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Work-Study FAQ

What is the Federal Work Study (FWS) Program?

The Federal Work Study Program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student's course of study.

Work Study eligibility will be included on a student's Financial Aid Award information on the "Finance" tab in MyISU.

Additional eligibility may be available. If not originally awarded FWS, students may be able to adjust existing awards in order to include work study. An award does not guarantee the student a job or that he/she will be able to earn the full amount of his/her eligibility.

Income earned through the work study program is included in the Title IV Exclusion section of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This means that these funds will not be included in the formula used to compute a student's eligibility for Federal Financial Aid for the next year.

How much will I make?

Your work study salary will be at least the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Your total work study award depends on when you apply, your level of need, and the funding level of your school.

You can only earn up to the total amount of your work study award.

Are FWS jobs on or off campus?

  1. The employer must be qualified through our office by allocation and/or contract agreement. The employer will usually be a private or public, non-profit organization or a school department.

If you work on campus, you will work for your school. If you work off campus, your employer will usually be a private, non-profit organization or a public agency, and the work performed must be in the public interest.

Whether on campus or off campus, the employer must have been qualified through our office by allocation and/or contract. Not just any job will qualify for Work Study.

Will any job qualify for Work Study?

How do I get a FWS job?

It is the student's responsibility to obtain a work study position. See the Career Center for assistance in searching Bengal Jobs for openings.

I found a qualifying FWS job. Now what?

Upon hiring, on-campus employers need to complete a Work Study EPAF for each work study employee. Off-campus employers need to complete the Personnel Action Request Form for Temporary and Student Workers (PARTS) found on the HR forms web page.

  • New hires will need to complete the new hire paperwork found on HR's New Employee Resources web page.
  • Personnel Action Request Form for Temporary and Student Workers (PARTS) found here.

The PARTS form must be completed and submitted to HR prior to the employee starting work.

Human Resources needs this information in order to set up the student employee in the University's personnel system. Students need to be set up in this system to be paid.

  • Give your department your social security number, as the employer must turn in a position description with your name and social security number to meet federal requirements.
  • Any reduction in your FWS must be reported to the employer by you, the student.

How many credits must I maintain to keep FWS?

To be eligible to receive FWS funds, a student must be enrolled at ISU at least half-time (6 credits).

How will I be paid?

If you are an undergraduate student, you'll be paid by the hour.

If you are a graduate student, you may be paid by the hour or you may receive a salary.

No Work Study student may be paid by commission or contract. You will be required to submit a time sheet online (on-campus participants) or submit a time card (off-campus participants) to ISU payroll, which will pay you directly every other Friday.

Can I work as many hours as I want?

  1. The amount you earn cannot exceed your total Work Study award.

When assigned work hours, your employer or Financial Aid Administrator will consider your class schedule and your academic progress.

Students may be paid on the FWS Program for a maximum of 20 hour per week (a maximum of 40 hours per week during breaks).

Federal Regulations mandate students can NOT work more than 8 hours per day, or 40 hours per seven-day week. Overtime will NOT be paid through the FWS Program account.

Are my FWS funds exhausted?

Both the student and employer share the responsibility of monitoring FWS earnings to ensure the FWS Award limit is not exceeded.

The student may also consult her/his employer or the Financial Aid Office to obtain information regarding these earnings. When the student is within $200 of the maximum earnings limit, the employer may consider an alternative plan to cover the student's work assignment. At this time, the student may decide to meet with her/his financial aid counselor to discuss available options.

Can I get more FWS funds?

Adjustment to FWS allocations can be made if an applicant's financial need allows for an increase and funds are available to finance the increase.

The employer and employee should consider the time requirements of the student's FWS job in relation to the student's pay rate and FWS award for the entire academic year. If it appears that the award will be exhausted before the time required by the position elapses (and the employer has sufficient FWS allocation to cover the increase) a request may be made to increase the student’s FWS award.

Employers must take into consideration if their department's FWS allocation will cover this increase in the student's FWS award.

The student may request an increase in financial aid when she/he is close to earning the full award amount. Application for this increase can be made to the Financial Aid Office.

What about my unused FWS award?

The student is awarded a maximum FWS earnings limit based on financial need.

She/he may earn any portion of the award up to the established maximum, but is not obligated to earn the full amount of the award.

Unused work study earnings cannot be carried over from one employment period to the next academic year or to summer session.

Unearned work study funds will not be made up by other sources of aid.

(In certain cases, unearned work study may be transferred to a loan, if she/he has remaining loan eligibility for the school year. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.)