Federal Work Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides job-based funding for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. Work-Study employment may provide the student with the opportunity of working in a field related to their major.  

Apply for Federal Work-Study

In order to submit a FAFSA and be reviewed for FWS eligibility, students need to be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen who is admitted into a degree-seeking program at USU.

  1. Submit your FAFSA
  2. Check your USU email and any other email you've used to submit your FAFSA. We will email you:
    • If there is information on your FAFSA that needs to be verified
    • Your Financial Aid Offer
  3. Once you receive your Financial Aid Offer, submit a Work-Study Request. After we receive your request, we will verify your eligibility and contact you via email.

Need help? Email workstudy@usu.edu and someone on our team will assist you!

Access or Decline your FWS Award

Accept or Decline Your Award

You can accept or decline your FWS award online. Declining your award will cancel for both Fall and Spring. If you need to cancel for one semester but not the other, please contact our office.

  • Log in to my.usu.edu
  • Under the "Tools" section, select "Finances" 
  • Select "Federal Aid (FAFSA)" 
  • Select the Award Year you need to review in the top right corner 
  • Click on "Aid Offer' tab 
  • Scroll down to "Options to Pay Net Cost" 
  • Use the drop-down menu next to the FWS offer to accept or decline your funding, then click “Submit”  

FWS Jobs

Visit AGGIE Handshake to apply for FWS on-campus positions. Click “Jobs,” then filter and select “work-study” to view available FWS jobs. If you need help building a resume, contact Career Design Center

If you find an on-campus job you want to apply to that is not FWS, there is a possibility to convert that job to be FWS eligible depending on your eligibility. Tell the supervisor during your interview that you have FWS funding.

Access your FWS Funds

Once you accept your award, and got hired by a department on campus for a FWS-Eligible job in AggieHandshake, you will earn normal wages which will be posted from your FWS funds. Your department supervisor will teach you to submit timesheets. FWS earnings are not disbursed to your student account and will not reduce your tuition bills. They are earned wages you can use to make payments toward your college costs. 

Interested in creating a FWS job? Visit our page for staff and departments.

FWS Job Requirements

  • You must be enrolled and attend classes for the semester you work. 
  • You can start working the week before classes begin. 
  • You can have more than one FWS Job under certain conditions. 
  • The cumulative total hours you can work in one or more combined FWS jobs is 29 hours per week. 
  • Hourly wages vary among FWS jobs. 
  • The amount you are awarded corresponds to 75% of your earnings. Your department will cover the 25% leftover.  
  • Your earnings do not need to be repaid. 
  • Unused earnings do not rollover to the following year. 
  • If you or your department plan to extend your job during the summer, please contact our office to verify if you qualify. 

Renew your eligibility each year

A FAFSA needs to be submitted every year to renew your FWS eligibility. FWS eligibility may vary each year and is dependent on the information provided on the FAFSA such as, other types of aid you receive (including loans), family income, and non-work-study income during the previous year. You may also maintain your eligibility for federal aid following the required federal academic standards to remain in good standing.  
You can continue working in the same or different FWS job each year as long as you are awarded FWS each year. If you would like to continue working in the same position, work with your supervisor regarding employment opportunities for the following year. 

Benefits to a Work-Study job

    • Opportunity to network with USU faculty & staff who may become valuable references in the future. 
    • Flexible work schedules. Shifts can range from 30 minutes to up to 8 hours. 
    • Save on commuting time. 
    • Some employers may prioritize hiring FWS eligible students due to their limited budgets. 
    • It can potentially help you receive more federal aid the following year because work-study earnings are subtracted from your income. 
    • Students who are eligible for work-study may qualify for SNAP (food stamps) benefits 

Frequently Asked Questions

You can still apply for any on-campus part-time ACA positions on AGGIE Handshake. Let the employer know if you have or not a FWS award, even if the position is not a FWS specific eligible position. You can also talk to your academic department or professors and let them know you have this award. Sometimes a position can be created for you depending on the department’s needs. This could be a semesterly project rather than a weekly scheduled job. 

FWS funding is limited and is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.  
If you submitted your FAFSA, your eligibility for FWS is calculated based on the information you provided on your FAFSA, and your academic standing. 
If you haven’t submitted your FAFSA, a FAFSA is required to determine your FWS eligibility. 

This is FWS funding set aside for tutors to work in elementary schools in Cache Valley. These jobs are posted in AGGIE Handshake. Contact Todd Milovich for more information. 

If you decide to not accept your Federal FWS award, please decline it. After a certain date, if your award is not accepted, it might be canceled so another student can use it for a Federal FWS-based job. 

Depending on your unmet need, you may be awarded either loans or FWS, or both. Contact our office to learn more about your eligibility for both and whether or not your loan eligibility will be affected by FWS, or vice versa. 

Yes, FWS earnings are taxable, just like regular work earnings, but are categorized as need-based income and not counted into FAFSA calculation. Please refer to your payroll department with specific questions about how your income is taxed. You will be required to complete a W-4 Employee Withholding Allowance Certificate when you start working, which will determine how much income tax is withheld from your FWS earnings. 

Yes, students must report FWS earnings on the FAFSA, however, it will not count as income like normal wages would.  

Starting 2024-25, the Department of Education will have the total you earned in FWS and subtract it from your total income, which can increase your eligibility for more federal aid. 

Students are not permitted to work in FWS positions during their scheduled class times. Students are required to submit their course schedule to their supervisor in order to ensure that they are not working during class time. If an employer requires a student to work during class time, the student should report this to the FWS Coordinator.