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Award Information

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a form of need-based federal financial aid. FWS provides opportunities for students to work on campus while attending school half-time or greater. After the award has been made the student has a limited time period in which to find a job, and once employed must work on a consistent basis. FWS earnings do not count against future financial aid eligibility.  Students are not required to apply for, or accept, FWS in order to receive other forms of student aid such as an assistantship, tuition waiver, scholarship, or grant.

Although FWS is the largest and most common work-study program, the student’s award may be made from a different program and thus have a different name. However, the term FWS and the related FWS policies apply to all work-study programs administered through the University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Student Eligibility

  • Eligible for federal financial aid
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Enrolled 1/2x or greater
  • Eligible to legally work in the United States
  • Not a University of Utah benefits eligible employee (except for health insurance provided under the Affordable Care Act)


FWS funds are limited. If the student is not initially awarded FWS, he/she may submit a FWS Request Form. This form is posted on the University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid website during periods when additional funds may be available.

Award Amount

The award amount represents the maximum gross wage the student may earn in the FWS program, during the award period. The award amount includes both a federal/state contribution and a departmental contribution.

The award must be earned through hours worked. Wages considered to be ineligible for FWS funding are not counted against the award.

The amount of the FWS award cannot exceed a student’s financial need. Changes to financial need, or to any other awards in a student’s financial aid package, may reduce or eliminate the FWS award amount.

Award Period

Awards are given for an award period that falls within the award year of July 1st through June 30th. Students must re-apply each award year, awards are not automatically renewed. The award period is based on the semester(s) for which the student is enrolled. In general, the award periods are as follows:

  • Fall Semester: 07/01-12/15
  • Spring Semester: 12/16-04/30
  • Summer Semester: 05/01-06/30

Students who will be enrolled Summer Semester, and would like to work during May and June, must submit a Financial Aid Summer Application by April 1st.

The award period may be extended if the student’s enrollment plans have changed for the current award year. The student must contact the FWS Coordinator to determine if an extension may be approved.

Award Cancellation

Any unearned award amount is forfeited at the end of the award period or at the time the award is cancelled. Awards may be cancelled under the following conditions:

  • The student ceases to maintain FWS eligibility
  • A JRN is not issued within the Required Time Frames
  • The student does not verify JRN Activation
  • The JRN Expires
Last Updated: 10/12/18