Federal Work Study Program

Through the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program, the US government allocates a pool of funds to WPI and other schools to pay the wages earned by your employment in certain roles on- or off-campus.This program also requires community service work and encourages work related to your course of study.

The Office of Human Resources has more information on how to apply for federal and non-federal student jobs both during the academic year and over the summer.


Location: Bartlett Center
Phone: 508-831-5469
Fax: 508-831-5039

Informative videos about the Federal Work Study Program

Here are some informative videos related to the Federal Work Study program at WPI. These videos supplement the information listed below.

WPI's Federal Work Study Program

Federal Work Study and Community Service requirements

How do you find a student job at WPI?

How do I get paid as a student worker?

Receiving FWS Aid

If you have been offered Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds, you will be informed within your financial aid eligibility letter. If you accept the FWS offer, you may work a maximum of 10 hours a week at an hourly wage of $15.

Students awarded FWS funding can choose to work:

  • On campus in an academic or administrative office during the academic year or work in a WPI SAO-approved community service position.
  • On or off campus in a WPI SAO-approved community service position during the academic year. With this option, students automatically fulfill their required hours of community service.


FWS & Community Service

Students who accept FWS funds are also expected to earn the total amount of community service funding offered to them during the academic year at an hourly wage of $15. The WPI Student Activities Office (SAO) has information on community service opportunities. 

FWS Eligibility

If you decline an offer of work, it will not affect the other components of your award package. Due to limited funding, however, if you decline FWS funding or employment, this fund will not be renewed in future academic years.

If you earn less than $500 in FWS funds and less than the full amount of the community service work study awarded to you for the academic year in which the fund is awarded, your FWS funding will not be renewed in future years.

Eligibility for FWS funds in future years may be affected by a change in financial need or failure to meet application deadlines.

FWS employment will not be awarded or re-awarded to students whose:

  • Academic performance levels are not met
  • Enrollment falls below full-time
  • Registration status is part-time or "special student"

Other Work Study information

  • FWS is included in the financial aid notice to students who qualify for these funds. If a student accepts a FWS offer, they may work a maximum of 10 hours per week at the current minimum wage set by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • In order to meet the community service requirement, students can find information on various community service opportunities from the WPI Student Activities Office (SAO).  Approval of community service sites and hours of work must be granted by the WPI Office of Financial Aid or the Student Activities Office before students can begin work.  Pre-approval of community service opportunities not already pre-authorized by SAO must be approved by the Office of Financial Aid.  Community Service Work Study Pre-Approval forms can be found in the forms section of our website toward the bottom of the page.
  • Each year just before the start of the new academic year WPI offices that are looking to hire federal work study student will post open position to  the Human Resources Student Employment page .  Look for positions and apply through instructions given in the individual job posting.
  • FWS earnings are paid by direct deposit on a bi-weekly basis to the student employee; they will not be deducted from the tuition bill.
  • The amount of FWS funds offered in a student’s award letter indicates the maximum earnings that the student is allowed to earn.
  • FWS eligibility may be lost in future years if your financial need decreases or if you do not meet the financial aid application deadline.

What if I’m Not Awarded Federal Work-Study Funds?

Since FWS funding is awarded based on your financial need, not all students will be eligible to receive this particular fund. There are, however, non-FWS positions available on campus, as well as many part-time positions available in local stores, restaurants, and other nearby businesses. The Office of Human Resources has more information on how to apply for federal and non-federal student jobs both during the academic year and over the summer.