Federal Work Study Program


The Federal Work Study Program, also known as FWSP or "Work-Study," is an employment program for some, but not all, financial aid recipients. Through this work study program, the federal government pays from 50% to 100% of an eligible student's wages, making it easier for an employer to hire a student, or for a student to find the right job.


The Federal Work Study Program is for both undergraduate and graduate students, and consists of jobs on or off campus.  Students participating in the FWSP are paid at least minimum wage.  The student's work study hours, and therefore the total wages received, are limited by the financial award they've been granted.

Students are paid by the school they are attending, and wages must be paid at least once per month.  Money will be paid to the student, unless directed to a bank account or to an account held by the school and used to pay for tuition, room, and board.

Institutions participating in the FWS program must submit an application for funds to the U.S. Department of Education annually.  Employment opportunities include the educational institution; federal, state and local government agencies; for profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Students can apply for aid under the FWS program using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Work study is one of the three types of federal financial aid available to students.  The other forms of aid are student loans and grants.

Related Terms

FAFSA, Student Loans, grants