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What Is Federal Work-Study?

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federal financial aid, limited-funds program that provides primarily part-time job opportunities for students with financial need. FWS jobs may be on or off campus. This allows students to earn money throughout the semester to help pay for educational expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student's program of study whenever possible.

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How Do I Get Federal Work-Study?

See the How Do I Become Eligible for FWS section of our Federal Work-Study page for details.

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Can I Still Apply for Part-Time Jobs if I Don't Have Work-Study?

Yes! There are part-time job opportunities on and off campus for students. Students do not need a work-study offer to work. They just cannot apply for work-study jobs specifically unless they have been offered and accepted work-study.

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What Types of Work-Study Jobs Are Available?

There are a variety of positions. With off-campus jobs, students can work with community partners (nonprofit organizations). On-campus, students have access to research positions, assistant jobs, office work, technical, front-desk, and more.

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How Is Federal Work-Study Different from Other Student Employment Jobs?

Federal Work-Study (FWS) differs from regular student employment jobs because it is only offered to students awarded work-study. The Federal Work-Study program helps students build their resume while earning a paycheck to help offset their college expenses. If you are eligible, check out our Student Resources page for more information.

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How Do I Accept My Work-Study Offer?

See our Accept or Decline Aid page for instructions.

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How Do I Apply for Work-Study Jobs?

See the How Do I Apply for FWS Jobs in Handshake section of our FWS Student Resources page.

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What Is Handshake?

Handshake, provided by Career Services, is the University's job search and application database. It provides opportunities for not only FWS jobs but also other part-time student employment, internships, assistantships, and careers after earning your degree.

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How Do I Upload My Resume on Handshake?

See Step Three: Upload your resume section on our FWS Student Resources page.

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Can I Get Resume Help?

If you need help creating a resume, see the WVU Career Services Build a Resume website for resume templates. You can even ask Career Services to review your resume via the same website. Don't forget to include any community service/volunteer work and employment (including high school jobs) on your resume.

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How Do I Upload My Work Availability in Handshake?

See Step Four: Upload your work availability section on our FWS Student Resources page.

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What if I Don't Hear Anything after I Apply for Jobs?

Depending on the supervisor, they may not be able to respond quickly. Supervisors are highly encouraged to respond even if they are not hiring you for the position; however, not all do.

If you do not receive a response after a few weeks, log back into Handshake and apply for more jobs! As a reminder, you will be assigned to the first supervisor who hires you, so only apply for jobs you truly want.

If you are really interested in a job that you have not received a response on for multiple weeks, send an online request for assistance requesting the supervisor's contact information so you can reach out to them directly.

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How Do I Process for Payroll?

Students must process for payroll and receive an official hire date before they can begin working. See the WVU Shared Services Employee Processing website. The information available is applicable for all WVU campuses.

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Does Work-Study Apply Directly to My Bill for the Semester?

Since work-study is a job, if you are hired, you will receive a paycheck throughout the semester based on the hours you work. These funds do not pay directly to your semester bill. However, if you would like to save your earnings to make a payment on your bill for an upcoming semester, you can!

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Are Work-Study Jobs On or Off Campus?

There are both on- and off-campus jobs available (for work-study and general student employment).

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How Much Work-Study Funds Can I Earn?

Your work-study offer is the maximum amount you can earn. For example, if you are offered $2,000 for fall and spring, you cannot earn more than that over the course of fall/spring semesters.

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When students process for payroll, they sign up for direct deposit (the fastest way to receive your pay). For information on pay days throughout the year and what days are covered on each pay, visit the Pay Schedules website and click on the Pay Periods file for the appropriate year.

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Can I Work as Many Hours as I Want?

The short answer is no. Students can work between 1 to 20 hours per week throughout the fall and spring semesters. There are some exceptions where students can work up to 40 hours per week (over some breaks). Employed FWS students are sent notifications throughout the semester when those exceptions occur with more details. Student employees cannot work on days the University is officially closed, which includes scheduled University holidays as well as emergency closures such as snow days. Please note that student days off such as spring break are not necessarily days the University itself is officially closed for a University holiday.

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