Work Study FAQ

Students have a lot of questions about Federal Work Study. Below, we have a few of the frequently asked questions. 

I applied for Financial Aid using FAFSA and I didn't get FWS. Why?

The funding for FWS goes very fast, so apply early in January for the following academic year. Awards are need-based and are made to students who marked on the FAFSA that they are interested in work study. To the best extent possible, awards are made on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

What if someone does not use their FWS award? Can it be given to someone else? 

Awards are made with the understanding that some students may not attend or accept their awards, so even if some students do not use their awards, funds may not be available to re-award

I have been awarded the Federal Work Study Program for the Fall/Spring semester. When will I receive information to find my job?

You will receive an email to your FSU email account with information on how finding a job and on completing payroll authorization. The email will not go out until you accept your award. The email will have instructions and will include your Work Study Authorization. Follow the instructions, to find a work study job and submit your work authorization form by the deadline of August 7, 2017. If you do not turn in your forms by September 8 2017, at the Office of Financial Aid, your FWS will be canceled for both Fall and Spring semesters. 

I received a FWS award and I DO NOT want it. What should I do?

You should decline the award through the financial aid award screen, or contact the Financial Aid Office. If you cancel your work study online your award is cancelled for both Fall AND Spring. If you need to cancel Fall but want to work the Spring term, please contact our office BEFORE September 2017 to confirm that this is acceptable.

Are there advantages to participating in FWS?

YES! The dollars you earn to help meet your college expenses will not be counted as income for your financial aid eligibility determination next year. You will get on-the-job experience that will give you an edge in the job market after graduation. Also, working with accomplished professionals in your field of choice will provide you with valuable references for the future.

What types of on-campus jobs are available under FWS?

Anything from clerical work to computer programming. Some jobs are "pre-professional" in nature - good experience for learning the basics of a career. Some are related to recreational pursuits, some related to business, science, or other career fields.

Are all jobs on campus?

No, there are off-campus FWS/Community Service Jobs with Community Service Agencies, i.e. Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Homeless Shelter, Elder Care Services. Students interested in off-campus community service placements should contact the Office of Financial Aid at 645-7926 for more information. Students may also use their Federal Work Study funds to work as America Reads Tutors at local elementary schools.

Can I work two FWS jobs?

No, students can only work one FWS job.

Can I work an OPS job and a FWS job?

Yes, only if it is NOT the same job and the combined hours cannot exceed 39 hours in one work week (Friday - Thursday).

How many hours can I work?

Work hours are arranged between you and your employer. Usually 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 FWS EARNINGS LIMIT. Work hours CANNOT interfere with your class hours.

How will I receive a check and what are the FWS hourly salaries?

You will receive a biweekly paycheck by Direct Deposit into your checking account. The salary range for FWS positions is generally $8.10 - $10.50 per hour; each job falls within a certain salary range. You and your employer should agree on an hourly rate depending on your skills and job responsibilities. Higher rates will be considered for jobs requiring advanced degrees and/or skills. On Campus - Your employer will show you how to set-up your direct deposit of your paycheck and submit your biweekly work hours in the FSU Omni payroll system to get paid. Community Service - You will need to set up direct deposit with the Federal Work Study office.

How much will I earn on each paycheck?

Take the number of hours you and your employing department set for you to work, times your hourly rate. This will give you your GROSS pay.

 Is FWS money taxable?

Yes, it is taxable income and you will receive a W-2 at the end of the year to file your taxes. Your W-2 will be available on the OMNI system for you to print in January. All questions concerning taxes being withheld from your paycheck must be directed to the IRS.

Should I show FWS earnings on my Financial Aid Application for the following year?

Yes, include earnings in the Adjusted Gross Income and indicate the work study earnings amount also the applicable question under the Additional Financial Information (Student section) on the FAFSA.

Is a FWS job hard to get?

No. If you have trouble locating a job after reviewing the online job listing, contact the Office of Financial Aid and we will assist you in finding an open position.

If there is a department with a FWS position that will hire me, but I don't have FWS. What can I do?

Ask the department if they can hire you as OPS. OPS stand for Other Personal Services, which is temporary employment. Check out this website for OPS jobs available at FSU.

Are there weekend and evening jobs with the FWS?

Yes. Check the job listing or contact the Federal Work Study office for more information.

Do I need to apply for FWS every year in order to receive it?

Yes, you must apply for Financial Aid every year by completing the FAFSA - apply as soon as the application becomes available (October 1).

Can you use FWS money to pay tuition?

No. Funds are not awarded in advance. You must work to earn the award and you won't receive your first paycheck until after the deadline for paying tuition.

I did not earn all of my Fall FWS award. Can I transfer the remainder to Spring?

You should plan on earning your awarded funds within the term that they are awarded, but if you do have some leftover, check with the Work study office to see if it can be carried over to the Spring.

Do you have FWS in the Summer?

Work Study is generally not available in the Summer.   Check with the Office of Financial Aid in April to see if Work Study is available for the Summer term.

Last updated 4/25/2017
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