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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 semester (January through mid-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,  and are less likely to drop out of college.  Reasons for this may include:

When working, students gain better organizational and time management skills

Employment provides the opportunity to develop mentoring relationships

Working provides interaction with ‘the real world'

Working helps to build the foundation for a solid resume 

How do I get Federal Work Study?       

Answering “Yes” will automatically put you on the award list for Federal Work Study, should you be eligible.  Answering “Don’t Know” will put you on the wait list and based on your eligibility, allow you to be considered for available funds, not awarded to the students who have answered “Yes.”  If you answered “No” and later change your decision, you will have to contact the University Scholarships and Financial Aid Office to inquire about the possibility to be added to the wait list for any available funds based on your eligibility.

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(Note – New students will not have access to Hokies4Hire until after July 1, 2017)

Other Opportunities

Besides on-campus job opportunities, there are exciting opportunities for work-study jobs in two off-campus programs.  The Virginia Tech Community Literacy Corps offers tutoring positions in the public and private schools in the local area.  There are numerous non-profit agencies that hire federal work study students in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Virginia.  If you are interested in working off-campus, please contact Gloria Hoover, Federal Work Study Coordinator at

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