On-Campus Federal Work Study Employers

On-Campus Federal Work Study Employers

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program is a federally subsidized employment program, which provides part-time work opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Wages should be based on the type of work and qualifications required.

Student employment policies can be found in the Student Employment Manual.

Important Guidelines

  • FWS award amount is the gross amount a student is eligible to earn during the award period in a work-study job (75% of this amount is covered by federal funds and 25% is departmental responsibility). FWS is subject to federal and state taxes (FICA is only withheld during periods when student is not attending classes).
  • Employers are charged an additional 10% overhead fee based on student’s gross earnings to cover the cost of administering the FWS program.
  • Work-study earnings are reported as Earned Income on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the subsequent year and are deducted as "Title IV Exclusions."
  • A student's aid may not exceed their financial need as determined by the FAFSA. A work-study award may be reduced if the student receives additional awards and their financial aid exceeds their financial need.
  • If the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid is reviewing a student's FAFSA information for accuracy, per Department of Education requirements, the student must stop working until the verification process is complete. This can happen at any point during the year. We will contact you if it happens. NOTE: Student hours worked have to be reported in the same week the work was performed, even if their FWS award is on hold. In this situation, employer will need to cover 100% of the students pay.
  • A student worker may work up to 25 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters, and up to 35 hours per week during Summer session, Winter session, and Spring break.
  • Both students and supervisors are required to keep track of the hours worked and the balance of the award (you can utilize our FWS balance sheet to stay on track).
  • Student workers and their supervisors are responsible for submitting timesheets by Payroll cutoff dates.


  • Employers may not use FWS-funded positions to replace or eliminate any positions previously filled by non-student employees.
  • The employer is responsible for submitting the completed and signed FWS authorization form to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA). This form is sent to the student’s University of Arizona email a few weeks before the beginning of the Fall semester and covers the academic year (Fall and Spring semesters). A separate form is needed for Summer.
  • The position number has to be correctly coded as FWS eligible (Work-Study Split).
  • Federal funds pay 75% of the student’s gross earnings. This split is processed automatically through payroll as long as the position is coded correctly and OSFA has received the completed authorization form.
  • Any earnings above the award amount will be the employer’s responsibility at 100%.
  • The 10% overhead fee is assessed to the department through payroll processing and will post in KFS under object code 4290.
    • UAccess Analytics report to review the detail of your overhead charges: Employee → Business Manager Home Page → Student Overhead (filter for your Department Id, Account Number and Object Code 4290)