Federal Work Study Program

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

Students must apply for financial aid in order to work through the FWS program. Students who demonstrate financial need and are selected for a Work-Study position are awarded FWS funds on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Therefore, it is very important for students to be aware of and adhere to application priority dates. If students file for financial aid too late in the year, they may not be eligible to work for the FWS program due to lack of program funding, regardless of their financial aid budget or prior FWS employment.

Search and Apply for Work Study Positions

Advantages of the Federal Work Study Program

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program was created to help students meet the costs of attending college. The FWS program has many advantages:

  • Keeps educational loan borrowing to a minimum.
  • Helps students gain valuable work experience and skills in their field of study.
  • Work around school schedules by maintaining a flexible work schedule.
  • FWS creates an atmosphere to practice communication, interpersonal skills, time management and other workplace techniques within the student’s job.
  • FWS jobs add a new dimension to a student’s career planning and distinguishes their background from other job seekers.
  • Part-time employment through FWS enhances education and adds a new perspective to a student’s studies.
  • Studies also show that students who work on-campus are more likely to persist in their studies.

How to Apply

View How to Apply for a FWS Job for instructions.

  • Search and Apply for Work Study Positions
    • Fill out the application completely and click submit.  Applications from students eligible to participate in the work-study program will be sent forward to the hiring manager for review.
  • Students that are selected for a position will receive a notification to their Gateway Student Email with onboarding instructions from the Gateway HR Department.
    • Students not selected to be hired for a work-study position may or may not receive a communication from the hiring supervisor about the status of their application.

For additional information email fws@gtc.edu.

Federal Work Study Eligibility

The information below provides further details to help better understand the eligibility requirements for FWS employment.

In order to be eligible for FWS, students must: 

  • Must be eligible for financial aid based off the current year’s completed FAFSA.
    • Student’s individual financial aid budget must calculate an unmet need over $900.
    • FWS eligibility is based on a student’s financial aid package, not on previous eligibility for FWS or the amount previously earned or not earned.
  • Must be registered and enrolled in classes, and have no registration holds.
  • FWS employees can only have one FWS position at a time. FWS employees who wish to apply and proceed through the hiring process for a different FWS position need individual approval to complete that process.

FWS Selection on the FAFSA:

Please note that students who do not indicate an interest in the FWS program on their FAFSA are still eligible for work-study employment.  Students do not have to make a FAFSA correction to change their initial FWS question on the FAFSA from “no” to “yes.”

Terms of FWS Employment

The FWS award amount is based on a student’s award eligibility and Gateway Technical College's FWS budget allocation. Actual earnings are based on the number of hours a student works.

  • FWS employees may work a maximum of 29 hours per week while classes are in session with supervisor approval.
  • FWS student employees are responsible for monitoring their earnings so they do not earn more money than their signed Letter of Employment (LOE) form has awarded for the certification periods.
  • The hourly rate for all FWS positions is $13.00 per hour.
  • FWS Employees are paid by the hour. Stipend or lump sum payments are not allowed.

Additional School information

  • All Gateway Technical College departments are eligible to hire FWS eligible students.
  • Off-campus employers must be pre-approved for participation. Interested employers can contact the Financial Aid Office Work-Study Coordinator for help beginning the job posting and hiring process at fws@gtc.edu.

Academic Year/Certification Period

The academic year begins July 1 of the award year, beginning with the Summer Semester, and ending on the last day of the Spring Semester.

FWS Employees Can Start Working:

  • Once a student receives an email from the Gateway HR Department that all required paperwork and signatures have been received, approved and processed.

FWS Employees Must Stop Working:

  • When they reach their earnings limit,
  • When they have received notification from their supervisor to cease working, or
  • During any interim period including winter or spring break, or
  • On the last day of classes for the Spring term, or
  • If they are graduating and will not continue to receive financial aid in future terms, or
  • They are no longer eligible and/or no longer receiving financial aid.

Unused FWS Earnings:

  • Unused Summer or Fall term amounts can be earned during the Spring semester provided the FWS employee does not work more than the 29 hours per week maximum.
  • Unused academic year amounts cannot be earned after the year has ended.

Job Restrictions

  • Students cannot be hired for more than one FWS position at a time.
  • FWS positions cannot be affiliated with religious organizations or with lobbying.
  • FWS employees cannot work with the U.S. Department of Education.
  • FWS employees cannot be self-employed or work for a business owned by family members.
  • Work must be done in the continental United States.

FWS Citizenship Issues:

Generally, policy from the Department of Education does not allow international, foreign or DACA students to qualify to work for the Federal Work-Study program.

Students must be one of the following to receive federal student aid:

  • U.S. citizen.
  • U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain’s Island).
  • U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I-551C (Permanent Resident Card).

Tax Regulations Regarding FWS

  • All FWS earnings are taxable income and must be reported to the IRS if employees are required to file a tax return.
  • A Gateway Technical College W-2 wage statement will be made available every year (if applicable) around tax time.
    • Taxed earnings are reported on a student employee’s W-2, and on their annual income tax forms.
  • For FWS students who are attending full-time during the academic year, state and federal taxes are withheld but FICA (social security tax) is not.
  • FWS employees must complete a W-4 Tax Withholding form when they are hired.