Work-Study

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a program funded by both the Federal Government and the University which provides students an opportunity to earn financial assistance that is not paid back. FWS is awarded to students on the primary basis of financial need as demonstrated in the student’s FAFSA. Students earn these funds by finding employment in an on-campus part-time job with one of the University’s various departments or off-campus with pre-approved community service partners.

How do I apply for a Federal Work-Study? 

In order to be eligible for FWS, interested students must:

  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Have "financial need" as determined by the FAFSA.
  • Be enrolled in a degree-seeking program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Make satisfactory academic progress.
  • Not owe a refund on a Federal grant or defaulted on a Federal loan.

If eligible, a student may be awarded up to $2750 that can be earned by working an on-campus job with one of the University departments or an off-campus job with select community service partners.

How do I find a Work-Study job?

Students who are looking for FWS jobs are encouraged to attend the Work-Study Job Fair that is held on the first Wednesday of the Fall Semester. Students can meet with many of the on-campus and off-campus supervisors who are looking to hire students. Students can also check for open positions on the bulletin board outside of the Office of Financial Aid or on Career and Internship Services' online job board. Once you create an account for the job board and login, you can search for available Work-Study positions by searching for the keyword "WORK-STUDY". All eligible positions will have "WORK-STUDY" in the job title.

For each position that the students wants to apply, please contact the listed hiring supervisor for an application. The availability of positions is limited. Supervisors will determine their own application and hiring process. Open positions are first posted at the beginning of the Fall semester. Additional positions may be posted IF jobs become available throughout the year. Sometimes this may occur at the end of the Fall and beginning of Spring semesters.

Is a FWS award required in order to work?

A FWS award is required in order to work for all off-campus employers; however, there are some on-campus departments that are able to employ students who were not awarded with FWS. Students should inquire with each supervisor to see if the department has this availability.

How do students get paid?

Students are paid twice monthly. The amount of Work-Study funds a student can earn depends upon the number of hours worked each week and the hourly rate of pay. Students can work up to 20 hours each week and pay rate is determined by the student's supervisor. For the academic year, the student can earn up to the awarded amount of FWS. When the student's earnings equal the total amount of the award, the Office of Financial Aid will contact the student and his/her supervisor with further options. Earnings in excess of your award may jeopardize the rest of your financial aid package.

When are time sheets due? 

Paper time sheets are no longer used to track hours worked. Students will use an online system to clock-in, clock-out, and submit their time to their supervisors each week and by the dates indicated on the 2016 Student Payroll Calendar.

Where and when do I pick up my paycheck?

Paychecks will be mailed to your primary address. However, Direct Deposit is available and students are strongly encouraged to sign up for Direct Deposit. Students may enroll in Direct Deposit through the University's online time management system.

What else do I need to know about FWS? 

Awards: For students awarded with FWS for both the Fall and Spring semesters, FWS begins on the first day of classes in Fall and ends on the last day of finals of the Spring semester. These dates are federally mandated and exceptions cannot be made. Students may work during Winter and Spring breaks; however, students working over Winter break must be registered in classes for the Spring semester. Unearned FWS awards may not be carried forward into the next academic year.

Availability of Jobs: Employment is not guaranteed. It is up to the student to find and apply for open positions. The hiring process is competitive as there are more students with FWS than there are open positions.

Rate of Pay: Students are guaranteed at least California minimum wage, which is currently $10.00 per hour.

Hours: Students are limited to working no more than 20 hours per week; however, students are not guaranteed to work 20 hours per week.

Amount Earned: Students are not guaranteed to earn up to their awarded amount. The amount earned depends on the student's rate of pay and number of hours worked.

Breaks: Students are entitled to breaks during work shifts for every four hours of work. Student workers should consult with their supervisors to determine when breaks are to be taken.

Tips for Applying for Work-Study Jobs

Landing a Work-Study job can be difficult as there are more students looking for a job than there are jobs, so here are a few tips that should help you along the way:

  • Start early! Positions get taken up quickly. Those who wait too long to begin the search will likely find themselves without a job.
  • Have a 1 page resume that highlights your work, academic, or volunteer achievements. Please don't go longer than a page as all hiring supervisors get a mountain of applications that need to be reviewed in a short amount of time.
  • Be clear about when you can work. All supervisors need to know when you're free to work as each office may have specific hours when additional help is needed. (Please also remember to give yourself time to get lunch before coming in to work before writing down that you can work from 11 AM - 3 PM, for example.)
  • Prepare for an interview! Interviews will most likely be short, but be prepared to answer a few questions about your experience. When given the opportunity to ask a question, use the opportunity to ask about the job! Show that you are curious and want to learn more!
  • Send a thank you note afterwards. Get in the habit of doing this now so you're prepared for life after college as it's now an expectation in many offices.

What happens if I don't participate in Work-Study?

For students who do not participate in Work-Study or do not get hired for a position, the Federal Work-Study award will be removed from their financial aid packages. However, since Federal Work-Study was not directly applied to the billing statements, those students will not owe an additional balance to the University for not participating in Work-Study. If a student gets hired for a position after Work-Study is removed, the Office of Financial Aid will restore the Federal Work-Study award as long as the student remains eligible for it.

Student Employment Handbook (PDF)