Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is an employment program sponsored by the federal government. It is intended to encourage and promote the part-time employment of students with demonstrated financial need, as well as assist the University and its surrounding community. This program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need as determined by the results from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Due to funding restrictions, there is no guarantee that FWS will be awarded to all eligible students.

FWS money is not credited to a student's account and cannot be used to confirm registration. Students are expected to budget carefully and use their FWS income wisely to support their educational expenses. Income earned through FWS does not have to be repaid. A student's FWS hourly salary will not be lower, but may exceed the federal minimum wage. Students are paid once a month for hours worked. Generally, students may work up to 15 hours per week while school is in session.

How do I apply for Federal Work-Study?

  1. Federal Work-Study is awarded based on eligibility as determined by your completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You should plan to submit your FAFSA each year as soon as possible after January 1. Students must indicate on the FAFSA that they are interested in Federal Work-Study (FWS). Continuing and transfer students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. There is no additional application. Priority consideration is given to those students who file the FAFSA prior to March 1.
  2. If awarded FWS, the student must ACCEPT the offer on RaiderNet. Students will have approximately two weeks to accept a FWS offer on RaiderNet or the offer will be cancelled and may be awarded to another student.
  3. After you accept your FWS offer on RaiderNet, students who need to submit a copy of their Driver's License, Social Security Card, I-9 and W-4 forms, and to set up Direct Deposit will be notified by an email sent to their MTSU email account. 

Job opportunities

Students awarded FWS will be sent an e-mail that includes an attached list of available job opportunities. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule interviews with supervisors in areas that will provide a meaningful job opportunity. Once the supervisor and student agree that the position is suitable, the supervisor will notify the Financial Aid Office to complete necessary processing so that the student can begin employment. You will need your driver’s license and your social security card in order to complete all required paperwork.

Once necessary paperwork has been completed for employment, the Financial Aid Office will email the department supervisor and the student the FWS Agreement Form. The agreement indicates how many hours the student is eligible to work each week, rate of pay, as well as the employment start and end date. The student's supervisor is responsible for returning this form to the Financial Aid Office. Provided that the FWS Agreement Form has been completed, employment begins on the first day of class and ends on the last day of exams.

If suitable work hours are unable to be scheduled because of your class schedule, contact your Enrollment Counselor to seek another assignment.

FWS students who wish to be re-assigned need to contact their Enrollment Counselor. FWS students will only be allowed to change their assignment once per semester.

Payroll

Wages for Federal Work-Study (FWS) are not credited to a student's account and cannot be used to confirm registration. Students are expected to budget carefully and use their FWS income wisely to support their educational expenses. 

Income earned through FWS does not have to be repaid. A student's FWS hourly salary will not be lower, but may exceed the federal minimum wage.

Student pay will be directly deposited into the student's bank account. If pay dates fall on a holiday or weekend, paychecks will be deposited on the workday prior to the weekend or holiday. Students will need to complete a direct deposit form available in the Human Resources Office, 2nd floor of the Sam Ingram Building.

Pay periods run from the 16th of one month through the 15th of the next month. Example: April 16th - May 15th is considered a pay period.

Student responsibilities 

  • To continue receiving funds through the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS), students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year as soon as possible after January 1.
  • You are responsible for completing all required employments forms (I-9, W-4, direct deposit form, Federal Work-Study Agreement Form.)
  • Arrive at the department/office prepared to work and to learn. Although the program is called Federal Work-Study, you will have an assignment that requires you to work. You will not generally be permitted to study on the job.
  • You must adhere to the maximum amount of work hours awarded for FWS. If you work more than your allowable hours, the Financial Aid Office may find it necessary to return other types of financial aid received to prevent an over-award of aid.
  • Basic work courtesies and expectations require that you notify your supervisor in advance if you are going to be absent or late for work. You must adhere to the dress code of your office and the expectations of your supervisor. While working in your FWS job, you will be seen as representing MTSU, and you are expected to project a professional image. Some FWS assignments may also have specific dress requirements related to safety issues.
  • You must submit your timesheet to your supervisor on time. Late timesheets delay paychecks until the following pay period.
  • Federal guidelines prohibit students from working during periods in which they are scheduled for classes, even if your class is cancelled for a particular day.
  • Students awarded FWS will be e-mailed a document related to FWS Student Responsibilities that includes a comprehensive list of responsibilities. Supervisors will also be e-mailed a document related to supervisory responsibilities.