You may have seen a few new job postings recently that request applications from students eligible for Federal Work Study (FWS). This post provides some more information about FWS and instructions for participating in the program.

Federal Work Study (FWS) is a federal financial aid program designed to help students meet educational expenses. The award is based on financial need, and is awarded only to students who are citizens or resident aliens.

PLEASE NOTE: There are a limited number of work study positions available each summer. On average, about 10 law students are awarded FWS on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS each spring.

Some of our employers prefer or require federal work study eligibility from their applicants. This is most common among the municipal courts and law departments. All these positions will state that they are FWS positions. In order to apply to these employers, you will need to have the following information:

  • Students who receive a FWS award in their financial aid package may earn up to the amount of the award during a given academic year or semester
  • The Financial Aid Office will adjust a student’s FWS award for Summer 2019 from their Fall 2019 Financial Aid Package.
  • Students will be allocated $6,000 for their Summer 2019 FWS position and may continue to work until the funds have been exhausted. Unused FWS is returned to the student’s fall financial aid package. If the award is depleted, the student may either hire on with the employer or volunteer to continue to work
  • FWS earnings do not increase taxable reported income which could otherwise reduce future student aid or other assistance which may be received


To be considered for FWS, students must:

  • Have filed their FAFSA making sure to select the work study option
  • Must be enrolled for not fewer than 6 credit hours during the next academic term
  • Not begin working until FWS eligibility has been determined and you have been approved by the Financial Aid Office


  • Student employees must meet with Heather DiFranco in the Office of Career Strategy & Employment prior to accepting a job offer in this program
  • All FWS students must complete a student employment application through the Law School Student Employment Coordinator. Students will become employees of the Student Employment Office of Cleveland State University and must submit a bi-weekly timecard with hours, signed by their supervisor and forwarded to the Office of Career Strategy & Employment
  • Student employees may not work more than 20 hours per week during active terms of enrollment (Spring and Fall) or 40 hours per week during the Summer
  • Student employees must communicate promptly to the Director of Career Strategy & Employment changes in their employment status and promptly respond to requests for information
  • Even if students have applied to be exempt from OPERS, OPERS will be deducted from the paycheck any time you are enrolled for less than 6 credit hours. Students have 30 days from their hire date to opt out of OPERS
  • Students may not earn in excess of their FWS and will not begin earning prior to the start of the summer academic term each year.
  • Unsatisfactory performance on an accepted position will result in the student losing eligibility to participate in this program in the future
  • Once a position is accepted, students will not be considered for additional positions


Please feel free to contact Heather DiFranco in the Office of Career Strategy & Employment with your FWS questions.