Admissions

Federal Work Study FAQ’s

What is Federal Work-Study?

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a financial aid program that allows students to work on-campus or with approved community service off-campus employers to earn money to pay for college expenses. FWS is not a grant (you must work to earn it), and it is not a loan (you don’t have to repay it). Being awarded FWS with financial aid can help a student be eligible for part-time jobs, both on- and off-campus, that they may not have otherwise been eligible for. Employers love hiring work-study students! The FWS program encourages employment in community service and in fields related to your major of study.

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What are the benefits of having Federal Work-Study?

Here are many benefits to having a FWS position. Here are just a few highlights:

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Am I eligible for Federal Work-Study?

Eligibility is determined based on the information that you provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There are many factors that contribute to your eligibility for FWS, but the most important criteria to meet in order to even be considered are:

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I am not sure if I have Federal Work-Study. How do I find out?

Eligible students are awarded FWS at the time they are awarded other financial aid by Office of Financial Aid. You can log into your portal under My Financial Aid to review your financial aid award package. FWS will be listed along with the other financial aid information.  Every effort is made to provide work study positions to those eligible.  If you are still unsure, feel free to call Office of Financial Aid at 615-297-7545 ext. 650

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If I don’t have Federal Work-Study, can I still get it?

Generally, we award FWS to students up front if they are eligible. However, there are times throughout the year that some students can gain eligibility and more FWS funds become available. If you wish to be considered for FWS, a few qualifications need to be met first:

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OK, I have been awarded Federal Work-Study, now how do I get a job?

Submit an application to the Financial Aid Office and include a copy of your current schedule.

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Do I need to complete a student employment application online if I am returning to the same position I have worked for in the previous year?

Yes, even if you have worked in the same position in a previous year, you will need to have your department supervisor send an email requesting that job and you for that position.

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I have completed my FWS schedule availability, now what?

Once you have completed your FWS schedule availability, you will be contacted shortly by FWS Coordinator. If after the interview you are offered the position by the on-campus department or approved off-campus community service agency then contact your supervisor to confirm the start date and work.

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Can I receive my Federal Work-Study earnings in advance?

No, your FWS earnings will not be provided to you in a lump sum in advance. Just like in any other job, you will earn your FWS funds and only be paid for the hours you have worked.

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Can Aquinas College apply my Federal Work-Study earnings toward any balance I have on my student account?

Yes, but each month your FWS earnings must be signed over to the business office. It will not automatically be applied towards any account balance you have with Aquinas College. The business office will have your check at each pay day.

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What can I use my paycheck for?

You will receive your earnings in the form of a paycheck. Aquinas College will be paid first then after the account is paid, your FWS earnings be used to pay for other educational expenses (i.e., books, transportation, food, rent, personal expenses, etc.).

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When and how am I paid?

Paydays are at the end of every month. Financial Aid office or Business office will have your check.

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What is the pay rate for Federal Work-Study positions?

The current rate is set by Aquinas College and within the guidelines of Federal regulation of FWS.

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How many hours can I work in my Federal Work-Study position?

The amounts of hours are calculated for you by the Financial Aid office. You will have your award per semester.

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What happens when my Federal Work-Study award is exhausted?

When you have earned your entire award your FWS position ends and you must stop working.

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What if I do not earn my entire Federal Work-Study award?

If you do not earn your entire fall semester award, the balance will be carried over and added to your spring semester, assuming you are enrolled and maintain eligibility. However, any unused award at the end of spring semester will be forfeited.

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What is expected of me in my Federal Work-Study job?

FWS students are a huge asset to the Aquinas College and community, and provide exceptional services throughout the year. FWS students are expected to act professionally and with integrity in their position. Students are expected to show up on time when scheduled to work, and to perform their job duties as defined by their supervisor. If you are ill, you are expected to call your supervisor with as much notice as possible. Arranging for other “time off” should be requested with your supervisor with a least two weeks’ notice.

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Can I use Federal Work-Study off-campus?

Yes, Aquinas College has established a relationship with  off-campus organizations where students can utilize their FWS award. The majority of these approved organizations are not-for-profit and have a mission to benefit the greater Nashville community.

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Can I have more than one Federal Work-Study job during the academic year?

Yes, students are allowed to have up to, but not more than (2) FWS positions at one time assuming that their class schedule allows them the free time to do so. It is important to mention that if a student has (2) FWS positions he/she will most likely be working more hours and earning their FWS award at a quicker pace. Also keep in mind that you are only allowed to work up to 20 hours a week for all FWS positions combined.

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Can I work during break periods?

Students who have not graduated and those who plan to return to school after the break period may work during those breaks (winter and spring break). Students are allowed to work up to full-time status (32 hrs/wk) during break periods with the approval of their supervisor, and only if the student has FWS funds remaining.

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What if I cannot find a Federal Work-Study job?

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.

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Are Federal Work-Study earnings considered taxable income?

Yes, FWS earnings are considered taxable income. However, you are FICA tax exempt. The Payroll Department will send each student a W-2 by January 31st each year highlighting their earned income and taxes paid. Unlike the money you earn from non-FWS employment positions, your earnings will not be used to determine your financial need when filing the FAFSA the following year.

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How do I report my Federal Work-Study earnings on my FAFSA?

When completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the next academic school year, you will be asked to report FWS earnings. The U.S. Department of Education excludes these earnings from your total earned income when determining your financial need. This is a major benefit of having and using your FWS award.

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Who can I contact if I have more Federal Work-Study questions?

The Office of Financial Aid is located on the 1st floor in main building. You may either visit the Office of Financial Aid in person, or contact them via telephone at (615) 297-7545.

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