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Federal Work-Study


The Program

The Federal Work-Study Program was established by Congress as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Its purpose is the promotion of part-time employment for students with financial need in order to achieve three main goals:

  1. to assist students in earning money to meet their educational costs
  2. to provide work experience related to the student's chosen academic major or career field
  3. to improve relations between the University and the community.

Work-Study is a federally-subsidized program in which wage costs are shared by the federal government and the university. Because of its federal funding, the Federal Work-Study Program must adhere to strict regulations enacted by Congress and enforced by the U.S. Department of Education.

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Relationship with the Financial Assistance Office


Participating in the Work-Study Program is determined by the student's financial need (total cost of attending SFA, minus family contribution) and is awarded as part of a financial aid package. If you are interested in receiving Work-Study in your aid package, please answer "yes" to question #31 on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


Earning Limits

When work study is awarded, students are granted a work-study earnings limit. This is the maximum amount which may be earned by the students during the academic year. A typical award is up to $4,400 per nine-month academic period.

A student hired through the Work-Study Program is responsible for monitoring his earnings to ensure compliance with this prescribed limit. Students should therefore arrange their work schedules to avoid either under-earning or prematurely reaching their limits. The student is responsible for earning the entire award that has been calculated into his financial aid package. If the student does not reach his limit and requires the full award to meet his expenses, the balance must be made up through family or other resources.

Students should be aware that their limits may be decreased during the academic year if unanticipated resources (e.g., scholarships) affect their aid packages. Both the student and the employer will be notified if an award is changed. Students should note that if a change in the financial aid package is necessary, it may be possible to decrease the loan amount instead of the earnings limit. If interested in the possibility, students should contact a financial aid counselor for further information.

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Work-Study Jobs

Work-Study positions are hourly-wage jobs in which a student works for an employer according to a mutually agreed-upon schedule and is paid by check on a bimonthly basis for the hours worked. The maximum number of hours a student may work per week is 20. Work-Study awards are not grants automatically applied towards one's tuition bill, nor is the amount of the award guaranteed. An award simply authorizes a student to participate in the program and sets a limit as to the amount of income a student can earn during the academic year. It is the responsibility of the student to work enough hours to reach the earnings limit and to budget the money wisely throughout the year to meet necessary college costs.

The Financial Assistance Office is only responsible for awarding Work-Study; we do not place students in jobs, nor can we guarantee a job. This responsibility rests with the student; however, the Human Resources Office will be happy to assist you in your search for a job.

There are many different jobs available through the Work-Study Program ranging from clerical to musical, laboratory to day care. There are many categories from which to choose, varying in areas of interest, degree of difficulty, and wage rate. With such a variety of positions available, it is hoped that students will find jobs which are both interesting and related to their career goals.

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Finding a Job

Available job positions can be found by logging onto the HR website.

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