A-Z Index

Federal Work Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program allows for undergraduate students, who establish financial need, to meet the costs associated with their education through part-time employment. The main focus of the FWS Program is to help students finance their education through an earn-as-you go program while providing an educational work experience. The primary benefit is the earnings from the FWS Program do not have to be applied towards the calculation for determining financial aid eligibility the next time a student applies for aid.

Who is eligible for FWS and how will they know if they qualify?

FWS is offered to students who have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have met financial need requirements. If the student is offered FWS, the amount appears on the student's financial aid offer.

Is the FWS Award automatically applied toward a student's account?

No, a work-study award is only received after a student secures a qualified position with Northwest. Please refer to " How Do I Get a Job?" for further information on securing a position.

The award is then distributed monthly based on the number of hours worked each month. The earnings do not get posted to a student's account. Students may use their FWS earnings as they desire, towards their university bill or for other purposes.

If a student has a FWS Award do they automatically receive a student employee position?

Students with a FWS Award are not guaranteed positions on campus; however, they are given first priority in the first month of the fall semester of hiring. Job opportunities for students with FWS are relatively the same as they are for regular student employees. Students with FWS can apply for any on-campus position. There are a few positions that require a FWS award and will indicate this requirement. Those required positions are Community Service positions and are generally located off-campus in non-profit organizations. The Community Service positions account for approximately 3% of the positions in the student employment program.

What happens if a student earns their total award prior to the end of the academic year?

If a student employee earns their entire work-study award before the end of the academic year then they are automatically switched to regular pay and may continue with their employment, unless they are employed in a Community Service position.

What if a student does not secure a position by the first day of classes? Will they lose their award?

The FWS Award remains available for the student throughout the fall and spring semester unless the student repackages their financial aid or receives additional aid which affects their eligibility. Students will sometimes choose not to begin looking for employment until their second semester to allow time to adjust to college life, while others secure employment prior to the first day of classes or sometime during the first semester.

When should a student with FWS begin looking for employment?

Students should begin looking for employment as soon as possible. We begin to post entry level Fall position vacancies in mid-June when SOAR dates begin, which is generally the third week of June and we continue to post throughout the entire academic year.

Is the student employment process for students with FWS the same as it is for students without?

Both students with and without a FWS Award are allowed to work on-campus. Both follow the same employment process to apply for and secure a position and to complete the required paperwork to be employed. They are paid the same rates for the same position and are required to follow the same employment rules. Please refer to the "Frequently Asked Questions" for more information about student employment in general.