Financial Aid » Types of Financial Aid » Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study

What is Federal Work-Study (FWS)?

The Federal Work Study (FWS) Program is a need based federally funded program that offer students an opportunity to gain valuable work experience that will enhance their job skills. In order to participate in the FWS program, students must:

  1. Receive a FWS award as part of their financial aid package;
  2. Be enrolled at least half time (6 units/credits); and
  3. Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

FWS employment may be offered to student employees in several ways: on campus, off campus, and/or through Public Service Corp (PSC), in order to earn the FWS funds. FWS Placement assistance for FWS jobs can be found at the Office of Financial Aid.

Federal guidelines prohibit students from working during scheduled class hours. Work hours must be arranged in a way that it does not conflict with class hours.

*To apply for a Federal Work Study, students must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and answer “YES” to “Are you interested in being considered for work study?”

FWS Requirements

  • All Federal Work Study awardees must follow these criteria:
  • You must have and accept the FWS award on CUNYfirst.

Federal Work Study Award

A Federal Work Study (FWS) award represents the maximum amount of earning that students are allow to receive in an Academic Year.

What you must do prior to be assigned to a job?

Students who receive a FWS award must also accept it by following the steps below:

  • Log on to CUNYfirst
  • Campus Solutions
  • Self Service
  • Campus Finances
  • Accept/Decline Awards
  • Select Aid Year (select 2024 for 2023-2024)
  • Submit
  • Confirm

FWS funds are never distributed in a lump sum, nor can be paid for hours not actually worked.

FWS awards are made for, and must be earned in, a specific time period within the Academic Year (Summer/Fall/Spring). Any unearned amount is forfeited and cannot be carried over to the subsequent Aid Year.

  • All new FWS students must attend one (1) mandatory FWS Orientation session – During the FWS Orientation, prospective FWS students will receive overall information about the FWS program (e.g. students’ responsibility).
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
  • Must work at a FWS approved on-campus or off-campus worksite
  • Work no more than 20 hours per week.

Effective 2023 – 2024, FWS students will be paid for On Campus a pay rate of $17.00 per hour and Off campus positions a pay rate of $15.00 per hour.

2023 – 2024 Federal Work Study Payroll Schedule

The FWS payroll processing takes place in the Office of Financial Aid on a biweekly basis. Timesheets are submitted every two weeks on the Monday following the end date Pay Period, for the prior fourteen days worked. Students can print the FWS Payroll Schedule for the academic year. Payroll is a deadline driven process. The FWS Payroll Schedule includes important dates such as the Pay Period (begin and end date), Timesheet Deadline and Pay Date. Amount of earning may vary depending on the amount of hours worked in a pay period. You may not work beyond your FWS award.

Federal Work-Study Payment Options

FWS checks will be mailed to the student’s address on record (Campus Community). However, student employees may opt to receive their “paycheck” via direct deposit by completing the steps below:

  • Log on to CUNYfirst
  • Student Center
  • CUNY Direct Deposit
  • Click on “Enroll in Direct Deposit”

Access to Paystubs, Compensation History and W2 form
Students may have access to their Paystubs, Compensation History and W2 forms via CUNYfirst:

  • Log on to CUNYfirst
  • Campus Solutions
  • Self Service
  • Payroll and Compensation
  • View W-2/W-2c
  • Select your choice from the sub-menu

All new Federal Work-Study students must attend a mandatory FWS Orientation prior to being placed in a FWS job.

To be Announced

* You must attend only one (1) session.
If you attend a Fall FWS Orientation, you do not need to attend another session for Spring.

Please arrive 15 mins early. You will not be allowed in any session if you arrive 10 minutes after the start time. 

Each session is expected to last 1 1/2 hours.

FWS students must print and submit the following documents to the FWS Office:

FWS earnings are considered taxable income and are treated as any other income when filing tax returns; therefore, FWS employees must also complete and sign the following forms:

In order to comply with the Department of Homeland Security, identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States, FWS students must also complete the I-9 form and provide proper documentation.

Note: Students must have FICA taxes withheld if working at an off-campus agency/site and/or working during the Winter Session.

Off-Campus Job Information

All interested students must be approved by Mr. Amado Calderon, Jr., FWS Coordinator in order to work off-campus. Students must be advised that payment schedules are managed by Public Service Corp and should consult their supervisor.