Federal Work-Study

Federal work-study (FWS) 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.

Frequently Asked Questions
Required Employment Forms
Work-Study Job Listings
Community Service Information

Frequently Asked Questions


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).

How is eligibility for FWS calculated?
Eligibility is calculated using the results from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and CSS Profile, in combination with institutional guidelines. FWS awards, similar to all other financial aid sources, are NOT guaranteed from one year to the next.

What do I if I am eligible for FWS?
Students interested in FWS eligibility should:

  1. Get excited for a great opportunity to secure a position in Fairfield University's Federal Work-Study Program!
  2. Meet all application deadlines and submit all required documents (for employment and financial aid verification)
  3. Acknowledge receipt of a final award notification of approved FWS (if eligible) from the Office of Financial Aid
  4. Submit all required employment forms by July 1.

*Graduate and part-time students are not eligible for FWS due to limited funding.

If I am not eligible for FWS, what jobs are available?
There are a variety of University offices and facilities that offer part-time employment to students. Students can inquire directly with offices such as RecPlex, Athletics, Student Services, library, bookstore and dining services for information on job availability. Graduate students can review the University's available graduate assistantships.


What types of jobs are available?
Federal work-study jobs may be available in office administration, research, athletics, lifeguard, mentoring, tutoring, science laboratory assistance, community service, media, theatre, and many other areas. There are also off-campus community service agencies that provide FWS employment. These positions are associated with private, non-profit organizations, public agencies or community service, 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 their FWS job. Job listings become available on June 1 for each academic year. Students should begin the job search early in the summer once they are notified of their FWS award offer, and try to secure a job either before classes begin or within the first few weeks of the semester. Many students will be applying to the same jobs, and both the interviewing and hiring processes can be timely and competitive.

Applications & Hiring

What is the FWS job application process?

  1. Search available job listings. Select one or more jobs of interest.
  2. Complete the FWS Student Interest Form (save to computer/storage device for future use).
  3. Log in to the job listing(s), using your Net ID/password. This secure log in is only accessible for students who have officially accepted their offer of FWS for the current year. If you have trouble with log in, send a message to fws@fairfield.edu.
  4. Upon a successful log in, you will be provided with the contact information for the FWS supervisor to which you should send your FWS Student Interest Form. 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 recommended that students apply to multiple jobs and manage various job applications regularly.
  5. Students may be contacted for interviews and/or offered job(s). The interview and hiring processes can take time and require patience and persistence.
  6. Students should plan to secure employment by October 15 (for fall only or full-year employment) and by February 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 FWS Staff 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 (Workflows) 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.

When can students start working?
Students can begin working only AFTER receiving an approved Job Confirmation E-mail from the FWS Staff. Students can 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 may jeopardize not being 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 has been processed, but a student is no longer interested in the job at that time, the student must 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.

Required Employment Forms

New FWS student employees are required to complete the following employment forms prior to working. All forms listed below should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid by July 1.

1. Form I-9: Employment Eligibility 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. The Form I-9 must be completed IN-PERSON by the STUDENT, NOT by a parent, and must be accompanied by one or more of the acceptable forms of original identification from the student. 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 for the student employee can include*:

  1. U.S. Passport (expired is permitted)
  2. Social Security card AND driver's license
  3. Social Security card AND state ID card
  4. Birth Certificate AND driver's license
    * See page 9 of the Form I-9 for examples of all 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 Form 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 the Student Statement of Confidentiality & Responsibility.

Students may contact the Office of Financial Aid to request an extension for completing employment forms.

Direct Deposit

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, print and submit the Direct Deposit Form to the Payroll Office in McAuliffe Hall, Room 308.

Community Service Agency Information

Community agencies interested in Fairfield's Federal Work-Study program can write to the program administrator at fws@fairfield.edu.