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Federal Work Study Award (FWS) FAQs

Federal Work Study Award (FWS)

  • If you have been awarded financial aid, you may be eligible for a Federal Work Study position on campus or in the community.

What is Federal Work Study?

  • A work study position is essentially a part-time job. It is an opportunity for you to earn extra money while gaining valuable work experience in a field or department that interests you or aligns with your academic goals.
  • The supervisor hiring you will consider your class schedule and other personal obligations when assigning work hours.
  • As soon as you are awarded your financial aid, you should come to the Financial Aid Office and inquire about open positions and your eligibility.
  • Federal Work Study is not automatically awarded to you.
  • You will need to come to the Financial Aid Office or contact the FWS coordinator to be awarded.
  • Eligibility Requirements:
    • You must be awarded a Federal Pell grant
    • You must be enrolled at least half-time for each semester you are awarded (6 credit hours)
    • You must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
    • Hopefully, you will be able to secure a job related to your vocational goals, previous work experience, or special skills.
    • Students are encouraged to consider community service jobs
    • On-campus community service opportunities are available at the campus Libraries and tutoring centers
  • How am I paid?
    • The total amount you earn is determined by your financial aid award.
    • Once you begin working, the monthly wages are paid in two weeks intervals, usually on the 15th and the 30th of each month.
    • You may participate in FWS as long as you maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and meet all other financial aid eligibility requirements.
  • Interested?

Is Federal Work Study (FWS) the same thing as Ready to Work (RTW)?

  • No.
  • While both offer an avenue for a student to have a part time job on campus, they are completely separate programs. 
  • Federal Work Study is based on financial aid awarded through the Federal Government.
  • Ready to Work (RTW) is a partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children to better serve Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP) clients in the Community and Technical Colleges.
  • It has different eligibility requirements and processes and is a program for students who are receiving aid from the Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP).
  • For other RTW eligibility requirements, please contact the Ready to Work Office.

What is the pay rate for Federal Work Study?

  • The hourly rate is $9.00 but the total amount you can earn and the number of hours you can work are dependent on your financial aid award.

How many hours can I work?

  • The maximum a student can work under Federal Work Study is 20 hours a week for the semester of current enrollment.

How are students chosen for Federal Work Study?

  • Federal Work Study is available to all students who meet the eligibility requirements.
  • There are limited slots, however, so no one can be guaranteed a position. 
  • It is awarded on a first come, first served basis so we recommend applying for financial aid early and inquiring about a position as soon as possible after you are awarded.
  • Here are some recommendations to ensure you have a head start:
    • Apply for financial aid and submit your FAFSA at the website by March of each year for the following academic year.
    • Check your KCTCS student email account and Self-Service often so you know when your financial aid has been awarded (or if additional information is needed on your application packet)
    • Come to Financial Aid or contact the Federal Work Study Coordinator as soon as you see financial aid awarded or offered on your self-service.