Financial Aid and Scholarships

Federal Work Study Information for Students

Welcome to Work Study!

As part of your financial aid package, Federal Work Study jobs provide an amazing opportunity to earn part of your college costs rather than increasing the amount you borrow through loan.

Remember that the less debt you graduate with, the more choices you’ll have in life! When you take full advantage of work-study opportunities, you will:

  • Gain valuable job skills and experiences.
  • Build your resume and learn to write a dynamic, job-specific cover letter.
  • Find major-related work for an edge on graduate school applications or a career job search.
  • Meet students, work with professionals, and expand your social and career networks.
  • Be more confident talking to recruiters at job fairs.

FWS jobs are available during the Fall and Spring semesters to undergraduate, credential and graduate students who meet federal and institutional eligibility requirements.  Most Work-Study jobs are located on campus but, on occasion, a limited number of off-campus opportunities become available.

 

Federal Work Study is a need-based federal student aid program that gives you the opportunity to earn money through part-time employment on the Cal Poly Pomona campus, or in limited positions in the community.

The intent of the program is to assist students with paying for educational expenses. FWS jobs are available during the Fall and Spring semesters to undergraduate, credential and graduate students who meet federal and institutional eligibility requirements.

This program pays a portion of your wages, so this subsidy makes you very desirable to employers! For example, if a department pays you $17.00/hour, it costs their budget a net $4.25/hour.

There are three advantages for a federal work study student:

  1. The subsidy makes you a highly sought-after employee.
  2. Federal Work Study earnings do not count against your aid eligibility when you fill out the next year's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  3. Federal Work Study gives you the opportunity to earn part of your college costs rather than increase your loans. The less debt you graduate with, the more choices you'll have in life.

In general, to be eligible for a Federal Work Study offer to be included in your aid package, you must:

  • File your FAFSA by the March 2 Priority Filing deadline. (Note: FAFSA is available each year beginning October 1)
  • Answer "Yes" to question 31 on the FAFSA, "Are you interested in being considered for work-study?"
  • Demonstrate financial need, as determined by the Financial Aid Office.
  • Submit all requested financial aid documentation from your To-Do-List by the due date
  • Accept your FWS Offer on Bronco Direct.
  • Remain enrolled at least half-time while working under the program
  • Maintain eligibility for aid under Cal Poly Pomona's Satisfactory Academic Progress Standars for Financial Aid Applicants while working under the program

If you are eligible for Federal Work Study, you will see the Federal Work Study offer amount included in your financial aid package / financial aid award summary.

Make sure you have work-study by logging into your MyCPP Student Center and reviewing your Aid Summary.  If you are eligible for Federal Work Study, you will see the Federal Work Study offer amount included in your financial aid package / financial aid award summary.

There are many benefits to choosing a Federal Work Study position as opposed to a non Work Study position.  For starters, you're a highly sought-after employee, because work-study saves employers money! This is because funds for Federal Work Study positions are partially subsidized by Federal Student Aid.

Work-study earnings don't count against your aid eligibility when you fill out next year's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Non work study earnings are considered additional income on the FAFSA and may affect your financial aid package.

Additional benefits to choosing Federal Work Study

Income

Pocket money for things you want and need.

Opportunity

Although you are not guaranteed a job if you are awarded Work–Study, you are much more likely to be hired if you have Work–Study eligibility. In addition, your job will be close to where you study.

Student–Friendly Schedule

Your employer knows your first priority is as a college student. Employers try to be as flexible as possible in scheduling work hours around your class schedule.

Future Financial Aid Eligibility

As a financial aid need-based program, Work–Study income (although taxable) does not affect your future financial aid eligibility in the next tax year.

Work Experience

Students who have job experience and who have worked while attending school are more attractive to future employers. Your supervisor may become an excellent reference.

Academic Success

Campus research has shown that Work–Study students connect with the campus community, learn about resources available to students, and establish stronger relationships with faculty and staff. This correlates with the fact that students with Work–Study jobs are more likely to stay in school, perform better academically, and graduate.

If you decide not to accept your Federal Work Study offer

If you choose not to accept your Federal Work Study offer, there is no effect on your grant aid. If you have not been awarded your maximum loan amount, you could qualify for more loan money. If you wish to cancel your Work-Study award and request remaining loan eligibility, contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.

Federal Work Study is considered earned wages.  It is not a lump sum grant. You are eligible to earn up to the dollar amount listed on your financial aid package over the course of the term / academic year. You are not guaranteed this money, nor are you required to earn it all. If you would like to earn the dollar amount listed on your financial aid package, you will need to find a job and work the appropriate amount of hours. You will receive the money in monthly paychecks based on your hourly wage and hours worked. The paychecks are issued on the 15th of every month.

Classifications and Pay Rates

  • Job classification and pay rates are based on the specific type of job you obtain.
  • Pay rates are listed on each job description in Handshake.
  • Employers can request pay raises for Federal Work Study students based on increased job responsibility and/or length of employment.

Students enrolled at least half-time, with financial need, may be eligible to participate in the Federal Work-Study program. Work Study offers range between $3,500to $5000 per academic year.

The hourly rate for a position can vary somewhat depending on job classification, time, and work performance. Most Work-Study jobs are located on campus but, on occasion, a limited number of off-campus opportunities become available. Please visit the Career Center website for more information about student employment at Cal Poly Pomona, to view available positions on Handshake (the Career Center's Job Posting Board).

You may begin earning Work Study on the first day of classes.  You may earn up to your Work Study offered amount during the academic year, half each semester. Students may work up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session and up to 40 hours per week when classes are not in session.

Searching for a position is easy!  Go to the Career Center website and login to Handshake to review the job listings for students for Federal Work Study.  Follow the application directions for the jobs you are applying for.

If you are having problems finding a job you may want to seek assistance from the Career Center. They can help you develop a resume, prepare for interviews, explore careers and have many other important and valuable resources.

We want you to know that the types of jobs vary, as the semester progresses along there may be fewer open positions listed. Make sure you pay attention to the needs of the employer (if they are seeking specific majors, availability).  If you are interested in a position, writing a cover letter or email to the employer may be a great way to introduce yourself, highlight your skills, and show your interest in the job. 

General Process to find a FWS position

  1. Go to BroncoDirect to review and accept your Federal Work Study offer.
  2. If looking for a new position, go to the Career Center website and login to Handshake to review the job and apply for listings for students for Federal Work Study Awards
  3. Provide a copy of your financial aid summary to the interviewer or your supervisor to confirm your FWS eligibilty.

Once you have found and been offered a position

  1. Complete the required paperwork (Employment Agreement provided by Employer)
  2. Complete & submit all required forms & documents (including the I-9 form and documents)
  3. You may start working once you receive clearance from Human Resources.
  4. New Employment Agreement forms must be completed each Fall and Summer Semester— even if you do not change jobs.

You may begin earning Work Study on the first day of classes, if your financial aid file is complete. Please note:  Students who hold a conditionally classified status, such as qualifying for credential or qualifying for master's, are ineligible for Work-Study.

  • For an academic year offer, you may work from the first day of classes in August through the last day of finals in the spring semester in May.
  • For a fall only offer, you may work from the first day of fall classes in August through the last day of finals for the fall semester.
  • For a spring only offer, you may work from the first day of spring classes in January through the last day of finals for the spring term.
  • Summer Work Study requires a separate application and approval from the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.

You may earn up to your Work Study awarded amount during the academic year, half each semester. Students may work up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session and up to 40 hours per week when classes are not in session.

You must stop working immediately in the following situations

    • When you reach your Earnings Limit
    • If you have a financial aid hold (check BroncoDirect)
    • If you drop below half-time enrollment at any time during the semester
    • If you are no longer eligible for aid under the Cal Poly Pomona Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for aid applicants.
    • If you are graduating, you must stop working on the last day of finals for the semester
    • If you are not graduating, you must stop working on the last day of the pay period. Check the payroll calendar for the last day of the pay period.  

Unearned fall amounts

If you do not earn up to your full Earnings Limit during the fall semester, you can use unearned amounts in the spring — but you cannot carry them over to the summer period.

The Work Study amount offered is what you can earn through a job, receiving a paycheck once a month for the hours you work; paychecks are typically issued on the 15th of every month.

  • You will be paid for hours worked during each pay period.  Pay periods do not always fall within a calendar month, so follow the Pay Period Schedule.
  • Your employer must submit your Student Assistant Time Report (CD048) each month using the Pay Period Schedule. Late or incomplete timesheets result in late paychecks.
  • Federal Work Study wages are subject to State and Federal taxes. You will receive a W-2 at the end of each calendar year. Please check with the IRS to see if you are required to file a State or Federal income tax return.
  • Federal Work Study students are not entitled to benefits such as overtime pay, paid holidays, paid vacation, paid sick leave, unemployment insurance or permanent status.

Rights as FWS Employee

  • Be given clear instructions and training for the job
  • Be paid for the hours you work
  • Work in a safe, drug-free, non-threatening environment
  • Be treated fairly and without discrimination or sexual harassment
  • Receive worker's compensation coverage in case of an on the job injury
  • Request a pay increase based on change in job duties, length of employment, or exceptional performance (an increase is not guaranteed)

Responsibilities as a FWS Student Employee

  • Read and complete all required paperwork
  • Complete the hiring process with your employer, ensuring that all required documents have been provided to Human Resources.
  • Notify your supervisor of any changes to your Federal Work Study Offer amount
  • Work with your supervisor to keep accurate records of hours worked so as not to exceed the FWS allocation
  • Complete and submit your time sheet to your supervisor on-time
  • Abide by any dress code, and present yourself in a professional manner while on the job
  • Show up to work on time
  • Notify your supervisor promptly of any changes in your class schedule
  • Maintain half-time enrollment at all times.  If you drop below half-time, you cannot continue to be earn funds through the FWS position.
  • Maintain eligibility under the Cal Poly Pomona Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Financial Aid Applicants.
  • Reapply each year by completing a new FAFSA by the March 2nd Priority Filing deadline, and be sure to answer “yes “ to question 31 on the FAFSA, Are you interested in being considered for work-study?

Remember: this is a real job; take it seriously.  Do not conduct personal business while on the job.

An Award Balance form is available to help you keep a monthly balance of your earnings so you do not exceed your award for any semester.

The Cal Poly Pomona Career Center provides a number of services, including

  • Writing an effective resume and cover letter
  • Interview techniques
  • Finding an internship
  • Assistance for students with disabilities
If you are not eligible for work study, the Career Center's job search lists non work study positions