Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program for On Campus Employers


Federal Work-Study Info for Community Service EmployersOpens in new window

Federal Work-Study Info for StudentsOpens in new window

Introduction to the Federal Work-Study Program

Federal Work-Study is a federally subsidized work program, which provides on-campus and off-campus employment opportunities to eligible undergraduate and graduate students with financial need.  The FWS program provides part-time employment to students attending CSUF who need the funding to help meet their costs of post-secondary education.  Through the Federal Work-Study Program, students engage in work for the University and non-profit agencies (as defined by the Internal Revenue Service).  Students employed through the Federal Work-Study Program provide essential services to the University and to the community that enable them to gain valuable work experience.


FWS Resource


FWS Job Description Template and Instructions PDF File Opens in new window

This is the new updated Job Description Template that is required for all 2024-2025 FWS positions. Please update all FWS job descriptions for your department utilizing this template as soon as possible. These descriptions can be sent directly to the Federal Work-Study Coordinator.

FWS Budget Tracking CSUF Opens in new window

This is an Excel spreadsheet where timekeepers can track the FWS budgets for all students monthly. It will help determine the remaining balance for FWS students and should be used monthly to ensure students do not exceed their FWS allocation.

Estimated Weekly Hours FWS Opens in new window

This is a new resource that can help employers determine an estimate of how many hours per week their   hourly students can work to utilize their FWS award in full. This Excel spreadsheet has 3 tabs to support estimating students initially hired during Summer, Fall, or Spring.

One FWS position at a time

Students can only be employed in one FWS position on/off campus at a time. Should students wish to be employed in multiple positions on campus,  the department(s) would need to hire the students through non-FWS student positions.

Federal Work-Study 2023-24 AY – Timeline PDF File Opens in new window

Federal Work-Study 2024-25 AY – Timeline PDF File Opens in new window

This is a new resource that provides a timeline of Federal Work-Study events throughout the year. It includes hiring/rehiring dates for FWS Student Assistants, the last days that graduating students can work, general time frames for our FWS allocation and waiver being received,  as well as general time frames of when students will be awarded for the upcoming award year.

On-Campus Reappointment Authorization Form PDF File Opens in new window

This is a new resource that   should only be used when employers are reappointing FWS students through CHRS Student Processing or Temporary Acadcemic Employment systems. This form would ensure that Financial Aid can coordinate the FWS award on the student’s behalf and be in compliance with Federal regulations.

Federal Work-Study Employer’s page Opens in new window

This website will host all resource documents for the current award year. 

CSUF Quick Reference Timekeeper Student Time Processing GuideOpens in new window

This is a guide for timekeepers that was shared by Payroll when our campus transitioned away from using Rapid Time Entry. We discussed this guide during training, and it provides great information for time entry and running query reports.

Attendance and Pay Schedule – Payroll Calendars Opens in new window

This website provides Attendance and Pay Schedules by year. These schedules can be used to determine the beginning and end dates for pay periods by timekeepers. These dates should be considered if using the query from the “CSUF Quick Reference Timekeeper” guide to determine FWS earnings.

FWS Training 2024-2025 PDF File Opens in new window

This guide provides training for Federal Work-Study for employers on-campus for the 2024-2025 award year. 


Student FWS award amounts vary. Students are typically awarded $5000.  Once the Spring semester has begun Financial Aid will be able to determine if we are able to make increases. The awards are to be earned throughout the academic year and not completely exhausted in one semester. Employers are encouraged to monitor student earnings to ensure that the student does not earn more than their FWS award. If the student has exhausted their FWS award your department can choose to rehire the student as a regular student assistant to continue the student’s employment. Students can earn up to 20% of their FWS award during the months of July and August.


At CSUF we award FWS annually during early summer for the upcoming academic year.  We ask employers to post available positions with Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion via their Careers website indicating that the job is for FWS students (FYI - students without FWS awards may still apply for your open position as they often misunderstand the hiring criteria). This Human Resources website contains user guides for creating jobs and hiring students in CHRS Recruiting.  Employers will need to add the Federal Work Study Coordinator in Financial Aid as an approver to both the requisition and the offer in CHRS Recruiting.


The application for job postings through HRDI’s Careers website allows students to upload a screenshot of their Financial Aid Award, and answer questions regarding their eligibility for Federal Work-Study. We encourage employers to request that students bring a print out of their financial aid awards to their interview so departments can confirm they have an FWS award and see the amount of the award.  The FWS award is very clearly listed on the student’s award screen in their Student Portal.


It is the employer’s responsibility to work with the FWS student and track the earnings to ensure they do not earn more than their award amount. Employers may use   the FWS Tracking SheetOpens in new window  to track FWS wages for their students.  Any earnings paid to the student over the award amount would need to be reimbursed by the hiring department.


Employers must provide a job description within CHRS Recruiting that meets Federal Work-Study guidelines. To support employers in meeting these requirements, please complete   the job description and attach it to the requisition (in the documents tab) within CHRS Recruiting.

Additional resources and information can be found at  Human Resource website for Student Employment  Opens in new window


As an employer you pay 100% of Student Assistant earnings.  With FWS student earnings the federal government pays 75% (this is called the Federal Share) and you pay only 25%. There are times when reimbursement can be 100%. The following examples come from the Federal Student Aid Handbook, and describe when reimbursement can be 100%:

  1. The student is employed as a reading or mathematics tutor for preschool age children or children who are in elementary school; or

  2. The student is performing family literacy activities in a family literacy project that provides services to families with preschool age children or children who are in elementary school; or

  3. The student is employed in community service activities and is performing civic education and participation activities in a project as defined in 34 CFR 675.18(g)(4).

For the 2023-24 academic year our institution has been approved by the department of Education for a waived share institutional match requirement. Reimbursement is currently 100% for Federal Work-Study up to the student’s award amount. There are different Federal Shares for Community Service, for more information please see the FAQ’s FWS Off-Campus Employers below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We have put together these handy FAQ sheets:

FWS Employers FAQsPDF File Opens in new window

FWS Off-Campus Employers FAQs PDF File Opens in new window

Need more assistance?

Contact our office 

Email: fws@fullerton.edu

Phone: 657-278-3125