What are the drawbacks to participating in work-study? 

  • Students already struggling to get through class may want to ease up on their work schedules. 

  • Exaggerating the college job could cause the student to fall behind, interrupted graduation and eventually pay additional for college.

  •  Eventually, it's up to the student to regulate whether he/she can balance both part-time jobs as well as a busy class schedule. 


The work-study program is the federally funded program that fund amount for college and graduate students who work part-time usually on-campus professions. Applicants can use the amount earned by work-study for their educational expenses.


  1) How do I get my Federal Work Study money?

It is a funding given to institutions from the Federal Government in order to provide part-time work opportunities to the students involved in a certain major. For this, you should file FAFSA and the institution would select on the basis of need. As it is a need-based program.

  2) How much do work-study students get paid?

With a work-study job you can rest assured that you would be receiving the minimum Federal wage of $7.25 an hour. if the state minimum wage is higher then you will receive that.

  3) Do you have to pay back the work-study program?

No, you don't have to pay back for your work-study program as it is a way for students to earn money to pay for their course.