A college education has become a significant expense for most families and requires careful planning. Whatever your financial situation is, we encourage you to use this information to help you understand college funding so you can navigate the financial aid process with greater ease.

Federal Financial Aid Information

Understanding Your Financing Options

Learn how to estimate your education costs and know your financing options with Wells Fargo’s five short videos.

Federal Work-Study

What is the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program?

Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

Here’s a quick overview of Federal Work-Study:

  • It provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school.
  • It’s available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with financial need.
  • It’s available to full-time or part-time students.
  • It’s administered by schools participating in the Federal Work-Study Program. Check with your school’s financial aid office to find out if your school participates.

Click here for the most up-to-date information on Federal Work Study Programs:


What kinds of jobs are there?

The FWS Program provides jobs for students demonstrating financial need and emphasizes employment in civic education and work related to your course of study, whenever possible.

Are Federal Work-Study jobs on campus or off campus?

Both . If you work on campus, you’ll usually work for your school. If you work off campus, your employer will usually be a private nonprofit organization or a public agency, and the work performed must be in the public interest.

Some schools might have agreements with private for-profit employers for FWS jobs. These jobs must be relevant to your course of study (to the maximum extent possible). If you attend a proprietary school (i.e., a for-profit institution), there may be further restrictions on the types of jobs you can be assigned.

How much can I earn?

You’ll earn at least the current federal minimum wage. However, the amount might be higher depending on the type of work you do and the skills required for the position.

Your total FWS award depends on:

  • When you apply,
  • Your level of financial need, and
  • Your school’s funding level. (The U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid provides a certain amount of work-study funds to participating schools; when all funds have been awarded, no additional work-study awards can be made for that year.)

How will I be paid?

  • Undergraduate student—by the hour.
  • Graduate student—by the hour or by salary, depending on the work you do.
  • Your school must pay you at least once a month.
  • Your school must pay you directly unless you request that the school:
  • send your payments directly to your bank account, or
  • use the money to pay for your education-related institutional charges such as tuition, fees, and room and board.

Can I work as many hours as I want?

No. The amount you earn can’t exceed your total FWS award. When assigning work hours, your employer or FAA will consider your class schedule and your academic progress.