Student Employment at UNF

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a need-based federally funded part-time employment program, which allows eligible students to earn money to help pay for educational expenses. Due to limited funding students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by the February 14 priority deadline.

Federal Work Study awarding starts approximately one month prior to the beginning of the Fall semester. If you do not see FWS award listed after this time, then you have not been offered FWS as a part of your financial aid award. Reasons for this could include a) not meeting eligibility requirements b) not requesting work-study on your FAFSA and/or c) lack of available funds at the time you were awarded.

If you have been offered FWS, you must Accept or Decline the award. The FWS amount listed is the maximum amount you may earn for both Fall and Spring semesters. FWS cannot be used to pend tuition, fees, or other charges. 

You must accept both semesters or decline both semesters. If you have not accepted your award within the first two weeks of the term, your FWS award will be cancelled for both semesters. If you have not been placed in a FWS job within the first four weeks of the term, your FWS award will be cancelled. If you have difficulty in finding a job, please contact One-Stop Student Services.

Obtaining a Work Study Job

Once you have accepted your FWS award, you may search available job postings at, with position type "Student Employment" and Job Title "Work Study" or "Work Study Student Employee." Departments will arrange interviews and, if hired, the employer will submit an authorization form to One-Stop Student Services. The employer will be notified when the hiring process is complete and work can begin. 
Students are limited to 20 hours per week and 40 hours per pay period. FWS cannot pay for any hours worked beyond these approved limits. Additionally, you may only earn up to the posted FWS award for the semester. As noted above, the amount awarded is for Fall and Spring semesters. You will only be permitted to earn up to half of your FWS award each semester.

Please note: FWS funds are not available to pay a student’s tuition, fees, housing, or meal plan charges directly. Federal Work Study students are paid according to the UNF bi-weekly payroll schedule based on the hours worked during the pay period. 

FICA Exemption

Student employees* who are enrolled at least half-time during a semester are qualified for the FICA exemption. Student employees who qualify for this exemption will not have Social Security or Medicare taxes deducted from their pay checks.  Federal Income Tax withholding will still be deducted from a student employee's pay check. A student employee's FICA exemption eligibility must be re-evaluated each semester, so a copy of the student employee's class schedule must be attached to the PAF. The FICA exemption will be maintained through the end of any academic breaks no longer than five weeks long.


The definition of half-time enrollment for FICA a exemption is below:


  Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer Semester**
Undergraduates At least six credit hours At least six credit hours At least four credit hours
Graduates At least four credit hours At least four credit hours At least three credit hours



* Budgeted employees who are enrolled in classes at UNF are not eligible for the FICA exemption.

** The summer semester is split into three separate sessions: summer A, summer B and summer C. To be exempt from FICA taxes for the entire summer semester, a student employee must be enrolled in at least four credit hours in summer C, or at least four credit hours in summer A and four credit hours in summer B.