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Federal Work Study Program

The Federal Work Study Program is a federally funded financial aid program intended to provide part-time employment to students in order to meet part of their educational expenses at college. Eligibility is based upon certain economic criteria determined by the United States Department of Education.


How does a student apply ?

A student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA) online at

The student must apply once a year starting in January of every fiscal year. Awards are based upon  financial eligibility, timely filing and accuracy of the FAFSA application.


What makes a student eligible for Federal Work Study ?

1.  A student must meet the federal economic guidelines determined by the U.S. Department of Education.

2.  A student must be matriculated and be registered for a minimum of 6 or more credits (real or equated).

3.  A student must be in good academic standing according to the college’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policies.


What types of jobs are available ?

 There are a variety of jobs available thru the Federal Work Study Program. Students can choose which type of  job they are interested in by visiting the campus Human Resources Office after they have seen the Federal Work Study Coordinator.

1.  On-campus :  jobs are located throughout the campus.

2.  Off-campus:  City University has contracted with several agencies  outside of the campus.

3.  Public Service Corps: an off-campus agency affiliated with certain city jobs.


How will a student be informed of eligibility ?

Once the FAFSA form is cleared by the Financial Aid Office, the student will receive an award letter stating the official  yearly award. The student will also receive  a special letter from the Federal Work Study Coordinator inviting them to come in for job placement.


How much money can a student earn?

Your Work Study award represents the maximum amount you may earn for the academic year. How much of the total award you actually use 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 must stop working.


When and where can a student be placed on a job?

When the student receives a letter from the Federal Work Study Coordinator, the student visits the Financial Aid Office.  The student will be given a Financial Aid FWS Packet to read and complete certain forms.  According to the U.S. Federal Labor Laws, all students  must complete an I-9 form and submit certain documentation to prove identity. Students cannot start to work unless they have been cleared by the FWS Coordinator. Once cleared, the student is referred to the Human Resources Office on-campus to see what types of jobs are available.


When can a student start working ?

According to the CUNY Federal Work Study regulations, if a student is an entering freshman , they cannot start work before  the first day of class. If the student previously attended Kingsborough, then the student can  start to work before the semester begins provided that they are registered for a minimum of 6 credits or more and meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress policies of the college.


What is the regulation regarding work during the FALL/WINTER session ?

The student must be registered for the Fall term to work on Work Study. If the student registers for the Fall session but not the Winter session, they can continue to work provided that they will not graduate by the end of the Fall session. The student must stop working immediately by the last day of classes for the Fall if they have graduated by the Fall session.


What is the regulation regarding work  during the SPRING/SUMMER session ?

The student must be registered for the Spring  term to work on Work Study. If  the student registers for the Spring session but not the Summer, they can continue to work till the last day of classes for the summer session provided that they will not graduate by the end of the Spring session. The student must stop working immediately if they have graduated  by the Spring session.

What is the hourly rate of pay ?

A student is paid by the hour. Your rate of pay is determined by the job location and the nature of the work involved.  The hourly rate for an On-Campus job is exactly $ 8.00 per hour. The rate of pay for Off-Campus and Public Service Corps ranges from $ 7.25 and above.


How many hours per week  can a student work ?

You are only allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week. If a student works 5 consecutive hours in a day, it is mandatory that the student must take and report on the timesheet  a  ½  hour break. The student will not be paid for the break; only hours worked.


How and when  does a student get paid?

You are paid every two weeks. Your supervisor must complete a FWS timesheet and submits it to the Financial Aid Office with the signature of the supervisor.  The timesheet is submitted by the supervisor according to the Financial Aid Payroll Calendar. This payroll calendar is  given to the student and supervisor every academic year. A timesheet submitted late will result in a late payment. You are paid according to the hours worked on your job during a specific pay period.


What happens if a student needs additional Federal Work Study money?

You must  visit the Federal Work Study Coordinator to see if your award can be increased. If you earn all of your FWS award, do not continue to work.  You cannot continue to work without the permission of the FWS Coordinator. Your supervisor does not have the authority to increase your award. The FWS Coordinator must review your cost of education to see if it is possible to increase your award.


What happens if a student does not earn all of the Work Study award ?

You can only be paid for the hours you have worked. If you do not earn your entire FWS award before the end of the academic year, the unearned portion of the award is returned to the program. It cannot be rolled over to the next academic year.


What happens when a student stops attending, drops out or withdraws from classes ?

You must stop working.   You cannot continue to work.  You must inform your supervisor and the Federal Work Study Coordinator immediately.   

Are Federal Work Study earnings taxable ?

Yes, they are taxable according to federal and state labor regulations.  However,   FWS earnings are not included in the calculation of your eligibility for financial aid.


Is a student required to report FWS earnings to the unemployment office if they are currently receiving benefits ?

The New York State Department of Labor requires that you must notify your local unemployment office that you are working on the FWS program.  It is illegal to collect unemployment benefits and work on the FWS program.




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