The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay for educational expenses. There are many jobs available on-campus and some off-campus to provide students with variety of real-work life experience.
All financial aid awards are determined based on the information provided on student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To be considered for FWS you must answer “Yes” to the question, “Are you interested in being considered for work-study”? Students must meet eligibility requirements to receive federal aid, meet satisfactory academic progress, be matriculated in a degree-granting program, and be enrolled for at least 6 credits or more in the applicable semester. The earlier you file your FAFSA, the greater chance of being awarded with Federal Work-Study funding.
Federal Work-study is packaged centrally through CUNY and preference is given to students who file the FAFSA early. Students awarded FWS funding can view and accept their awards through CUNYfirst --> Student Service Center --> Finances --> View Financial Aid or Accept/Decline Awards.
Once awarded and accepted:
- View and apply for jobs via FWS Job Bank
- Student will be contacted to schedule an interview by prospective supervisors
- Supervisors notify FA office and begin placement process
- Student submits required hiring documents
All of these processes can take time, so it is highly recommended to apply early, be patient, and to keep checking student’s CIX email for the next steps in the process. You cannot begin work until notified that all paperwork has been accepted and processed.
If you have not been awarded federal work-study and would like to be considered for an award, students can be wait-listed by submitting FWS Wait List. Please note – This request does not guarantee that you will be offered a work-study award. You must have submitted a FAFSA application for the College, be matriculated and enrolled for at least 6 credits to be considered for an award. Awards are made on a first come first served basis until funding is exhausted or Job positions are filled.
For additional information about this program, see below Frequently Asked Questions or email or call Office of Student Financial Aid at 718-982-2030.
How do I apply?
To be considered for this award, you must fill out your financial aid applications by an established filing deadline and request consideration for FWS by checking the appropriate box on the FAFSA. FWS money is awarded on a first-come, first served basis. Your financial aid offer from the College will indicate whether or not you have been awarded FWS. Remember to file early and accept your FWS offer if interested.
How many credits do I have to take for FWS eligibility?
You must register for and maintain an enrollment status of half-time (6 credits or equated credits) or greater to be eligible for FWS. If, for any reason, your course load falls below half-time, you can no longer participate in the program and must stop working.
Can I choose where I would like to work?
Yes. If you are awarded with FWS funding, you will have an opportunity to review available FWS positions to apply based on your skills, interest, and availability.
After selecting/applying in interested job(s), supervisors will arrange for an interview. If you are hired, work-study supervisor will submit information about you to notify Office of Student Financial Aid (FAO) of their intent to hire you. The FAO will notify you of the required paperwork to submit and sign the acknowledgement form to the office. FAO will notify supervisors when students have completed paperwork to begin the work.
Note: If you are not hired, you can go on another interview with available positions. Also, to begin working all required hiring paperwork must be submitted. You will be notified once all is processed.
Am I paid an hourly wage or a salary?
You are paid by the hour, your rate of pay is being determined your academic career. Undergraduate students receive $16.00 per hour and Graduate/Doctorate students receive $18.00 per hour.
Can I earn as much money as I want?
No. Your FWS award represents the maximum amount you may earn for the academic year. How much of the total award you actually receive depends upon your rate of pay, the total number of hours you work each week and the number of weeks you work in the year. Once you have earned your maximum FWS award, you will have to stop working.
Are work-study earnings taxable?
The money students earn from Federal Work-Study is generally subject to federal and state income tax, but exempt from FICA taxes (provided students are enrolled full time and work less than half-time).
How will I be paid?
Every two weeks, your supervisor submits a time sheet for you based on your worked hours as per the recommended FWS Sign-In Sheet. The timesheets are due based on the published payroll calendar. After your first-time sheet is submitted, you may have to wait up to 4 weeks for your first check. Subsequently, you will receive a paycheck every two weeks.
How can I receive my FWS payment direct deposited to my account?
Every two weeks, students will be receiving their payment as per the published payroll calendar pay dates. The payments may take 1-3 days to be reflected on your bank account depending on your banking institute. Student can sign-up for Direct Deposit. For students, who do not enroll will receive their payment via paper check. The check may take 3-5 days from the time of pay date. Students who do not receive payment within reasonable time, should contact Office of Student Financial Aid to stop payment and reissue new payment.
If I am unable to earn my entire award, will I be able to receive the rest of the money?
No. You can be paid only for the hours you have worked. If you cannot earn your entire FWS award before the end of the academic year, the unearned portion of your award is returned to the program.
Do I have to stop working if I withdraw from school?
Yes. If you withdraw from school for any reason, you lose your eligibility for FWS and must stop working.
I am currently receiving unemployment. Do I have to report FWS earnings to the unemployment office?
Yes. If you are receiving unemployment insurance benefits and are also employed in the FWS program, you must notify your local unemployment office that you are working in the FWS program. The New York State Department of Labor considers it willful misrepresentation to collect unemployment benefits without revealing that you are also receiving FWS.
Why do I have to fill out an I-9 Form?
According to federal law, the identity and work eligibility of all FWS students must be verified before beginning Work-Study assignment. You will have to complete an I-9 form and present certain documents to an appropriate FWS representative. You may not participate in the on-campus FWS program until you have filed an I-9 form with the Office of Student Financial Aid. If you work off-campus, you will file your I-9 with your off-campus employer.
What are the benefits of the FWS program?
The FWS program could be your first exposure to the world of work. FWS employers are often willing to give you on-the-job training. You can find positions relating directly to your program of study or career choice, thereby gaining valuable job experience. You may learn about giving something back to the community through a community service related FWS position. When seeking regular employment after graduation, you may use your FWS job as an employment reference. Finally, you could be taken on as a regular employee by the employer you worked for as a FWS student.