Federal Work Study—What is it and what difference does it make?

The term "Work Study" should not be confused to mean that students are paid to study or that they may study while on a job. Nor is FWS like a grant or loan where they receive the money in lump sums. It essentially is like a regular job where students work, then get paid for the hours worked during that pay period. Students should use the amount of FWS monies they are awarded as a guideline for how much they need to work in order to cover that part of their school bill. PLNU and the Federal government use that dollar figure to designate how much of their earnings will be subsidized by the government. For now, Work Study applies only to on-campus jobs and America Reads tutors.  We hope to expand off-campus opportunities in the future.

We ask that when hiring, you give preference whenever possible to students who have been awarded Federal Work Study. These students have financial need that has been recognized by the federal government and need a job in order to pay for their education. (If students are unsure whether they are eligible for the FWS program, they should contact Student Financial Services.) Recommended procedure would be to review all applicants' qualifications (skills, previous experience, etc.) and among the most qualified students to hire the FWS students. Since FWS has a significant financial impact on PLNU it is important to hire FWS students whenever possible; however, supervisors should not feel like they are limited to hiring only FWS employees. If you have a non-FWS applicant who meets your qualifications better than any of the FWS applicants then you are encouraged to hire the more qualified non-FWS applicant.

The government-subsidized funds provided for the FWS program benefit both students and the University as a whole. The Federal Work-Study Program gives the University the financial assistance necessary to hire the help it needs, while students get easily accessible jobs, the wages of which will not adversely affect their financial aid packages. In short, the FWS program creates a win-win situation for all involved.

Important Note: Point Loma's FWS system is set up to help PLNU as a whole, therefore your departmental budget is not directly affected when you hire Work Study employees. The wages for both FWS and non-FWS student employees will be paid in full out of your department budget.