Student Financial Aid
Frequently Asked Questions about Federal Work Study
What is Federal Work Study (FWS)?
FWS is a source of federally funded, need-based financial aid. Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for FWS. If you demonstrate financial need as determined by Student Financial Aid, you may receive FWS as part of your financial aid "package." FWS will be listed on your Notice of Financial Aid Eligibility Letter, also called an "award" letter. Student Financial Aid (SFA) determines a maximum amount of FWS you can earn during the school year.
What is the difference between an FWS job and a Regular Employment job?
The primary difference is in how the jobs are funded. The table below describes the differences between FWS and Regular Employment.
Federal Work Study
Must demonstrate financial need by filing the FAFSA.
Filing the FAFSA is not required.
Federal government pays 60% of wages; employing department pays 40%. (America Reads tutors are funded 100% by the federal government.)
Employing department pays 100% of wages.
FWS earnings do not affect eligibility for need-based financial aid in the next academic year.
Regular Employment earnings do not affect current year aid package, but could affect need-based aid for the next academic year.
Departments can designate positions as “FWS-Only,” and consider students based on their FWS eligibility.
Any student can apply for Regular Employment jobs.
FWS students have an earnings limit listed on the award letter.
Regular student employees do not have an earnings limitation. However, the number of hours worked may be limited by the department's funding.
Must meet minimum half-time enrollment requirements.
Must meet minimum half-time enrollment requirements when working fall or spring semesters. During summer sessions, enrollment not required IF 1) student was enrolled at least half time previous spring semester, and 2) there is evidence of planned (at least half-time) enrollment for the fall semester immediately following.
I’m working on campus. What makes my job a FWS job versus Regular Employment?
When you accepted FWS as part of your financial aid award, your BGSU payroll record was set up to pay you from FWS funds. (Note that students who work at the Telefund and Chartwells/BGSU Dining are not paid via BGSU’s payroll system.) Each payday, your FWS earnings are noted as part of your financial aid package to ensure that you do not earn FWS in excess of your designated FWS limit.
I was sent notice that I’m close to earning my full FWS award. What does that mean for my current job(s)?
It depends on your department. Once you reach your FWS earnings limit, your payroll record is updated to pay your wages entirely (100%) from department funds. Your department has overall responsibility for hiring and scheduling student employees based on your skills as well as department needs and resource levels. Departments carefully monitor their budgets and make adjustments to student staffing levels and work schedules as their needs and resources change.
If I am close to earning my full FWS award, can my FWS award be increased?
If you received notice that your academic year earnings are approaching your FWS award limit, your award has already been reviewed for a possible increase. Any adjustments to students’ FWS limits are communicated via email by Student Financial Aid.
What determines whether my FWS award can be increased?
All awards are subject to funds availability and student eligibility. For more information about eligibility, please refer to How Your Eligibility for Student Financial Aid is Calculated
How do I know how much of my FWS award I have earned?
You can monitor your FWS earnings by accessing View Student FWS Earn in your MyBGSU Student Center. You can access View Student FWS Earn via the Financial section of your student center. It is listed as a drop down item in the “other financial” box. Highlight View Student FWS Earn and then click on the double arrows to go to this new earnings page. You will be able to see your earnings by aid year. The “Offer Amount” is your Federal Work Study award and the “Paid Amount” is your total earnings. If you have or had multiple federal work study jobs, the page will not display each one separately but rather displays your total earnings. During an aid year, your FWS award may be increased/decreased depending on your request, financial need, and funding levels.
How do I know how much FWS I have earned in a calendar year to put on my FAFSA?
Your calendar year FWS earnings are displayed on your View Student FWS Earn in your MyBGSU Student Center. You can access View Student FWS Earn via the Financial section of your student center. It is listed as a drop down item in the “other financial” box. Highlight View Student FWS Earn and then click on the double arrows to go to this new earnings page. Your taxable earnings from FWS by calendar year will be listed for FAFSA reporting purposes.