Frequently Asked Questions

What is Federal Work-Study (FWS)? FATV

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.

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.

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.

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. You are responsible for making payments toward any outstanding balance you may have with the University of Arkansas. Please visit  for payroll options such as direct deposit or the pay card program. If you choose to receive a paper paycheck, it can be picked up at the Treasurer’s Office at the Student Union or mailed to you. Work-Study checks will be disbursed according to the Payroll Schedule as shown on the Work-Study time sheet.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 UAConnect 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.

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.