Federal Work-Study Program

Note: Federal Work-Study is a federally funded financial aid program. International students are not eligible for participation.

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program was originated in 1965 by the Office of Education of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. It is unique in that it accomplishes several functions:

  • It serves as a source of financial assistance to students.
  • It offers a training ground where students can work between six and 20 hours weekly and gain valuable experience.
  • It encourages students to participate in community-service-based organizations.
  • It provides students an opportunity to participate in the Family Literacy Program (formerly America Reads Program).

The Application

You may apply for the Federal Work-Study Program by completing the required financial aid form (i.e., the current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)). The FAFSA can be filed online (check with the Office of Financial Aid or website for deadlines). Based on the FAFSA, students may be allocated a Federal Work-Study award for the fall/spring semesters. It is important for the financial aid application process to be completed early because funds are awarded on the basis of financial need and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Accepting Your Federal Work-Study Award

Eligible students who are awarded FWS may view their award information on CUNYfirst by clicking the view financial aid link in the student center. Students should immediately accept the FWS award offer (fall and spring amounts) on their CUNYfirst account. FWS award offers are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and awards that are not accepted may be cancelled in the future.

Job placement is done by appointment only. The placement dates will be posted on the Brooklyn College website by the end of June. For additional information, refer to the following Notice to Students Awarded Federal Work-Study (scroll down on the forms page).

Summer Work-Study

Students with special circumstances may schedule an appointment to meet with the FWS staff to discuss utilizing the fall award during the summer. The Federal Work-Study Program Request Form (Transfer of Fall FWS Award to Summer) can be requested in the office, completed, and submitted to the FWS staff at the time of appointment. Permission will be approved at the discretion of the director of financial aid or the associate director of work and scholar programs. When students who are not enrolled in a summer session use FWS in the summer, 62.5% of the actual earnings will be treated as a resource and subtracted from the student’s academic year financial need. Students who opt to work for the summer are not guaranteed any additional funds for fall/spring placement.


Federal Work-Study awards are usually made during the packaging process. Additional consideration for a FWS award is contingent upon student eligibility and available FWS funds.

Note: Any student who did not receive a Federal Work-Study award may contact the office to have their file reviewed. Appeals depend on available funds, student’s enrollment, financial aid need, and other program requirements. Appeal requests are usually for positions with our off-campus affiliates.

Contact Information

Office of Financial Aid
Federal Work-Study Program
308 West Quad Center
E: fws@brooklyn.cuny.edu
P: 718.951.5816 or 718.951.5178

Other Work Opportunities

Magner Career Center
1303 James Hall
E: careernews@brooklyn.cuny.edu
P: 718.951.5696

Register with the Magner Career Center via the Career Center tab of the BC Portal for the following student services:

  • Alumni Mentoring
  • Career Counseling / Assessments
  • Career / Internship Fairs
  • Career Panels and Workshops
  • Company Visit Programs
  • Internship / Job Opportunities
  • Internship Stipend Awards
  • Interview Practice
  • Pre-Law Career Advisement
  • Professional Skills Training
  • Résumé / Cover Letter Critique

Brooklyn. All in.