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What is a Work-Study?

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is designed to help students who show financial need to earn a portion of their educational expenses through meaningful employment.

The number of requests usually exceeds FWS funds. You may be placed on a waiting list if the requests exceed funds. It is important to remember that work-study is NOT a job in which you are paid to study. Work-study is not a cash award. You must work for your earnings.

Who is Eligible?

You must Submit the FAFSA and meet all the deadlines for supporting documentation. You will be evaluated for financial need and, if eligible, offered a package that may include FWS.


Find a Job

Did you know you don't need to qualify for a work-study to work at FIU? Search all work-study jobs and student jobs on Careers at FIU.


How it Works

Once you have been awarded work-study, you are required to find a job that would be affiliated with the work-study program. Job postings are listed online through Careers at FIU. Follow the application instructions listed for each job. There is no limit to the amount of positions you can apply for. However, you can only accept one work-study position per academic semester.

Work-study jobs are not positions in which you are paid to study.

Twice a month you will record the hours that you have worked and you will receive full payment for those hours according to the university payroll schedule. The money is not automatically applied toward school expenses. It is up to you to decide how you use the earnings from your job. Once your award has been depleted for the semester, you may continue working if your employer chooses to pay you from other funds.

It is your responsibility to know how much of your award you have used and how much is remaining for the semester.

Remember renew your FAFSA! You can continue your work-study position in the following semester provided that you are still eligible for work study funds.

Are Jobs On- or Off-campus?

Both. If you work on campus, you will work for FIU. If you work off campus, the work performed must be in the public interest. Your employer must be an approved community work-study site. On-campus job postings are listed online at Careers at FIU

Paycheck and Pay Schedule

You will be paid by the hour and your earnings are subject to taxes. Twice a month you will record the hours that you have worked, and you will receive full payment for those hours according to the university payroll schedule. Be certain to complete your electronic payment information when you are hired. Ask your hiring department for further details.


Your earnings will be at least the current federal minimum wage; however, you could be paid more depending upon the type of work you do and the skills required. Your total award depends on your financial need, the amount of other aid you will receive and the availability of funds at FIU.

Remember, the amount you earn cannot exceed your total award.

You are strongly encouraged to monitor your earnings so that you do not exceed your award amount. Don’t forget that your award is subject to tax withholdings.


You may work no more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session. Your work-study position will end when your funds are depleted or the end of the semester is reached.

Summer Work-Study

Summer work-study is a separate award from fall/spring. To apply for summer work-study funds, in addition to having a current year FAFSA, your current supervisor must complete a Summer Federal Work-Study Request form.

Ending Work-Study

The last day of the academic year is the last day work-study funds may be used for employment. Your last permissible workday will differ if you are enrolled for summer classes.

You must stop working when you have earned your entire work-study award. The only way you may continue working after your work-study award has been earned is if your employer has funds to cover you on their payroll as a regular wage employee. Check with your supervisor.


What if I Can't Find a Job?

Typically, we encourage you to continue your job search by accessing job postings listed through Careers at FIU. There is a deadline for each semester to find a work-study position. If you are still unable to secure employment by the deadline, you will have the opportunity to get help from the Human Resources Department to locate a work-study position. However, please keep in mind that your work-study can be canceled if you do not take active steps to locate a work-study job. Do not make assumptions about your work-study award.


America Reads 

America Reads is a national initiative designed to address the fact that 40 percent of our country’s fourth graders read below level. This initiative, announced by President Clinton in 1996 and initially spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Education, aims to help every child read well and independently by the end of third grade. America Reads asks every American to identify what role he or she can play – professionally and personally – to help achieve this goal.

In response to President Clinton’s Challenge, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), FIU, the University of Miami, St. Thomas University and Barry University joined forces to form the South Florida America Reads Coalition. Since its inception, other local colleges and universities have joined the coalition. Each college and university has committed Federal Work-Study funds to hire and place students as reading tutors.

If you are interested in becoming an FIU America Reads tutor, please email us at

Last updated: June 15, 2020