Federal Work Study

Federal Work Study is an award that allows students to earn income while working on-campus or with an approved off-campus non-profit agency.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a type of financial aid offered to students who have demonstrated financial need as determined by their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  FWS employers include campus departments and approved off-campus non-profit agencies. Students are responsible for securing employment and working scheduled hours to earn FWS funds. You are automatically considered for FWS by filing a FAFSA each year.

The FWS program is designed so that the government and your qualified employer share in paying your wages. The money you earn comes directly to you in bi-weekly paychecks and can be used for paying your day-to-day educational expenses. The FWS allotment is not paid in a lump sum or credited to the student’s bill. On the FAFSA, report the income that you made from your FWS job, just like you would any other job, but FWS earnings are removed from your FAFSA calculation for the next year.

To qualify for FWS 

  1. Annually file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the federal processor by April 15. 
  2. Complete verification requirements. 
  3. Be offered a Federal Work-Study award by the Division of Financial Aid. Federal Work-Study is awarded based on demonstrated need from the FAFSA. This funding is available to students seeking their first bachelor’s degree. 
  4. Be enrolled in a degree-seeking program for at least 6 credit hours each semester during the academic year.

Work-Study Student Information 

To utilize your Federal Work-Study award for the academic year, you must: 

  • Accept your FWS award in your myPurdue portal. 
  • Find and secure a job with an eligible on-campus or off-campus employer and inform your potential employer that you have accepted an FWS award during the hiring process.
  • Complete any additional employment forms from your employer 
  • If you do not plan to utilize your FWS award, please decline the award in your myPurdue portal.

On-Campus Supervisor Information

Supervisors of potential FWS eligible student employees should work with your department payroll clerk or business office personnel to verify each student’s FWS eligibility as part of the hiring process. 

On-Campus Payroll Clerk – Business Office Information

If your department employs student workers, the department must verify if each student is Federal Work-Study eligible during the hiring process. Authorized business office personnel may verify FWS eligibility by following these steps: 

  • Go to Cognos and follow the click path:
    • Team Content  
    • Departmental Content  
    • Treasurer  
    • Comptroller  
    • Federal Work-Study Report – Payroll and FA Data. 
    • Report views of Federal Work-Study Award & Employment Details 
  • Access to this report is specific to approved personnel.  Work with your Business Office/Payroll Team Lead to verify FWS eligibility. 
  • Complete a search using the student Purdue University Identification (PUID). 
  • The report will confirm if the student is FWS eligible and if the award has been accepted. If the student is not FWS eligible (the student should not be on the report list). 
  • If the award has not been accepted, instruct the student to accept their award in their myPurdue portal. 
  • After confirming acceptance, complete the Payroll Authorization Form (PAF).
    • If you are the departmental payroll clerk, fill out the PAF completely. 
    • Do not leave blank fields on the PAF document. 
    • Job titles must clearly define the position.  “Work-Study” and “Student Worker” are not sufficient job titles.  
    • Do not forget to copy the student’s job description at the end of the PAF document. 
    • Save the completed PAF as “First Initial, Last Name, PERNER” 
    • Email the PAF to workstudy@purdue.edu.  
    • Complete your normal student hiring process. 
  • Additional Federal Work-Study information can be found here.

Off-Campus Supervisor Information

Off-campus supervisors of potential Federal Work-Study eligible student employees should contact the Purdue University Office of the Bursar at 765-494-5373 or workstudy@purdue.edu for an off-campus FWS site agreement form and further instructions. 

  • As an off-campus FWS employer, fill out the Payroll Authorization Form (PAF) as per the instructions above to begin the hiring process of the desired candidate.