Federal work-study is a program funded by both the federal government and Fairfield University that provides part-time employment to undergraduate students who have significant financial need. Eligible students have an opportunity to earn money to help with educational expenses while gaining valuable professional experience in University or community service jobs.
Who is eligible for federal work-study?
Undergraduate, full-time students* with significant financial need, as outlined in federal and institutional awarding policies may be eligible for federal work-study (FWS). Eligible students are notified in a financial aid award letter from the Office of Financial Aid, either in late March or early April to first year students or in late May to returning students (e-mail only).
Eligibility is calculated using the results from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, in combination with institutional guidelines. FWS awards, similar to all other financial aid sources, are NOT guaranteed from one year to the next. Students interested in FWS eligibility should:
- Meet all application deadlines and submit required documents by Office of Financial Aid.
- Receive a final award notification of an approved FWS award (when eligible).
- Submit all required employment forms by stated deadline.
*Graduate and Continuing Studies students typically do not receive FWS awards due to limited federal and institutional funding. Graduate students can apply for University graduate assistantships to assist with college expenses and Continuing Studies students can discuss job options with the Career Planning Center.
The FWS Student Handbook is being revised and will be available for viewing in late June 2012.
What jobs are available for students who do NOT qualify for FWS?
Due to the limited departmental University funding, there are few on-campus offices and facilities who hire non federal work-study students. Students can inquire with the Recreation Complex, Athletics Department, Library, Bookstore and Dining Services for non federal work-study jobs. Students can also use the Student Employment Online Job Board or contact the Career Planning Center for information on part-time employment.
What types of jobs are available?
Federal work-study jobs can be in areas of office administration, research, athletics, lifeguard, mentoring, tutoring, science lab, community service, media, theatre, and many others. There are on-campus University jobs and off-campus community service agencies that provide employment. Off-campus community jobs are typically associated with private, non-profit organizations, community service or public agencies, where the work performed is in the public interest.
How do students search for jobs?
Students have both the opportunity AND responsibility of finding and securing a FWS job. Beginning June 1 of each year, all available Job Listings for the upcoming academic year are posted on-line. Students should begin the job search as early in the summer as possible and secure a job either before classes begin or within the first two weeks of the semester. Many students will be applying to the same jobs and both the interviewing and hiring processes can be very timely.
Applications & Hiring
What is the FWS job application process?
- Search FWS Job Listings.
- Complete the FWS Student Interest Form (and save to computer/storage device for future use).
- Log in, using your Net ID/password, to the job (or jobs) of interest. This secure log in is only accessible for students who have officially accepted their offer of FWS for the current year.
- Upon a successful log in, you will be provided with the contact information for the FWS Supervisor to which you should apply. Submit the FWS Student Interest Form* ONLY by e-mail to the supervisor listed.
*Students are NOT automatically hired when the supervisor receives this form. It is strongly recommended that students apply to multiple jobs and manage various job applications regularly.
- Students may be contacted for interviews and/or offered job(s). The interview and hiring processes can take time and requires patience and persistence.
- Students should plan to secure employment by October 15 (for fall only or full-year employment) and by Feburary 15 (spring employment only). It is strongly recommended that students accept ONE job that best fits their skills, schedule and other responsibilities.
Students are hired on a first-come, first-serve basis, depending on job availability and supervisor demands. The Office of Financial Aid will assist any student if they are experiencing difficulty during the job search or application process.
How are students hired?
Supervisors are required to submit electronic hiring requests to the FWS staff for processing. When students are officially hired, both students and supervisors will receive the FWS Job Confirmation E-mail. Students are NOT permitted to begin work until they have received an approved FWS Job Confirmation E-mail. This e-mail is a notification of the job status and work details. Students who begin work without an official job confirmation will not be paid with FWS funds for hours worked.
When can students start working?
Students can begin working only AFTER receiving an approved Job Confirmation E-mail from the FWS Staff. Students begin work when school begins in the fall semester. If a student's financial aid file and/or FWS award is not approved by the Office of Financial Aid, the hiring process can take several days, weeks or even months, to complete. This will delay the student's start date for the job. Students will not be paid for hours worked prior to the receipt of an approved FWS Job Confirmation E-mail.
How do students change jobs?
If an approved FWS Job Confirmation E-mail is processed, but a student is no longer interested in the job at that time, the student should notify the hiring supervisor and the FWS Staff in writing, to decline the job. If, after a student begins work, he/she decides the job is not a good fit, the student must notify both the supervisor and the FWS Staff (also in writing) to request a FWS employment status change. Depending on the time of year the student decides to switch jobs, there may or may not be an ample selection of available jobs.
New FWS student employees are required to complete the following employment forms PRIOR to working. These forms must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid in person, and as indicated by any stated deadline. Students will be notified by e-mail of the deadline for these forms.
1. Form I-9: Employment Eligbility Verification
Federal regulation requires that all employees provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States. Prior to working, students MUST bring in original identification documentation as required by the Form I-9. Page four of the Form I-9 must be completed in-person by the student, not by a parent. This completed page must also be accompanied by one or more of the acceptable forms of original identification. Copies of any form of identification will NOT be accepted as this is a federal regulation.
Download the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Acceptable forms of ORIGINAL identification can include*:
- U.S. Passport (expired is permitted)
- Social Security card AND driver's license
- Social Security card AND state ID card
- Birth Certificate AND driver's license
* See page 4 of the Form I-9 for more examples of acceptable identification.
2. Form CT W4
State Employee's Withholding Certificate
All employees in the state of Connecticut must complete a state tax withholding form. Download, print and submit the Form CT-W4.
3. Form W4
Federal Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate
All employees in the United States must complete a federal tax withholding form. Download, print and submit the Federal W-4.
4. Student Statement of Confidentiality & Responsibility
All employees of Fairfield University and of the federal government must understand and adhere to all policies related to privacy, confidentiality and responsibility in any FWS job on/off campus. Download, print and submit this Student Statement.
It is strongly recommended that students sign up to have FWS paychecks automatically deposited into a checking and/or savings account through the University's direct deposit system. Download the Direct Deposit Form. This link only works from the on-campus network. Submit form to the Payroll Office: McAuliffe Hall, Room 308.
Community agencies interested in Fairfield's Federal Work-Study program should contact the FWS Staff by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.