Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)

Note: International students are not eligible for participation in the Federal Work-Study Program.

The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) was originated in 1965 by the Office of Education of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. It is unique in that it accomplishes several functions:

  • It serves as a source of financial assistance to students.
  • It offers a training ground where students can work between six to 20 hours weekly and gain valuable experience.
  • It encourages students to participate in community-service-based organizations.
  • It provides students an opportunity to participate in the America Reads Program.

Note: International students are not eligible for participation in the Federal Work-Study Program.


The Application

You may apply for the Federal Work-Study Program by completing the required financial aid forms (i.e., the current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)). The FAFSA can be filed online (check with the Office of Financial Aid or website for deadlines). Eligible students will be allocated a Federal Work-Study award for the fall/spring semesters. Students with special circumstances may schedule an appointment to meet with the FWS staff to discuss utilizing the fall/spring award during the summer. The Federal Work-Study Program Request Form (Transfer of Fall/Spring FWS Award to Summer) can be requested in the office, completed and submitted to the FWS staff at the time of appointment. Permission will be approved at the discretion of the director of financial aid or the associate director of work and scholar programs. It is important for the financial aid application process to be completed early because funds are awarded on the basis of financial need and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

New Financial Aid Applications Must Be Filed Every Spring

The FAFSA may be filed as early as Jan. 2 for the next academic year.

In order to be considered for FWE eligibility, a student must:

  • be enrolled in a degree-granting program,
  • register and maintain six credits in division of matriculation,
  • be matriculated and enrolled at least on a half-time basis (six credits or its equivalent) on the undergraduate or graduate level (however, during the summer, continuing students do not have to be enrolled but must register for the following fall semester as a half-time matriculated student),
  • be a citizen of the United States or an eligible noncitizen, as per the program guidelines,
  • be in good academic standing, and
  • demonstrate financial need.

The FWS Award Notification

Once you are awarded Federal Work-Study it will be posted on your CUNYfirst account. The FWS award offer must be accepted immediately. Refer to the Notice to Students Awarded Work-Study for additional details about job placement procedures. Students may only work for the amount of their stipulated award once placed and continue to meet all FWS program eligibility requirements.
Federal Work-Study and FWS Community Service jobs provide employment opportunities for eligible matriculated students. The award amount is based on each student's financial need and the availability of funds. The pay rate for on-campus jobs is $10.00 per hour for undergraduate students and $12.00 for graduate students. Off-campus positions with our affiliated agencies and community service organizations pay $9.00 per hour for all students. New York City Public Service Corps pays between $8.75 and $12.00, depending on the type of position and the student's level of study. Please feel free to inquire about these jobs.


Federal Work-Study awards are usually made in April, May and June. Additional consideration for a FWS award is contingent upon available funds.

Note: Any student who did not receive a Federal Work-Study award may contact the office to have their file reviewed. Appeals depend on available funds, student’s enrollment, financial aid need and other program requirements. Appeal requests are for positions with our off-campus affiliates.

Office of Financial Aid
Federal Work-Study Program
308 West Quad Center
P: 718.951.5816

Other Work Opportunities


Human Resource Services
1219 Boylan Hall
P: 718.951.5377

Student employment as a college assistant provides various opportunities to work on campus to qualified individuals. These are announced in the Office of Human Resource Services, campus newspapers and by departments. Undergraduate students may also inquire in the Office of Human Resource Services about on-campus student aide positions.


Magner Career Center
1303 James Hall
P: 718.951.5696

Free services include career counseling, graduate and professional school preparation plus application advisement, and credentials services. Workshops on job search techniques include help with résumé writing; referrals to full- and part-time jobs, employment recruiters, internships and alumni advisers; information on the labor market and occupations; and interest assessment..

Internship Program
1303 James Hall
P: 718.951.5696

Services include helping students gain career-related experiences through internships in order to learn the technical, leadership, and interpersonal skills they will need to succeed in their future careers. Workshops offer help in early career planning and career development. Students who are interested in an internship may contact the internship coordinator in the program office.