The Federal Work Study (FWS) is a financial aid program provided by the federal government to provide part-time employment opportunities to students who demonstrate financial need. This program was created to increase the amount of work opportunities for students and to make it easier for students with financial need to earn wages to fund higher education related costs, such as textbooks, meal plans, and housing. If your award letter includes Federal Work Study, please keep in mind that this amount is not credited to your account; instead you’ll be receiving the award in the form of hourly wages if you obtain an on-campus or contracted (community service) job.
FWS Eligibility & Employment Requirements
To be considered for FWS, a student must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and answer "yes" to the question, "Are you interested in being considered for work-study?" The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.gov. Since FWS funds are limited, students should complete the FAFSA according to the SFAO (Student Financial Aid Office – One Stop) Financial Aid Timeline.
To determine if a student has been awarded FWS, the student must access their MyRider account and check under their Student Finances section. Under this section, the student should click “accept my Financial Aid” where they can view all of their awards and financial aid information. To determine eligibility, the student should look for “Federal Work Study.” The student can click on Award Overview to view if the FWS award exists. A student that cannot view a FWS award and would like to check on the possibility of being awarded FWS should contact the Student Financial Aid Office at 609-896-5360 or by contacting [email protected]
As a FWS recipient, a student must meet the course credit hour enrollment requirement and maintain satisfactory academic progress. Federal regulations mandate that no exceptions be made regarding the minimum credit hour enrollment requirement
Ways to Earn Your Federal Work Study Award
In order to earn the award amount allocated to you in the form of FWS, students must hold a federal work study eligible positions. Your FWS reward is an amount you can work towards, which means you don’t receive the money upfront all at once. FWS Students are responsible for applying, earning, and maintaining a FWS position. Students are paid their award per hour for the amount of hours worked per week. If for any reason a student does not find or is terminated from a FWS position, they will not earn the full amount of their award and will only be paid for the hours worked.
Students may work in a Federal Work Study AND a University Funded position at the same time. Once a student worker exceeds the FWS allowance that was allocated to them based on FAFSA, the student pay will switch to University Funding. Rider currently offers two ways to earn your Federal Work Study award, through on campus employment and off campus community service programs.
All university funded employment positions can count towards Federal Work Study (with respect to a few excluded departments on campus). Students can search for on-campus employment on Handshake, using the “on-campus” filter in the Job Search tab. Once a student worker exceeds the FWS allowance that was allocated to them on their FAFSA, the student can continue to work and will be paid using University Funding. If you have any questions about whether a position on-campus counts towards FWS or how to search and apply, reach out to the Student Employment Coordinator.
Off-Campus Community Service Programs:
Rider University has partnered with several off-campus non-profit organizations to help increase the amount of Federal Work Study positions and provide more opportunities to you! Below is a list of the non-profits we are partnered with and offer positions to work in:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County
- 21st Century Community Learning Center
- Capital Area YMCA
- Hamilton Area YMCA
- Sons & Daughters of the United States Middle Passage
- Trenton Youth Wrestling
- Trenton Children’s Choir
These partner non-profit organizations provide you with high quality positions that will help you develop professional skills and build your resume. FWS students can work at any of the approved non-profit site to earn their FWS award. To find a position at one of our community service organizations, search on Handshake using the “on-campus” filter and searching “Federal Work Study”. All positions with the title of “Federal Work Study” are off campus community service positions. Even though these positions are not physically on-campus, you will be paid through the Rider University Payroll System and are required to go through the same onboarding and payment process as on-campus student employees.
How much you receive is based on the hours you work and your hourly wage. All Student Workers CANNOT work over 20 hours per week during Fall and Spring semesters. All FWS students are required to go through the same onboarding requirements as university funded student workers. Once you have been hired to work and earn your FWS, follow the steps outlined here prior to beginning your position. If you have accepted a job at one of our off-campus community service partners, please make an appointment to meet with the Student Employment Coordinator prior to starting your position.
The Student Financial Aid Office
One Stop monitors the earnings of each FWS student employee for each employment period to ensure that FWS wages earned are consistent with those permitted under the provisions of Federal regulations. All students, whether receiving FWS or not, are required to record hours worked on a timesheet provided by the employing department. The student's wages will be paid from University funding unless Career Development and Success is notified by the employing department, in writing, that they wish to terminate the student's employment.
If you have questions about your Federal Work Study award or Financial Aid package, contact The Student Financial Aid Office at [email protected]
If you have questions about finding a FWS position or new student worker onboarding, contact [email protected].