Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)

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 and 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) and verification, etc.). The FAFSA can be filed online (check with the Financial Aid Office 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. 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(s) 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 FWS eligibility, a student must:

  • be enrolled in a degree-granting program,
  • register and maintain six credits in division of matriculation (by required date),
  • 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, a continuing student does not have to be enrolled but must register for the following fall semester in the division of matriculation for a minimum of six credits),
  • be a citizen of the United States or an eligible non-citizen, as per the program guidelines,
  • be in good academic standing (SAP), and
  • demonstrate financial need.

The Award Notification

Once you are awarded Federal Work-Study, the amount of your FWS award is indicated on your CUNYfirst account. You can only work for the stipulated amount. You cannot work in excess of your award. You must accept the offer for work-study on your CUNYfirst account prior to making an appointment for job placement. If you do not accept the offer, the work-study award can be terminated. 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 minimum pay rate for on-campus jobs is $9 per hour for undergraduate students and $10 for graduate students. Off-campus positions with our affiliated agencies and community service organizations are currently paying the New York State minimum wage. New York City Public Service Corps pays between $9 and $12 per hour, 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 and May. Additional consideration for an award is contingent upon available FWS funds.

Note: Any student who did not receive a Federal Work-Study award may contact the office to request to have their file reviewed at the beginning of the semester.

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 varied opportunities to work on campus to qualified individuals. These are announced in the Office of Human Resource Services, campus newspapers and on departmental bulletin boards. 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

Register with the Magner Career Center via the Career Center tab of the BC Portal for the following student services available:

  • Alumni Mentoring
  • Career Counseling / Assessments
  • Career / Internship Fairs
  • Career Panels and Workshops
  • Company Visit Programs
  • Internship / Job Opportunities
  • Internship Stipend Awards
  • Interview Practice
  • Pre-law Career Advisement
  • Professional Skills Training
  • Résumé / Cover Letter Critique

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