Student Employment

Federal Work-Study vs. Regular Student Employment

While both Federal Work-Study (FWS) and Regular Student Employment are administered through the Student Employment Office, there are some differences in the administration and source of their funding. FWS is need-based for the student. In order to qualify for FWS, the student must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or a Renewal Application and be determined eligible. Departments may not use work study funds to pay wages for any position that generates revenue. Additionally, work study funds should only be used to pay hourly (non revenue generating) wages and are not to be used to pay commissions, bonuses, etc.  The hourly rate for a FWS student is the State minimum wage at the time of hiring.  Regular Student Employment is not need-based and is available to all students who meet the eligibility requirements.

The Federal Work-Study Program was designed not only to provide additional funding for those students demonstrating financial need but also to support the educational program and individual student goals. Western has made a commitment to distributing FWS funds to meet these goals.

The Student Employment Community Service and America Reads Programs are part of the Federal Work-Study program and are based on financial need. The purpose of these programs is to place students in employment positions that not only enhance the students' learning but benefit the community as well. Students are placed in positions in social service settings that serve low-income individuals. A limited number of positions are available and require special skills and/or training. Positions are offered to qualified students.

Funding for Federal Work‑Study wages comes from two sources.  Government funding is distributed to schools for use in a matching system.  The earnings from a job are made up of government funding with the remaining percentage contributed by the University.

There is a limited amount of funds designated for Federal Work-Study, so early application by the student is strongly advised. There are no Federal Work-Study funds available during the summer employment session.