Federal Work-Study

What is Federal Work Study (FWS)?

FWS is a federally subsidized part-time employment program offered to students who demonstrate financial need, as an alternative to student loans to help reduce loan debt.

  • Financial Need is the difference between a school’s Cost of Attendance (COA) and the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC)/Student Aid Index (SAI) per their FAFSA. A student’s EFC can be found on their Student Aid Report, which can be accessed on studentaid.gov.
  • Midwestern University actively discourages employment that conflicts with academic performance, and recommends that FWS students work no more than 20 hours per week. Students who have the summer quarter off can work up to 40 hours per week. Students can work no more than 8 hours in a day regardless of status.

Types of Employment

Students employed under the FWS program can work on or off campus in a wide variety of jobs:

  • On-campus employment opportunities examples include researchand office clerk.
  • Off-campus employment is available through various local community service organizations, MWU- sponsored community outreach events, or off-campus research opportunities (if available.)
    • Community service organizations and off-campus research opportunities must be approved by the Office of Student Financial Services before a student can start working.
    • Students cannot be paid for community service work or any research position if it is a class requirement, if they are earning academic credit at the same time.


Work-study allows students to earn $20 per hour; they are paid on a biweekly basis (every two weeks) for hours worked.

  • Students who are interested in participating in work-study should indicate interest by selecting “Yes” to the FAFSA question, “Is the student interested in being considered for work-study.” Those who indicate “yes” will automatically be allocated FWS funds on their award letter, if determined eligible.
  • Eligible students will initially be awarded $4000-4500, which is 200-225 hours for the award year.
  • Students may refer to their award letter, accessible on the MWU Portal, to locate this amount.
  • Students are not obligated to work the full number of hours allocated on their award letter.
  • Students who would like to earn more work-study are welcome to contact the Federal Work Study Coordinator at their campus to determine additional eligibility.

How to Apply

Students first need to determine if they are eligible to participate in FWS and may do so by reviewing their award letter to determine if they have been allocated work-study funding. If they have not been allocated a FWS amount, they may contact their FWS Coordinator for more information.

  • Eligible students who are interested in applying may view Available Positions.
  • Once a position is secured, students will need to complete the appropriate Employment Forms and return them to the Office of Student Financial Services.
  • Students will also be required to complete 2 Canvas courses:
    • Code of Responsibility (FERPA): This course explains important FERPA guidelines and policies.
    • Federal Work-Study Informational Workshop: This course is designed to highlight a few main FWS policies and procedures and reviews important compliance standards.
  • Students will be eligible to begin their FWS position after HR has completed their hiring process. Both the student and supervisor will be notified by email once this is completed.

For more information, please reachout to:

As a federally subsidized program, institutions are required to adhere to federal compliance standards as outlined by the Department of Education. To view MWU’s established policies and procedures designed to maintain these standards, please refer to the MWU Federal Work-Study Handbook for Students and Supervisors.

Downers Grove, Illinois Campus


Phone: 630-515-6101
Fax: 630-515-6384

Glendale, Arizona Campus


Phone: 623-572-3321
Fax: 623-572-3283


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