Understanding Federal Work-Study

What is Federal Work Study?

The Federal Work Study Program is a form of federal financial aid offered to eligible students in order for them to earn income. This program is contingent on federal funds and is based on information provided in your FAFSA application. It allows you to gain real-world work experience with employers who understand you are a student.

Who Is eligible?

Every FAFSA applicant is automatically considered for federal work study and if you are deemed eligible, it will be included in your financial aid package shown in OPUS. The amount shown is the MAXIMUM amount you can earn within the academic year.

However, being eligible does not guarantee job placement in a work study job. You must apply to work study jobs and must be placed in a position to begin receiving income. Remember, the amount provided in OPUS is the maximum you can earn, with the ability to earn less based on your job, hourly wages, and number of hours.

How do I find a work-study job?

Starting the search can be difficult and it is important to find a job that fits within your time commitments as well as matches your expected level of skills. Eagle Ops is a database where students can begin looking at upcoming positions for the fall semester beginning August 15, as well as the in-person job fair hosted during orientation on both campuses.

When searching for a job, it is important to try and find jobs that match the level of commitment you can provide each week, whether it be 10 or 20 hours. Begin your search early!

Can I change jobs during the semester?

Yes! At any point you realize that the job is not a right fit for you, you are able to apply for and accept other job offers. It is recommended that you give your employer at least two weeks’ notice before changing jobs, which is enough time for proper termination in order to start your new position. You are only allowed to hold one work-study position at a time (with the exception to the Emory Reads Program).

How much can I work?

Students can work up to 20 hours a week during periods of enrollment, and 40 hours during non-enrollment periods, such as winter and spring break. When you reach your maximum amount of work study allocated, your employer can either pay 100 percent of your income with their allocated funds or end your assignment. It is important to keep an eye on your timecards to know when you reach your maximum amount of work study.

How will I get paid?

Students will be paid bi-weekly via direct deposit. Be sure to set up your direct deposit online before you begin working. This money will come directly to you, not go towards your bill.

Once you start earning money, be sure to spend it wisely! If you need help budgeting or creating a spending plan, book an appointment with a peer mentor!

When do I know I can start working?

After your department receives an email from HR that you have been hired, you can begin to work. You will also receive an email from the University Payroll team with your clock in number and instructions. Talk to your supervisor about hours and schedules and be sure to follow clocking instructions carefully.

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