Federal Work-Study Overview

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program is a type of financial aid which provides an opportunity for employment that requires a few special steps and some pre-planning.

Four Major Steps of the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Process:

  1. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. A FAFSA may be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education on-line at the website www.fafsa.ed.gov or by completing and mailing in a paper FAFSA. Answer “Yes” to question #31 to indicate your interest in being considered for work-study. Priority consideration for FWS will be given to students who file their FAFSA each year before March 10th. Financial need, as determined by the federal government, is also a consideration in being awarded FWS.
  2. Review your Financial Aid Award letter provided to you through your MyPUC/PCStar or the Office of Financial Aid and Student Accounts (OFA/SA). If you have been offered FWS as part of your financial aid award, you may accept it on your Award Decision Form on-line through MyPUC/PCStar or return it to the OFA/SA in Lawshe 130. Any questions concerning your FWS eligibility may be directed to the Office of Financial Aid and Student Accounts at (219) 989-2301 or stopping by Lawshe 130.
  3. Attend a FWS Orientation coordinated by Career Services/Student Employment. To enroll for this orientation and for further information regarding the Federal Work-Study Program process, please contact the Student Employment Coordinator in SUL 349 or call (219) 989-2600.
  4. Maintain FWS eligibility for the academic year by:
    • Being enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters for an undergraduate student; and at least half-time (4 credit hours) in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters for a graduate student.
    • Making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as determined by the Office of Financial Aid and Student Accounts.

Note: Summer Federal Work-Study eligibility will be automatically determined for all students who are enrolled in summer classes at least half-time and who were placed in FWS positions during the Fall and/or Spring semesters.

A Student Employee with Federal Work-Study: A Definition

A student employee is a part-time employee currently enrolled at Purdue University Calumet with the primary goal of achieving a degree. Thus, the employment is interim or temporary in nature and is incidental to the pursuit of an academic program. Student employment status is at will and is generally expected to last at least a semester in length (barring illness, unsatisfactory grades, schedule changes, emergency situation, performance issues, suspension or other agreements made with their supervisors).

A student employee with a Federal Work-Study (FWS) award is able to have their wages subsidized through the FWS Program. Federal funds contribute 85% of the student’s wages and require the employer to pay only the remaining 15%. This employer incentive allows more work opportunity to work-study eligible students. The maximum number of hours a student employee should work without jeopardizing his/her academic progress is unique to each student and should be determined by the student and supervisor(s).

All hourly-paid student jobs are temporary and thus not eligible to participate in the University staff benefits program.

Students Employed within the Federal Work-Study Program:

  1. Do not accrue sick leave/vacation
  2. Do not receive pay for holidays
  3. Are only compensated for hours worked
  4. Are covered under Worker’s Compensation for job-related injuries

Please note: Being awarded FWS does not guarantee that you will find a student worker position.

Back to the Federal Work Study (FWS) Information page.