Federal Work Study
The Federal Work-Study program provides funds for part-time employment to help qualified students finance the cost of post-secondary education and it gives the students an opportunity to acquire valuable work experience. The average award is $3,000 for the academic year; However, the award amount will vary based on the student’s financial need.
The institution itself; a federal, state, or local public agency; a private nonprofit organization; or a private for-profit organization may employ students. Wages may never be below the federal minimum wage, and, ideally, the job will be related to the student's career interests or academic field.
For Cuesta College Students
To be eligible for the Federal Work-Study program, a student must;
1. Be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen;
2. Have a valid social security number;
3. Complete the FAFSA. For the Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Summer 2022 Semesters,
complete the 21-22 FAFSA. Be sure to indicate interest in Federal-Work Study.
4. Complete the application process for financial aid at Cuesta College.
Click here to access step by step instructions on how to apply and check your financial aid status at Cuesta College.
5. Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
6. Have “unmet need”: To check your “unmet need”:
- Log in to your myCuesta student portal.
- Click on the financial aid applet.
- Click on Award then select Award for Aid Year (21-22).
- Select the correct year then push “Submit”.
- Click the Award Overview tab to see the amount of “unmet need” under Need Calculation called “Need”.
7. Be enrolled at least half-time (at least 6 + Course Program of Study units)
- Confirm your eligibility for FWS
- Call the office at (805) 546-3143. Be sure have the FERPA Form on file so we can speak to you about your financial aid information.
- Find a FWS position by going to the Career Connections Federal Workstudy Page and follow the instructions for students. If you have a question or need clarification about a position, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- When hired:
- Complete the Short-Term/Temporary Employment Application maybe link here? And send it to your employer/supervisor.
- Wait to receive an email from "donotreply@forms" and follow the directions.
4. Financial Aid Office receives and process the complete package
5. Financial Aid Office awards the student up to $3000, which is intended to cover the entire academic year (Fall through Summer).
6. Financial Aid Office contacts the student to have them complete the Federal
Work Study Orientation
7. Human Resources contacts the student to arrange TB Testing, Fingerprinting, and New Employee Orientation.
8. The Financial Aid Office will contact the student, supervisor and HR.
- If all steps for Financial Aid have been completed, the student, supervisor and HR will get an email from the Financial Aid Coordinator letting everyone that the student is cleared to start working.
If all steps for Financial Aid have not been completed, the student and the supervisor will get an email from the Financial Aid Coordinator with what still needs to be done.
To search for work study jobs, register for the Cuesta online job database. Once you find an employer that is willing to hire you for a FWS position, make sure the employer submits a completed FWS Referral Form, Job Description Form, Student Employment Confirmation & Student completed Short-Term/Temporary Employment Application to the Financial Aid Office (all forms can be found in the green box to the left of this page).
In addition to finding a job, you will need to work with the Cuesta College Human Resources Department to do the following:
1. Check your MyCuesta email often as HR will contact you for the various requirements
(Tuberculosis Testing, Fingerprinting, New Hire Paperwork).
2. Note that finger printing results may take up to thirty (30) days to arrive; therefore, plan accordingly as you cannot start working until HR clears you and all of your paperwork.
If you qualify for FWS aid, your salary will start at the California minimum wage or it may be higher, depending on the type of work and required skills. The total award amount depends on the application date, the level of your need, and how much FWS money the school has to award, but is usually $3000 for the full academic year.
Undergraduate students are paid by the hour. Unlike a loan program, money is not paid before you earn it. No FWS student may be paid by commission or fee. Students must be paid by the school directly at least once a month.
The amount you earn cannot exceed your total FWS award. Any overage or overtime must be paid by the employers, out of their own funds. When assigning work hours, the employer or financial aid administrator takes your class schedule and academic progress into consideration. When classes are in session, students cannot work more than 20 hours in a given week or 8 hours a day.
1. If you drop below 6 (CPOS) units, your award will be reassigned to others.
2. If your “unmet need” decreases, then part or all of your award may be terminated.
3. If your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) changes to “Financial Aid Suspension” “Disqualified” or “Review” then your FWS award may be put on hold or terminated.
For Cuesta College Departments or Off-Campus Employers
Follow these steps to hire a Federal Work Study (FWS) student:
*Please make an appointment with the FWS Coordinator to complete the mandatory Supervisor Training in advance of following the steps listed below.
1. Set up an employer account at the Cuesta Jobs Link to post a "Federal Work-Study" position.
2. Have the student fill out the Short-Term/Temporary Employment Application (they can download it as a PDF, sign it and send it to you.
3. Department/Supervisor can fill out the Student Employment Confirmation and then wait to receive a link to the full template Student Employment Confirmation. They will be required to attach the Student Application, Referral & Job Description (filled out and signed digitally) before submitting.
4. The forms will be delegated electronically for processing.
5. Once the forms are completed all parties will receive a final copy for their records (department, hiring manager, Supervisor, student, and FWS Coordinator)
6. HR will contact the student for the new hire process or returning hire process (which may include TB Testing and Fingerprinting).
7. The student, HR and the supervisor all will get an email when the student is cleared to start working.
8. Need an Off-Campus placement? Contact the Employment Services Coordinator in Career Connections.
- Not every student is eligible for FWS! Students must be in 6 + CPOS units and meet Title IV eligibility requirements, award amounts vary and start at $3,000 for the academic year.
- Need to check eligibility? Contact our FWS Coordinator email@example.com
- Timesheets are due the 20th of each month (to the FWS Coordinator).
- Timesheet received late will be processed the following month. We are currently setting up Adobe Sign timecards and will communicate to students and supervisors when the process is complete.
- FWS will only pay for hours the student works as of the date they are cleared to work by HR. FWS students can work no more than 8 hours a day or 20 hours a week.
Do Not Allow a Student to Work Until They Have Been Cleared to Work by HR and the Financial Aid Office!
Students Who Work Before They are Cleared by both departments Must Be Paid Out of Your Department's Funds!