Federal Work Study Program (FWSP)

Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated July 12, 2021

What is a Federal Work Study Program (FWSP)?

The Federal Work Study Program (FWSP) is a form of financial aid awarded to a student who has completed a FAFSA and has demonstrated a financial need. The student is given a job (usually on-campus) and is paid by the school.

How Does a Federal Work Study Program (FWSP) Work?

The Federal Work Study Program (FWSP) was formerly called the College Work Study Program (CWSP).

After a student completes the FAFSA for the upcoming school year, the school determines the student's level of financial need and decides how much (if any) financial aid will be awarded.

The school's financial aid office (which pays the student) will determine the wage the student may earn based on their previous work experience, their level of financial need and the amount money that is available in the school's financial aid budget. Because there is a fixed amount of money that the financial aid office may pay the FWSP student, the student may not exceed their work hours in a given semester. 

A student under the FWSP may work on or off campus. On-campus, a student may work at the school bookstore, cafeteria, residence hall or admissions office. Off-campus, a student may work for a non-profit agency or public organization that works with the school.

Why Does a Federal Work Study Program (FWSP) Matter?

Combined with scholarships, grants and loans, working under the school's FWSP can offer a student significant aid when it comes to paying tuition and other college expenses. Unlike a normal job, funds that are paid to the student under the FSW program doesn't count against the amount of financial aid that a student may receive in the future.

[Related articles: 5 Simple Ways to Save on the Rising Costs of Higher Education7 Simple Ways to Pay Off Any Size Student Loan

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