Federal and State Work-Study Employment
Federal Work-Study (FWS) and State Work-Study (SWS) are need-based financial aid programs that provide students with an opportunity to earn money while gaining valuable work experience.
Over 600 University of Puget Sound students participate each year, working on campus or in the local community.
After an FWS or SWS award is made by Student Financial Services, Career and Employment Services (CES) refers each student to a position on campus, or helps to arrange an off-campus work-study job.
Did you know?
- Student staff members provide over 25% of non-faculty staffing at Puget Sound. Their important work and valued contributions are essential to institutional success.
- Work-study jobs range from administrative, technical, service, and maintenance support to advising, supervising, management, and program coordination positions.
- Most jobs are for the full academic year and require an average of 9 hours of work per week.
- Entry level pay for on-campus jobs starts at $12.50 per hour. Depending on the role, it may be higher. Pay rates are determined by the degree of skill, experience, and judgment required for each job.
If your Financial Aid Award Notice includes FWS or SWS, you are eligible to earn up to the maximum amount listed on the award notice. Because these earnings are subject to a student’s desire and ability to work, Puget Sound cannot guarantee employment or 100% earnings.
If you are not interested in participating in the FWS/SWS program, notify Student Financial Services.
Apply for FWS/SWS Employment
In mid-June, Career and Employment Services (CES) sends notification to eligible students granting access to the Work-Study Employment Application. Students upload a resume and provide information about their skills, work experiences and job preferences. The application is due July 15. CES uses the information to determine an on-campus job referral that best fits with each student's abilities and interests.
Complete Required I-9 Form
Students can complete the I-9 during New Student Check-in at the FWS/SWS Employment Table during Orientation.
Students learn which job they are being referred to at a FWS/SWS employment session during Orientation week.
- New students with FWS/SWS eligibility are required to attend the scheduled employment session during Orientation.
- Along with learning about the job they are being referred to, students will learn important information about the work-study program, and get tips about how to navigate the hiring process.
Many continuing students return to the same FWS/SWS job that was held during the previous academic year. If Career and Employment Services (CES) is notified that the student is not returning to the same job, then the student has an opportunity to attend the FWS/SWS Referral Sessions in the spring and obtain a new position for the next year.
Continuing students need to complete the required Work-Study Job Confirmation Form no later than July 15. It is necessary to complete the form if the student is returning to the same, previously-held job on campus or if the student arranged for a new job through CES in the spring.
- Eligible students will be given access to this online form in June.
- If a continuing students does not yet have a position lined up for the new academic year, they will be asked to complete the Work-Study Employment Application (WEA) by July 15. CES will prepare a job referral based on the skills, abilities, and job preferences listed on the WEA.
Review the student employment responsibilities and procedures.
Complete and submit the required Work-Study Employment Application (or the Job Confirmation Form for continuing students returning to the same job) no later than July 15 in order to be included in the academic year FWS/SWS program. Eligible students will be directed to this online application in mid-June.
There are a few employment forms that need to be completed in preparation for working on campus. New students can visit the FWS/SWS Employment Table during orientation Check-in day to complete their I-9 form.
- Be prepared to complete the required I-9 form—bring the necessary original documents (no copies) with you to to campus. (See the FAQs and the list of acceptable documents.)
Before beginning work, all staff members must submit an I-9 form. You will need to present original documents that verify your identity and eligibility for employment in the U.S. Most students bring a Social Security card, birth certificate, or passport to complete the form.
- Be prepared to enroll in Payroll Direct Deposit—bring your routing and account numbers from your financial institution. You may update your withholding (W-4) and enroll in direct deposit online once you begin your on-campus job.
Most continuing students have already completed these forms with the college and are not required to re-complete them. However, if you are a continuing student who has gone abroad or did not work in the previous semester, then you may need to resubmit the I-9. You should check in with CES to find out if you need to re-complete any employment forms.
Washington state residents have the opportunity to participate in the off-campus work-study program.
What are the benefits of Off-Campus Work-Study?
- Gain practical experience in your field of study. Apply classroom knowledge, try out career areas of interest, and build your resume.
- Get involved in the community. Many of the employers are non-profit and community service agencies.
- Get a head start building your network. Employers can be important networking contacts and will often serve as references.
- Get your foot in the door. Some employers are able to offer permanent positions to students after graduation.
Off-campus work-study jobs require an advanced level of training or skills, and are most suitable for upper-class students. Jobs are available at select employers, including community service organizations. Rates of pay are determined by employers and reflect comparable wage rates for the type of work performed. Most students employed through this program work an average of 9 hours and a maximum of 19 hours while enrolled in classes. Earnings from work-study employment are taxable.
Checklist for Student Employment
✔ Complete the WEA or confirmation form no later than July 15.
✔ Bring the necessary original, unexpired documents to campus for completing the I-9 form if you haven’t worked on campus previously. (Questions? Check the FAQs.)
✔ You may update your W-4 withholding and enroll in direct deposit online once you begin your on-campus job.
✔ New Students: Attend your required FWS/SWS Employment Session during orientation to receive your job referral.