Student Employment

Work Study

Federal Work Study FAQs

1.  I see an amount for Federal Work Study listed on my financial aid award. Is this money subtracted from my Tufts University bill?
No. The Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP) was developed by the federal government to allow students who have financial aid eligibility to earn some of their out of pocket expenses. The award is earned by working and receiving a pay check at the end of the week for the hours worked. It is not funding that is subtracted from the University bill.

2.  Am I automatically guaranteed to earn the Federal Work Study amount listed on my financial aid award?
No. The amount listed is the maximum amount you can earn through a work study job. The work-study program consists of part-time employment during the academic year and full-time employment during the semester breaks.

3.  Am I required to take a work study job while I'm a student?
No, you can choose to turn down your work study award if you wish. To do so, please contact the Financial Aid office. However, students who accept this award utilize it through off or on-campus employment. A Federal Work Study award can be used in several different locations including On-Campus, Off-Campus Community Service, and America Reads opportunities.

4.  What's the advantage of accepting the work study award portion of my financial aid?
The government subsidizes a certain percent of the student’s wages and the employer department or organization is responsible for paying the remainder. Therefore, when a department hires a work-study eligible student, less of their departmental budget is used to pay you. In other words, it would be "cheaper" for a department to hire a Work Study eligible student than non-Work Study students. You might have preference in the hiring process.

5.  Can I earn more than the Federal Work Study amount listed in my financial aid award?
Technically, you can earn as much money as you wish. However, because the Federal Government will subsidize only up to the amount listed in your aid award letter, any surplus amount you earn above and beyond must be paid directly from your employer's budget. Depending on your employer, this surplus amount may not be in their budget. Therefore, some employers may keep track and restrict how many hours you work to ensure you don't earn more than your award amount.

6.  On what things can I use the money earned from a Federal Work Study job?
Just about anything! The paycheck you receive at the end of each week is your's to do with as you wish. You can spend it on academic expenses (books, lab fees, printing costs, etc.) or social expenses (movies, ordering pizza, night out with friends, etc.). 

On-Campus Work Study

There are various positions offered by many of the departments on the Tufts campus for students with work-study money. These jobs are available on a part-time basis during the academic year. During the summer there are a few individually approved community service and America Reads jobs available on campus on a full-time basis.

Off-Campus Community Service Work Study

This program allows work-study students to work for non-profit organizations in positions that will directly benefit the community. For a position to be community service, a student must provide services that are designed to improve the quality of life for community residents or solve particular problems related to those residents’ needs. The SEO has well over 100 listings each year of non-profit and public agencies with open positions. Students who are interested in working for agencies they are familiar with MUST speak to the Manager of Student Employment first.

 America Reads

Another important work-study program to which Tufts is committed is the America Reads Program. The Secretary of Education issued a waiver that allows 100% of the wages of a work-study student to be paid from federal dollars if the student is employed as a reading or math tutor for children who are in preschool through elementary school. This waiver has been expanded to include students employed as tutors in a family literacy program that provides services to families with preschool or elementary school children.

Tufts Subsidized Work Study

Tufts Subsidized Work-Study is a small program that subsidizes wages for needy undergraduates who do not qualify for Federal Work-Study, such as international students. In this program the Financial Aid Office will subsidize 75% of the student’s wages and the student’s employing department pays the remaining 25%. Tufts Subsidized Work-Study, however, is limited to on-campus employment during the academic year only.

Non Work Study

Non work-study jobs are positions available to all students regardless of financial aid status. Therefore, if you are a Tufts student who does not receive financial aid, you are still eligible for a non work-study position. Non work-study jobs are located both off and on campus during the academic year and semester breaks.

  Financial Services - Student Employment Office, Dowling Hall 7th Floor, Tufts University, Medford, MA,  02155  |  Tel: (617) 627-2000  |  Email