Work Study

The Federal Work Study (FWS) Program is a part-time employment program designed to help you meet your cost of attendance. With FWS you:

  • Keep your educational loan borrowing to a minimum
  • Gain valuable work experience and skills (sometimes in your field of study)
  • Have a flexible work schedule
  • Receive financial aid in the form of earnings each month (FWS pay rates must comply with federal and state minimum wage laws; however depending on the job duties and your experience, your hourly wage could be higher).

If you are eligible for FWS, check the Financial Aid tile in my.SDSU

Adding or declining FWS

Contact a financial aid counselor to find out:

  • If you are eligible for FWS (even if it was not awarded to you initially)
  • How you may decline all or part of your FWS funds

Getting a job

Find a job by visiting the Handshake website on the Career Services webpage. New job opportunities are posted throughout the academic year. It is your responsibility to schedule interviews to obtain a position. 

When you can work

How much you can work and earn

The amount you can earn is based on your eligibility and your employer's FWS allocation. Paychecks are distributed in each department.

  • Hours worked: Actual earnings are based on the number of hours you work.
    • You may work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session.
    • You may work up to 40 hours per week during vacation periods (winter and spring breaks) and during final exam week. (Read about summer term.)
  • Hourly rates: Rates vary depending on the type of work and your skills and experience. FWS pay rates must comply with federal and state minimum wage laws.
  • Monitor your earnings: You are responsible for monitoring your earnings so that you do not earn more than your FWS award for the certification period.
  • Report your earnings: FWS earnings are taxable and must be reported to the IRS. In addition, you must report earnings on your FAFSA. Learn more about reporting your earnings.
    • Unused fall semester amounts can be earned during the spring semester.
    • Unused academic year amounts cannot be earned during the summer.
    • Any unearned summer amount cannot carry over to the next academic year.
    • Unused FWS earnings

Federal Work Study (FWS) Program

The FWS Program provides funds for part-time employment to help needy students finance their education costs. Pay rates comply with federal and state minimum wage laws. Earnings are taxable and must be reported to the IRS. Visit the U.S. Department of Education FWS website.

Contact Us

If you have questions regarding work study, please contact the Cal Coast Student Financial Center. The link can be found on our homepage. Alternatively, you can email us at: [email protected]