Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) is a way for students to earn money to pay for school through part-time, on-campus jobs.

The government awards each school with funds, those awarded work-study as determined by FAFSA will receive the funds through their school. The institution will distribute the funds accordingly on a term/semester basis. 

If you were awarded Federal Work-Study you will see it in your OSU Federal Aid Portal, but FAFSA will also email the email you provided when you completed the form indicating you have been awarded work-study funds.

Work-study allows students to work and get paid through federal funds. Most jobs on campus prefer students with Federal Work-Study Program funds because the employer doesn’t need to use their own funds. 

Students can accept work-study awards by signing into the Financial Aid Portal in myosu and hovering over “Award Offers” where they can accept or decline.

Work-study is obtained through filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will be notified if you were awarded work-study and the amount (if any) you will be awarded. We encourage you to fill this as soon as the application opens on November 1st of each year. 

Students are not automatically eligible for Federal Work-Study (FWS) each year. Students will be considered for continuation of FWS funds if they complete the FAFSA, and the U.S. Department of Education receives it by February 28 (OSU Financial Aid priority funding deadline), they show enough financial need, and FWS funds are available. 

If you do not have work-study you will be put on an hourly wage and will be paid by the program funds. There is no penalty for not having work-study.

Work-study funds will normally be awarded to you by the institution as a monthly check once you have obtained a job on campus. Grants and others will be applied to your bill and the remaining may be deposited to the account on file. You can sign up for direct deposit through MyOregonState.

To maintain work-study funds, students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours as stated by Oregon State University) for financial aid purposes and remain eligible for federal student aid. If a student that is awarded FWS receives additional financial resources, the award may change at any time resulting in a reduction or cancellation of FWS, or campus work-study funding must be adjusted. 

You and your supervisor will receive an email from the Office of Financial Aid with Conditions of Federal Work-Study Employment information and the amount you have been awarded that term. For example, for the 2020/21 academic year students may work from 30-SEP-20 through 11-JUN-21 using Federal Work-Study funds. Students will see their work-study funds applied when they have been hired and this will end when the money has run out or at the end of the academic year. If you do not use your entire award balance, you will lose it. It cannot be applied to another academic year. 

There are work maximums for all student employment combined (if a student has more than one position). During the term, you may not work more than 8 hours per day and no more than 20 hours per week. During holidays and breaks, you may be scheduled up to 8 hours per day for a max of 40 hours per week if you are enrolled at least half-time the term before and the term after the vacation period. There is no FWS eligibility between the last day of the spring term and July 1. Students and their employers are responsible for monitoring earning totals and limits. 

The first step is to communicate to your faculty mentor that you are receiving Work-Study as part of your financial aid award. You can advise them to read this web page for more information about how to hire you through the Work-Study program. In some cases, this may even increase your chances of getting paid to conduct research since the cost to the faculty mentor is greatly reduced.

Contact the Office of Financial Aid at OSU 

Office of Financial Aid, Oregon State University 
Kerr Administration Building 218