Your Federal Work Study Earnings

The information below can help you better understand your Federal Work Study (FWS) earnings.

Getting Paid

  • Your pay rate is determined by the job duties, required skills and experience, complexity of the job, and pay equity within the department – it is not determined by the fact that you do (or do not) have FWS.
  • FWS wages are paid to you directly on a bi-weekly basis as a paycheck, and are not applied to your Bursar balance.

Using your FWS earnings

  • FWS, just like a student loan, is considered the “self-help” portion of your financial aid package.
  • The amount of money you need to earn from FWS is calculated into your financial aid package, and you need to earn that amount to meet your expected expenses.
  • You determine how best to allocate that money against your planned expenses for the year.

Are FWS Earnings Taxed?

  • Yes. All earnings are taxed - FWS or not.
  • During the academic year, while you are attending classes full-time, state and federal taxes are withheld from your pay, but FICA (social security tax) is not.
  • During the summer, when you are not attending classes full-time, state, federal, and FICA taxes are withheld.
  • You will complete a W-4 Tax Withholding form when you are hired.

Reporting FWS Earnings

  • Taxed earnings are reported on your W-2 and on your annual income tax forms.