Federal Work Study
Federal Work Study (FWS) awards are made to students based on demonstrated financial need. Federal Work Study awards are limited by the availability of funds from the Department of Education.
The Federal Work Study program provides part-time employment opportunities for students enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh. Students may work at on-campus locations and at eligible non-profit agencies and organizations located in Pittsburgh. Most employed students work between 10 and 20 hours per week during the school year. Download Federal Work Study Q and A
You must be enrolled in classes full-time (12 or more credits per semester) in order to be eligible to participate in the Federal Work Study program during the fall and spring terms.
Federal Work Study students are expected to apply for positions on Talent Center (the University’s online recruitment system), arrange for their own job interviews, and make the decision about where they will work.
Students and their supervisors are responsible to ensure that the necessary onboarding requirements are completed on an accurate and timely basis. Students cannot begin working until the onboarding requirements are met.
To participate in the Federal Work Study program, you need to:
- Accept your Federal Work Study award on My Pitt.
- Search for available Federal Work Study positions on Talent Center and apply for a position. The Federal Work Study (FWS) Office does not provide placement assistance.
- Once hired, complete all necessary Federal Work Study and onboarding paperwork.
- Each week you and your supervisor are responsible to accurately record and submit hours that you worked. Time must be submitted into PRISM TRKS following the calendar determined by the University Payroll department. Your earnings will be deposited directly into your personal bank account, if you sign up for Direct Deposit (highly recommended).
- Keep track of your gross earnings to make sure you do not exceed your Federal Work Study award. It is the responsibility of the student and supervisor to keep track of earnings.
NOTE: You are not permitted to begin working until you have fulfilled the onboarding requirements and receive an email with your official start date from Student Employment.
Each department will determine the hourly pay rate for their student employees. Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
During the academic year, you may work no more than 20 hours per week. During the breaks, you may work no more than 40 hours per week. Students typically work 10-15 hours per week. Payment through Federal Work Study earnings are based on an hourly rate for actual hours worked. Students who are absent due to illness, holidays, or other reasons are not paid or given credit for their time missed. Students are not paid for time taken for meals.
By accepting financial aid awards, students agree to provide any additional documentation requested by an authorized University official to verify information given on the original financial aid application.
The University reserves the right to reduce or cancel an award in cases where there is conflicting or missing information. In addition, if the total awarded financial aid exceeds your federally determined eligibility, a Work Study award can be reduced or cancelled. In this case, the Federal Work Study office will notify you. It is your responsibility to ensure that your supervisor knows of the change.
If the authorized Federal Work Study award amount is exceeded, the department or organization hiring the student is responsible for the amount which exceeds the award. Inactivation of a Federal Work Study student will occur when the student has earned 90% of their award. If you are employed in an on-campus position, you will be automatically converted to a student worker unless your supervisor makes different arrangements with Student Employment.
Students are responsible to their supervisors for punctual, regular, and efficient performance of job duties. Supervisors must be notified in advance of any time off or absence.
If you plan to change to a different Federal Work Study position you must notify the Work Study Office in writing. You must apply for the new Federal Work Study position via Talent Center.
You may hold more than one Federal Work Study job at a time. Please contact the Federal Work Study Office before attempting to find a second position. Students working with America Reads or JumpStart cannot hold another position at the same time.
If you intend to withdraw from the Federal Work Study Program, either temporarily or permanently, you must advise your supervisor and the Work Study Office. You should try to notify your supervisor two weeks in advance. If you leave a job, you should not expect to have earnings replaced by any other type of financial aid.
Please contact our office if you have questions.
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
Federal Work Study Program
139 University Place, 130 Thackeray Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 412 624-4119
Qualified employers (University of Pittsburgh departments, non-profit and community service agencies) who wish to post a job available to work study eligible Pitt students should view the Human Resources guide for hiring part-time staff. Once a position is created, it will be posted on Talent Center for student applications.
Wages in the Federal Work Study Program currently are funded to a maximum of 60 percent by the federal government, to the extent of the college’s federal allocation for the program, and 40 percent by the employing departments or off-campus, nonprofit agencies. The supervisor will select the established pay rates they will pay the student. Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
Students receive an official financial aid award notification from the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. The award notification will state the financial aid that the student is eligible for at that time. If a student is eligible for Federal Work Study, the authorized award will be listed in the award notification. The award amount is usually listed for the fall and spring terms as such:
|Federal Work Study||$1,000||$1,000||$2,000*|
*Please note that this award table is a standard amount example. Federal Work Study can vary in dollar values. Ask to see the student’s Student Service Center for the actual amount
The student must accept their awards via their Student Service Center in PeopleSoft. If the student has accepted the Federal Work Study award, a Federal Work Study Q&A will be emailed to them on the Monday following acceptance of the award.
If a student is awarded financial aid which in total exceeds his/her federally determined eligibility, a Federal Work Study award can be reduced or cancelled. In this case, the Federal Work Study Office will notify the student; however, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that his/her supervisor knows of the change. Since the financial aid process is ongoing, supervisors should have alternative sources to pay the student in the case the student’s award is reduced or cancelled.
Please reference the Payroll Department’s biweekly payroll schedule. All biweekly PRISM Trks time cards must be entered by noon on the Monday following the pay period end date, unless otherwise noted.
- Explain the assignment to the student to avoid any misunderstandings of employer expectations.
- See that the student has work to do upon reporting to the job site.
- Make certain that a student has easy access to the place of employment and, in certain circumstances, is not alone in the building or place of employment.
- Provide training, counseling, and supervision for the student. If a student is not performing up to the standard expected, the supervisor should make an effort to offer guidance for more effective performance.
- Provide guidance to the student concerning appropriate attire for the job and provide protective covering for the student’s clothes if they could be damaged in the performance of the job.
- Report difficulties with student employees such as poor performance, habitual tardiness, unexplained absences, etc. to the Federal Work Study Coordinator.
- Follow the University of Pittsburgh’s guidelines when terminating a student employee. These guidelines will be provided by the Federal Work Study Coordinator upon request.
Federal Work Study Program