Federal Work Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is funded by both the Department of Education and Holy Cross College. This program provides part-time jobs for undergraduate students with financial need and is administered by the Office of Career Development, the Human Resources office, and the Office of Financial Aid, in accordance with the law, federal regulations, and with instructions from the United States Department of Education.

Students who participate in the program have an opportunity to work on- or off-campus in order to earn money to help with school expenses while gaining valuable work experience.

Students may also benefit from the FWS program in the following ways:

  • Encourage community service and work related to a student’s field of study.
  • Improve time management, communication, organizational and budgeting skills.
  • Help to further develop a student’s resume and professional experiences.
  • Gain references for future employment.
  • Contribute to Holy Cross College operations, student life, and the local community.

Below are some of the primary stipulations of the FWS Program at Holy Cross College:

  • A work-study employee must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program each term and registered for at least 6 credits as an undergraduate student.
  • A student may be employed in only one work-study position at a time.
  • A work-study student’s change in financial aid eligibility may necessitate changes in the work-study allocation amount or withdrawal of the work-study award.
  • Hiring departments should confirm that the student has a valid work-study award.
  • Students will be compensated at an hourly rate which is commensurate with their duties and responsibilities.
  • All work-study students must earn at least a 2.5 GPA by term and cumulative. In addition, are subject to the Office of Financial Aid’s Satisfactory Progress Policy.

Work Schedules

Student work-study earnings should be monitored by both the employing department and the student to ensure that earnings do not exceed the work-study allocation. Work-study students are not eligible for overtime.  Employers should monitor the current period and overall earnings after every pay period.

Students may not earn more than 50% of their total work-study allocation before spring semester starts. Fall semester only work-study awards end the last day of fall term.

Students are not permitted to work in FWS positions during their scheduled class times. Exceptions are permitted if an individual class is cancelled.  Any such exception must be documented.  Supervisors must compare class schedules to FWS work schedules in order to ensure students are not working during class time.  If failure to meet these requirements results in an audit finding that requires repayment to the federal program, 100% of the repayment penalties will be paid by the employing department.

Maximum Allowed Hours

  • 20 hours/week during periods the student is enrolled
  • 40 hours/week during official university breaks (classes or finals are not in session)

Weekly hour maximums are calculated based on the work week of Saturday through Friday. An extra 4 hours/day is allowed for each weekday falling within a period of non-enrollment or a university break.

Departments that consistently allow students to work more than the maximum allowed hours may be penalized with the loss of the FWS student. The Human Resources Department will oversee the hours worked and make the judgment on whether or not the student may continue working for the department and if the department may continue to utilize the FWS program for other students.

The student is only paid for the amount of the awarded allocation that is earned. It is the hiring department’s responsibility to provide sufficient hours to enable the student to earn his/her work-study allotment. If there is trouble meeting this requirement, or if the student at any time wishes to reduce or decline the award, the student must contact their supervisor immediately.

Although break or meal periods for students employed are not mandatory, it is recommended that departments implement a policy allowing breaks and/or meals as necessary.  The length and frequency of such periods are up to employer discretion.  Generally, a break period (10-20 minutes) is paid and taken on the premises; a meal period (30 minutes or more) is un-paid, if uninterrupted/duty free.


If you have questions concerning this policy, please contact either the Office of Career Development, the Human Resources office, or the Office of Financial Aid at your earliest convenience.