Financial Aid

Work Study Q & A

 

 

 

How do I apply?

To be considered for this award, you must file the FAFSA application and request for FWS by checking the appropriate box on the FAFSA. FWS money is awarded on a first-come, first served basis. If you are awarded you will receive a fixed amount of money that may be earned during that academic year. Once this money is earned, there is no more for that academic year. You are encouraged to file your financial aid applications early.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To receive FWS, you must meet the eligibility requirements as described in the section on Federal Work-Study Program.

Where would I work?

Placement can be made on-campus in one of the academic or administrative departments or off-campus at a number of non-profit community service agencies affiliated with CUNY.

Can I choose where I would like to work?

Yes. If you receive FWS, you will be instructed to visit the FWS Information Page for instructions on locating job placement. After selecting a job, you will arrange for an interview with the work-study employer and travel to the job site with a work-study employment contract. If you are hired, you and your work-study employer will sign the contract and you will return it to the work-study placement office. You may then begin to work. Note: if you are not hired, you must return the unsigned contract to the work-study placement office, choose another job assignment, arrange for another interview and get a new contract for your employer to sign.

Can I earn as much money as I want?

No. Your FWS award represents the maximum amount you may earn for the academic year. How much of the total award you actually receive depends upon your rate of pay, the total number of hours you work each week and the number of weeks you work in the year. Once you have earned your maximum FWS award, you will have to stop working.

Am I paid an hourly wage or a salary?

You are paid by the hour, your rate of pay being determined by the job location and the nature of the work involved. You will receive at least $6.00 per hour for on-campus positions. The rate of pay can be higher for jobs off-campus but will be no lower than $6.00 per hour.

How will I be paid?

Every two weeks, your supervisor submits a time sheet for you to Student Financial Services, in Shuster Hall Rm. 081. After your first time sheet is submitted, you may have to wait up to 4 weeks for your first check. Subsequently, you will receive a paycheck every two weeks. See Federal Work-Study Timesheet and Check Distribution Schedule for the dates your timesheets must be submitted in order to be paid on time for each work period throughout the school year.

If I am unable to earn my entire award, will I be able to receive the rest of the money?

No. You can be paid only for the hours you have worked. If you cannot earn your entire FWS award before the end of the academic year, the unearned portion of your award is returned to the program.

How many credits do I have to take for FWS eligibility?

You must register for and maintain an enrollment status of half-time (6 credits or equated credits) or greater to be eligible for FWS. If, for any reason, your course load falls below half-time, you can no longer participate in the program and must stop working.

Do I have to stop working if I withdraw from school?

Yes. If you withdraw from school for any reason, you lose your eligibility for FWS and must stop working.

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 New York State Department of Labor 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 can be excluded in the calculation of eligibility for financial aid.

Why do I have to fill out an I-9 form?

According to federal law, the identity and work eligibility of all FWS students must be verified before beginning a FWS assignment. You will have to complete an I-9 form and present certain documents to an appropriate FWS representative. You may not participate in the on-campus FWS program until you have filed an I-9 form with the Financial Aid Office. If you work off-campus, you will file your I-9 with your off-campus employer.

What are the benefits of the FWS program?

If you have never had a job, the FWS program can give you your first exposure to the world of work. FWS employers are often willing to give you on-the-job training. You can find positions relating directly to your program of study or career choice, thereby gaining valuable job experience. You may learn about giving something back to the community through a community service related FWS position. When seeking regular employment after graduation, you may use your FWS job as an employment reference.

Last modified: Mar 14, 2012

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