Federal Work Study for Students

The Federal Work Study (FWS) program is a federally funded financial aid program administered by Cornell University. It is designed to assist students in meeting the costs associated with higher education by promoting access to meaningful work experiences. Work Study does not mean that students are paid to study, but rather work in jobs to earn money. The standard amount of the work expectation is $3,500, funded by Cornell and FWS.

The Benefits of Federal Work Study

  • You earn money to help you keep your expenses under control.
  • You gain work experience and new skills, which improves your marketability when applying for future internships and jobs after graduation.
  • You expand your network of contacts and acquire references, both of which you will use for future job opportunities.
  • You are a more appealing job applicant to many employers – FWS eligibility gives you an edge in a competitive job market.

Employment Earnings Eligibility (EEE) is not the same as FWS

You may have EEE as part of your financial aid package in addition to, or as a replacement of, FWS.

  • EEE is awarded to students who are not eligible for FWS.
  • EEE is similar to FWS but is not supported by federal funds.
  • EEE indicates that you are still expected to work and earn a specific amount to help meet your expenses. However, your employer is not reimbursed for a portion of your wages.
  • Your take-home pay is the same, regardless of EEE or FWS.