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Work-Study FAQs

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  • What is Federal Work-Study (FWS)?

    The FWS Program is designed to help students who show financial need earn a portion of their educational expenses through meaningful employment. The program is administered by the Financial Aid and Scholarships office. The number of requests for work-study dollars usually exceeds FWS funds. It is important to remember that work-study is NOT a job in which you are paid to study, nor is it a cash award. You must work for your earnings.

    Am I eligible for FWS?

    To be eligible for FWS, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet all the deadlines for supporting documentation. You will be evaluated for financial need and, if eligible, offered a package that may include FWS from the Financial Aid and Scholarships office (FAS). If you have questions regarding your eligibility for work-study, contact FASO. Career Services will assist eligible students in finding a position on campus or in an approved community work-study setting. Work-study positions are posted on Jobs4Cats.

    How does work-study work?

    Once you have been awarded work-study by Financial Aid and Scholarships (FAS), you are required to find a job on campus that is affiliated with the Work-Study Program. Jobs are listed on Jobs4Cats. You must be an actively enrolled student before you can use the system to search for jobs. Follow the application instructions listed for each job.

    Remember: Work-study jobs are not positions in which you are paid to study.

    When you have been hired at your work-study job, you will record the hours that you have worked twice a month and you will receive full payment for those hours according to the university payroll schedule. The money is not applied toward school expenses. Once your award has been depleted for the semester, you may continue working if your employer chooses to pay you from other funds.

    It is your responsibility to know how much of your award you have used and how much is remaining for the semester. You can continue your work-study position into the following semester provided that you are still eligible for work study funds. Remember to reapply for work-study when you renew your FAFSA.

    If I am granted Federal Work-Study, do I have to work in a work-study job?

    No. You may choose to be employed in a regular-wage position. It is important to remember that there is no difference between a work study job and a regular wage job. The only difference is the source of funding to pay you for your work.

    You may also hold more than one hourly position on campus. However, you may only work 25 total hours per week.

    If you choose not to use your work-study award, please discuss the implications of that choice with Financial Aid and Scholarships. The decision to not use your work-study award for one semester can impact whether your award for the next semester. Be certain that you understand the award process.

  • Are Federal Work-Study jobs on- or off-campus?

    Both. If you work on campus, you will work for Texas State. If you work off campus, the work performed must be in the public interest. Your employer must be an approved community work-study site. You can search for a work-study job once you have registered with Jobs4Cats.

    Are there other jobs on campus besides work-study?

    Yes. Regular wage positions are available. You can find a listing of positions on Jobs4Cats.

    What happens if I don't find a work-study job?

    Typically, Financial Aid will encourage you to continue your job search. Jobs4Cats allows you to save a job search to quickly pull up the position type you seek.

    Each semester has its own deadline to find a work-study position. If you miss this deadline, your work-study award can be cancelled by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office (FASO). Do not make assumptions about your work-study award. Communicate with FASO about changing circumstances that may impact your award.

    Can I work a work-study position in the summer?

    Yes. Summer Federal/State Work-Study is a separate award from fall/spring. To apply for summer work-study funds, a student must, in addition to having a current year FAFSA on file with FAS, complete a Summer Financial Aid application, which requires a new Work-Study Eligibility Notification. Summer Session I balances can be transferred to Summer II.

  • Do I need to complete an application?

    Yes. Complete your FAFSA application.

    When must I stop working?

    The last day of the academic year is the last day work-study funds may be used for employment. Your last permissible workday may differ if you are enrolled for summer classes.

    You must stop working when you have earned all of your Federal Work-Study award. The only way you may continue working after your FWS award has been earned is if your employer has funds to cover you on their payroll as a regular wage employee. Check with your supervisor!

  • How will I be paid?

    You will be paid by the hour, and your earnings are subject to taxes. Payments are disbursed twice a month, on the first working day of the month and on the 15th of the month. Be sure to complete your electronic payment information when you are hired. Ask your hiring department for details.

    How much can I make?

    Your earnings will be at least the current federal minimum wage; however, you could be paid more depending upon the type of work you do and the skills required. Your total work-study award depends on your financial need, the amount of other aid you will receive and the availability of funds at Texas State.

    You are strongly encouraged to monitor your earnings so that you do not exceed your FWS award amount. Don’t forget that your award is subject to tax withholdings. Remember, the amount you earn cannot exceed your total FWS award.

    Can I work as many hours as I want?

    No. You may work no more than 25 hours per week while classes are in session. International students may only work a total of 20 hours per week.

    Your work-study position will end when your funds are depleted or the end of the semester is reached.

    Do I have a dress code?

    Offices typically require work-study students to wear business-casual dress. Some offices allow their work-study students to dress more casually, so be sure to check with your employer. Remember that even though you are a student, you are working in a professional setting and need to dress accordingly.