Federal Work-Study (FWS) provides part-time jobs for undergraduate 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.
The first step to receive Federal Work-Study is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students with financial need may be offered Federal Work-Study. If the student chooses to accept FWS, then they can begin their job search with the campus Financial Aid Office. The student and their employer will determine the student’s work schedule. We understand that a student’s priority must be their academic success, so work schedules are flexible.
Earnings are not applied directly to the student’s tuition bill but are used at the student’s discretion to cover educational costs such as books, transportation, food, and housing. Students normally work less than 20 hours a week and may earn up to $5000 per academic year.
To be considered for Federal Work Study, take the following steps each academic year:
- Complete your FAFSA each year!
- Notify the Financial Aid Office of any changes in your family’s financial circumstances.
- Notify the Financial Aid Office of any changes in your enrollment status.
- To avoid losing eligibility in the future, be sure that you do not earn more than the predetermined Federal Work-Study offered amount
The amount of Federal Work-Study you are offered is limited to your cost of attendance, the aid you have already received (such as grants and scholarships), and your financial need. The student and their employer should compute how many hours a student is able to work at his or her wage rate to determine the student's schedule for the year.
Any funds not earned at the end of the academic year will be forfeited and do not carry over to the next year. Students are responsible for monitoring their own earnings to ensure compliance. If the student exceeds the FWS amount, 100 percent will be charged to the employer’s account. Students should be aware that their FWS amount might be decreased during the academic year because of the receipt of outside resources (e.g., scholarships). If a student’s financial circumstances change, increases to FWS may be made. Both the student and employer will be notified if FWS is adjusted.
- Lancaster Federal Work-Study positions
- Salkehatchie Federal Work-Study positions
- Sumter Federal Work-Study positions
- Union Federal Work-Study positions
Once a student has found a job in which they are interested, it is the student's responsibility to contact the employer and arrange an interview.
- Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification)
- FWS Dress Code
- FWS Confidentiality Agreement
- FWS Employment Authorization
- FWS On/Off Campus Contract
Students are paid on the 15th and the last day of the month. Please note: you will not receive your first paycheck until one month (two pay periods) after your first day of work. Please see the Hourly Employee Pay Schedule for paydays as well as weeks being paid.
Paychecks are direct deposited. Click here to learn how to set up or make a change to your direct deposit.
If your financial circumstances have changed and you would like to have your Federal Work-Study amount increased, you should contact the Financial Aid Office to ask how to appeal.
Students who believe that their financial circumstances have changed since accepting the original package should contact the Financial Aid Office to appeal. Students who request an increase must document additional financial need. Please note that program regulations prohibit the determining of earnings based on an employer's need to retain a worker or a student's desire to work.
- Longevity: Students may receive a $.50 hourly pay increase for each year of continuous service with the same employer.
- Merit: At the annual evaluation each spring, students may be awarded an hourly pay increase up to $.25 for meritorious service. This is an optional increase determined by the employer and becomes effective the following fall.
- Reclassification: If a student has gained additional skills and responsibilities after time on the job, the student may be reclassified to a new position. An employer must provide documentation of the increased responsibilities, and the reclassification must be approved by the Financial Aid Office before it becomes effective.
The Federal Work-Study program encourages community service. Such jobs are likely located off-campus and are generally paid at a higher rate. Community Service is defined as services designed to improve the quality of life, especially for low-income residents, to include:
- health care, child care, literacy training, education, welfare, social services, transportation, housing, safety, crime prevention and control, recreation, etc.
- work in service opportunities or youth corps
- support services for students with disabilities
- "mentoring" (e.g., tutoring, counseling, supporting educational and recreational activities)
If you are interested in a community service position, contact the Financial Aid Office for help with job placement.
Please note that the Financial Aid Offices on the Palmetto College Campuses do not research the integrity of each employer located off campus. Therefore, you are urged to undertake this responsibility for yourself. Use caution and common sense when working in any position with an organization to avoid putting yourself in a vulnerable situation.