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Federal Work Study Information for Students

What Is Federal Work Study?

There are two different types of student employment: Federal Work Study and Part-time Student Employment.

Part-time (PT) student employees are hired by a department and paid out of the department's operating budget.

The Federal Work Study (FWS) Program is a federal funded need-based financial aid program in which eligible students work part-time on-campus or off-campus in community service while enrolled at Middlesex County College. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year to apply for federal financial aid, including FWS. The Financial Aid Office uses the FAFSA to establish a student's eligibility for employment through FWS.

Federal Work Study Briefing Session

At the beginning of each fall term the Financial Aid Office provides general Work Study Briefing sessions. These Briefing sessions are designed to acquaint you with how to take advantage of the Work Study program at MCC. At the Briefing session, you will learn how to access the College Central Network (CCN) Job Search Resources how to find a job, and how you will be paid.

As a FWS participant, you are expected to arrange your own job interviews. When you are hired, both you and your supervisors are responsible to ensure the FWS time sheet is completed on the 15th and 30th of each month, accurately recording and submitting hours that you worked. Employed students are also paid every 15th and 30th by of every month and your earnings deposited directly into a personal bank account.

Steps to Participate in Work Study

Students participating in the federal Work Study program need to:

  1. Complete a Federal Work Study Application.
  2. Attend a mandatory FWS Briefing session (dates to be scheduled).
  3. Review the College Central Network (CCN) Job Search Resources to find a position of interest.
  4. Students will receive a completed "Referral for Interview form"(otherwise known as the pink slip) from Federal Work Study Coordinator of the job selected to schedule an interview.
  5. Contact Department Supervisor by phone or e-mail to arrange an interview.
  6. Interview with Department Supervisor and get hired, the student returns the completed Referral for Interview form (pink slip) from supervisor to the Federal Work Study Coordinator located in the Financial Aid Office in East Hall.
  7. Complete and receive FWS hiring paperwork with Federal Work Study Coordinator.
  8. Bring all completed FWS forms to Human Resources Office located in Gateway to complete hiring and payroll information.
  9. Federal Work Study Coordinator will forward student Federal Work Study packet to the Department Supervisor once all Human Resources is completed.
  10. FWS Supervisor turn in a FWS timesheet on the 15th and 30th deadline for the hours worked that payroll period.
  11. Receive a direct deposit of your earnings.


The Financial Aid Office does not provide personnel placement. Students make their own job selections by reviewing the CCN Job Search Resources to find a job of interest. Federal Work Study Coordinator completes for student a Referral for Interview form for the job selected to schedule an interview. Students are expected to initiate the placement process making contact with a Departmental Federal Work Study Supervisor to schedule an interview.

Hours and Pay Rates

The current hourly pay rates are $8.25 per hour. Please note that a work hour is a clock hour of 60 minutes, not a class hour of 50 minutes.

Students cannot work more than 20 hours per week during the academic year. Students typically work 10-15 hours per week. Students may work additional hours per week during the summer provided sufficient funds are available.

Payment through Federal Work Study earnings are based on an hourly rate for actual hours worked. Students who are absent due to illness, holidays, or other reasons, are NOT paid or given credit for the time missed. Student's hours are NOT paid for time taken for meals. Students are required to take a 30 minute break after working five consecutive hours.

Authorized Federal Work Study Awards

If you are eligible for Federal Work Study and hired by a department, the FWS award will be listed and posted on your financial aid award in Campus Cruiser/Web Advisors/Financial Aid/"View or Print Your Award." You and your supervisor are expected to monitor your gross earnings to ensure that the dollars actually earned do not exceed the FWS award amount.


In receiving financial aid awards, students agree to provide any additional documentation requested by an authorized financial aid representative to verify information given on the original financial aid application. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to reduce or cancel an award in cases where there is conflicting or missing information. In addition, if the total awarded financial aid exceeds your federally determined eligibility, a federal Work Study award can be reduced or canceled. In this case, the Federal Work Study Coordinator will attempt to notify the supervisor. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that his/her supervisor knows of the change.

Summer Federal Work Study

If sufficient funding is available, students employed during the regular school year will be given an opportunity to continue working and receive a Summer Federal Work Study award. Supervisors are notified in April of the spring term with regard to planning for additional students during the summer. Students are hired on a first-come, first-served basis and funding may be limited.

Your Rights and Responsibilities


Students are responsible to their supervisors for punctual, regular, and efficient performance of job duties. Supervisors must be notified in advance of any absence.


Students are expected to remain in their chosen job for the entire semester, September to December, or January to May (in case of summer, June to August). If you quit your job mid semester, you cannot begin placement process for a new position until the start of the next semester. If you plan to work a different job for the fall (December) or spring term (January), you must notify your supervisor and Federal Work Study Coordinator in writing two week prior to your last day of working.

One Job Limit

You cannot hold more than one Federal Work Study job at a time. Also, no student can hold a Federal Work Study job and a non-Federal Work Study job within the college at the same time.

Withdrawal from Program

If you intend to withdraw from the Federal Work Study Program, either temporarily or permanently, you must advise your supervisor and the Federal Work Study Coordinator in writing. You should give two weeks' notice to the employer.

Maximum Hours

During the academic year, you may work no more than 20 hours per week. During the summer, you may work no more than 25 hours per week. Students are not paid for lunch hours, holidays, or time off.

Loss of Earnings

If you leave a job, you should not expect to have earnings replaced by any other type of financial aid or federal and state agencies.

Student Eligibility

You must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credits or more (full-time) to be eligible to participate in the FWS during the fall/spring term. Supervisors must have a copy of each term registration of classes.

Students who were employed during the regular school year and are not enrolled during the summer term may be able to participate in the summer Federal Work Study Program.

Community Service

Community services are defined as services that are identified by an institution of higher education through formal or informal consultation with local nonprofit, government and community based organizations as designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low income individuals, or to solve particular problems related to their needs.

Off-Campus Federal Work Study Program (FWS)

Middlesex County College's Democracy House Civic Engagement Center on campus is a partnership with the Bonner AmeriCorps Program (Bonner Program). The Bonner program is part of a national network established by the Bonner Foundation located in Princeton, New Jersey.

Democracy House Civic Engagement Center with its dedicated students, strong relationship to faculty and partnerships with local non-profits services focus on after school program, soup kitchen, mentoring high school student on college readiness or planting a community garden. Democracy House Civic Engagement Center addresses community needs and integrates real life experiences into learning.

Eligible Federal Work Study students are hired by Middlesex County College Democracy House Civic Engagement Center for job placement for off campus involvement in a variety of service project to help our community and leadership activities.

Off-Campus Benefits of Participating in the Program

The off-campus assignments have proven to be beneficial for students to serve the community and develop their critical thinking, and establish organizational skills as well as helping them obtain valuable training and career experience.

Payment to Students

Students cannot work more than 20 hours per week during the academic year. Students typically work 12-15 hours per week (for a total 300+ hours over the academic year) to the community service and training. Once completing the 300 hours students are eligible for an additional AmeriCorps Educational Award of $1,175.

Payment through Federal Work Study earnings are based on an hourly rate for actual hours worked. Students are not paid for lunch or breaks.

On-Campus Federal Work Study

Middlesex County College Child Care Center professional preschool education and child care facilities are available for children between the ages of 2 ½ to 5 years old for full-time students and Middlesex County College staff and full-time working parents. In addition Child Care Center provides aid to improve the quality of life for community residents and low income families.

In certain circumstances, family in need child care costs may be subsidized through a grant from the New Jersey Division of Family Development based on gross annual income and family size.

Students assist the preschool teachers in the encouragement of the development of creativity, artistic and musical self-expression, as well as, an opportunity to obtain valuable work experience.