Federal Work-Study and Campus Employment –Information for Financial Aid recipients

Many undergraduate students have an academic year work component as part of their financial aid package, referred to as Federal Work-Study or Campus Employment. Confusion sometimes exists concerning what the amount awarded represents and how the funds are to be used.

The Federal Work-Study Program was established by the Higher Education Act of 1965. It was meant to encourage and promote the employment of students by helping them meet their educational costs. Eligibility for Federal Work-Study (FWS) is determined from the information students provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Brown University receives an annual allocation of FWS funds from the U.S. Department of Education. These funds are used to help subsidize the wages of students with a Federal Work-Study award. Therefore, the wages earned by students who have a Federal Work-Study award are paid by a combination of federal funds and University funds. Students with Campus Employment in their financial aid award are paid entirely with University funds.

Brown University awards a work component to eligible students as part of their financial aid package. This gives students the opportunity to work part-time during the academic year to help pay for miscellaneous expenses related to their education. Students are not required to work or to earn the full amount of their work award. Instead, the work award provides a student the opportunity to work and earn funds that they can use towards their daily expenses. It is not necessarily expected that these earned funds will be paid back to Brown to cover tuition, fees or other billed educational expenses.

The Federal Work-Study or Campus Employment portion of the award will not appear as a credit on the billing statement from the University. These funds are paid directly to working students and may be used to meet personal expenses and buy books. While many eligible students receive an award of $2,500 or more, the actual amount of money each student will earn depends on the number of hours worked each week and the wage rate paid by the employer. Students who work receive a semi-monthly paycheck from the Brown Payroll Office.

Students are not placed into a job; rather, they apply for a job based on their interests, skills and schedule. Brown University employs students in various administrative and academic departments, dining facilities, dormitories, libraries, athletic facilities, laboratories and more. The Student Employment Office (SEO) web site serves as the central repository for campus work opportunities. Applying for on-campus jobs is a fast and simple process. In most cases, students can apply directly through the SEO web site.

Time management can be difficult; holding a job on campus should not adversely affect academic or personal activities. Most students working 8 to 12 hours a week are able to earn the amount of the work award. The minimum wage rate paid to students for the 2013-14 academic year at Brown is $8.70/hour. Since pay rates vary depending on the type of job and skills required many students earn hourly rates that are higher than the minimum.

Those who are able to cover their personal and book expenses by other means, and therefore do not earn any or all of their employment opportunity, are not penalized in any way. Federal Work-Study or Campus Employment is a work opportunity—not a requirement.

If you have any questions about Federal Work-Study or Campus Employment, please email the Student Employment Office or call 401-863-9922.