Federal Work Study (FWS) is a federal financial aid program designed to help students meet educational expenses. The award is based on financial need, and is awarded only to students who are citizens or resident aliens. In using Federal Work Study, law students are able to earn money during the summer months while working in a legal role. Because the student works to earn the Federal Work Study money, it is money that does not have to be paid back after graduation.
PLEASE NOTE: FWS contracts are renewed each spring with participating employers, for starting employment dates of May each year. On average, about 10 law students are awarded FWS on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS each spring.
- Students who receive a FWS award in their financial aid package may earn up to the amount of the award during a given academic year or semester
- Students who receive a FWS award are not obligated to participate in the student employment program. However, if you have a FWS award and work with an employer that has a FWS contract in place with the University, the award will automatically be utilized. The Financial Aid Office may adjust or cancel a student’s FWS award if it is not being utilized. Unused FWS is returned to the federal government
- Students may not earn more than the amount listed on their most recent award letter
- FWS reduces reliance on student loans and helps to reduce debt upon graduation
- FWS earnings do not increase taxable reported income which could otherwise reduce future student aid or other assistance which may be received
To be considered for FWS, students must:
- Have filed their FAFSA, making sure to select the work study option
- Must be enrolled for not fewer than 6 credit hours during the next academic term
- Not begin working until FWS eligibility has been determined and you have been approved by the Financial Aid Office (status can be viewed on CampusNet)
- Student employees must meet with the OCSE prior to accepting a job offer in this program
- Student employees may not work more than 20 hours per week during active terms of enrollment
- FWS cannot be used to pay for more than 40 hours per week during breaks, including summer
- Student employees must communicate with the Director of Career Planning changes in their employment and promptly respond to requests for information
- Students may not earn in excess of their FWS and will not begin earning prior to the start of the summer academic term each year.
- Unsatisfactory performance on an accepted position will result in the student losing eligibility to participate in this program in the future
- Once a position is accepted, students will not be considered for additional positions
The employer determines wages, which typically range from $10-$15 per hour. Current federal regulations require that at least the minimum wage be paid.
Each FWS student must complete the necessary hiring paperwork to enter the student into the payroll system. Once this process is completed, you will receive a timesheet for each pay period. Your FWS employer must sign off on biweekly sheets, and the completed, signed timesheets must be faxed or scanned/e-mailed to the Office of Career Strategy & Employment (firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-687-6881) by noon on the Tuesday following the pay period.
Please contact Sarah Beznoska, Assstant Dean for Student and Career Services at 216-687-2260