Mesa Journeys



Financial Aid
Work Study

What is Federal Work Study?

The Federal Work Study (FWS) program, referred to as College Work Study (CWS), can allow an eligible student an opportunity to earn a portion of his/her financial aid eligibility by working in an assigned job, either on or off campus. The wages received are at least equal to the current minimum wage, however, many FWS positions pay more than minimum wage. In addition to receiving a paycheck for the hours worked the student worker gains valuable on-the-job experience.

How can I receive Federal Work Study?

As is the case with most Financial Aid programs, FWS eligibility is determined through the FAFSA. The filing deadline to be considered for FWS for the academic year is April 15 th prior to the Fall semester. FWS differs from other financial aid programs in that a student is allocated a specific amount of money to earn based upon the individual's financial need.

When the student learns of his/her eligibility for FWS, the student will need to promptly visit the Financial Aid Office to ACCEPT the award and pick up an employment packet. It is necessary to do this as soon as the award letter is received or posted on Reg-E because there is a deadline to ACCEPT the award, usually in early September (check the Disbursement Dates chart for the current deadline). The employment packet consists of several personnel documents, as well as a TB test card. For many FWS positions, a fingerprint scan will also be required.

Once all the required documents are completed, the potential student worker will have an interview and placement appointment with the Work Study Coordinator. At the time of the interview, the student will need to provide a Social Security Card, Valid Driver's License or State ID, and for eligible non-citizens, a current and valid Permanent Resident Card or other valid form of Eligible Non-Citizen status documentation (I-94, Employment Authorization, etc.)

During the initial placement interview the Work Study Coordinator will match the student with an appropriate department based on the student's skills, course of study, and prior experience as well as department need, availability, an equitable distribution of workers throughout the program and ultimately the student's desired location (if available) . A referral is made and the student will meet with the area supervisor for an interview. If accepted, the student worker will establish a schedule with the supervisor, begin working, and have his/her payroll established.

When does a Federal Work Study student get paid?

Payroll for the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) happens monthly. A timecard and timesheet are sent directly to the supervisor. As work is completed each month, the timecard(s) will be processed by the payroll services department and a check mailed to the worker on the 10 th of the following month. Direct deposit is available and encouraged. Direct deposit is not available for other forms of financial aid.

How long can a Federal Work Study student work?

Generally, FWS is offered for the full school year (9 months). In order to be placed in the program the FWS student must maintain at least half-time enrollment during the entire period. Once the amount allocated in the student's financial aid package is earned or the period of enrollment is completed, the job ends. If a student withdraws from all of his/her classes, the student's eligibility for FWS ends. FWS is a job, and in every way is treated as such. The student worker can be fired from a job and removed from the program