Choate House on the Pace Pleasantville campus

Federal Work-Study Student Employer FAQ

Federal Work-Study

Federal Work Study (FWS) provides opportunities for undergraduate students to pay part of their college costs now rather than deferring those costs in the form of added loan debt. Research indicates that students who work between 10 and 19 hours per week tend to persist in their degree programs at higher rates than other financial aid recipients. This is especially true for first generation college students.

How Do I Know If A Student Is Eligible for Work Study?

Many students will identify themselves as FWS eligible when they contact employers to inquire about a job. To ensure that they are in fact eligible, employers should ask students to bring their Financial Aid Award letter to their interview. Any subsequent questions about availability regarding this should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Student Allotted Funding

A student’s financial aid award, including work study funding, is based on demonstrated financial need and the student’s cost of attendance. If a student’s information changes in any significant way, that information should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. Students are awarded a separate allocation for each academic year based on their financial need and available funding. Most students are allocated $2,500 for the academic year (September 1–May 15) and summer funding (May 16–August 31) is based on the students’ request for these funds and their availability. FWS funding will terminate once the student has earned the amount authorized on the Financial Aid Award letter or when the student is no longer eligible to participate in the work-study program (e.g., student drops below half-time; is not in good academic standing; or withdraws from Pace.). Please contact the Financial Aid office with questions about a student’s eligibility for a particular period.

It is the responsibility of both the student and the supervisor to monitor the student’s earnings to ensure that he/she does not exceed the authorized amount. If a student is approaching the authorized amount before the end of the academic year or summer, contact the Financial Aid office to see if additional funding is available. If the employer/supervisor does not keep track of this, it is possible that once the student exhausts their FWS funds, their additional hours will be deducted from the hiring department’s operating budget.


FWS students may only work an average of 20 hours per week during the academic year. Students can, however, work up to 40 hours per week during holidays and breaks, as long as they are not enrolled more than half-time.

What Are My Responsibilities Once The Student Employee Starts Work?

As an employer, you are responsible for the following:

  • Providing adequate and reasonable orientation, supervision and training for the student employee;
  • Ensuring that the student employee does not work more than an average of 20 hours per week while in school and no more than 40 hours during breaks;
  • Ensuring that total earnings do not exceed the amount for which the student is eligible, that the student does not start work before the start date listed on the award letter, and does not work beyond the end date. If you are uncertain about those dates, contact the Financial Aid office for assistance;
  • Notifying Human Resources of any changes in the student's employment, such as changes in wage rate or job title, promotion, or termination;
  • Attesting that wages were paid to the student by timely checking and approving of Kronos timesheets; and,
  • Following all state and federal employee laws.

Who Can I Contact With Questions?

  • Questions about Federal Work-Study, Eligibility and Recruitment: 1 (877) 672-1830 option 1 (Financial Aid)
  • Questions about Posting Jobs and Hiring: (914) 923-2730 (Talent Acquisition, Human Resources)