Federal Work Study Program
What is Federal Work Study?
Federal Work Study (FWS) is a limited funds, need-based financial aid program in which eligible students work part-time on-campus 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 (FWS) eligibility is noted on a student’s financial aid award as “College Work Study.” Only those students who have been awarded FWS and have accepted their award on Campus Cruiser may apply for Work-Study jobs. If you are interested in the Federal Work Study Program and have not been offered work study, please email
to request FWS.
The “College Work Study” amount listed on a student's Financial Aid Award is the maximum amount of FWS funds the student may earn. Once FWS students obtain their FWS jobs, they are paid on a bi-weekly basis for the hours they have worked, up to the amount listed on their award.
Please Note: College Work Study Awards CANNOT be applied toward tuition, fees or other charges due. Cancelling your (FWS) Award will NOT reduce your other aid and will NOT impact future awards.
What Are the Benefits of FWS?
- Most FWS positions are located on-campus.
- Work schedules are usually flexible and planned around the student's class schedule.
- For the 2012-13 school year FWS wages will start at the minimum wage per hour. Based on completion of your Financial Aid Work Study Application, your skills may enable you to be eligible for a higher wage.
- FWS earnings are excluded in the upcoming years need calculations.
(See Question 43 on the FAFSA)
FWS Student Responsibilities
- You will only receive FWS funds for the hours you have actually worked. FWS students are NOT entitled to any unearned FWS monies.
- Pay for your student employment is NOT applied to your MCC Student Account nor applied toward fees for subsequent semesters.
- Do NOT expect to be able to study during your scheduled work hours!
- As a Federal Work-Study (FWS) student employee, you are expected to be prompt, reliable and cooperative. You must adhere to the policies set by the department where you will be working.
- DO NOT release or share confidential information about other students to anyone, including family members of the student, either by phone or in person. Unauthorized release of confidential information is a serious violation of the Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Respect the records as if they contained your own personal information.
- DO NOT discuss department issues with anyone outside the department.
- DO NOT remove files or other materials from the work place.
- You will be evaluated by your Supervisor on the following Criteria:
- Adheres to set schedule
- Arrives at work on time
- Contacts supervisor if running late or unable to work
- Pays attention to detail
- Notices what needs to be done and does it without being asked
- Listens carefully to instruction
- Maintains a positive and helpful attitude
- Neat appearance/appropriate attire
You must maintain FWS eligibility throughout the academic year. Please note that changes to your other financial aid awards (such as an additional scholarship) may reduce or cancel your FWS award.
2. Eligibility and Conditions of FWS
- Federal Work-Study jobs are awarded for the academic year. (Fall & Spring).
- You must be enrolled in at least six credit hours per semester to participate in FWS.
- Students attending Middlesex County College with a temporary work permit or work visa are ineligible for FWS.
- Poor work performance can result in termination initiated by the department in which you work.
3. Obtaining a job
- A FWS award does not guarantee a FWS job! It is each student’s responsibility to obtain his/her FWS job.
- Starting early is important! Most FWS positions are filled during July and August.
4. Your Work Schedule
- Your work schedule is arranged between you and your Supervisor. A written schedule reflecting your work days and hours should be clearly defined at the beginning of each semester.
- You cannot work during your scheduled class meeting times, even if a class meeting has been cancelled by the instructor.
- Report to work promptly, and notify your Supervisor in advance if you cannot report to work on time.
- The FWS program requires at least seven hours of work per week at your assigned position unless otherwise approved by your department.
5. Hours per week limitation
- FWS students cannot work more than 20 hours per week.
6. Keep track of your earnings
- Maintain a record of your earnings to ensure that you do not exceed your FWS Award Amount.
7. Sign In and Out and Payroll Issues
- You must sign in each time you report to work and sign out when leaving. Your supervisor will print the sign-in sheets for you. The sheet will stay in your supervisor's office or lab. You are required to record the exact time worked each day. Your supervisor must keep the completed sheets on file for auditors.
- Your pay for the hours you have worked will be issued by count to the MCC’s Payroll Department, provided you have completed all orientation paperwork.
- FWS earnings are taxable income. All questions about the amounts being withheld or W-2 forms should be addressed to the Middlesex County College Payroll Department.
- If a dispute arises between you and your supervisor or department, try to first speak with your supervisor. If this option is not helpful, you may then wish to contact the FWS Coordinator at the Financial Aid Office.
9. Changes of status and contact information:
- Inform your Supervisor and the Financial Aid Office of any changes in name, address, or plans that would affect your FWS job. This includes but is not limited to withdrawing from the FWS program.
How Do I Get Started?
Step 1: Complete a 2012-2013 Financial Aid Work Study Application. Submit your signed and completed form to the Work Study Coordinator, located in the Financial Aid Office (South 1).
Step 2: Attend Federal Work Study Briefing (Financial Aid & Career Services). Dates: (To be scheduled) All Approved students will be sent dates & times confirmed by email from the Financial Aid Office.
Step 3: View Available positions online at: http://www2.middlesexcc.edu/services-and-support/career-services.html
Step 4: Student receive a “Referral for Interview” (otherwise known as the pink slip) and schedules an interview with a Departmental Supervisor.
Step 5: The student returns the completed ’Referral for Interview’ form (pink slip) to the Federal Work Study Coordinator (located in the Financial Aid Office) and receives the FWS Student Packet.
Step 6: Report to your new Departmental Supervisor and enjoy your new job!