How to Apply for Federal Work Study Program (and why you should)

The Federal Work Study Program can be a very useful program for single parents looking to return to school, and anyone looking for financial assistance for post-secondary education. This article will tell you all you need to know about the Federal Work Study Program.

What is the Federal Work Study Program?

The Federal Work Study Program (FWS) is a federally funded program available in the United States that assists students in earning financial funding for school through part time work. The money made from the part time work can be used at over 3400 colleges and Universities throughout the United States.

To be eligible for this program you must be considered of low income. You can work up to 20 hours per week and you will receive a pay check that is based on hourly wage that you can use towards your schooling expenses.

Many of the Federal Work Study jobs are jobs that are offered on campus of the school you are attending and can include tutoring in variety of subjects, working in the library, working for your school’s student center, and even doing some administrative work. If you are tutoring, many times you will be tutoring in subjects related to the field you are studying.

You can also work off campus, however it has to be with a non-profit organization, or you have to perform work relevant to your area of study.

How Do i Apply?

To apply for the Federal Work Study Program, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid Form (FAFSA) that is used when applying for any other form of student aid. You can fill out your FAFSA form on the FAFSA website.

The information on your FAFSA verifies your income and assets and is the only information used to determine your eligibility so be sure to be as accurate as possible. The FAFSA form even asks if you are interested in being considered for a Federal Work Study Program so be sure to look for this question and select yes. Below is what you will need to fill out the FAFSA:

  • Your social security number
  • your parents’ social security number if you are a dependent student
  • Your Federal tax information, and your parents tax information if you are a dependent student. Tax forms needed include the following: IRS 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ.
  • record of you and/or your parents untaxed income
  • Detailed financial information such as balances of checking and savings accounts, as well as any investments such as stocks, mutual funds and bonds.

How Much do I Make?

The amount you will make with your FWZ job usually started at the current Federal minimum wage level and depends on the amount of hours you work. There is no specific amount that caps your earnings.

If you do not qualify for the FWS, you can still look into Non-Federal Work Study opportunities at your school. Since these are not federal funded, your income and level of need is not taken into consideration. Not all school will offer nonfederal work study, as some schools will not have any of their own funding for this, however most do.

To learn more about Federal Work Study, visit the financial aid page of the school you attend or check out the financial aid office at your school.