Federal Work-Study (FWS) is an employment program. 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. Beginning Fall 2022, the pay rate will be $11.00 per hour. Students are paid once a month for hours worked. Generally, students may work up to 12 hours per week while school is in session.
How do I apply for Federal Work-Study?
- Federal Work-Study is awarded based on eligibility as determined by your completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). MTSU’s priority FAFSA filing date to be considered for FWS is February 1st preceding the start of each new award year (i.e., an award year begins new each Fall term). 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.
- If awarded FWS, the student must ACCEPT the offer on PipelineMT. Students will have approximately two weeks to accept a FWS offer on PipelineMT or the offer will be cancelled and may be awarded to another student.
- After you accept your FWS offer on PipelineMT, 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.
Students awarded FWS will be sent an email 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 the FWS student wishes to transfer to another department, please use the Federal Work-Study Placement Transfer Request Form on the Forms page. Please email this form to firstname.lastname@example.org. FWS students will only be allowed to change their assignment once per semester.
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.
- To continue receiving funds through the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS), you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by the MTSU priority date, express interest in FWS on the FAFSA, earn at least $880 in FWS during the Spring Semester preceding the upcoming award year. Additionally, you must have sufficient need for a FWS award and have completed all outstanding packaging requirements at the time of initial packaging of aid to continuing students for the upcoming award year, typically mid to late May.
- 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 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.
- Students awarded FWS will be emailed a document related to FWS Student Responsibilities that includes a comprehensive list of responsibilities. Supervisors will also be emailed a document related to supervisory responsibilities.