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Student Employment

What is Federal Work Study (FWS)?

Federal Work Study (FWS) is a federal program which provides a portion of student’s salary for both on and off-campus employment opportunities.  FWS jobs may include positions with  various departments and colleges or off-campus employment with approved employers and non-profit organizations.    FWS is awarded to students based on their eligibility and financial need.  FWS earnings do not apply toward the university bill, but rather, are paid directly to the student to use for other living and educational expenses.  FWS positions are based on the academic year and normally restricted to fall and spring semesters.  

Why choose to work?

There are many reasons to take advantage of the Federal Work Study (FWS) program.  It can help to minimize loan debt as well as gain skills and experience.  Studies have shown that students who work part time while in college tend to have higher grade point averages and are less likely to drop out of college.  This may be due in part to the reasons below:

  • Students gain better organizational and time managements skills
  • Opportunities to develop mentoring relationships
  • Preparation for ‘real world’ interactions
  • Building foundation for a solid resume

How do I get Federal Work Study?       

Answer “Yes” to FAFSA question regarding interest in Work Study to be considered for award.  If you are eligible to receive Federal Work Study, it will be included in your financial aid award notice and visible on your Hokie SPA. Please remember that you must be enrolled at least half-time per semester (6 credits undergraduate, 5 credits graduate) to be eligible for work study. Students enrolled less than half-time or not enrolled at all may not work in an FWS position.

Searching for a Federal Work Study Job

Monday, July 1st 2020 is the deadline to accept your Federal Work-Study award. If you are in the process of securing a position or are still searching for a position for the 2020-2021 academic year, please log into your HokieSpa account and accept your award.  Federal Work-Study awards will be cancelled for students who have not accepted their award by this date.

If you are still searching for a job, we encourage you to review the current available positions listed on  Handshake. Departments  add new positions frequently, so check back often. 

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 email Gloria Hoover, Federal Work Study Coordinator.

Staff at the Smith Career Center (on-campus) are able to help with resume review, cover letters, and interview skills.  More information is available at the Career and Professional Development website. If you have any questions regarding the Federal Work Study program, please email