Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program increases students' opportunities to earn money by working part-time during the school year (up to 20 hours per week) and full-time during the summer months and school breaks. 

The Federal Work-study (FWS) program allows eligible students to earn paychecks to support their educational expenses by getting part-time jobs with Towson University departments. This program helps increase FWS students’ job opportunities by providing most of the funding that is used to pay their wages. 

The typical award amounts (maximum earnings) are $2,000 per year. The hourly rate for on-campus employment varies depending on the type of work involved. Most jobs start at minimum wage ($10.10). Jobs are available on and off campus. 

Eligibility Requirements

The university receives an annual budget of FWS funds from the federal government and offers the available funds to students who demonstrate higher levels of financial need.  Students without FWS awards may still pursue many other part-time job opportunities both on and off-campus.

  • You must meet the federal general Eligibility Requirements.
  • Does this aid program require a financial need? Yes.
  • You must enroll at least half-time for each semester.

Program Benefits

  • FWS awards cannot be used to defer payments on your university bill.
  • Instead, FWS employees receive biweekly paychecks for their hours worked, and can spend those earnings on their living and other educational expenses.
  • Work hours are scheduled around your class times.
  • Most FWS jobs are on-campus.
  • Two campus employers offer opportunities to work as tutors to local elementary or middle school students. These tutoring positions also give students the satisfaction of helping students in our community.
  • FWS students tend to be more academically successful because of their additional links to the University.
  • When you reapply for financial aid, the FAFSA formula excludes your FWS earnings, and FWS earnings are exempt from FICA deductions if you are enrolled in at least 6 units.

Program Restrictions

  • To earn FWS funds, you must work for a Towson University department.
  • For each academic year, your total FWS job earnings cannot exceed the FWS award amount listed on your financial aid notification.  
  • You can work up to 20 hours per week during the school year and may be able to work full-time during the summer and school breaks if you have enough remaining FWS funds to pay the extra hours.
  • Earnings from the FWS program are subject to all applicable federal, state and local taxes.
  • If you do not have a FWS job by the end of the third week of the spring term, your FWS offer may be canceled.
  • If too many students pursue FWS jobs, we reserve the right to freeze hiring.  If we freeze hiring, students who haven't started FWS jobs yet will not be able to earn any FWS funds this year.

Applying for FWS Jobs

  1. To apply for FWS funds, you must submit a FAFSA by TU’s priority Deadline and must demonstrate financial need.
  2. Funding is limited. If we are able to offer you funds, the federal work-study offer will be listed on Your Award Notification.
  3. Before you can pursue an FWS job, you must first complete all the steps in the Undergraduate Student Instructions or the Graduate Student Instructions for accepting aid.
  4. Next, follow the Career Center's Handshake system instructions  to search the work-study job listings.

    The university also encourages students to consider earning their FWS funds by working as an off-campus tutor in local elementary school. For more information, see the TUTORS program.
  5. Also, see the Career Center's Work-Study FAQ page.


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