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Financial Aid Overview

<<< STEP 3: UNDERSTANDING THE TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program

What is Federal Work-Study?

The FWS Program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to your course of study.

How much money can you earn?

Your FWS earnings will be at least the current federal minimum wage, but they may be higher, depending on the type of work you do and the skills required. A FWS award depends on the availability of funding at the institution, the institution's awarding policies for FWS, when you apply, your level of need, and your commitment to obtaining a qualified FWS position and performing the work required.

How will you be paid?

If you're an undergraduate, you'll be paid by the hour. If you're a graduate student, you may be paid by the hour or you may receive a salary. No FWS student may be paid by commission or by fee. Unless you request that the school make payments to your bank account, or use the money to pay for your institutional charges (e.g., fees, room and board), the school must pay you directly at least once a month.

Are Federal Work-Study jobs on campus or off campus?

Both. If you work on campus, you'll usually work for your school. If you work off campus, your employer will usually be a private nonprofit organization or a public agency, and the work performed must be in the public interest. Some schools may have agreements with private for-profit employers for FWS jobs, which must be judged to be relevant to your course of study.

Can you work as many hours as you want?

No. The amount you earn can't exceed your total FWS award authorization. When assigning work hours, your employer or financial aid administrator will consider your class schedule and your academic progress. CSU campuses typically limit a student's work hours to a maximum of 20 hours per week when classes are in session.

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