Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides part-time job opportunities for eligible students. It is an opportunity to offset educational expenses and provides valuable experience. This is money you have to earn, usually by working on-campus. You are paid once a month for the hours you work and you may earn up to the amount listed your on financial aid award for FWS.

Who’s Eligible?

To be eligible for placement in a work-study position, you must have FWS listed on your award offer. If you were not initially offered FWS but are interested in having it, contact the Financial Aid Office (FAO) to see if you may qualify, and how to obtain it.

Finding a Job

You must secure your own FWS position by contacting the employer, applying for a position, and being hired. Utilization of Sonoma State's Career Services is one of the best ways to learn about on-campus employment. The Career Center is located in International Hall, and students are welcome to drop-in (see Career Center website for drop-in hours). Career advising, resume writing assistance, and multiple resources for job search strategies are available to students using Career Services.

Available positions can be found the following ways:

  • handshake, Sonoma State’s online job database, may be accessed through the Career Center homepage.
  • Career Services can be reached by calling (707) 664-2198, or by email at careercenter@sonoma.edu
  • Many on-campus employers do not use handshake to post their position. You should visit each department that you are interested in working in to learn about job opportunities within.

There is a deadline within the first month of the semester by which you must have secured your on-campus FWS Student Assistant job or your work-study award will be cancelled. You will be informed of the deadline in the "Terms of Keeping Federal Work-Study Award" email. If you obtain a position after your award is cancelled, it may be reinstated if funds are still available at that time.

Accepting/Declining Your Work-Study

For information on accepting or declining your work-study award, please visit our section Accepting/Declining Your Student Loans and Federal Work-Study in the Help Book.

Reducing Work-Study

If you wish to reduce your work-study award, you must complete and submit a Change Notification Form (CNF) to our office for the correct academic year.

Once You’re Hired

When you are hired, your employer will complete a Student Employment Form (SEF). You must document that you are eligible to work in the United States.

Employment Starting Dates:

  • August 22, 2022 for Fall and academic year awards
  • January 23, 2023 for Spring semester only awards

Employment Ending Dates:

  • December 16, 2022 for Fall semester only awards
  • May 19, 2023 for Spring and academic year awards

Payment of Work-Study Earnings

You are expected to record your hours worked each day on a work-study voucher. Your employer will report your earnings at the end of each month. You will receive your paycheck around the 15th of the following month. The Student Employee Payroll Calendar located at the Payroll & Benefits website will show each pay period during the academic year.

You and your employer are expected to monitor your earnings. You may not earn more than the total amount of your work-study award. If you want to increase your work-study allotment for the year and your department has sufficient funds to extend your employment, contact the FAO to request an increase. Your Financial Aid Representative will determine whether or not this is possible.