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Federal Work Study (FWS) Program


Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally subsidized program designed to promote part-time employment of financially eligible students to help avoid excessive debt while in school. If FWS is a part of a student’s financial aid awards, the student may apply for on-campus jobs. Eligibility for and receiving an FWS award does not guarantee campus employment. Working at an hourly rate, a student is allowed to earn the total work-study amount granted to the student. While all employers must pay at least campus minimum wage, pay varies depending on the job and student qualifications.

Applies to: 

KU students

Policy Statement: 


Working on campus has many advantages, which include the following:
  • Earnings may help fund educational expenses.
  • FWS earnings are exempt from student contribution calculations on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • It may help avoid/minimize excessive debt, because students earn as they learn.
  • It may be more convenient because students can work between classes more easily.
  • It may be more flexible because on-campus employers are familiar with the academic calendar.
  • It may help students get more involved in campus activities as they get to know more University students, staff, and faculty.
  • It may provide additional preparation for a post-graduation job search because many on-campus jobs are in career-related areas or offer students more responsibility each year they work.

FWS Procedures and Eligibility

Students are responsible for finding their own job and meeting hiring requirements.

When classes are in session, an undergraduate student may work up to 30 hours per week. When classes are not in session, including summer, an undergraduate student may work up to 40 hours per week. For information on the maximum hours graduate students may work, see the Student Employee Eligibility Requirements and Appointment Limits policy. Students must be enrolled in at least one hour during the summer term to be eligible for FWS.

FWS students and employers are responsible for monitoring the status of the FWS award. Once an earnings limit has been reached, a student may request an increase if the student has additional eligibility for FWS and funds are available. If the earnings limit has been reached and an increase is not possible, a student is no longer eligible to work as a FWS student employee. At that time, employment must be terminated or switched to regular student hourly payroll.

To remain eligible for FWS (and all other federal aid) a student must meet Financial Aid and Scholarships (FAS) Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. See the SAP policy on the KU Policy Library site for more information.

If funds are available, there may be an “FWS Open Request” period for students who were not initially awarded FWS. During the open request periods, the form to request funds is available at https://financialaid.ku.edu/forms.


Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
1502 Building
1502 Iowa Street
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Associate Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships
Approved on: 
Friday, February 1, 2008
Effective on: 
Friday, February 1, 2008
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Federal Work Study, FWS
Change History: 
03/09/2023: Updated contact section.
12/12/2022: Reviewed policy; no updates.
10/18/2021: Reviewed policy and updated website information.
12/09/2020: Reviewed policy and updated eligibility requirements.
10/15/2019: Reviewed and updated.
11/09/2017: Updated contact information, specified undergraduate vs. graduate students, approval. 
Financial Categories: 
Student Financial Aid
Personnel: Student Employees Categories: 
Student Life Categories: 
Financial Assistance

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