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2020-2021 Catalog
Student walking on to class

Federal Work Study 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 as soon as possible. Students should email and request to be added to the Federal Work Study waitlist. Students will be reviewed closer to the start of the fall (and/or spring) term and if eligible, will be sent an email of eligibility containing important program details. This email will also explain next-steps for finding a FWS job.

Federal Work Study awarding starts approximately one to two weeks prior to the beginning of the fall term. If you do not see a 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 to be renewed for work-study by emailing and/or
    c) lack of available funds at the time you were awarded.

 Please note: FWS is not offered during the summer terms.

The FWS amount listed is the maximum amount you may earn for both fall and spring terms. FWS cannot be used to pend tuition, fees or other charges.

If you have difficulty finding a job, please email for assistance. 

Obtaining a Work-Study Job

Once you have received your FWS email of eligibility, you may search available job postings at, with position type "Federal Work Study." Departments will arrange interviews and, if hired, the supervisor will work with Human Resources and the Office of Student Financial Aid so you may begin working. 

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 your posted FWS award for the term. The amount awarded is split between the fall and spring terms. You will only be permitted to earn up to half of your annual FWS award each term.  

Please note: FWS funds are not available to pay a student’s tuition, fees, housing or meal membership 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

Federal Work-Study employees1 are qualified for the FICA exemption. Student employees who qualify for this exemption will not have Social Security or Medicare taxes deducted from their paychecks. Federal Income Tax withholding will still be deducted from a student employee's paycheck. The FICA exemption will be maintained through the end of any academic breaks less than five weeks long.

1Budgeted employees who are enrolled in classes at UNF are not eligible for the FICA exemption.