Federal Work Study

FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS) (Domestic Students Only)

FWS is a federal financial aid program in which the federal government subsidizes approximately 70% of eligible students’ earnings. FWS awards are based on a student’s financial need, other financial aid awarded, and availability of funds.  To be eligible for FWS students must be registered in a degree program for a minimum of 10 credits per semester.

The FWS award is the maximum amount a student may earn in the academic year which includes the federal subsidy. When a student is within $200 of the ceiling, he/she may contact the OSFS to request a possible increase in the ceiling. Employers are required to pay 100% of a student’s earnings that exceed the awarded amount.

FWS funds are not disbursed to the student’s account, but instead through a weekly paycheck. Pay rates range. The current wage range for graduate students is $9.50 – $18.15 per hour. Students may work up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and up to 40 hours per week during summer and vacations/school breaks.

Students may work on-campus or for an approved off-campus employer.

On-campus employers are those that have a Harvard University payroll account (For example, a student may work for a Harvard professor at Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary. Even though ME&E is geographically “off- campus” the payroll may be through Harvard. Therefore, this would be considered an “on-campus” job.). The student must complete an online  On-Campus FWS Referral Form and then the department places the student on the School’s “temporary payroll”.

Eligible off-campus employers must be non-profit, non-religious, and non-political.  The form for Off-Campus Work Study Jobs must be filled out online. 

Students may learn more about Federal Work Study and job opportunities at the Student Employment Office (SEO) website: http://www.seo.harvard.edu.