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Federal Work-Study (FWS)

What Is Federal Work Study (FWS)?

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is a federally funded campus-based aid program that provides part time employment opportunities for eligible undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need.  The availability of funds provided to the university is limited. 

Students are responsible to find qualified employment to earn funds offered. Funds earned are not applied to student’s account but are paid to the student via a bi-weekly paycheck for hours worked.  Federal Work-Study is a limited fund offered to the university and is based on federal need as determined by the FAFSA.

What Is The Community Service FWS Program?

The Community Service Federal Work Study program (CSFWS) is a federally subsidized work program, which provides eligible students the opportunity to work for a public or 501 (c) 3 non-profit sector organization whose mission and work benefit the community. 

Stony Brook University participates in the Community Service FWS program during both: the academic year and summer semesters. The Career Center  works with several community based agencies that offer these positions to eligible students. 

Who Is Eligible?

To be considered for funding, a student must have a valid FAFSA on file completed prior to the March 15th priority deadline, select "yes" to the FAFSA question that asks if you are interested in FWS, demonstrate financial need, and be an enrolled, matriculated, student. Receiving an offer for FWS funds does not guarantee a job on campus. Students must secure a job by the deadline.

Meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee that a student would receive FWS funds. Funding is offered based on a student's financial need, the availability of funds provided to the university, the number of hours the student can work per week, the current pay rate, and the date the FAFSA was completed.

  • International Students are not eligible for Federal Work-Study.
  • Both undergraduate and graduate matriculated students are eligible to receive Federal Work-Study.


How Do I Know If I Received Federal Work-Study?

Once students are packaged with their financial aid awards, students will be able to view their aid and determine if Federal Work-Study was awarded to them.  Students can view their financial aid awards via their Solar Account on campus.

While a student may be eligible for work-study funds as determined by the FAFSA application, not all students receive work-study.  Federal Work-Study is a limited fund offered by the Department of Education to  provides funds for part-time employment to help needy students to finance the costs of postsecondary education.

Solar Account


How Much Can I Earn?

You can check your financial aid awards via solar to see the maximum amount you may earn from Federal Work-Study during the school year.  Pay rates can be found on Handshake when applying for positions on campus.  

The award amount is based on the student's financial need, the availability of funds to the campus, the number of hours the student can work per week, and the current pay rate.   Students receive Federal Work Study funds in the form of a bi-weekly paycheck for the hours worked. On campus job opportunities are listed on the Career Center Website.


How Do I Find A Job?

Students can search for job opportunities by logging in to their Handshake account using their Stony Brook University NetID and password.

For new students DO NOT Create an account, one week after registering for classes, you will be able to access your Stony Brook Handshake profile by using your NetID and password.

Stony Brook Handshake


Can I Appeal For Federal Work-Study If I Was Not Offered The Award?

Federal Work-Study is a limited fund offered by the Department of Education to  provides funds for part-time employment to help needy students to finance the costs of postsecondary education.  Students who are offered work-study and do not find a job  by the deadline will have their FWS offer canceled, and the funds will be offered to other eligible students.


Please Note:

  • The Federal Work-Study eligibility in your financial aid award does not guarantee you a job.  
  • In order for Federal Work-Study award to be renewed each year the student must:
    • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
    • File a FAFSA application by the priority deadline for the university.
  • FWS earning are considered taxable income.  You may be required to file a tax return.


Additional Help

If you were offered FWS funds and need assistance securing a job, please contact the Career Center at 631-632-6810 or, or visit their webpage.

Stony Brook Career Center