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Financial Aid

Federal Work Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides part-time jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.

Students must apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) in order to receive an award to allow them to work on campus. This work-study offer is considered a form of financial aid. 

What is Work Study?

All work-study is a work-to-earn program. The amount of work-study awarded to you is the maximum amount you are eligible to earn in wages through your work-study position. Work-study amounts are awarded each year after students complete the FAFSA. Work-study awards, unlike other types of financial aid, are not automatically applied to your student account. 

What happens once I have earned my Work-Study allocation?

Students are responsible for ensuring that they do not earn over their work-study allocation. A collaborative effort should be made by both the student and the employer to track earnings. Students and employers can monitor their remaining work eligibility. Contact the financial aid office to review how much you have been offered and how much remains for use. Students may not work beyond their work study allocation. When a student finds they are getting close to earning their total work study allocation, they should contact their supervisor to ensure they are aware of. However, once the full work study allocation is earned, the student must stop working unless arrangements can be made directly through the supervisor.

What is Federal Work Study (FWS) at SBU?

FWS is a need-based federal funded work award that allows recipients to work on/off-campus during the academic year and earn up to the amount of their award. Pay rates vary depending on the skill level required for the position. Students must be enrolled at least half time at the school to be eligible for Work-Study funds. It is the student’s responsibility to locate a position on and off-campus. Off-campus jobs may be available with non-profit organizations. On average, students work 14 hours per week but are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week. Students may be allowed to work more than 20 hours per week when between terms or when school is not in session if funding is available. Work-study (FWS) students are not eligible for paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, or medical and dental insurance through their Work-Study job.

How to Find a Job to earn your Work Award at SBU?

Recipients can find a job through the school bulletin board or the Office of Student Services.

What are the benefits of working on campus?

The following benefits are summarized:

  • Working on campus allows you to earn money to assist with educational expenses.
  • Working reduces the need for student loans.
  • Working on campus provides flexible hours, as employers understand that school comes first and will work around your class and study schedules.
  • Many jobs are office positions that will provide you with work experience which you can include on your resume. 
What are the responsibilities of working on campus?

You are responsible for the following things:

  • Notify the Financial Aid Office of enrollment changes that may affect your eligibility for a work award.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Keep track of your hours so that you do not earn more than your work award. Your employer will be responsible for 100% of any wages earned in excess of your work award.
  • Notify your supervisor of changes to your work award.
  • Report ready to work at the scheduled time.
  • Dress appropriately for the workplace.
  • Complete duties and not conduct personal business while at work.
  • Work with a cooperative and positive attitude.
  • Notify the supervisor as soon as possible of any changes in the work schedule and of projects and exams which may interfere with the work schedule.
  • Submit the completed time-card/time-sheet and/or complete and submit an electronic time-sheet to the supervisor on time.
  • Adhere to any confidentiality/security agreements set forth by the employer.
  • Notify each supervisor if employed in more than one position on campus.
  • Notify supervisor of any job-related accident.
What are Tax and FAFSA implications?

Earnings from work are considered taxable income. You will need to determine whether you are required to file a federal or state tax return based on your total earnings from all sources in the prior year. For more information regarding federal taxes, visit www.irs.gov/individuals/students. For California state tax information, visit www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals or the Web site for your state of residency.

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