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What is Federal Work Study (FWS)

Federal Work Study (FWS) is federal program which provides the main part of the salary for certain employment opportunities on or off-campus. These particular FWS positions may include positions with the various departments and colleges or off-campus employment with approved employers and non-profit organizations. The FWS aid is awarded to students, based on their eligibility and financial need and will provide you with a salary to pay for your tuition and other expenses through college. It is not a grant, as you have to work for it and it is not a loan, as you do not have to pay it back. The FWS positions are based on the Academic Year and are therefore restricted to fall semester (September through November) and spring (January through to May). No positions are available over the Holidays or the summer). 

Why choose to work?

There are many good reason to work part time through your college years, such as minimizing your amount borrowed and paying for expenses and just as importantly, gaining skills and experience. Studies have shown that students who do take part-time positions while at college tends to have higher grade point averages, graduate faster and are less likely to drop out. Reasons for this may include:

·         When working, students gain better organizational and time management skills

·         Employment provides the opportunity to develop mentoring relationships

·         Interaction with ‘the real world’

·         Build the foundation for a solid resume 

How do I get FWS

In order to qualify for FWS all you have to do is check the box and answer “Yes” to question 31 on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): “Are you interested in being considered for work-study?” Answering “Yes” will automatically put you on and awarding list, should you be eligible. Answering “Don’t Know” will put you on a waiting list and, based on your eligibility, let you be considered for available funds, not awarded to the students who answered “Yes”. If you answered “No” and later change your mind, you will have to get in touch with your Financial Aid office to inquire about the possibility to be instated on the waiting list for any available funds, based on your eligibility.

Searching for FWS

  • Log on to Hokies4Hire (Note- new students will not have access to Hokies4Hire until after June 20th.)
  • Create a profile and up-load your resume
  • Follow the instructions to search for FWS designated jobs (select 'work study' as your applicant type)

Other oppertunities

Besides the university, there are exciting oppertunities for work study off campus. Virginia Tech The Litteracy Corp as many positions for working in the schools around town and non-profit organizations in the area.

  • Let your department, college or a potential non-profit organization know about your FWS award and they may be interested in hiring you.
  • Contact the Litteracy Corp Coordinator, Glovia Hoover 

Virginia Tech Career Services are able to assist with resume reviews, cover letters and interview skills etc. and you will be notifoed of your FWS award on your HokieSPA along with your other financial aid awards. If you have any questions, please email