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Federal Work-Study (FWS)

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What is Federal Work-Study?

FWS is a federally funded program that provides students financial assistance that will not have to be paid back. FWS is awarded to students as part of the financial aid package solely on the basis of financial need with job interviews arranged by the Financial Aid Office. A FWS award is NOT a guarantee of a job or a guarantee that you will earn your entire award amount. FWS is different from other types of financial aid because you do not receive funds until you locate a job and begin working. The amount you earn is dependent upon the job you obtain and the number of hours you work. One main advantage of FWS employment is that when you apply for future financial aid, your FWS earnings are not included as a financial resource.

How do I get a FWS job?

Interested students must:

  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at
  • Have a "financial need" calculated by using the need analysis formula:

    Cost of going to school – Expected Family Contribution (EFC)* = Financial Need
    * EFC is the amount that you and your parents should be able to contribute as determined by a Government formula. Your EFC can be located on your Student Air Report (SAR) or on your confirmation page if you submitted your FAFSA online.

  • Complete financial aid file.
  • Be enrolled in a degree-seeking program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. International students interested in FWS must contact the International Admissions Department.
  • Make satisfactory academic progress.
  • Not owe a refund on a federal grant or defaulted on a Federal loan.

Online students interested in FWS must check with us at

How do I get paid?

You are paid biweekly. The amount of FWS you earn is dependent upon the number of hours you work each week and your hourly payrate. Most students work between 15-20 hours per week and payrate is determined by San Francisco's current minimum wage. The maximum you can earn on a job is determined by the amount of your FWS award. When your earnings equal the total amount of the award, the Financial Aid Office will contact you with further options. Earnings in excess of your award may jeopardize the rest of your financial aid package.

When are timesheets due?

Timesheets must be signed by you AND your supervisor and turned into the Financial Aid Office NO LATER THAN 11:30 AM Monday before payday.

Where and when do I pick up my paycheck?

A payroll schedule is available at the Financial Aid Office. You may pick up your paycheck at the Financial Aid Office, 150 Hayes Street, 4th Floor after 9am on paydays. Paychecks not picked up by the following Friday will be forwarded to the Payroll Department and eventually mailed to the address on the paycheck.

Direct deposit is also available. Students with direct deposit will have their pay stubs mailed on payday.

What else do I need to know about FWS?

Awards: FWS begins on the first day of classes and ends on the last day of classes. Students may work during Winter and Summer breaks but must check in with the Financial Aid Office. Unearned FWS awards may not be carried forward into the next award year.

Hours: Students are limited to working 20 hours per week.

Breaks: Students are entitled to breaks during work shifts that exceed three hours. The supervisor determines when breaks are to be taken. A 30 minute unpaid break must be taken during work shifts that are five hours or more.

If you are interested in applying for FWS, please contact the Financial Aid Office. The availability of positions is limited. Applications are considered in the order they are received. If there are no positions available, your application will be kept on file but you must check back with us at a later date. Positions usually open up at the beginning or end of each semester.

Financial Aid Office – 4th Floor
150 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94102