Federal Work Study Program USA – Everything You Need To Know In 2023

Are you searching online for information regarding the Federal Work Study Program in USA? You’re at the right place. This article features all you need to know about the Federal Work Study program in the United States. Read on.

The Federal Work-Study program was previously called the “College Work-Study Program”. The program is a federally-funded program in the US that helps students with the costs of post-secondary education.

The Federal Work Study Program helps students earn financial funding via a part-time employment program. Approximately 3,400 institutions participate in the program.

The Federal Work Study Program provides an opportunity for postsecondary education students to earn funds that are used toward their education. The program assists students to earn monetary awards towards their postsecondary education.

The program is limited to students with financial support, whose Expected Family Contribution is lower than the cost of attendance.


Eligible college students join the Federal study work programs through their college. There are various types of jobs that qualify for the program, and they change significantly from one college to another. Students are assured of receiving at least federal minimum wage for the time of their employment.

Federal Work Study Process

Federal Work Study funding is given to colleges to provide part-time job opportunities for students involved in certain majors. Federal funding is made to participating colleges based on requests made by the colleges. A statutory formula is used to help colleges and other institutions determine the allocations to request.

Immediately funds are distributed to each university, they then distribute the funds to its students. Once all the funds for the college have been distributed, more students cannot participate that year.

Students can apply for the Federal Work Study Program if they are in need of finance (i.e, if they have financial need). The students must file FAFSA application form to be eligible.

Each college provides its own limitations on the way it allocates funds. The college provides a number of different types of jobs both in their own college as well as through private employers. The federally-funded program encourage colleges to use the funds to help give back to the community.


At least 7 percent of the jobs offered must be helping the community. Some of the jobs offered are often literacy tutors, reading tutors and mathematics tutors. Other jobs can be on campus such as working in the library or student center or performing administrative roles in the office.

Some institutions may have limitations on the number of hours per week that students can work. Also, there may be limitations that pertain to the student’s GPA. For example, if a student’s GPA slips below a certain point, the college may not allow the student to work through the Federal Work Study program.

Qualifying For The Federal Work Study Program

First and foremost, students must apply for federal assistance through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible. The program is available to both graduates and undergraduate students.

Application for FAFSA is also open to all students who have need. The program will determine if students qualify and the amount they will receive. The Federal Work Study Program is administered through the student’s school. The available amount to distribute to students varies for different colleges.

However, it is important to note that, international or foreign students are not eligible for the Federal Work-Study program.


Students must be one of the following to partake in Federal Student Aid:

  • S. citizen
  • S. national
  • S. permanent resident

If students are not in any of those categories, they are required to have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing one of the following designations:

  • Refugee
  • Asylum Granted
  • Cuban Haitian Entrant, Pending Status
  • Conditional Entrant (valid only if obtained before April 1, 1980)
  • Victims of human trafficking (child of a T-1 visa holder or T-visa holder)
  • Parolee: Students must be paroled into the U.S for at least one year and must be able to provide evidence from the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that they are in the U.S for other than a temporary purpose and that they intend to become a Citizen of U.S.

How To Apply For The Federal Work Study Program

When filling the FAFSA application, there will be an option that asks if the student would like to be considered for the work study program. This option must be marked by the applicant. Marking the option will make sure that the student is considered for the Federal Work Study program.

The financial need of the applicant will be determined based on their application. The students may be employed by any of the following places; A Federal, state or local agency, a private organization or by the college itself.

If the student is qualified, the amount of the Federal Work Study award will be listed along with the FAFSA award.


Students who did not indicate an interest in the Federal Work Study program on their FAFSA application can still get into the work program. Each college has its own deadline for these funds. The Federal Work Study Program’s deadline is normally earlier than the deadline for filing a FAFSA.

Therefore, students are highly advised to apply as early as possible. Once the funds at the college have been exhausted there are no further Work Study funds to be provided. The amount of aid that a student may receive depends on the total amount of help the student is receiving.

To apply for the Federal Work Study program, students should apply to their own institution for a job. Each institution has its own campus based program that will indicate the exact method for applying as well as the specific deadlines.

Since the Federal Work Study program is typically a first-come-first-served program in most colleges, the student will most likely not get in if he/she applies after the deadline. The program will receive the number of students that it can through use of the money that was federally funded.


According to the US Department of Education, not all schools in the U.S participate in the Federal Work-Study Program. One of the reasons is these schools do not have enough funds for qualified students.


However, students should note that, an award does not guarantee a job. The awardees must find a work study job to earn the money.

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