Financial Aid Office

Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federal financial aid program designed to help you meet educational expenses. The award is based on financial need. This award is earned by working in the Student Employment Program. You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen to receive a federal work-study award.

You would need to indicate on your FAFSA if you are interested in receiving a Federal Work-Study (FWS) award. CSU’s Financial Aid Office selects as many participants for this program as funding allows.

Important Information Regarding Federal Work-Study

  • Students who receive an FWS award in their financial aid package may earn up to the amount of the award during a given academic year or semester.
  • Students who receive an FWS award are not obligated to participate in the student employment program. However, if you have an FWS award and work in a student employment position, the award will automatically be utilized. The Financial Aid Office may adjust or cancel a student's FWS award if it is not being utilized. Unused FWS is returned to the federal government.
  • FWS reduces reliance on student loans and helps to reduce debt upon graduation.
  • FWS earnings do not increase taxable reported income which could otherwise reduce future student aid or other assistance which may be received.
  • Students with an FWS award are in demand by the University because wages paid to students with an FWS award are reimbursed to the University by the federal government up to the full amount of the award.
  • A non-FWS job is any student position for which wages paid to that student come directly from the department's budget. The federal government does not reimburse wages for a non-FWS job.
  • Student employees who are also registering for cooperative education work experience (CSC 300 or CSC 400) must secure the permission of their cooperative education counselor. This permission can be in the form of an email or memorandum from the counselor to the Student Employment Office.