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Federal Work Study (FWS), including Community Service Work Study (CSFWS), is a federally funded financial aid program awarded to students based on their eligibility determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other financial aid criteria. Funding for this program is limited. Students are awarded a specific amount, and the federal government subsidizes the wages to the employer. This means that the employer pays a portion of the wages and FWS pays the remaining portion. The student is paid the agreed upon hourly wage. Jobs may be with on-campus departments or with off-campus community service agencies.  
Many departments seek students with a work-study award because of budget constraints. Postings for such jobs will state that FWS is required. Students are allowed only one FWS assignment at a time (you can hold several jobs at the same time; however, only one can be FWS). Earnings beyond the award amount will be charged in full to your employing department. You and your employer should, therefore, anticipate your earnings based on the hourly rate and the number of hours you will have available to work. This will determine the best way to manage your FWS award. The amount of the FWS award that you earn and when you earn it is up to you. If, for example, you have a $2,000 award, you may earn $1,000 each semester or you may decide to earn only $800 in the fall and $1,200 in the spring. Note, however, that the award is not guaranteed. If you choose not to work at all in the fall, your assignment will reflect the spring portion only.  
For more information on financial aid and applying for FWS, contact the Office of Financial Assistance Services You can submit the FAFSA electronically through FAFSA on the Web.  
Download the Federal Work-Study brochure  
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