Federal Work Study

Federal Work Study Program

This federally funded financial aid program enables students to earn money toward college expenses by working on campus, in the government, or in selected nonprofit agencies serving the community. Students may work up to twenty hours a week while classes are in session and receive a monthly paycheck (based on an hourly wage) that they can use for educational expenses.

Eligibility for Incoming Students

  • FAFSA must be submitted by February 1st 
  • Must be admitted as an undergraduate
  • Must be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant 
  • Must enroll at least half time (6 credit hours or more) each term
  • Must answer “yes” to work study question on FAFSA

Eligibility for Returning Students

  • FAFSA must be submitted by February 1st 
  • Must be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant 
  • Be an undergraduate 
  • Must enroll at least half time (6 credit hours or more) each term
  • Must answer “yes” to work study question on FAFSA
  • Must have earned FWS award during the prior academic year at Portland State University

Federal Work Study funding is very limited, and is typically exhausted very quickly. At this time there is no waiting list for students who were eligible but not awarded Work Study funds.

Certificate of Eligibility for Summer FWS

Students awarded Work-Study must present a Certificate of Eligibility (available in the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships) to their employer. The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships is located in the Western Hemlock Trailer Pod, just south of Shattuck Hall, between Broadway and the park blocks on the old tennis courts.

Work Study jobs can be found in the Handshake section of the Advising & Career Services website. 

Off-campus Work-Study positions are also available with government and community service agencies who have signed a contract with PSU to provide Work-Study employment for PSU students. These positions are also listed in the Handshake section of the Advising & Career Services website.

Students may also be eligible to earn Work-Study funds during Summer term if they are awarded Work-Study for the upcoming award year, the funds of which can be applied to Summer. If you have been awarded 2018/2019 Federal Work Study, have accepted it and are enrolled at least half time for Fall 2018, complete a request to begin using your work-study in Summer 2018: Summer Work Study Request Form.

Alternatives to Federal Work-Study

Portland State hires over 2,500 regular wage student employees each year for non-work-study positions in a variety of departments. These jobs are posted online through PSU Handshake. If you are interested in working on campus, you can visit PSU Advising & Career Services website and follow the application instructions listed for each job. These is no limit to the number of positions for which you can apply.