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Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) was originated in 1965 by the Office of Education of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. It is unique in that it accomplishes several functions:

  • It serves as a source of financial assistance to students.
  • It offers a training ground where students can work between six and 20 hours weekly and gain valuable experience.
  • It encourages students to participate in community-service–based organizations.
  • It provides students an opportunity to participate in the Family Literacy Program (formerly America Reads Program).

How Do I Apply?

You may apply for the Federal Work-Study Program by completing the required financial aid form (i.e., the current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)). The FAFSA can be filed online (check with the Office of Financial Aid or website for deadlines). Based on the FAFSA, students may be allocated a Federal Work-Study award for the fall/spring semesters. It is important for the financial aid application process to be completed early because funds are awarded on the basis of financial need and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Accepting Your Federal Work-Study Award

Eligible students who are awarded FWS may view their award information on CUNYfirst by clicking the view financial aid link in the student center. Students should immediately accept the FWS award offer (fall and spring amounts) on their CUNYfirst account. FWS award offers are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and awards that are not accepted may be canceled in the future. Job placement is done by appointment only! The placement dates will be posted on the Brooklyn College website by the end of June. 

Summer Work-Study

Students with special circumstances may schedule an appointment to meet with the FWS staff to discuss utilizing the fall award during the summer. Permission will be approved at the discretion of the director of financial aid or the associate director of work and scholar programs. Students who opt to work for the summer are not guaranteed any additional funds for fall/spring placement.


Federal Work-Study awards are usually made during the packaging process. Additional consideration for an award is contingent upon student eligibility and available FWS funds.

Note: Any student who did not receive a Federal Work-Study award may contact the office to have his or her file reviewed. Appeals depend on available funds, the student’s enrollment, financial aid need, and other program requirements. Appeal requests are usually for positions with our off-campus affiliates.

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