Federal Work-Study Program

Also known as FWSP or "Work-Study", the Federal Work-Study Program is an employment program for some, but not all, of those receiving financial Aid. Through FWSP, the federal government pays from 75% to 100% of an eligible student's wages, making it easier for an employer to hire a student or for a student to find the right job.

Students "on Work-Study" are half time students maintaining at least 6 credits per semester, U.S. citizens or permanent residents, who qualify for federal financial aid based on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and other financial aid application information. These students may apply for Work-Study jobs posted on the web site for the indicated school year.

The federal share of a student's FWS wage is determined by the position. The standard federal share for on-campus and most off-campus positions in non-profit organizations is 75% and the wages of students serving as reading and math tutors under the America Reads and America Counts programs are reimbursed at 100%.


Not all financial aid students are eligible for Work-Study. Make sure you confirm your eligibility before you apply for a Work-Study job.

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and your financial need meets the requirements set by federal rules, you will then be eligible for Work-Study. You are not eligible if you are a foreign student, or an incoming freshman who has not yet registered.


Once you confirm your Work-Study eligibility, you may apply for Work-Study jobs on the Active Work-Study Positions page. Employment Eligibility Verification, W-4 and Direct Deposit forms are required if hired. These forms must be completed and turned in with all requested documents. You may not begin work until these forms are received by the Work-Study coordinator and attend a Work-Study orientation with Career Services. Career Services is located in the Pratt Building on the New Castle Campus. Orientation is held on Tuesdays 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. and Thursdays 3:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M. If you are unable to attend in person you may schedule the orientation over the phone.

There are more rules for Work-Study positions than for regular jobs. To meet the federal requirement that FWS students make "satisfactory academic progress", Wilmington University has limited the time students may work to 20 hours a week while classes are in session.  There is no compensation for sick days or legal and religious holidays. Finally, students may not earn more than their FWS award ceiling which is determined by the financial aid office. There is often some flexibility with FWS award amount, so it is never a mistake to make sure your award is firm. Contact the your Work-Study Coordinator with any questions or concerns you may have in regards to you Award amount.

FWS Award Ceiling

FWS Award Amounts are the maximum you may earn in Work-Study wages, but they can change in the course of a year depending on your financial aid. It is always a good idea to check with the Financial Aid Office to confirm your AWARD.

Regulations governing the Federal Work-Study Program require that institutions award Work-Study eligibility to students in specific amounts reflecting their financial need. At the time you receive your award letter, the amount indicated for FWS equals your remaining need at the time. If you receive outside awards or take a loan in an amount different from what was listed in your financial aid award, your award will change.

Outside Awards

Outside awards (National Merit Scholarships, for example) reduce the term-time job and/or loan component of your financial aid package. As the Financial Aid Office becomes aware of your outside awards, they will incorporate it into your financial aid package, affecting your loan and/or term-time job.

Payroll Procedures

Students are required to submit timesheets signed both by themselves and their supervisor to the Financial Aid Office on or before the date indicated on their time sheet(s).  Time sheets turned in after the specified DATE and TIME will not make payroll until the next pay period.  Payroll is done on the 15th, and 30th of every month. 

Students are strongly encouraged to set up a bank account in advance to which checks can be deposited directly.