Federal Work Study FAQs

Federal Work Study

What will be expected of me in my FWS position?

Each position has its own job description determined by the supervisor. Most importantly, all Federal Work-Study employees are Castleton University employees and are expected to be punctual, to follow confidentiality guidelines, to be respectful of students and supervisors, to dress appropriately, and meet all other expectations set by Human Resources and your supervisors.

Do I have to be enrolled full-time to be eligible for FWS?

No. Students may be eligible as long as they are enrolled at least half-time.

What other forms need to be completed for FWS?

The W-4 form is the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. It is completed so that Castleton University can withhold the correct amount of federal income tax from pay. If students are taking classes, no income tax is withheld. During summer months income tax may be withheld if students are working on campus but not taking classes. Refer to a parent or to Human Resources for help on filling out your W-4.

The I-9 is required by the Department of Homeland Security to establish employment eligibility. To complete this form, employers must examine evidence of identity and employment eligibility prior to the date employment begins. For Castleton University purposes, we must have a completed I-9 along with the W-4 in order to approve a Student Employment Form.

Do I need to complete Student Employment Forms for FWS?

Yes. Students and their supervisors must complete the Student Employment Form for every student that is hired in the current academic year. This is regardless of whether the student worked in that department last year.  The form must be completely filled out in order to be approved.  This includes completing the pay rate, job classification and job title. Supervisors are responsible for completing the pay rate portion of the form. Students cannot start working until all paperwork is processed and approved.

Can I earn more than my FWS eligibility or allotment?

NO! It is very important that the supervisor and the student monitor the earnings of the students so that they do not earn over their eligibility amount. In some cases students may be able to increase their eligibility. To find out if their FWS eligibility could be increased they contact the Financial Aid Office to review their financial aid eligibility.


How much FWS are students eligible for?

Your FWS amount is listed on your financial aid notification (that you view via the Portal). At Castleton University new incoming students are eligible up to $1500 for the academic year, $750 for the fall semester and $750 for the spring semester. This will allow new students to work an average of 5-6 hours per week each semester depending on their rate of pay. Returning students are eligible up to $2000 per academic year, $1000 for the fall semester and $1000 for the spring semester, allowing them to work 7-8 hours per week. Castleton University offers these funds based on financial need and the availability of federal funds.

How do students get FWS?

At Castleton University, students must apply for Federal Financial Aid every year by submitting the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal Work-Study is eligibility is determined by the Financial Aid Office based on need.

How is the FWS program administered?

At Castleton University the Federal Work-Study program is administered by the Financial Aid Office. However, it is the responsibility of the students and the supervisors along with the Financial Aid Office to monitor earnings. If students have questions regarding their work study eligibility, they should contact the Financial Aid Office.

What is Federal Work-Study (FWS)?

Federal Work-Study is a financial aid program funded jointly by the U.S. Federal Government and a pre-approved employer. The program was created to allow students to earn wages during college while working for non-profit, educational institutions, government and community service employers. At Castleton, an approved employer is either an office or department on campus or an off-campus nonprofit agency approved by Castleton.

Can I work more than one FWS job?

Yes. Students may be employed at more than one location on campus. You must complete a Student Employment Form for each position. Keep in mind that you may meet your earnings limit sooner than expected and that you cannot earn more than you are eligible to earn. The Financial Aid Office will notify both the student and the department supervisor when eligibility limit is reached. Once you have earned your eligibility amount you must stop working.

When can I begin to work in a FWS position?

Students will be approved to begin work when there is a W-4 on file, an I-9 on file, a completed Student Employment Form and their financial aid file is complete. The Financial Aid Officer will use email to notify both the supervisor and the student when employment has been approved. If there is a problem with one of the forms submitted, an email will be sent from either Financial Aid or Payroll.

How do I find a work study job?

Castleton does not place students in Federal Work-Study positions, giving students the opportunity to find a job that is of interest to them and that fits into their schedule. Students cannot work during a time that they are scheduled to be in class. Overtime is not authorized for federal work-study student employees and any overtime worked will be at the individual department's expense. Please check “How to Apply for Work Study” which lists the departments and supervisors that hire Federal Work-Study students. Students should go to the supervisor of the department that they are interested in working for to apply for a position.