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California State University, Long Beach

Federal Work Study

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally funded program that provides employment opportunities to students with the highest financial need. Work experience is not required to secure a FWS position.

Students receive their FWS award by working part-time up to 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters. The amount a student may earn will be listed on the student's award viewable on MyCSULB. The average FWS award is $2,700 per academic year. Students must be enrolled in at least 6 units per semester to receive this award.

Acceptance of a FWS award does not guarantee placement in an actual position. Placement for FWS positions is limited and cannot be guaranteed; students are encouraged to search for FWS jobs as early as possible in the academic year. To search for a FWS position, students use BeachLINK, CSULB’s Career Development Center webpage. Once logged in to BeachLINK, students may filter the search for FWS positions. Many departments on campus look for a variety of positions including clerical assistants, computer lab technicians, groundskeepers and tutors. Students eligible for FWS will receive email communications letting them know when FWS job postings will be made available on BeachLINK.

FWS paychecks are issued monthly, and hourly rates range from $9.00 to $17.26 an hour depending upon a student's knowledge and experience. FWS wages are subject to state and federal taxes, and the Payroll Office can assist in completing the necessary tax documents.

Students may also work in the community with the America Reads/America Counts Program affiliated with the College of Education’s SERVE program and the Center for Minority Language Education and Research.

Federal Work Study Frequently Asked Questions

Who qualifies for a Federal Work Study award?

Students who filed their FAFSA by the March 2nd priority filing deadline and demonstrate the highest financial need. Students would have needed to indicate on their FAFSA that they were interested in receiving FWS.

Where can I look for a Federal Work Study job?

All campus positions are listed on BeachLINK. You can search the online database specifically for “FWS jobs” under “Work Type” to find a job that matches your major, interests, or career goals. You can also check with your Major Department or look for flyers around campus.

I see my Federal Work Study award on my MyCSULB, when will I receive my funds?

Once you have secured a FWS job, funds from your FWS award are disbursed to you in the form of a monthly paycheck based on your pay rate and the number of hours worked, just like a regular job.

Can I have more than one Federal Work Study job at a time?

No, you can only work one FWS job at a time. If you choose to separate / end your employment with one position, you must notify your employer to complete the separation process before beginning a new FWS position.

Can I have a Federal Work Study job and work as a Student Assistant on campus too?

Yes, as long as the total number of hours worked per week does not exceed 20 hours.

How many units do I need to be enrolled in per semester in order to receive my Federal Work Study award?

All students who have been awarded Federal Work Study, who wish to work in a Federal Work Study position must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units per semester – regardless of degree being pursued. This is in accordance with CSULB Student Employment requirements.

What happens if I drop below 6 units?

You must notify your employer as soon as you drop below 6 units to end your employment, as you will no longer be eligible to receive the remaining amount of your work study award.

What if I am no longer meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

You will not be eligible to receive your work study award. You must notify your employer immediately to end your employment.

What happens if I use up my Federal Work Study award before the year ends?

Once you have used all of your Federal Work Study funds your employment would end, so be sure to space out your hours accordingly.

I did not use my Federal Work Study award in the Fall, can I still use it in the Spring?

Yes, if you can find a FWS employer to hire you, were enrolled at least half-time for Fall and continue to be enrolled at least half-time, and the award is still listed on your award summary on MyCSULB, you may use your full work study award.

Can I use my Federal Work Study award during the Summer sessions?

No, you can only use your work study award during the regular academic year (the end of August through May).

Do I need to report my Federal Work Study earnings on next year’s FAFSA?

Yes. You should report ALL income earned from work on the FAFSA. If you had earnings from a FWS position, you should list the amount in BOTH the Income from Work AND Need-Based Employment. This will ensure that your FWS earnings will not be counted against you.

I was not awarded Federal Work Study this year, how can I get it next year?

Since funding is very limited, first priority is given to those continuing Federal Work Study students. However, we still recommend that you file your FAFSA by the March 2nd priority filing deadline and be sure to indicate that you are interested in Federal Work Study.