The Federal Work-Study Program is a part-time employment program funded by the government that allows students to earn money that can be used to help pay for college. Along with earning money, Federal Work-Study provides real-world experience to help students build their resume.

To apply for Federal Work-Study, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Federal Work-Study is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, so it's important to apply as early as October 1.

Students who qualify typically work at a job related to their course of study either on-campus or off-campus through a private nonprofit organization or public agency. Students are usually paid by the hour and earn at least the current federal minimum wage.

Federal Work-Study opportunities vary, so check with your school as soon as possible on what opportunities are available and how to apply. Typically, the amount a student earns will not exceed their Federal Work-Study award, which is determined by a student's need and availability of funds.

Did You Know?

While Federal Work-Study earnings are taxable, they are not counted as additional income on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We encourage you to consult a tax professional and visit the IRS website at for more information.

FAFSA® is a registered trademark of the US Department of Education and is not affiliated with Discover Student Loans.

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