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Federal Work Study Notes



To apply for Federal Work Study you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal Work Study is a need-based award that allows students to earn funds to use towards their education. Work study is a program with very limited funding, so it is important to apply early.

Notification of Award

If you are awarded Federal Work Study you will see the award offer as part of your financial aid award (available online through my.FSU.edu Student Center - View Financial Aid).

Canceling Award

If you choose not to use your Federal Work Study Award, please decline it on your award offer page (my.FSU.edu Student Center - View Financial Aid) or contact the FSU Office of
Financial Aid to have it canceled. We will not automatically package other aid to replace refused Work-Study.


Federal Work Study is NOT applied to tuition, and we will not defer tuition against work-study. You will receive a bi-weekly paycheck on FSU paydays for the hours that you have worked for that pay period.

(The amount that you are paid each payday will be the total number of hours you worked in the two-week pay period multiplied by your hourly rate of pay.)

Direct Deposit

Direct Deposit is now required for all work study earnings. You must complete paperwork with your department payroll representative to authorize direct deposit through the university payroll system. This is separate from the financial aid deposit authorization.

Community Service work study students must complete the Direct Deposit form along with the other HR wizard forms and place the forms in the Federal Work Study Drop Box located in the Financial Aid office.process with the Federal Work Study office.


FWS money is TAXABLE INCOME. Your W-2 Form will be available for you to print from the OMNI system in January to file your taxes. It is your responsibility to print your W2 form and review the IRS regulations to determine if you need to file an income tax. If taxes were withheld from your earnings, you may have a refund due - but you need to file a tax to claim your refund.


You should show Federal Work Study earnings on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), included in your taxable income if you file a tax, or in your earnings if you are not required to file. You will then need to report the Federal Work study earnings for the appropriate tax year on Question 43-c - Additional Financial Information on the FAFSA. This excludes your earnings from the calculation for Expected Family Contribution.

Work Hours

Work hours are arranged between you and your employer. Generally it takes 10-12 hours a week to earn your award amount for a semester. You should not work over your award amount, which is your Federal Work-Study earnings limit. Work hours CANNOT interfere with your class hours.

Funds Transfer

You cannot transfer unearned money from one semester to another. Fall and Spring awards are separate.

Monitor Earnings

Monitor your earnings so that you will not over earn your Federal Work Study award for the semester. If you need help, your employer will help you. (Remember -- use your Gross earnings to calculate what you have earned and what you have left to earn -- not your Net earnings).

Time sheet

Check with your supervisor on timesheet requirements. Departments may use paper or electronic time entry.

Community Service students should check with the Federal Work Study office on how to process their timesheets.


Don't be mislead by the name -- Federal Work Study -- your job is not a place to study -- you are expected to work.

Class Schedule

Do not work during your scheduled class time. If you have a class that has been canceled for a day and you want to work you MUST give your employer and the FSU Office of Financial Aid Federal Work Study office a copy of a letter from your professor noting the cancellation.

Calling in

Call your employer if you are unable to come to work or will be late.


If you stop working, notify your employing department and the FSU Office of Financial Aid Work Study office.

Dress Code

Ask your employer about their dress code. For some positions certain standards of dress may be required. Dressing appropriately can help you with future job references.


Taking pride in your job and follow your employer's rules. This can help you in the future as you will establish a good reputation with your employer, which can help you with future job references.


If you have a concern about a work issue or you are having trouble with another employee, talk with your supervisor and let them help you.


The information below will only be useful to you if you have a federal work-study offer on your award from FSU.

Federal Community Service Work Study
- Information on work study positions with community service agencies.

Federal Work Study Steps to Employment - Steps to locate a job, interview and complete payroll authorizations.

Work Study FAQ's

last updated April 24, 2012