Federal Work-Study

Students who file the FAFSA by December 1 for 2020-21 or December 20 for 2021-22, indicate on the FAFSA that they are interested in receiving Work-Study funds, and demonstrate financial need through their FAFSA may be eligible for the College Work-Study program.


  • College Work-Study (CWS) subsidizes some student jobs with federal and institutional funds
  • The employing department pays 40% of wages while the College Work-Study Program funds the remaining 60%.
  • CWS benefits both the employer and the student
    • Employers only have to pay a portion of the CWS student’s payroll
    • Students may credit their CWS income as financial aid to reduce their Student Contribution and increase their eligibility for future need-based aid


  • Student eligibility for employment under CWS is based on financial need, as determined by the FAFSA
  • Pay rates and job descriptions for CWS-funded positions are identical to those for similar positions not funded through CWS
  • Students authorized for CWS receive preference in hiring, so it’s best to indicate interest in CWS when completing the FAFSA
  • Students who are eligible for CWS will be notified of their eligibility on their Financial Aid Award
  • Funds for CWS are limited, and not all students who are eligible can be placed on the program
  • Students should begin their job search and arrange interviews as early as possible during the first week of the semester
  • A great resource to find both CWS and non-CWS jobs is the Student Job Board
  • Remember, many part-time jobs on-campus and in the Ames area are not funded through CWS, so CWS funds may be exhausted by the time a student finds a position