Raysha Honsowetz, Financial Aid Administrator
I’m sure at some point in your search for a job on campus you’ve stumbled across jobs that require ‘Federal Work Study’ but you’ve probably also seen plenty of jobs that don’t require it. In order to have a Federal Work Study (FWS) job, you have to have FWS eligibility in your financial aid awards. Being awarded FWS does require that you file a FAFSA and have a low Expected Family Contribution. Therefore, not everyone is eligible for FWS.
Don’t have FWS eligibility? That’s okay! Jobs that don’t require FWS are open for any student to apply for (as long as you meet their job criteria, of course). There are plenty of options for employment on campus for students!
So, what’s the difference?
The biggest difference really comes down to how you’re getting paid. If you’re working a regular job, then your employer is paying 100% of your paycheck. If you’re working a FWS job, you’re typically at a federal, state, local, or non-profit organization and your employer is paying about 30% of your paycheck (or 0% if you’re a reading/math tutor at an elementary school!), and the FWS program funding is paying the rest of your paycheck. It’s a huge benefit for non-profit employers because since they’re only paying a portion of their students’ paychecks, they can hire a more students.
But, how does having a FWS job affect ME?
Students who work FWS jobs report the income they made from FWS job, just like any other job, on the FAFSA but there is a second question that asks, “How much of the money you earned was from a Federal Need Based Program?” Reporting your FWS earnings on this question deducts it from your wages so it doesn’t count towards your Expected Family Contribution!
If you’re curious about whether or not you are eligible for Federal Work Study, you can log in and check your financial aid eligibility on your myPurdue account.