Federal Work Study Program
The Federal Work Study Program (FWS) is funded by the Federal Government. It is intended to promote and encourage part-time employment of students to assist the University and its surrounding community.
FWS may be available for students who meet the priority deadline date and the Federal Government's eligibility criteria. This program allows students to earn money to assist in paying for educational expenses. These awards are not available to pay tuition and fees because they are earned throughout the semester.
In order to receive FWS you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. The priority deadline is February 1; however, funds may be depleted before the priority deadline is met. Therefore, you should apply as soon as possible after the FAFSA opens October 1.
If FWS is not included in your initial award but you are interested, you may fill out the Federal Work Study Interest Form.
Students must meet certain eligibility criteria to participate and continue in the Federal Work Study program:
- Demonstrated financial need on the FAFSA
- Good academic standing
- A minimum 1.8 GPA
- A positive evaluation from the student’s supervisor in the prior academic year for returning student employees
If you worked a Federal Work Study placement in the previous academic year and you still meet all of the program criteria, you will be offered Federal Work Study in the new academic year. Awards are made in AP OneStop, and notifications are sent via APSU email. If you are interested in continuing, accept the award in AP OneStop.
The Financial Aid Office will work with Human Resources to renew your placement. If any additional information or paperwork is needed, you will be notified. After your renewed placement and employment have been finalized, you will receive email notification from the Office of Human Resources. You may not start working before receiving an approval email from Human Resources.
Federal Work Study awards are made in AP OneStop, and students are notified via APSU email. If you receive an award and want to participate in the program, follow these steps:
- Accept the award in AP OneStop.
- Contact the Financial Aid Office at 931-221-7907 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request a placement appointment.
- Attend your placement appointment.
- At your appointment, you will discuss available work study positions and choose the two that interest you most.
- We will send a placement form to your first-choice department and let them know you have indicated interest in working there.
- Contact your department of interest and speak with the work study supervisor in that
- If both you and the department agree on the position, they will fill out their portion
of the placement form and return it to our office on your behalf.
- If your first choice does not work out, contact the Financial Aid Office at 931-221-7907 or email@example.com so we can send your information to your second- choice department.
- Once your placement is returned to the Financial Aid Office, we will process the form
and notify Human Resources of your placement. You will receive a copy of your completed
placement form via email.
- This part of the process can take up to one week.
- If both you and the department agree on the position, they will fill out their portion of the placement form and return it to our office on your behalf.
- Attend an in-person onboarding session.
- To sign up, access the link in your FWS placement email.
- Prepare for onboarding.
- During onboarding, you will receive directions about the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Completing the Form I-9 is a federal requirement. Determine which acceptable documents to bring to your upcoming session. Original unexpired documents are required. Digital images and photocopies cannot be accepted.
- Bring a copy of your completed placement form received from the Student Financial Aid Office.
- Follow the steps provided in the session to complete the onboarding process.
- Wait for an approval email from Human Resources before beginning to work or train.
- After your onboarding session, allow time for your paperwork to be processed.
- Once everything is completed, you will receive a notification in your APSU email that you are approved to begin working.
- Set up direct deposit using these instructions.
If you have questions during any part of this process, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at 931-221-7907 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
APSU’s minimum wage for Federal Work Study employees is $9.00 per hour. Any rate beyond $9.00 per hour is at the discretion of the department of employment. Students are paid strictly by the hour on a bi-weekly schedule. Earnings will be direct deposited into the student's designated bank account. Income earned through Federal Work Study does not have to be repaid.
If funds are available, a student may be employed under Federal Work Study during a period of nonattendance, such as a summer term. For this employment, a student must be planning to enroll for the next period of enrollment and must have demonstrated need for that period. A student may not exceed 37.5 hours per week or 7.5 hours per day during a period of nonattendance.
A student’s net FWS earnings are considered Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA) during the following academic year. Net FWS earnings are determined by subtracting taxes and job-related costs such as transportation and food from a student’s earnings.
- Complete all required documentation.
- Wait to receive employment authorization email from Human Resources before beginning to work or train.
- Maintain good academic standing.
- Maintain a minimum GPA of 1.8.
- Maintain good satisfactory academic progress.
- Be enrolled at least half-time.
- Do not work during scheduled classes, exam times, or beyond the approved end date.
- Work no more than the allowed maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session. Once you have earned the maximum yearly amount of your award, you will not be able to continue working. In general, students should work less than 20 hours per week in order to maintain funding throughout the term
- Work no more than 7.5 hours per day.
- Take a 30-minute unpaid break if you work 6 consecutive hours.
- Notify a supervisor in advance of absence or tardiness.
- Submit a timesheet using the web time entry system before the scheduled deadline. Late or unsubmitted timesheets will delay direct deposit earnings.
- You can access a sample timesheet here.
- Adhere to the general dress code.
- Arrive at the department prepared to work. FWS does not imply that you can study while working.
- If at any point you are interested in a position reassignment, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.
- Keep in mind that you may be terminated from your FWS assignment and may not be eligible for reassignment. Examples of applicable circumstances include, but are not limited to, unacceptable behavior in the workplace, incorrect reporting of time, poor attendance, or poor job performance.
- Remember that you are terminated when earnings reach the FWS award amount or if you drop below part-time enrollment, withdraw, or graduate.
- Your employment is automatically terminated at the end of the academic year, and you must reapply for the next academic year.
Departments must submit completed Placement Forms along with copies of job descriptions to the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Students may not start their work assignment or training before receiving written approval from the Office of Human Resources. Department supervisors and students will receive an email from Human Resources with the approved start date. Students may not work during class times or exam times.
The department supervisor must:
- Retain a copy of the completed Placement Form and job description submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid.
- Give the student a copy of the completed Placement Form and job description.
- Ensure that student does not begin their work assignment or training before receiving written approval from the Office of Human Resources.
- Establish a work schedule with the student and explain the duties and responsibilities of the job.
- Review new employee onboarding details and confirm that the student has reviewed new employee onboarding details.
- Designate a time for student to complete FERPA training during work schedule.
- Ensure that student takes a 30-minute unpaid lunch break if scheduled to work 6 consecutive hours
- Notify the Office of Student Financial Aid if a student does not report to work.
- Monitor hours worked to ensure student does not exceed the yearly award or work beyond the approved end date. Exceeding 20 work hours per week when classes are in session, or 7.5 hours per day in any scenario is not permitted.
- Additional hours are permitted during school breaks. If a student is not attending courses, they may not exceed 37.5 hours per week, the yearly awarded amount, or the maximum of 7.5 work hours per day.
- Verify the accuracy of student web time entry before approving. Timesheets are official
records subject to audit by the federal government. Supervisors are accountable for
accuracy of these records.
- You can access a sample timesheet here.
- Provide evaluation of student's work performance and supervise accordingly. Evaluations are sent to each department in April.
- Notify the Office of Student Financial Aid and Human Resources if a student's placement is terminated.
Remember that FWS assignments are terminated when earnings reach the FWS award amount or if the student drops below part-time enrollment, withdraws, or graduates. FWS employment is automatically terminated at the end of the academic year and the student must reapply for the next academic year.