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Financial Aid and Scholarships

Federal Work Study

Work Study Basics

Federal Work Study (FWS) is a need-based federally-funded part-time employment program which allows eligible students to earn money to help pay education expenses. Undergraduate, Graduate, Post Baccalaureate and Doctoral students are eligible to participate in Federal Work Study at UNF. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to be considered for federal financial aid, including FWS. You may email FWS@unf.edu from your secure UNF email account and ask to be evaluated for the fall and/or spring terms.

Please review all of the information below for details on the Federal Work Study program at UNF. Work Authorization and Payroll paperwork must be completed before you start work.

Please note: FWS cannot be used to defer (pend) tuition, fees or other charges billed to student accounts. In addition, FWS funds are not available to directly pay a student’s tuition, fees, housing or meal membership charges. FWS employees are paid according to the UNF biweekly payroll schedule based on the hours earned during the pay period. Students are limited to 20 hours of work per week and 40 hours per pay period. FWS cannot pay for any hours worked beyond these approved limits. Additionally, students may only earn up to the posted FWS award for the term.

  • Application Procedures for Students

    Complete the FAFSA

    Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the appropriate aid year.


    If you are not sure which FAFSA to fill out, visit Critical Steps to Financial Aid Disbursement. We recommend that you file your FAFSA each year before October 15.

    Contact FWS@unf.edu

    Email FWS@unf.edu from your secure UNF email account to be evaluated for the fall and/or spring terms. If you are eligible, you will receive an email advising you to begin interviewing for FWS job opportunities.

    If you do not qualify for work study, but are still interested in part-time student employment, visit www.unfjobs.org and search the available job postings for positions that do NOT indicate work study. 

    Obtain a Work Study Job

    If you have received an email of eligibility, you may apply to on-campus work study positions directly from the www.unfjobs.org website or send requested documentation to off-campus positions via the hiring manager and email address provided. You may search available job postings at www.unfjobs.org, with position type "Federal Work Study." You will be contacted if you are selected for an interview. If you are having difficulty finding a work study position, email FWS@unf.edu from your secure UNF email account to ask for assistance.

    Contact UNF’s Human Resources

    If hired, your supervisor will submit an authorization form to the Office of Student Financial Aid. The Office of Student Financial Aid will then give you a FWS award and ask UNF’s Human Resources Department to initiate the on-boarding process. You may begin working after you’ve contacted Human Resources and your supervisor has cleared you to begin.

    Set Up Direct Deposit & Timesheet

    Make sure your supervisor gives you instructions on how to set up the direct deposit of your paycheck and how to process your timesheet to get paid. Timesheets are submitted via myWings Employee Self Service. Refer to the UNF 2021 Biweekly Payroll Calendar for information on when each biweekly timesheet is due.

  • General Work Study Information for Students

    First and foremost, remember that Federal Work Study (FWS) is a real job. You are expected to behave professionally and in compliance with the rules and regulations set forth by the program and by your supervisor. Failure to act responsibly or professionally will result in termination from your position.

    Tuition

    Federal Work Study is NOT applied to tuition and we will not defer tuition against work study. You will receive a biweekly paycheck on UNF paydays for the amount that you have earned for that pay period, not to exceed 20 hours per week and 40 hours per pay period.

    Direct Deposit

    Direct Deposit is highly recommended for all work study earnings. You must set up your eRefund account in your myWings.

    Taxes

    Federal Work Study money is TAXABLE INCOME. However, student employees may qualify for an exemption to the withholding of certain taxes from their gross pay.  Please see Human Resources for more information. You will receive a W-2 Form in January to use for your taxes. 

    FAFSA

    Your work study earnings are included on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), either as taxable income, if you file a tax return, or as earnings, if you are not required to file. However, Federal Work Study earnings are excluded from the calculation of your Expected Family Contribution.

    Work Hours

    Work hours are arranged between you and your supervisor. Generally it takes 10-20 hours a week to earn your award amount for the term. You cannot work over your term award amount, which is your Federal Work Study earnings limit. Work hours CANNOT interfere with your scheduled class time. You will be required to submit your class schedule to your supervisor.

    Funds Transfer

    You cannot transfer unearned money from one term to another. Fall and Spring awards are separate.

    Monitor Earnings

    Students should monitor earnings so that they do not earn over their Federal Work Study award for the term. Your supervisor will receive a tracking spreadsheet to monitor earnings and remaining hours. Work with your supervisor to ensure that you do not work beyond your approved award for the term.

    Timesheet

    Check with your supervisor on timesheet requirements. Students submit an electronic time sheet every two weeks.

    Calling In

    Contact your supervisor if you are unable to come to work or will be late. You will need to make arrangements with your supervisor if you wish to make up missed hours.

    Termination

    If you stop working, notify your supervisor and email FWS@unf.edu immediately.

    Dress Code

    Ask your supervisor about their dress code. For some positions, certain standards of dress may be required. Dressing appropriately can help you with future job references.

    Pride

    Take pride in your job and follow departmental rules. Every position contributes to the overall operation of the organization.

    Co-Workers

    If you have a concern about a work issue or you are having trouble with another employee, reach out to your supervisor for help.

  • General Work Study Information for Supervisors

    What is work study?

    The Federal Work Study Program (FWS) is a federally-funded financial aid program supported with matching funds from UNF and is designed to assist students by providing employment opportunities and work experience while attending school. Students are paid an hourly rate on a biweekly basis. 

    How can departments participate in FWS?

    • Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid by emailing FWS@unf.edu to request approval to hire FWS positions for your department.
    • Once approved to hire, create a work study position recruitment request in OASys for each position you seek to fill (www.unfjobs.org).
    • Review applicants in OASys and conduct interviews.
    • Complete a hiring ePAF and add the Office of Student Financial Aid as an approver to the routing queue. The Office of Student Financial Aid will process and forward the ePAF to HR for final processing/on-boarding.
    • Upon completion, supervisors will receive an email and tracking spreadsheet from FWS@unf.edu approving the student to begin working.
    • Monitor student hours worked and dollars earned.
    • Supervise the student worker.
    • Review and approve the student worker's timesheets in myWings each biweekly pay period.

    Students may NOT begin work until you receive an approval email with the FWS tracking spreadsheet from Student Financial Aid and the student is able to access their UNF timesheet.

    Important Reminders

    Begin and End Dates: Students are allowed to begin work only after academic activity in a minimum of six credit hours has been documented, generally two to three days following the end of the add/drop period. After academic activity is documented, Student Financial Aid works to process ePAFs. Students may not work beyond the last day of classes each term.

    Work Schedule: Students may work up to, but no more than, 20 hours per week and/or 40 hours per pay period. Any hours in excess of 20/week or 40/pay period will be charged back to the department's OPS account. It is the responsibility of the department to monitor the student's timesheet and hours worked. We recommend using the FWS tracking spreadsheet sent with the approval email.

    Flexibility: Student workers are not allowed to work during scheduled class times and it is expected that supervisors will give consideration when academic reasons are cited for scheduling requests.

    Time Sheets: Time sheets must be submitted to the supervisor and approved by the standard University deadline (10 am Monday prior to payday). View the biweekly payroll schedule. 

    Time Off: Work study students do not receive paid time off for lunch, holidays, overtime, vacation, spring break, jury duty, sick time or when they are tardy or absent from work. It is the student's responsibility to notify their supervisor, in advance, if they are unable to work.

    Termination by Department: If a supervisor needs to terminate a student for any reason, they must submit a termination ePAF and email FWS@unf.edu immediately. 

    The Department's OPS account will be charged for any of the following:

    • Hours worked outside the approved FWS employment dates
    • Hours worked in excess of 20 hours per week or 40 hours per pay period
    • Student working in a FWS position without a FWS award
    • Hours worked if student is enrolled in fewer than six credit hours at UNF
    • Hours worked beyond authorized FWS earnings

    What are hourly pay rate suggestions?

    Freshmen: $10.00

    Sophomores: $10.50

    Juniors: $11.00

    Seniors: $11.50

    Grad and Post-Bacc Students : $12.00

  • Electronic Personnel Action Form Instructions (Supervisors)
    • Supervisors must utilize ePAFs when hiring Federal Work Study students.
    • Work study ePAFs must first be routed to the Office of Student Financial Aid queue.
    • Work study ePAFs approved by the Office of Student Financial Aid will be re-routed to Human Resources.
    • Work study ePAFs that are not approved by the Office of Student Financial Aid will be re-routed to the originating department for correction.
      • The index code comes from the department.
      • The position code is 91 + the first two digits of the organization code + 00.
      • The fund code for the 2021-2022 aid year is 280122.
      • The organization code comes from the department.
      • The FTE is .5.
      • The comments field should be used for special instructions.
  • What grade level of students are eligible for FWS?

    Undergraduate, Graduate, Post Baccalaureate and Doctoral students are eligible to participate in the federal work study program at UNF.

  • How can I get Federal Work Study (FWS) funds?
    Apply for Federal Work Study by emailing FWS@unf.edu from your secure UNF email account. Federal Work Study (FWS) is a federally-funded, need-based program that is awarded on a funds-available basis to eligible students and requires an error-free FAFSA on file with the University.
  • How many credit hours must I enroll in each term to be eligible for my FWS award?

    You must be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours of degree-applicable coursework at UNF each term to be eligible for FWS employment and to receive your FWS award.   

  • I received an eligibility email for Federal Work Study. How do I get a job?

    Visit www.unfjobs.org to search and apply for student Federal Work Study positions. After you apply, you will be contacted by the hiring manager for an interview. If chosen by a department, hiring paperwork will be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid. Once the Office of Student Financial Aid and Human Resources have processed your file, your supervisor will be notified that you may begin working. 

  • There is a department that wants to hire me for a FWS position. What can I do?

    First, email FWS@unf.edu to see if you are eligible for a FWS award. If not, ask the department if they can hire you as an OPS (Other Personal Services) student worker. Visit www.unfjobs.org to search OPS job postings. If you are having difficulty finding a work study position, email FWS@unf.edu from your secure UNF email account to ask for assistance.

  • Are there advantages to participating in FWS?

    YES! Federal Work Study income can be written off on your FAFSA. You also have the opportunity to get on-the-job experience that could give you an edge in the job market after graduation. In addition, working with accomplished professionals in your field of choice will provide you with valuable references for the future. And don’t forget, this program is academically-focused and your supervisor will schedule you to work around your classes. 

  • What types of jobs are available through FWS?

    Clerical work, computer programming and tutoring are just some of the examples of positions available through work study. Some jobs are "pre-professional" in nature, providing good experience for learning the basics of a career. Some jobs are related to recreational pursuits, while others are related to education, business, science or various career fields. Positions are available on and off campus. 

  • Are all jobs on campus?

    No, there are several off-campus FWS jobs with community service agencies, such as the Jacksonville Humane Society, Tree Hill Nature Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville and Duval County Public Schools. Students interested in these off-campus community service placements should apply to the Off-Campus Work Study positions at www.unfjobs.org.

  • Do I have to have FWS to work on campus?

    No. There are many other student employment opportunities on campus. You may seek employment in other on-campus positions including the UNF Bookstore and Dining Services. Visit www.unfjobs.org and search for student positions, without Federal Work Study as a job requirement. 

  • Can I work two FWS jobs?

    No. If you are not getting enough hours in your current position, talk to your supervisor. In addition, FWS students may not hold a second job on campus.

  • How many hours can I work?

    Work hours are arranged between you and your supervisor. Usually it takes 10 - 20 hours a week to earn your award amount for the term. YOU MAY NOT WORK OVER YOUR TERM AWARD AMOUNT, WHICH IS YOUR FWS EARNINGS LIMIT. If you work beyond the approved 20 hours per week or 40 hour per pay period, FWS will not pay for these extra hours. Work hours CANNOT interfere with your scheduled class times. You will be required to submit your class schedule to your supervisor.

  • How will I be paid and what are the FWS wages?

    Direct deposit is the preferred method for paying wages. If you have not already set up direct deposit with the Office of Student Financial Services, your supervisor or UNF Human Resources will show you how to set up the direct deposit of your paycheck. Your supervisor will show you how to submit your biweekly work hours in the UNF timesheet system in your myWings. You will receive a biweekly paycheck electronic funds transfer (EFT) directly into your checking account. The salary range for FWS positions is $10-$12/hour based on your grade level and experience required for the position. You and your supervisor should agree on an hourly rate depending on your skill level and job responsibilities. Higher rates will be considered for jobs requiring advanced degrees and/or skills. Remember, you will only be able to earn up to your FWS award for the term, regardless of your hourly rate. The wage for off-campus FWS positions is $12.00/hour.

  • How much will I earn on each paycheck?

    Multiply the number of hours you work every two weeks by your hourly rate. This will give you your GROSS pay for the pay period. Remember, you cannot earn beyond your FWS award for the term. If your fall FWS award is $2,000, you will only be permitted to earn $2,000 as a FWS employee during the fall term. 

  • When is the first and last day I can work this term?

    FWS students may not begin work until after the add/drop period has ended and academic activity has been documented for a minimum of six degree-applicable credit hours. FWS students are not permitted to work when the University is closed. The last day for FWS employment is always the last day of classes, allowing students to study during finals week uninhibited by FWS employment. View the Academic Calendar for term-specific start and end dates. 

  • Are FWS earnings taxable?
    YES, FWS earnings are taxable income. You will receive a W-2 for each year to use if you file taxes. Your W-2 will be available in January. All questions concerning taxes withheld from your paycheck must be directed to the IRS. 
  • Should I show FWS earnings on my FAFSA for the following year?

    Yes, your earnings should be included on the FAFSA, but they are not included in the federal calculation of the Expected Family Contribution.

  • Can FWS funds be used to pend or defer my tuition and fees?

    No. Funds are not paid in advance. You must work to earn the award and you won't receive your first paycheck until after the deadline for paying tuition. FWS awards will not show on your bill as pending aid because you have to work first to earn your funding. 

  • I did not earn the full amount of my Fall FWS award. Can I transfer the remainder to Spring or Summer?

    No, you will lose the unearned amount. Funds may not be moved from fall to spring. If you are reaching your term award maximum, you may email FWS@unf.edu from your secure UNF email account and ask to be reviewed for an award increase.

  • I have run out of FWS money for this term, but my department wants me to keep working. Can I?
    If you have earned up to your FWS award for the term, you may no longer continue to work as a FWS employee. However, you may email FWS@unf.edu to see if additional funding is available, and if eligible, your award will be increased. If your department has the funds to hire you as an OPS (Other Personnel Services) employee, they may submit paperwork to Human Resources and the Office of Student Financial Aid to reclassify your position for the remainder of the term. 
  • Is FWS available during the summer term?

    Federal Work Study is not currently available during the summer term.

  • If someone does not use his or her FWS award, can it be transferred to someone else?
    No. If you decline your award, you cannot specify another student to whom you’d like the funds to be transferred. 
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