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What Is Federal Work Study (FWS)

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally-funded student employment program, which encourages the part–time employment of undergraduate students who need the income to help pay for their cost of education. The program encourages community service work and work related to the recipient’s course of study. Students may work on–campus or off–campus with federal, state, or local public agencies or private non-profit organizations (off-campus jobs must be in the public interest and academically relevant to the maximum extent possible).

What Are the Benefits?

  • Students earn money for educational expenses as part of their financial aid award.
  • Students gain valuable experience and skills in their area of study to the extent possible.
  • Your employer knows you are a college student first. Employers are encouraged to be as flexible as possible and work around your class schedule.
  • Because FWS is a need-based financial aid program, FWS income (although taxable) does not affect your future financial aid eligibility.

Federal Work-Study Position Availability

The number of Federal Work Study positions available depends upon the annual allotment of FWS funds. Many FWS students continue to work in the same position if they return the following semester. Although positions are limited, students should not be discouraged and should frequently check for openings on our website.

  • To be eligible for a FWS award, a student must meet the standard eligibility criteria and must have financial need, that is, the cost of attendance (COA) must be greater than the expected family contribution (EFC).
  • FWS when combined with all other resources may not exceed the student’s need. Therefore the amount of your award may be affected by other forms of aid (the total grants and/or loans) and outside resources such as scholarships.


  1. Apply for Financial Aid
    (Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and provide additional documentation to NECC).
  2. Sign the Federal Work-Study Student Contract (PDF)
  3. Enroll and maintain a minimum of six (6) credits for the semester.
  4. Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  5. If hired, students are required to complete additional forms and provide two (2) forms of identification before they can be authorized to work under the FWS Program.

How Many Hours Can Students Work?

Students are eligible to work up to 10 hours per week during each academic semester. 

What Is the Rate of Pay?

The rate of pay is $15.00 per hour.

FWS Application Process

  • Students can apply for FWS positions by viewing open positions in our Career Services Management Platform, Handshake.
  • How to search for Work Study Jobs in Handshake
  • If hired, a student must complete all required forms and provide all required documentation before he/she can start working.



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