Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Students who qualify for need-based financial aid at WashU and are awarded Federal Work-Study as part of their award are eligible to participate in the Federal Work-Study program. Eligible students are given the opportunity to work part-time jobs on campus during the academic year.

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is an important part of our need-based financial aid award packages.

Student who are not eligible for FWS may still work on campus. See “Part-Time Employment” for more information.

Student employment is interesting, the work schedule is flexible, and the experience allows you to start building your résumé.

International students should consult with the Office for International Students and Scholars before applying for employment.

About Student Employment

Whether you are a research assistant or a peer tutor—you’ll grow both personally and professionally from student employment opportunities, and you’ll have experiences and connections needed to be successful when you are looking for a career after graduation. 

Students typically work about 6-10 hours a week for many of the campus employers who participate in the FWS program. Students will only be paid for the hours they work.

To be able to start working and receive a paycheck, Federal law requires every employee to complete a Form 1-9: Employment Eligibility Verification. When you meet with your employer for the first time, you must show documentation to verify your identify and authorization to work. Photocopies are not acceptable. Find out what documentation to bring with you here. 

Payroll and Compensation

You and your employer will agree on the number of hours you’ll work each week. Compensation for FWS positions is at least the minimum wage. Your employer will inform you of the hourly pay for your position before you begin.

FWS positions are classified as a temporary employees and don’t receive fringe benefits such as vacation, sick pay, or holiday pay.

Taxable Earnings

FWS earnings are taxable. Depending on your filing status, a standard earnings threshold is in place up to which no taxes are withheld. For earnings above this threshold, federal and state income taxes are withheld. However, as long as you’re enrolled as a student and working on-campus, you’ll be exempt from paying the Social Security (FICA and Medicare) taxes.

Part-Time Employment & CAREERlink

Part-time employment not funded by the FWS program is also available. Any student may apply for part-time employment on campus.

Contact the Career Center at (314) 935-9005 to learn more about part-time job opportunities or visit their website to set up your CAREERlink account and profile.

Sample Jobs

Eligible Washington University students enjoy a wide variety of part-time employment opportunities both on and off campus through the University’s Federal Work-Study program.

Opportunities vary from year to year. Examples of past student employment include:

  • Laboratory assistant in the Biomedical Engineering department
  • Student research assistant for the Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion
  • Office assistant in Alumni & Development
  • Reading tutor for America Reads
  • Assistant web developer in Arts & Sciences Computing
  • Sales associate in Bear Necessities
  • Library desk assistant in the Law Library
  • Greenhouse assistant in the Biology department
  • Student graphic designer for the Harvey Media Center
  • Prison education project intern for University College
  • A/V assistant for The Teaching Center
  • Digital content intern in Public Affairs
  • Research & data analyst assistant in Olin Library
  • River protection organizer intern in the Environment Studies department
  • Museum assistant in the Kemper Art Museum
  • Marketing & communications assistant in the Department of Civic & Community Engagement
  • as well as numerous opportunites in the Washington University School of Medicine
Employer Resources

Hiring qualified students for work-study jobs is more affordable than ever. The U.S. Department of Education has historically covered 60 – 70 percent of a student’s pay—the university department pays the rest.

If you are looking for a part-time student employee, call (314) 935-5900 or email workstudy@wustl.edu.

Contact James McDonald for more information about how to participate in the Federal Work-Study program.

This video with help guide WashU Departments through the steps they need to take to post a part-time undergraduate student job online for Fall 2021. For questions, please email careerlink@wustl.edu.

Annual Employer Meeting

If you add, terminate, replace, or have a need for additional FWS students at any time during the academic year, contact our office as soon as possible.

Employer Forms