Federal Work-Study (FWS)

The Federal Work Study (FWS) Program is a need based federally funded program that offer students an opportunity to gain valuable work experience that will enhance their job skills. In order to participate in the FWS program, students must (1) receive a FWS award as part of their financial aid package; (2) be enrolled at least half time (6 units/credits) or have been accepted for such enrollment; and (3) maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. FWS employment may be offered to student employees in several ways: on campus, off campus, and/or through Public Service Corp (PSC). Federal guidelines prohibit students from working during scheduled class hours. Work hours must be arranged in a way that it does not conflict with class hours. Typical jobs include clerical work; providing overall assistance to departments such as the Library, Computer Labs, tutoring and child care center.

*To apply for a Federal Work Study award, students must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and answer “yes” to question 31, “Are you interested in being considered for work study?”

Federal Work Study Award

A Federal Work Study (FWS) award represents the maximum amount of earning that students are allowed to receive in an Academic Year.

What you must do prior to being assigned to a job?
Students who receive a FWS award must also accept it by following the steps below:
  • Log on to CUNYfirst (www.hostos.cuny.edu/first)
  • Select "Student Center"
  • Under the "Finances" section search for the "Financial Aid" heading and select "Accept/Decline Awards"
  • Select Aid Year "2019" for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 or "2020" for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
  • On the Award Package page click on the ACCEPT or DECLINE box for Federal Work Study FALL/SPRING
  • Select "Submit" to confirm
Please Note:
  • Students who decline their FWS award may request the Office of Financial Aid to have it reinstated; however, it will depend on the availability of funds.
  • FWS funds are never distributed in a lump sum, nor can be paid for hours not actually worked.
  • FWS awards are made for, and must be earned in, a specific time period within the Academic Year (Summer/Fall/Spring). Any unearned amount is forfeited and cannot be carried over to the subsequent Aid Year.

Federal Work Study Hiring Process

Students identified as FWS award recipients will receive an invitation to attend a Job Fair/Placement Orientation during each semester. Throughout the event, students will be provided with the necessary information and guidance offered by FWS Team members (students must complete steps outlined in the Federal Work Study Award section).

Once you have secured a job, you will be provided with a set of documents also known as the “Hiring Packet”. The packet must be completed and submitted to the Office of Financial Aid prior to beginning employment. Instructions for completing the FWS Hiring Packet are included within the forms; however, instructions will also be provided at the Job Fair/Placement Orientation. Student employees cannot begin employment without receiving confirmation from the FWS Team. During the Job Fair/Placement Orientation, prospective student employees will receive overall information about the FWS program (e.g. students’ responsibility).

All student employees must complete and sign the following forms: (available at the Financial Aid Office)
  • Federal Work Study Student/Employer Acknowledgment
  • Student Class Schedule
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Non-Disclosure Agreement
  • Federal Work Study Program—Acknowledgement of Student Responsibilities
In order to comply with the Department of Homeland Security, identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States, student employees must also complete the I-9 form and provide proper documentation.
  • I-9 Form—Employment Eligibility Verification (PDF and Paper versions available)
FWS earnings are considered taxable income and are treated as any other income when filling tax returns; therefore, student employees must also complete and sign the following forms: Note: Students must have FICA taxes withheld if working at an off campus agency/site and/or working during the Winter Session.

Federal Work Study Payroll

The FWS payroll takes place in the Office of Financial Aid on a biweekly basis. Timesheets are submitted every two weeks on the Monday following the end date Pay Period, for the prior fourteen days worked. Students will be provided with a FWS Payroll Calendar for the academic year at the time of hire. Payroll is a deadline driven process. The FWS Payroll Calendar includes important dates such as the Pay Period (begin and end date), Timesheet Deadline and Pay Day.  Amount of earning may vary depending on the pay rate and amount of hours worked in a pay period.
  1. As of December 31, 2017 New York State’s Minimum Wage has been increased to $13.00.
  2. Hostos Community College currently pays $13.00 per hour to students participating in the FWS program. 
  3. As of December 31, 2018 New York State's Minimum Wage will increase to $15.00.

Federal Work Study Payment Options

FWS checks will be mailed to the student’s address on record (Campus Community). However, student employees may opt to receive their “paycheck” via Direct Deposit.

Access to Paystubs, Compensation History and W2 form

Students may have access to their Paystubs, Compensation History and W2 forms via CUNYfirst:
  • Log on to CUNYfirst (www.hostos.cuny.edu/first)
  • Select "HR/Campus Solutions"
  • Select "Self Service"
  • Select "Payroll and Compensation"
    • Select your choice from the sub-menu: "View Paycheck"

Federal Work Study Announcement

Fall graduation candidates and/or students not attending or enrolling at Hostos Community College at least half time (six units/credits) in the upcoming Spring semester must stop working the last day of the Fall Semester.