The George Washington University - Home Page
Career Center header Career Center

Federal Work Study @ GW 2013-2014


What is Federal Work Study (FWS)?

The Federal Work Study Program (FWS) is a federally-funded work program that allows students who have received a Federal Work Study award from GW’s Office of Student Financial Assistance to earn money while working at pre-approved organizations—GW departments, local nonprofits, government agencies and community service employers.

Students typically work eight to ten hours per week.  You’ll determine your schedule together with your FWS supervisor, keeping in mind that you cannot exceed your FWS award.  You will be issued a paycheck every two weeks for the hours you have worked.  You can spend this money however you choose.  The money is not directed back to GW to reduce your tuition balance.

Contact Student Employment:

Important to know:

  • Program Dates – This year's program runs from Sunday, August 25, 2013, to Saturday, April 26, 2013.  August 24, 2013, is the first possible day you will be able to work IF your employer has submitted a hiring request for you and all of your employment forms have been completed.  You are NOT expected to begin working on this date; it is simply the earliest date you could start if you already have a job and all hiring paperwork has been completed.

  • Get a Job - Attend the FWS Job Fair on Thursday, August 29, 2013, from 1-4pm in the Marvin Center Grand Ballroom.

  • Search for Jobs Online - Beginning on Sunday, August 11, 2013, all available FWS positions will be posted on GWork, our online joblisting and career management platform. If you need assistance accessing your GWork account, please email with your name, gwmail address and GW ID number.

  • Questions About the Job Search - The GW Center for Career Services staff can assist you with your FWS job search for an approved position on campus or with one of this year's approved off campus employers.

  • Questions About Your FWS Award - The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) will answer any questions about your FWS award or your eligibility for financial aid in general.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for a FWS job?

When is the best time to find a FWS job?

How do I find a FWS job?

Where can I work?

What do I need to do to get hired?

How do I prepare for a FWS job?

How do I report my hours?

How do I get paid?

Do I have to pay taxes?

Why do I have to monitor my earnings?

Can I have more than one FWS job at a time?

Where can I download the necessary forms?

Am I eligible for a FWS job?

GW’s Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) determines who is eligible for financial aid, which may include a FWS award.  You must apply for financial aid through OSFA to be considered for a FWS award.  If you are not sure if you have a FWS award or do not have one but would like to learn about eligibility, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

If you are a graduate student interested in FWS, please contact the GW Office of Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships.

When is the best time to find a FWS job?

Most students find their FWS jobs during the first few weeks of the fall semester, although it is possible to obtain a FWS job later in the Fall semester and early in the Spring semester.  In the past few years, many more students have accepted their FWS awards and decided to find FWS jobs.  This means that more students are competing for approximately the same number of jobs.  If you begin your search early in the Fall semester and utilize the Center’s resources fully you should be able to find several FWS jobs and be able to choose among them.

The number of available FWS jobs will vary from year to year.  The decision whether to hire FWS students (and how many to hire) is made within each individual department.  A department will determine if it needs FWS students (and how many) based on its budget and its business needs.  

As the year progresses and more jobs are filled, there are fewer available to choose from.  The fact that you have been awarded FWS funds does not guarantee you a FWS job.  You are not required to participate in the FWS program.  There are thousands of part-time jobs available in the local area and many are listed in GWork under the category “part time” jobs.  There are also GW campus departments that hire many non-FWS students.  Those jobs are listed in GWork as “GW On-Campus, NON-FWS” jobs.

back to top

How do I find a FWS job?

  • Attend the FWS Job Fair - Attend the FWS Job Fair on Thursday, August 29, 2013 from 1-4pm in the Grand and Continental Ballrooms on the 3rd floor of the Marvin Center. You may be able to fill out job applications and interview directly with certain employers.  Other employers will give you instructions on how to apply once you’ve finished at the fair.  Only students who have been given FWS awards by the GW
    Office of Student Financial Assistance may attend this event.

    What to wear: Formal business attire is not required, but clean and neat conservative attire is.  Do not wear dirty jeans, shorts, flip flips, ripped or revealing clothing.  You will be making an impression on your potential employer(s).
    What to bring: Bring a resume if you have one.  Please view our online resume resourcesYou will need your GWorld ID card to gain entrance to the FWS Job Fair.
    What if I cannot attend? We realize that at any given time students will be in class and unable to attend certain events.  All jobs available at the FWS Job Fair will also be listed in GWork

  • Search online job listings - FWS positions available are posted on GWork, our online employment service. You can access GWork at you are new to GW, a GWork account will be created for you during the summer. You will receive an e-mail from instructing you how to log in to your new account.  For assistance accessing your GWork account, please email with your name, gwmail address and GW ID number.

  • Contact GW Departments - Contact the office manager at any GW department that interests you and ask if that office or department will be hiring FWS students.  If the office or department seems unfamiliar with the FWS program, ask them to contact the Student Employment staff at the GW Center for Career Services at This applies only to on-campus departments and units within the University.  This does not apply to off-campus organizations.

Where can I work?

On Campus: You may work for any GW department, office, institute or center as long as that unit has signed a contract with the GW Center for Career Services for the current year.  If you are offered a job from a department that has not yet signed a current contract, there may be a short delay while a contract is completed.

Off Campus: You may also work for any of the pre-approved off-campus non-profit agencies who have been selected by GW to participate in the 2012-2013 FWS Program. There is a strict application process (with deadlines) for off-campus organizations who are interested in hiring FWS students from GW.

2013-2014 Approved Off-Campus FWS Employers

FWS Tutoring
: Each year several hundred GW students impact the lives of pre-K and elementary school children in the District of Columbia by improving their school readiness and literacy skills.  If you are interested in using your FWS award to become a tutor, you will work with the GW Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service (CCEPS) to determine which tutoring program works best for you.  Tutors can choose from many locations and many work schedules.  In general, a tutor will work 6 – 8 hours per week.  It is important that you carefully consider making a year-long commitment to tutoring because a child will come to depend on you.  You will be paid for all training.

    • Jumpstart at GW: Jumpstart is an AmeriCorps program that works with 3 – 5 year olds to prepare them for kindergarten.  Jumpstart requires a 300 hour commitment during a given academic year.  Although you may run out of FWS funds and volunteer a bit to reach your 300 hours, you will receive a $1,000 AmeriCorps payment (in addition to the FWS money you have earned) that can be used for future educational expenses.  Click the link to learn more about Jumpstart at GW.

    • DC Reads:  DC Reads is an initiative in which GW CCEPS partners with seven community organizations and two individual elementary schools to provide literacy tutoring to students in grades K – 6.  There are numerous work sites and work schedules available.  There is no minimum hour requirement as this is not an AmeriCorps program.  Click the link to learn more about DC Reads. 

What exactly do I need to do to get hired?

Please download the Student Employment Checklist and follow the steps provided.

How do I prepare for a FWS job?

The GW Center for Career Services offers online and in-person assistance with elements of the job search for all types of jobs, including FWS.  Go to the Prepare for a Job Search web page to view the resources we have available for writing resumes and cover letters, improving your interviewing skills and more.  If you are having trouble locating a FWS job, log into your GWork profile to make an appointment with one our consultants to discuss your job search strategy.
back to top

How do I report my hours?

Your first responsibility at your FWS job is to “clock in” and “clock out” so that GW knows how many hours to pay you for.  You'll use Kronos, the University-wide timekeeping system, to record the hours you work at your FWS job.  To access Kronos, you'll dial a GW phone number and follow voice prompts to enter information about yourself and your work hours each time you leave at the end of your shift.

If you forget to clock in or clock out, tell your supervisor immediately.  It is a violation of the terms of your employment to misuse the Kronos system and/or misrepresent your work hours; doing so may result in termination and/or disciplinary action through GW’s student judicial process and the University Police Department.

Please keep a notebook or other written record of your work schedule and the hours you’ve worked. If you dispute your hours at some point during the future, written records will be essential in proving your case.

Click here to download instructions on how to “clock in” and “clock out” so that you can be paid accurately and on time.

How do I get paid?

The University issues paychecks to FWS students every other Friday (even students working for off-campus employers receive GW-issued paychecks).

Where do I get my paycheck?

Whether your FWS job is on campus or off campus, you should sign up for direct deposit. Your paycheck will be electronically deposited into the bank account or bank accounts of your choice. The Direct Deposit form is in the Student Employment Forms Packet at the bottom of this page. Return the completed form to the GW Center for Career Services.  Depending on the bank(s) you choose, it can take up to two pay periods for direct deposit to take effect.  In the meantime, you will pick up paper paychecks.  You will know when your direct deposit is active because you will receive email notifications from the University’s payroll system informing you that your check will be deposited on the next pay date.

  • If you DO NOT sign up for direct deposit and you work OFF CAMPUS: You will pick up your paycheck in the GW Center for Career Services on pay day Fridays.
  • If you DO NOT sign up for direct deposit and you work ON CAMPUS:  You will pick up your paycheck in the department in which your FWS job is located.

You can download a GW Payroll Calendar to view the pay periods and pay dates.  GW uses two-week pay cycles that are called “bi-weeklies,” or “BW” for short.  They are numbered such that “BW 1” begins near the beginning of each January.  You will see the work days contained in each bi-weekly (running Sunday through Saturday), the deadline by which your supervisors must approve your time report in order for you to be paid on time (a Tuesday following the end of each bi-weekly – there is nothing you need to do on this Tuesday), and the Friday when you will receive your paycheck for the hours you worked during any given bi-weekly period.  Paychecks are always two weeks behind the dates you work.  This is true for all GW employees.

Do I have to pay taxes?

FWS positions are subject to federal and local taxation. Students must complete federal and local tax forms, as well as an Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) form, prior to beginning work. These forms are available online (see bottom of page) and at the Center for Career Services.

Only certified tax professionals can answer tax questions. The Center for Career Services staff members cannot legally advise you on how to complete tax forms or estimate how how much tax you will have to pay.

If you wish to file your taxes in a local jurisdiction other than the District of Columbia, please visit the Internal Revenue Service website to find the appropriate form.  Although work-study earnings are taxable, they need not be reported as earned income on your financial aid forms for the following school year. For more information, contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance, 202.994.6620 or 800.222.6242, or

back to top

Why do I have to monitor my FWS earnings?  How do I monitor my FWS earnings?

Why you must monitor your FWS earnings: When you use up your FWS funds, you can no longer work under the FWS program.  In some cases, your employer may have a budget that will allow them to hire you directly onto their payroll apart from the FWS program.  Many employers, being non-profit organizations, do not have extra funds available and cannot hire you after your FWS funds are used up.  This means that you stop working for the year.  You should not expect that your employer will be able to hire you once your FWS funds have been used up.

How to monitor your FWS earnings:

  1. Check your GWeb account regularly to see if anything about your FWS award has changed.  If changes have been made, inform your employer immediately.  You may need to adjust the number of hours you are working to avoid exceeding your award.  If you think any element of your financial aid package has changed (including your FWS award), contact GW’s Office of Student Financial Assistance in Colonial Central on the ground floor of the Marvin Center.  The staff of the GW Center for Career Services cannot answer questions about your financial aid package.

  2. You can print a new Employment Authorization Form at any time to check the remaining balance on your FWS award, but you must add in any hours that you have worked since your last paycheck was received.

  3. The most accurate way to track your earnings is to download the worksheet at the bottom of this page.

Can I have more than one FWS job at a time?

No, students are not permitted to have more than one FWS job at any given time.

FWS Forms:

2013-2014 FWS/Student Employment Checklist with Policies & Procedures

2013-2014 Student Employment Forms Packet

2013-2014 Student Employee Manual 

Contact Student Employment:

back to top