Federal Work Study

Students: Please contact the Financial Aid Office vet-finaid@tufts.edu if you have questions about your work study eligibility or wait-list status.

Employers: To confirm an applicant’s Federal Work Study award status, please contact the Financial Aid Office: Email vet-finaid@tufts.edu or call 508-839-8733. Visit Student Employment for hiring instructions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Federal Work-Study (FWS)?
FWS is a federal financial aid employment program awarded to eligible students as part of a financial aid award package.

2. Who is eligible for FWS?
Students must meet basic federal aid criteria and be in good academic standing. Students must also have a demonstrated financial need based on the Cost of Education and the student’s federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC) derived from the Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA). Due to limited annual funds, other factors may be considered, such as high student loan debt, to identify high need students.  Applicants may indicate their interest in being considered for FWS on their FAFSA or on the Cummings School financial aid application.

Students who are not initially selected to receive FWS are placed on a wait list. Award offers are made on a continuous basis until all work study funds have been allocated.

3. What is considered to be a FWS job and how do you find one?
You may work in a Tufts or Tufts-affiliated facility. If you are interested in working in a particular department (Wildlife Clinic, Library, etc.), you should contact the department directly to discuss employment opportunities. Students are responsible for securing their own employment position.  Students interested in a hospital veterinary technician position may contact Mary.Kenadek@tufts.edu.  Any job notices received by the Student Affairs Office are forwarded to students via student email lists during the year.

4. Is there a deadline to secure a FWS job?
There is no specific deadline. However, we ask that you notify our office if you accepted a FWS award offer but no longer plan to use the work study award. We would like to offer the award to the next student on the wait list.  Additionally, an award offer may not carry into the next academic period or into the summer.  Summer FWS is awarded separately as part of the upcoming academic year.

5. What is the pay rate and how many hours are you expected to work?
The Student Employment Office, https://students.tufts.edu/financial-services/student-employment, establishes the Student Hourly Pay Scale each year for employers to use as a guide to determine a pay rate based on the job category.  You and your employer will discuss your work schedule. Employers realize that your first obligation is to your academic work, therefore; when assigning work hours, your employer will consider your class schedule and school workload.  You will be paid on a weekly basis based on the number of hours you work.

The Student Employment Manual provides more information about student employment.

6. Is the FWS grant applied to a student’s tuition account?
No, the FWS grant is not applied directly to your tuition account. The program allows students to earn money to help pay education expenses.

Per federal regulations, if you accept the offer, the award will be counted against your loan eligibility for the year in which you receive the FWS grant. In other words, the award reduces the amount you would otherwise be eligible to borrow for the current year. If you have already borrowed your annual loan maximum, the aid office will reduce your least favorable loan. If you have not already received your annual loan maximum, it would be your option to have your loan reduced (strongly encouraged!). Summer work study awards are counted as a resource for the upcoming academic year.

7. Is there a benefit to accepting the FWS grant if I already have a job on campus?
FWS employers pay only a portion (25%) of the student’s earnings, with the work-study grant covering the remaining 75% up to the total amount of the award. The subsidy savings to the department may enable the employer to offer you more hours, hire additional students or use the savings to meet other important needs. FWS is a cooperative program benefiting both students and employers.

The hiring department must have funds to cover their portion of your wages.

8. If I decline my FWS offer, will that impact future eligibility?
No. Eligibility for FWS is evaluated every year when you apply for financial aid.

9. What are the work periods?
The academic year work period is generally September 1st thru May 31st and the summer work period is July 1st thru August 31st.