Frequently Asked Questions
The FWS Program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to your course of study.
Am I eligible for FWS?
You must first apply by completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Mark "yes" to the question, "In addition to grants, are you interested in work-study (which you earn through work)?" If you are not initially awarded FWS, submit a written request to the Financial Aid Office. The sooner you notify us that you are interested in FWS, the more likely you will be awarded (if eligible). Work-Study is a need-based program.
How much can I make?
Your pay will be at least the current federal minimum hourly wage, but it may be higher, depending on the type of work you do and the skills required. Your total FWS award depends on your financial need, the amount of other aid you receive, and the availability of funds at the time of your award. Keep copies of your signed time sheets so you can track your gross earnings. You and your supervisor are responsible for monitoring your earnings so you do not exceed the total FWS award amount.
How will I be paid?
You will be paid on an hourly basis. No FWS student may be paid by commission or fee. Your supervisor will determine the rate of pay depending on the skills and experience required. Paychecks are disbursed on the 10th and 25th of each month. The check will be made out in your name. You are responsible for making payments toward any outstanding balance you may have with the University of Arkansas.
Are Federal Work-Study Jobs on or off campus?
Both. If you work on campus you’ll work for the University of Arkansas. If you work off campus in a community service position, your employer will usually be a private nonprofit organization or a public agency, and the work performed must be in the public interest. FWS jobs are often related to your course of study and/or provide a service to the community.
Can I work as much as I want?
You and your employer will decide how many hours you will be able to work per week. The maximum is 20 hours per week through Work Study. (A week is counted as Sunday through the following Saturday.) Remember, the amount you earn cannot exceed your total FWS award. When you come close to earning your total FWS award, you may contact our office and a counselor will determine if your FWS award can be increased.
How can I find my FWS award balance?
Always keep a copy of the time sheets you sign and submit to your supervisor. By keeping track of your total monthly gross earnings, both you and your supervisor can accurately monitor your remaining FWS award balance. The Financial Aid Office is available to provide current award balances.
If I don’t earn my entire FWS award can I earn it in the summer or during the next school year?
You may work only for the period of time your award covers and as long as you are enrolled at least half-time. The remaining fall amount can be carried forward to the following spring term. Unearned amounts cannot be carried over to the next academic year due to federal funding regulations.
When must I stop working?
The last day of the academic term is usually the last day Work-Study can be utilized. In some instances, students may be able to work during semester breaks. Check with your supervisor and the Financial Aid Office for more information.
What if I earn all of my FWS before the year is over and need more?
Contact the Financial Aid Office and indicate how much more you expect to earn. If you have unmet need and funding is available, we may be able to increase your award. If your FWS is revised, take the new award letter to your employer to show the increase in the maximum amount of FWS you may earn.
Can I reject my Work-Study without affecting the other financial aid programs on my award offer?
Yes. There may be several reasons you choose not to work part-time during the academic year. Notify the Financial Aid Office by logging into ISIS and rejecting your Federal Work Study award, and if employed notify your employer as soon as you decide not to utilize your FWS award. This allows other eligible students to be awarded Work-Study. Your other aid will not be affected. This decision will not affect future opportunities with the Work-Study program.
Where do I pick up my paycheck?
Your check can be picked up in the department in which you work. If you work off campus, your check can be picked up at the Cashier’s window in Silas Hunt Hall. Work-Study checks are disbursed on the 10th and 25th of each month.
Can my paycheck be electronically deposited?
Students may elect to participate in electronic direct deposit. If you’d like your paycheck electronically deposited into a specific bank account, enrollment forms are available in the Payroll Office, Administration Building, Room 222.