Campus Employment and Federal Work Study

What is the Federal Work Study (FWS) program?

FWS, often referred to as simply “work study”,  is a federally governed program that helps provide part-time jobs for approved undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service and work related to the recipient’s course of study by partially funding wages for eligible students at eligible employers — which means,  both the employer and the student must be FWS eligibile. This program is administered by the Office of Financial Aid. Here is the Department of Education’s description of the program

How does it work at Williams?

All students are classified into one of four “Work/Study” categories by the financial aid office.

  • Campus Employment — (high hiring priority)
  • Federal Work Study — (high hiring priority)
  • Campus Employment no need — (low hiring priority)
  • Non-aid Student Job — (low hiring priority)

You can find what category you’re in through the Student Records System by navigating to Self Service > Campus Finances > View Financial Aid. Pick the applicable year, and look for one of these in the Award Description category — here’s a picture example of someone labeled “Campus Employment No Need.” Your original financial aid award letter would also have this information, but you can always contact the Office of Financial Aid if you’re still unsure.  Students who do not receive aid are classified as “non-aid student job”.

Only FWS students are eligible to work in FWS positions.

All employable students may work any non-FWS job, but hiring priority is given to FWS and Campus Employment students.

I’m a student, what does this mean for me?

If you’re FWS eligible then you have more work opportunities than students who are not.  You do not have to work an FWS job, but we hope you’ll consider them.

If you’re assigned to the designation Campus Employment, then you’re a high hiring priority and you’re eligible to work in the majority of positions on campus, but not FWS jobs.

If you’re assigned any other designation, you’re still likely allowed to work on campus. Just be aware that you’re a low hiring priority and may have to wait until others who are high hiring priority have been given the opportunity to secure a position.


I’m a potential/current FWS employer, where do I get information?

If you are a private nonprofit organization or a public agency and would like to apply to be a FWS off-campus employer, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

If you are a current FWS off-campus employer and have questions about your status or hiring students, please contact Financial Aid.

While student employment is largely handled by the Human Resources department, Financial Aid manages the Federal Work Study Program.