Loyola University Chicago

Center for Experiential Learning



Federal Work Study (FWS)

What is Federal Work-Study?

  • Federal Work Study (FWS) is an optional component of a financial aid award given to students, on an annual basis, per completion of the FAFSA, earned through part-time employment on-campus or in the Community-Based Federal Work Study Program.
  • FWS wages are 1) taxable income; 2) paid at least the Federal minimum wage level; 3) NOT repaid to the university or the organization paying the student.
  • Students who do not use their FWS funds are NOT penalized in any way.
  • Loss of FWS funds only occurs when a student's financial aid status changes.
  • Each work study award is annual, meaning the award amount is the total amount of available work study funds throughout the entire academic year (the amount is NOT per semester).
  • A Federal Work-Study award does NOT guarantee employment, it increases the number of job postings a student is qualified to apply to.
  • A Federal Work-Study job is NOT a position that allows you to study while you work. Federal Work-Study positions are identical in responsibilities as non-Federal Work-Study positions.

How does Federal Work-Study work?

  1. Student receives a Federal Work-Study award within his/her Financial Aid Package.
  2. Student reviews the amount of this award can be viewed with each student's LOCUS account, by asking a HUB representative or meeting with a Financial Aid advisor.
  3. Student prepares for a competitive job search that usually requires a one-page resume and interview(s).
  4. Student conducts a job search, targeting positions that require work-study recipients. Positions are posted in the on-line recruiting system, RamblerLink. Recruiting for Work-Study positions happens throughout the year including the off campus work-study program called Community-Based Federal Work-Study.

Community-based Federal Work Study program

What is the Community-Based Federal Work-Study Program?

The Center for Experiential Learning has established a robust Community-Based Federal Work-Study Program in order to provide more job opportunities for those students who have received Federal Work-Study as part of their Financial Aid Awards. This program enables students to earn their Work-Study awards but requires students to work in an off-campus community organization in a position that enriches the Chicagoland community. Students gain valuable experience working at community service sites while earning money for their education.

The Center for Experiential Learning has developed work-study employment agreements with over 90 local community-based organizations which provide experiential learning opportunities for students as part of the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program. Organizations such as the YMCA, Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, Chicago Public Schools and Children's Memorial Hospital, just to name a few, participate in this program!

The purpose of the Community-Based Federal Work Study program is "…to encourage students receiving Federal student financial assistance to participate in community service activities that will benefit the Nation and engender in the students a sense of social responsibility and commitment to the community."

How does Community-Based Federal Work-Study work?

  • Undergraduate students* who are awarded Federal-Work Study within the financial aid package may earn that award through employment at community-based organizations. Positions must be earned in a traditional search/apply/interview process. Federal Work-Study positions are identical in responsibilities as non-Federal Work-Study positions. Students may follow the procedure below to work at community-based service sites.

    1. Once you have been notified that you have Federal Work-Study in your financial aid package, you may apply for a position at one of the community service sites. Students can search for available Federal Work-Study positions through RamblerLink, Loyola's online job posting system. You must apply for FWS positions by following instructions (sending resume, contacting them for an interview), and you are responsible for obtaining an available FWS position at the site that is the best fit for you, your schedule, and your award amount.
    2. Before establishing an interview, go to the HUB in the Sullivan Center and obtain a copy of your Federal Work-Study Community Service Authorization Form. This will be requested by the hiring agency.
    3. Once you are hired by the community service site, you must obtain a copy of your Work Authorization Form from the HUB and submit it to your new supervisor.
    4. During your employment, you will need to monitor your Federal Work-Study award amount to make sure you will have enough to last the duration of your employment.

* = Graduate students may apply for Federal Work-Study by contacting the Office of Financial Student Assistance.