What are my employment options if I’m eligible for the Federal Work-Study program?
In addition to on-campus employment options, if you are eligible for the Federal Work-Study program, you may be employed off-campus by an eligible non-profit organization or government agency in work that is “for the public good.” If you’re interested in off-campus federal work study, visit the financial aid office for information about available positions and federal work-study eligibility. Note that off-campus Work-Study positions are available in the summer as well as during the academic year.
Work Off-Campus in the Summer With Federal Work-Study
Students may work off-campus during the summer under the Federal Work-Study program. In general, students may work for non-profit organizations and government agencies in jobs that are “for the public good.” Fuller details, including limitations, are available on the office’s website.
The purpose of the Federal Work-Study program is to help students with educational expenses. Because of this, students who work under the FWS program are expected to save as much as possible toward their academic year expenses, but the program allows reasonable expenses for living costs during the summer. An initial financial aid offer letter will show the full amount that you’re authorized to earn under the off-campus Work-Study contract, with no adjustment for expenses. We expect most students to submit a Student Income Contribution appeal at the end of summer so that we can adjust the expected savings for the summer’s living expenses. This form can be found on the Forms & Helpful Links page.
Applications are also available from the office or on our website. Off-campus positions require us to contract with the employing organization for a set amount of earnings and a specified time period of employment, so particular attention must be paid to those parts of the application. The organization usually pays “matching” funds equal to 25 percent of your wages plus employer expenses for FICA taxes (7.65 percent) and workers’ compensation insurance (2 percent). The remaining 75 percent of student wages are paid from federal and College funds. Student employees must have FICA taxes withheld for summer employment.
Summer Fellowships for Action funds available through the Center for Community Engagement or Career Center may sometimes be used to provide the matching funds usually paid by the employing organization.
Beware of Earnings Limits in Off-Campus Work-Study
Students working off-campus under the Federal Work-Study program during the school year or in the summer should monitor their earnings total so that they won’t go over their authorized earnings limits. Federal rules require us to contract with the employing organization for a set amount of earnings. Students can’t be paid more than the contract allows. We can advise you if you have questions about your earnings to date and what remains on your contract. Note that earnings during Interterm are included in the academic year ceiling for Federal Work-Study.