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Federal Work-Study Questions

  • 1. What is Federal Work-Study?
    • FWS is a government program that allows students to work while attending school to help cover the costs of an education. Students typically work about 30 hours a week on campus or in the local community, and they receive a paycheck bi-weekly to use for education or personal expenses.

  • 2. Where is the Federal Work Study Office located?
    • The Federal Work Study office is located at 801 W. Fort St., Hours are Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm. Email address is wsp@wcccd.edu.

  • 3. Am I guaranteed the Federal Work-Study money that is listed on my Financial Aid Award Announcement?
    • No. Federal Work-Study funds are awarded on a need basis. The dollar amount listed on the FWS student’s account represents the amount of funds available for you to earn. FWS Students cannot surpass this earning limit for the academic year. FWS Students need to work with their supervisor to schedule enough hours to reach their earnings maximum. The maximum number of hours a FWS student can work is 30 hours a week.

  • 4. What is the "earnings limit"?
    • The earnings limit is the maximum amount that may be earned by the FWS student during the academic year. The supervisor and student should compute how many hours a FWS student is able to work at his or her wage rate in order to determine the FWS student's schedule for the year. Any funds not earned at the end of the academic year will be forfeited and do not carry over to the next year.
      FWS Students are responsible for monitoring their own earnings limit to ensure compliance. If the FWS student exceeds the earnings limit, the financial aid package for the following year may be affected. FWS Students should be aware that their earnings limit might decrease during the academic year as a result of the receipt of outside resources (e.g. scholarships). If family circumstances change, increases to the earnings limit may be made. The FWS student will be notified if an award is adjusted.

  • 5. What if I do not accept a Federal Work-Study job as part of the financial aid package?
    • Students have a choice of accepting or denying the FWS funds. The rest of the financial aid is not effected.

  • 6. I rejected my Federal Work-Study and then found a job I really like. Can I have my award back?
    • Funds run out quickly considering the high demand for FWS assistance; if funds are available, it is possible that the student can receive the funds.  However, if not, the student will be placed on a waiting list and will be contacted by the Financial Aid Office once funds are available.

  • 7. If I decide to reject my Federal Work-Study for this year, will it effect my allotment for next year?
    • Federal Work-Study is a federal need-based program. Your amount is based upon the need you have. When a FWS student rejects Federal Work-Study, it is taken into consideration for the upcoming year.

  • 8. If I decide to reject my Federal Work-Study, can I do it for just one term?
    • Yes, you can reject or request a reduction in your Federal Work-Study for any one term or for all of them, however, you must state in writing that you are rejecting or reducing your funds in order for your request to be made official.

  • 9. Can I get a Federal Work-Study job even though I don't qualify for financial aid?
    • Federal Work-Study must be included as part of your financial aid package. If you have not been awarded Federal Work-Study and wish to be considered for the program, you should speak with a counselor and be prepared to demonstrate additional financial need.

  • 10. If I have a Federal Work-Study job, will the earnings from a non-Federal Work-Study job be monitored?
    • The answer is no. However, if a FWS student has significant earnings, they may be considered as an additional resource and may affect your aid eligibility for the next academic year.

  • 11. How do I go about finding a Federal Work-Study job?
    • Once the student has applied for financial aid for the current academic year and selected that he or she is interested in receiving Federal Work-Study funds, the Financial Aid Department will contact the student letting them know they have been awarded Federal Work-Study.  Once the student has been awarded the funds, the Financial Aid Department will send the Federal Work Study Office a list of all the FWS students awarded.  The Federal Work Study Office will send out letters to each student inviting them to attend a mandatory orientation in order to begin the process for being placed in a job.  The Federal Work Study Office will start processing all paperwork once everything is completed and received and place students at jobs located at the campuses.  If a FWS student is a returning FWS student and wish to report back to their previous location, the supervisor will sign the authorization form requesting the FWS student to return, the Federal Work Study Office will then place the FWS student in the requested location.

  • 12. What should I do once I am hired?
    • All students must have the supervisor fill out a Federal Work-Study Authorization Form. This form can be obtained from the Federal Work-Study's web site. FWS students are not authorized to work and will not be issued paychecks until all of the necessary forms are completed. These include the Authorization Form, a Federal W-4 form, and MI W-4 form, a City Tax Form, an INS 1-9 form, an Earnings and Allowance Form, and a direct deposit form. Returning FWS students who have worked within the past two semesters will complete the Federal Work-Study Agreement and Confidentiality form. 

  • 13. Can I work more than one Federal Work-Study position?
    • Federal Work Study students are only allowed to work at one location per semester.

  • 14. May I work during vacations/breaks?
    • FWS Students are allowed to work while classes are in session, if FWS assistance is needed during vacation breaks, the supervisors will be notified of change in policy.

  • 15. Is work available over the summer?
    • Summer jobs are available on and off campus if funds are available. FWS Students must attend the mandatory orientation, and complete the FWS packet process as stated on question 12.

  • 16. How do I get paid?
    • Paychecks are issued on a bi-weekly basis for the previous two weeks of work. Paychecks can either be direct deposited into the student's bank account, picked up at any one of the five campuses cashiers offices or mailed to the home address and are viewable on the Webgate.

  • 17. Why didn't I get paid?
    • Perhaps you entered your hours incorrectly or late submitting your hours before the cut-off date or time. Contact your supervisor or the Financial Aid Office. LATE TIMESHEET WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED, NO EXCEPTIONS!

  • 18. What should I do if I change my address?
    • To change your address for Payroll, go to the Student Services Department at your campus with your current identification and address, ask for a change of data form and submit. A copy of your identification will be copied and the change will be made by the representative at that location.

  • 19. Can I deposit my Federal Work-Study paycheck directly into my account?
    • Yes. You must sign up for Direct Deposit when you get hired.

  • 20. Will I be taxed on my earnings?
    • Yes, income earned through the Federal Work-Study Program is taxable. Therefore, each FWS student must complete city, state and federal withholding forms and include their earnings on appropriate tax returns.

  • 21. Who should I contact if I have additional questions about the Federal Work-Study Program?
    • For more information about the Federal Work-Study Program, feel free to contact the Federal Work Study Office, or visit the our homepage.

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