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
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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.