The Federal Work Study (FWS) Program provides jobs for undergraduate students to assist with paying for educational expenses. Awards are based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Work-study is a great way to pay for college. The FWS Program provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school. Money earned can be used to help pay for tuition, fees, room, board, books and/or personal expenses.
Please complete the following so that the Financial Aid Office may determine your eligibility.
- Complete a FAFSA online for the academic year in which you choose to apply for Work-Study. Indicate interest on the FAFSA for Work-Study.
- Contact the Financial Aid Office for application and return completed application to the Human Resources Office.
- Click here to see what positions are available!
Are Federal Work-Study jobs on campus or off campus?
Both. If you work on campus, you’ll usually work for your school. If you work off campus, your employer will usually be a private nonprofit organization or a public agency.
Your total FWS award depends on your level of financial need and your school’s funding level. (The U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid provides a certain amount of work-study funds to participating schools; when all funds have been awarded, no additional work-study awards can be made for that year.) Your wages will be drawn from your Work-Study award. You can continue to work until your award is exhausted or the college no longer has funding.
Are my earnings taxable?
Earnings from the Federal Work-study are considered taxable income for the IRS. You must submit the necessary documents to the Payroll Department in order to have the appropriate amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck. You may seek advice on how to file your W-4 Form by calling the IRS toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040. To be exempt from FICA tax (Social Security and Medicare) (7.65% of gross wages) you must be enrolled at least half-time.
How will I be paid?
You will receive a paycheck bi-monthly based on hours worked. You will be able to earn up to the amount awarded each semester. Unlike other types of financial aid, this does not get applied directly to your student account. Work-study students are paid an hourly wage on a bi-monthly basis on the 15th and the last day of the month. Time sheets are turned into the Payroll Office and paychecks are picked up in the Payroll Office. The student may pay on their student account in the Business Office if there is a balance due.
Can I work as many hours as I want?
No. The amount you earn cannot exceed your total Federal Work Study award. When assigning work hours, your supervisor will consider your class schedule and your academic progress.
What if I have homework or a test and I don’t have time to work?
The work study program is very flexible. School comes first. If you are unable to work, contact your supervisor to discuss your schedule. Communication with your supervisor is important.
Can I have more than one Work-Study position?
Yes, you may hold more than one Work Study position simultaneously. However, you may not exceed your award for the semester. Both departments must be made aware and sign off on the employment documentation that you will be working in more than one position.
Can I study on the job?
No. The name work study can be misleading. Work study positions are an important part of the daily functions of Sheridan/Gillette College. Work study jobs are not any different than any other job, with required tasks to be completed. The individual supervisor will establish the duties and tasks required. It is important to know that this is a real job; the student is expected to work in exchange for wages.
Is it possible to get additional Work Study funds?
Requests for additional funds are reviewed by the Financial Aid Office and are approved based on availability of funds, and the student’s financial aid eligibility.
Why get a Work-Study job instead of a regular job?
One of the most important reasons is this: the salary you earn through Work-Study will not be counted as a resource on the FAFSA when calculating your financial aid for the next school year. The salary you earn through a normal job will be counted as an additional resource on the FAFSA and could lower your financial aid the following year. Work-Study supervisors know that you are a student first and will work around your class schedule. Many Work-Study positions, especially those in the Community Service Work-Study program, make excellent additions to your resume.
How many hours will I work?
Workload will vary depending on your schedule, the supervisor’s needs, and the amount of your Work-Study award. Work-Study students typically work 5 – 15 hours/week. However, some work more and some work less. Most Work-Study employers will work around your schedule; employers will never ask you to work during classes. You may earn up to your Work–Study awarded amount during the academic year, half each semester. Students may work up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session and up to 40 hours per week when classes are not in session. In order to be certain you earn your entire award, you should calculate how many hours per week you will need to average, based on your pay rate and Work-Study award level, in order to earn your entire award.
What if I do not earn my entire Work-Study award?
If you do not earn your entire Fall Semester award, the balance will be carried over and added to your spring semester award, assuming you are enrolled for both fall and spring. However, any unused award at the end of spring (or at the end of fall if you’re not returning in the spring) will be lost.
What if I cannot find a Work-Study job?
Work-study jobs are limited. You should start looking for a position as soon as you know you are interested. If you are not hired for the first Work-Study job, do not be discouraged, try another. Work-study jobs will fit almost anyone’s schedule, skills, and interests.
- Income: Pocket money for things you want and need.
- Opportunity: Although you are not guaranteed a job if you are awarded Work–Study, you are much more likely to be hired if you have Work–Study eligibility. What’s more – your job will be close to where you study, live, and eat.
- Student-Friendly Schedule: Your employer knows your first priority is as a college student. Employers try to be as flexible as possible in scheduling work hours around your class schedule.
- Future Financial Aid Eligibility: As a financial aid need-based program, Work–Study income (although taxable) does not affect your future financial aid eligibility in the next tax year.
- Work Experience: Students who have job experience and who have worked while attending school are more attractive to future employers. Your supervisor may become an excellent reference.
- Academic Success: Campus research has shown that Work–Study students connect with the campus community, learn about resources available to students, and establish stronger relationships with faculty and staff. This correlates with the fact that students with Work–Study jobs are more likely to stay in school, perform better academically, and graduate!
Who can I contact if I have Work-Study questions?
The Financial Aid Office in Sheridan accepts walk-in’s during the fall and spring semester Monday-Friday 9:00 AM -5:00 PM in the Whitney Building. Summer hours are Monday-Thursday 9-5:30pm. You may also reach us at 1-800-913-9139 ext 2100. Gillette students should call the Financial Aid Office at 1-800-913-9139 ext 1420 to set up a time to talk about work-study.