Federal Work Study Eligibility

The information below can provide further details to help you better understand the eligibility requirements for Federal Work Study (FWS).

FWS Eligibility

  • FWS eligibility is determined by an individual’s financial situation and eligibility for federal financial aid.
  • Not all students with financial aid will be awarded FWS.
  • Foreign national students do not qualify for FWS.

Eligibility Restrictions

  • You must be registered full-time, enrolled in classes, and have no registration holds.
  • You cannot be withdrawn from Cornell, on a leave of absence, registered part-time or In Absentia, or graduated.
  • You must be paid by the hour – stipend or lump sum payments are not allowed.
  • The employer must pay a portion of your wages unless you are hired for the America Reads or America Counts programs (FWS pays 100% for these programs).

Using Your Eligibility

  • Your FWS award has an earnings maximum specific to a term (fall/spring or summer). During the award term, if you do not earn the full amount, we assume you found other means by which to cover your expenses.
  • The balance you do not earn cannot be converted to cash, nor can it be applied to your Bursar balance. Basically – if you don’t use it, you lose it.
  • Future FWS eligibility is based on your financial situation – not on your previous eligibility for FWS or the amount you did (or didn’t) earn.