Types of Aid: Federal Work Study

Types of Aid: Federal Work Study

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally subsidized financial aid program that provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

To be eligible for Work-Study, you must:

Due to limited funding, not all students who are eligible will receive this offer. It is the student’s responsibility to find a FWS job. Unlike other financial aid offers, students receive their FWS award as a paycheck from their employer. This means FWS funds cannot be used to pay upfront costs such as tuition, fees, dorm charges or books.

The waitlist is for those who qualify for work-study but were not offered. You may contact OSFA via the Ask Aid portal to be added to the waitlist in case we have additional availability of funds.

On Campus

Off Campus

  • Off-campus employment is limited to federal, state and non-profit companies that we have established contracts with.  Additional information about off campus employment can be found at Off-Campus Employment or below Off-Campus Employer section
  • List of Non-profit Organizations
  1. Activate Your FWS Award: When you are hired, give your FWS Authorization form to your employer. They must complete the Employer Information section and send the original form back to OSFA before you start working.
  2. Start work: August 22, 2022 is the first day you can start utilizing your Fall FWS offer.
  3. Track your earnings: Keep track of your earnings using the FWS Balance Sheet.
  4. Meet and maintain eligibility requirements: Eligibility For Financial Aid.

WordCats and MathCats Tutors

If you are interested in tutoring a child in reading or math, read about the WordCats and MathCats program. If you have questions, contact Elizabeth Moraga at elizabethd@arizona.edu.  

Contact the FWS Program at romerom@arizona.edu if you need further assistance.

  • If you were offered FWS for the academic year, in August OSFA will send you an email with your FWS Authorization Form and information on how to activate your offer.
  • When you are hired, give your FWS Authorization Form to your employer. They must complete the Employer Information section and send the original form back to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
  • Complete all personnel and payroll related paperwork. Make sure to provide the appropriate documents that are required to establish employment eligibility.
  • If you were offered FWS for the academic year, you may start working on the first day of the Fall semester. If you were offered FWS for Spring only, you may start working on the first day of the Spring semester.
  • Keep track of your earnings using the FWS balance sheet so you are aware of when you run out of eligibility.
  • To maintain eligibility for your FWS offer, a 2.0 cumulative GPA as an undergraduate or a 3.0 cumulative GPA as a graduate student is required.

Work-study funds do not apply directly to your student Bursar account. A work-study award indicates the gross amount a student is eligible to earn during a given term in a work-study job.

Students will receive a bi-weekly paycheck to cover their living/educational expenses.

Student Employment Manual is applicable to all student workers, including FWS students.

If you would like to start or continue working during the summer session, you will need to complete a Summer Federal Work-Study Application.

For additional information about summer financial aid refer to Summer Financial Aid.

If you would like to continue working during the fall and spring semesters, make sure you complete the FAFSA for the following academic year and that you have been offered FWS on your academic year financial aid offer. If you have not been awarded FWS but would like to be considered, send a request to romerom@email.arizona.edu. Allow two weeks for review.

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program is a federally subsidized employment program, which provides part-time work opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. This program provides a valuable opportunity for students to offset their education costs. Local nonprofit organization can benefit from this by hiring students to fill a variety of positions in their organization. Employers initially pay the student’s entire salary, but then are reimbursed 50% by the university.

To be eligible to participate in the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) at the University of Arizona, an off campus organization must comply with the following:

  • The employer must either be a non-profit, federal or state organization. If the employer is non-profit, they must submit a copy of their complete 501(c) 3 to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) verifying their tax-exempt status.
  • The employer must submit an agreement signed by an authorized representative of the agency. This agreement is not valid until signed by all parties.
  • The employer must submit a job description for each position. The descriptions must be updated at least once each fiscal year. More than one student may be employed under one job description. Wages must be at or above the minimum wage and be based on the type of work and qualifications required for the position.

After we receive the required documents we will submit them to our contracting office.  From there it will take approximately four to six weeks to be reviewed.

Compliance requirements:

  • The employer must comply with The University of Arizona Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy. Employing a FWS student can neither displace regular staff positions nor impair existing contracts for service.
  • The employer must only interview and hire students who have been issued a valid FWS Authorization Form for the respective academic year. The employer must complete the form and send it to OSFA and keep a copy for their records. Note: You will not need to fill in the Position Number, Department Number, or Department Account Number.
  • Any hours worked beyond the student’s FWS eligibility or outside the dates specified on the FWS Authorization Form will not be reimbursed. If the employer wishes for the student to continue to work beyond the award amount, they can do so by paying for 100% of the students’ earnings.
  • While classes are in session, students may work a maximum of 25 hours per week. During breaks and summer, hours may be increased up to 40 hours per week. Work hours should be arranged based on the student’s academic schedule and the employer’s needs.

Invoices and Timesheets are Due at the End of Each Month

To Expedite Your Reimbursement

  • Return the completed FWS Authorization Form to OSFA before the student begins working.
  • Use the monthly FWS time sheets - fill in the number of hours worked each day and do not include holiday or vacation hours.
  • Make sure the timesheet is signed by both the student and supervisor.
  • Submit your invoice and timesheet(s) no later than 10 days into the subsequent month for reimbursement. Invoices must be submitted on organization letterhead. All students employed by your organization can be entered on one invoice.

Processing time is 30 days. For inquiries, contact Melva Gutierrez at 520.626.0061 or romerom@arizona.edu.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Make sure you are aware of the important dates and deadlines that relate to your FWS offer:

05/13/2024 First day you can start working in your FWS position if you were awarded FWS funds for Summer 2024.
08/18/2024 Last day you can work if you are awarded FWS funds for Summer 2024.
08/19/2024 First day you can start working in your FWS position for the Fall 2024 semester.
12/19/2024 Last day you can work if you were awarded FWS funds for the Fall 2024 semester only.
01/06/2025 First day you can start working in your FWS position if you were awarded for the Spring 2025 semester only.
02/15/2025 Suggested deadline to submit your FAFSA so the federal processor can receive it by March 1.
03/01/2025 Arizona's 2025-2026 FAFSA priority date - applicants meeting this deadline are given preference for FWS awards and other financial aid programs.
03/17/2025 Approximate date when Summer 2025 FWS aid applications become available online - students must complete an application to be considered for summer FWS.
05/15/2025 Last day you can work if you are a Spring 2025 graduate.
05/25/2025 Last day you can work if you were awarded FWS funds for the 2024-2025 academic year or for the Spring 2025 semester only.
05/26/2025 First day you can start working in your FWS position if you were awarded FWS funds for Summer 2025.
08/17/2025 Last day you can work if you are awarded FWS funds for Summer 2025.