What Is Federal Work-Study?

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a program for eligible students which is jointly-funded by the federal government and an institutional match. The maximum FWS annual award for which a student may qualify is $3,000 ($1,500 for fall and spring). Once the division allocation is expended or the student's funds have run out, all FWS employees must either stop working or the departments must complete a new PAR and begin to pay them out of another student assistant budget account.

Although FWS students should not replace full-time employees, they can provide valuable work support for the overall operational success of the department. Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay for education expenses as well as provide them with transferable skills to prepare them for a meaningful career after graduation.

  • Federal Work-Study Mission

    Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a program for eligible students, which is jointly-funded by federal and departmental contributions. Although FWS students may not replace full-time employees, they can provide valuable work support. Our mission is to provide students with opportunities for on-campus employment in part-time positions which match their interests and skills and which may help them to grow personally and professionally. The FWS program offers departments the opportunity to hire qualified students at a low cost. FWS student-workers are UWG employees and held to the same standards as non-FWS student workers.

    Myth: Students who are hired through FWS are not as good as non-FWS students.

    This is not true. The only difference between a non-FWS student and a FWS student is how the student’s wages are funded. Several students who work in non-FWS positions actually qualify for FWS.

  • Budgeting Considerations

    The Office of Student Employment, a division of the Office of Career and Graduate School Connections, and the department of Human Resources has developed a pay scale for student employee positions (SAI, SAII and SAIII). Effective August 1, 2015, student assistants and hiring managers will be required to adhere to the new pay rates for student employees which are determined by the required skills needed, the specific responsibilities of the job, as stipulated in the job description, along with the current industry standards for that position. 

    Please review and keep this pay scale in mind when budgeting for future student assistants (SAs) and requesting funds for federal work-study (FWS) student assistants. For more information about this pay scale, please refer to the Paying Your Student Employee page. 

  • Requesting Departmental Participation
    FY 20/21 Request Closed



  • Are we assigned a student or can we select one?

    If you decide to participate and you are awarded funds; your position will need to be posted to Handshake. Student Employment suggests that you view eligible applicants and interview at a minimum your top three candidates.

  • If we don't find any of the applicants acceptable, are we still obligated to hire someone?

    No, if none of the applicants are acceptable you are not obligated to hire one. You will need to notify Financial Aid immediately if you will not be utilizing FWS funds so that another department can use them for the semester. 

  • If we are dissatisfied with a student we hire, can we dismiss the students as we would any student worker?

    Yes. If the student's performance or adherence your office policy is inadequate, you can terminate the student's employment just as you would any student worker.

  • Beyond the standard new-hire payroll paperwork, are there additional administrative duties involved?

    All of the typical hiring paperwork done for a "regular" student worker is required. Monitoring of the FWS students' overall earnings is required to ensure the student does not exceed his or her maximum FWS award amount per semester. Students that are awarded FWS are aware of the earning limitations. 

  • Once the student has earned their maximum FWS award for the semester, can we retain them by switching their status to that of a traditional student worker and pay 100% of their wages?

    Yes. If your student worker is about to reach their maximum earning limit for the semester please contact Student Employment. Departments have the option of covering 100% of the wages for students for the remainder of the semester once they earn their maximum earning limit. It is important that you work with Student Employment concerning this.

    If you have any further questions regarding the Federal Work-Study Program at UWG, please contact our office at (678) 839-6403, or e-mail us at studentemployment@westga.edu.