Federal Work Study Information

Federal Work-Study


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Federal Work Study

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally funded aid program that provides on-campus work positions to qualifying Saddleback College students.  Students must meet the financial aid requirement to qualify for a position.  To apply, students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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How do I apply for Federal Work-Study?

  • Complete the FAFSA online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov
  • Mark ‘yes’ to the question on the FAFSA that asks if you are interested in student employment
  • Students must complete a new FAFSA by March 2nd of each year for consideration
  • If the student is eligible for and is offered FWS as reflected in the award letter, he/she needs to contact the Financial Aid Office for a job referral

FWS Policy

  • Students must be enrolled in 6 or more units
  • Students may not work more than 15 hours, per week, while school is in session
  • Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA or better
  • Students must not earn over their FWS award amount
  • Students may not work during a scheduled class or lab (even if it’s cancelled)
  • The FWS academic year is July 1st through June 30th.  Students are not paid for what they don’t earn.  Earnings “left over” from the previous year are not transferred to the next academic year.
  • FWS awards are cancelled if the student does not respond to the FWS offer within 3 weeks from the date FWS is awarded
  • The Financial Aid Office has the right to change a student’s award which may result in a student’s FWS award being increased or decreased

FWS Procedures

  • Once you have been awarded Federal Work Study, please contact our office
  • You will be required to complete the hiring process through Human Resources prior to considering which jobs are available.
  • After you complete the hiring process, return to our office and we will direct you to an available job opening for a job interview

Frequently Asked Questions

I am currently receiving unemployment.  Do I have to report FWS earnings to the unemployment office?


Yes, If you are receiving unemployment insurance benefits and are also employed in the FWS program, you must notify your local unemployment office that you are working in the FWS program.  The California Employment Development Department (EDD) considers it willful misrepresentation to collect unemployment benefits without revealing that you are also receiving FWS.

Are FWS earnings taxable?

Yes, FWS earnings are considered taxable income by both federal and state governments.  However, FWS earnings are not counted as income in determining eligibility for financial aid.

Quick Facts

  • On campus employment positions
  • Must meet financial need requirement:  complete FAFSA
  • Hours:  up to 15 hours, per week
  • Pay rate:  $15.50, per hour.
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time (6 units per semester)
  • Students cannot begin working without authorization from the Financial Aid Office