West Texas A&M University

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Career Services Sup Handbook - FWS

Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program

The Federal Work Study Program (FWS) is a federally funded part-time employment program. FWS positions are available to those students who have received FWS as part of their financial aid package. This program is designed to help students meet educational and living expenses.

Student Financial Aid (806.651-2055) coordinates this program and can answer questions about how a student qualifies for FWS.

Highlights of the program include:

An FWS award is paid to the student in the form of a paycheck every two weeks after the student has obtained a campus job and is placed on the FWS payroll.

The federal government pays a significant percentage of the student's wage (typically 75%) and the department pays the remaining amount. Typically, FWS award amounts range from $1000 to $1500 per semester. Compare departmental costs between hiring a non-FWS student and an FWS student.

The benefit to the student for using an FWS award is that the income earned from the FWS award does not "count" as income on the student's FAFSA for the next year. Theoretically, this makes the student eligible for additional grants and other funding sources for college.

To use a student’s FWS award, the student must present an "assignment sheet" obtained from the Student Financial Aid office to the department in which the student is working. This assignment sheet encumbers the FWS funds for the student's wages.

Payroll Services will need to be notified that the student’s wages will be coming from FWS.  Notification to Payroll can be accomplished by emailing payroll with the additional necessary information. Payroll will then create two timesheets in the TimeTraq system for the student.  One timesheet will result in the appropriate percentages of the student’s pay being removed from both the FWS account and the department’s account.  The second timesheet is created so that should the student’s FWS award amount be exhausted, then the student’s pay will come entirely from departmental funds.

Departments and students may use an FWS Balance Sheet to track the declining value of the award. This form could be used to help departments budget effectively. 

Departments are encouraged to consult Financial Aid when the student’s FWS award is exhausted to see if the award could be increased.