Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduates and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student's course of study.

Students are employed with on-campus and off-campus partners. Students receive an allocation of funds to be earned through part-time employment. FWS employee are paid once a month, ranging from California's minimum wage to the maximum wage of $17.78 an hour, depending on the type of job.

Positions are advertised on Titan Connection , filter the listings for Federal Work-Study positions.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Complete the FAFSA by March 2nd
  2. Answer "Yes" to question 31 on the FAFSA, "Are you interested in being considered for work-study?"
  3. Submit all requested financial aid documentation from your To-Do-List by the due date
  4. Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress 
  5. Enrolled in at least six (6) or more units per semester
  6. Must have Federal Need as determined by Federal Guidelines

The Student's Responsibility

  • Student with FWS awards do not have to accept the award offer.
  • The FWS Coordinator will accept the student's award once the student is hired and we receive the original FWS confirmation and when eligibility requirements are confirmed.
  • Provide a copy of your award summary to show proof of a FWS award when submitting an application(s). If an award is not include in your award summary, you cannot apply for FWS jobs. Award summaries can be obtained on your student portal.
  • Complete the hiring process with your employer ensuring that all required documents have been provide to Human Resources.
  • Notify your supervisor of any changes to your FWS award.
  • Work with your supervisor to keep accurate records of hours worked so as not to exceed the FWS allocation.
  • Complete and submit time sheet to the appropriate supervisor on time.
  • Maintain enrollment of at least 6 units per semester, at all time. If you drop below the 6 units requirement, you cannot continue to be employ under FWS regulation.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress according to the policies and procedures of the Office of Financial Aid.

Important FWS Information

Finding a FWS Job

Simply log on to Titan Connection, located on the Career Center's website, and search for "FWS positions." Follow the application directions for the jobs you are applying for.

If you are having problems finding a job you may want to seek assistance from the Career Center. They can help you develop a resume, prepare for interviews, explore careers and have many other important and valuable resources.

We want you to know that the types of jobs vary, as the semester progresses along there are less open positions listed. Make sure you pay attention to the needs of the employer, if they are seeking specific majors maybe you should consider another position. Also if you are interested in a position, writing a cover letter or email to the employer may be a great way to introduce yourself, highlight your skills, and show your interest in the job. 

FWS - Terms & Conditions

  • If you do not secure employment by the appropriate date (approximately mid-October), your Federal Work-Study award will be canceled.
  • If you do not plan to attend Cal State Fullerton for the Fall semester, please contact the office to advise us of your plans.
  • You must meet CSUF student assistant hiring qualifications. 
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Have a social security number.
  • Continue to meet financial aid requirements.
  • You must be enrolled in at least 6 units (half-time) during any semester in which you are employed.
  • For continued participation in the FWS program, you must meet the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • If you lose your financial aid eligibility for any reason, you also lose your eligibility for FWS and you must stop working immediately.
  • You can no longer earn FWS funds after you have completed your academic career at CSUF.

Pay Rates

Currently pay rates range from minimum wages up $17.78 per hour. The rate of pay is based on the skills required and the degree of responsibility involved in the position and is determined by your employer.

Employment Policies

Once an employer agree to hire you, you must complete the FWS employment authorization process before you may begin working. You must show your employer acceptable identification (Social Security Card and Driver's License or other photo I.D.) and if you are a non-citizen, DHS documentation to show you are permitted to work in the U.S.

Your employer will submit all necessary paperwork for you to begin working and the FWS Coordinator will accept your FWS award on your behalf once eligibility is confirmed.

Summer Employment

Who Can Work Before School Begins (During July/August)?

You may begin to earn a portion (20%) of your academic year award during July/August, if

  • You have already received an award letter which includes a Federal Work-Study award,
  • You have made Satisfactory Academic Progress during the preceding year, and
  • You will be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more units) during the upcoming Fall semester.
  • You may only be eligible to work 20 hours a week if you are enrolled in summer courses.

Who Can Work After the Spring Term is Completed (June)?

You may earn any remaining FWS funding from the academic year in the month of June, if:

  • Your employer has contacted the FWS Coordinator to verify remaining funds.
  • You have been authorized by the FWS Coordinator.
  • You may only be eligible to work 20 hours per week, if you are enrolled in summer courses.
  • You may be eligible to work over 20 hours per week, if you are not enrolled in summer courses.

How Many Hours Can I Work?

  • You may work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the school year between Mid-August through Mid-May.
  • You may be able to work up to 40 hours per week during the semester break in January, Spring break in April, Fall break in November and Summer.
  • Hours are contingent on the amount of FWS awarded and employer needs.
  • You cannot work over your approved FWS award.

Pay Periods

Pay periods are based on the calendar month. At the end of the month, sign and submit your time sheet to your FWS supervisor for payment on the 15th of the following month. Your employer will complete and submit an Attendance Report to Payroll services. If your Attendance Report is submitted late, you will still be paid, but the payment may be delayed.

Pay Checks

The Attendance Clerk at your place of employment distributes pay checks. Pay day is the 15th of each month. If the 15th falls on a weekend, you will be paid the following Monday.

You will be paid only for the hours you have worked and reported on your time-sheet for the previous month. A small amount for federal and state income tax may be withheld. 


You are entitled to one 15-minute break within four consecutive hours worked. When working a full eight hour day, you may take two 15-minute breaks with pay and minimum of one  30-minute lunch break without pay. Paid breaks may not be taken at the beginning or end of the work period and are not cumulative.

Employee Benefits

You are covered during your usual work hours by Worker's Compensation insurance against job-related illness or injury. FWS students are not entitled to other employment benefits such as overtime pay, paid holidays, vacation or sick leave, unemployment insurance or permanent status.

Merit Increase and Changes in Pay Rate

You may be considered for a merit increase, at any time, but ONLY AFTER a satisfactory performance evaluation has been completed with one employer. You are eligible for a performance evaluation at any time; however, typically, merit increases are considered when you are re-appointed at the beginning of each semester, summer session, or academic year.

  • Should funding be available, your employing department may request a merit salary increase based on your "satisfactory" demonstration performance.
  • If your level of responsibility of complexity of duties has increased, your department may make a request to reclassify the position. If approved, the appropriate salary increase will be authorized.
  • All merit salary increase requests and reclassification requests must be submitted through the Office of Financial Aid.

Employment Expectations

You are entitled to be informed by your FWS supervisor of your expected work schedule and duties. You are expected to conduct yourself in a professional manner.

An Employer May Terminate Your FWS Employment if:

  • Your work schedule is not compatible with the employers' needs;
  • You display unprofessional conduct such as repeated absences or tardiness;
  • You do not maintain confidentially of records; or
  • Your work is unsatisfactory.

Monitoring Your Earnings

  • You are responsible for monitoring your FWS wages and notifying your FWS supervisor when you are close to reaching your FWS allocation (maximum earnings). You may not earn more than your FWS award amount as indicated in TITAN Online. If your FWS award is revised, you must notify your FWS supervisor immediately.
  • You are responsible for reporting your time accurately and for signing and submitting your time sheet on time each month to your supervisor.

Not Eligible For FWS But Interested In Working On-Campus?

On-Campus Employment Opportunities for Students

If you are not eligible for Federal Work Study, you might want to look into other on-campus employment opportunities: 

Student assistants must be enrolled in one unit or more per semester in the CSU, regularly attending classes, and in good academic standing leading toward a degree. Most student employees may work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year, plus additional hours during academic breaks. In some cases, students may work 40 hours per week. Generally, summer student employees may work up to 40 hours per week.

Need more assistance?

Contact the Office of Financial Aid
Phone: 657-278-3125
Email:   financialaid@fullerton.edu

Employer Resource Information


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 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 Work-Study Program provide essential services to the University and to the community that enable them to gain valuable work experience.


Student FWS award amounts vary. Student’s with New FWS awards are awarded $4500, students who have had FWS in the prior year are awarded $5000.  Once the Fall semester has begun we 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 the Career Center via Titan Connection indicating that the job is for FWS students (FYI - student’s without FWS awards may still apply for your open position as they often misunderstand the hiring criteria).  Directions for posting your positions are attached.


We encourage employers to request that students bring a print out of their financial aid awards so you can confirm they have an FWS award and see how much the award is for.  The FWS award is very clearly listed on the students award screen in their Student Portal.


FWS students are processed by Human Resources and Payroll in the same manner as Student Assistants.  This means that employers should be aware of all Student Assistant hiring procedures and policies.  

All student Assistants, FWS students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units and are not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week during the academic sessions. Additionally, FWS Students must maintain   Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and Employers must provide the Financial Aid office with a copy of the job description and update the FA office of any changes in the position or the student’s employment status.

Additional resources and information can be found at   Human Resource website for Student Employment


As an employer you pay 100% of the 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 different Federal Shares for Community Service. The attached FWS New Community Service Partner Outreach document discusses the basics of this program which is able to provide 90% Federal Share to Community Service positions and 100% Federal Share for those positions that provide tutoring in Mathematics and Reading (see the attached Tutoring FSA Guidelines for specific descriptions).

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS We have put together these handy FAQ sheets:

FWS Employers FAQsPDF File

FWS Off-Campus Employers FAQs PDF File


Need more assistance?

Contact the Federal Work-Study Coordinator

Marcia Starcher

Phone: 657-278-7179

Email: mstarcher@fullerton.edu