Eligible students are notified of their FWS award as part of their University of Pittsburgh financial aid package. If you want to be employed through the federal Work Study program you must sign the Student Acceptance Form that is enclosed with your award letter and return it to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, indicating that you accept your Work Study award. You cannot participate in Work Study until you return a completed Student Acceptance Form.


Work Study Registration

At the beginning of each fall term the Financial Aid Office provides general Work Study information sessions. If you were notified of a Work Study award in your financial aid award letter and completed and signed a Student Acceptance form, you will receive information about the dates and times of these sessions in late July and early August. These information sessions are designed to acquaint you with how to take advantage of the Work Study program at Pitt. At the registration session, you will receive payroll and other forms that need to be completed to become University employee. In addition you will learn how to access the Job Directory, how to find a job, how to complete the necessary payroll paperwork and how you will be paid.


As a FWS participant, you are expected to arrange for your own job interviews and make the decision about where you will work. When you are hired, you and your supervisors are responsible to ensure that the necessary payroll and other required paperwork is completed on an accurate and timely basis. Each month, you and your supervisor are responsible to accurately record and submit hours that you worked. Time records must be submitted based on the calendar determined by the University payroll department. Employed students are paid once a month. The University payday is the last working day of the month. You will have your earnings deposited directly into a personal bank account. A pay statement will be sent to your permanent address.


Steps to Participate in Work Study

Students participating in the federal Work Study program need to:

  1. Attend a registration session and receive necessary FWS payroll information.
  2. Review the on-line Job Directory to find a job of interest.
  3. Contact supervisor by phone or e-mail to arrange an interview.
  4. Interview with supervisor and get hired.
  5. Complete FWS paperwork with supervisor.
  6. Bring all completed FWS forms to Financial Aid Office located in Alumni Hall.
  7. Turn in a timesheet by the monthly deadline for the hours worked that month.
  8. Receive a direct deposit of your earnings.



The Federal Work Study Office does not provide personnel placement. Students make their own job selections. Students are expected to initiate the placement process by accessing the on-line Job Directory and making contact with the future supervisor.


Hours and Pay Rates

The hourly pay rates allowable are established by the University. Currently the rates are $7.25, $7.65, $8.15 or $8.30 per hour. The supervisor will determine the hourly pay rate for students employed in their department. Please note that a work hour is a clock hour of 60 minutes, not a class hour of 50 minutes.


Students typically work 10-15 hours per week. University student employment policy limits student employment to not more than 20 hours per week during the academic year. Students may work no more than 40 hours per week during the summer.

Payment through Federal Work Study earnings are based on an hourly rate for actual hours worked. Students who are absent due to illness, holidays, or other reasons, are NOT paid or given credit for the time missed. Students are NOT paid for time taken for meals.


Authorized Federal Work Study Awards

Students who apply for financial aid will receive an official financial aid award letter from the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. If you are eligible for Federal Work Study, the FWS award will be listed in the award letter. You and your supervisor are expected to monitor your gross earnings to ensure that the dollars actually earned do not exceed the FWS award amount, which appears in the student’s Award Letter and on the Job Permit Card. If the authorized FWS award amount is exceeded, the department or organization hiring the student is responsible for the amount which exceeds the award. Premature termination of a Federal Work Study may be necessary for students who earn more than their FWS award.



In accepting financial aid awards, students agree to provide any additional documentation requested by an authorized University official to verify information given on the original financial aid application. The University reserves the right to reduce or cancel an award in cases where there is conflicting or missing information. In addition, if the total awarded financial aid exceeds your federally determined eligibility, a federal Work Study award can be reduced or cancelled. In this case, the federal Work Study Office will attempt to notify the supervisor. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that his/her supervisor knows of the change.


Summer Federal Work Study

If sufficient funds are available, students who were employed during the regular school year will be given an opportunity to apply for Summer Federal Work Study awards. Students and supervisors are notified in February of the preceding spring term with regard to planning for the summer program. The Application for Summer Employment through the FWS program will be sent to qualified students. Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis and are limited. Priority is given to those who apply by the deadline date on application.


Your Rights and Responsibilities


Students are responsible to their supervisors for punctual, regular, and efficient performance of job duties. Supervisors must be notified in advance of any absence.



Students are expected to remain in their chosen job for the entire semester, September to December, or January to April (in case of summer, May to August). If you quit your job mid semester, you cannot begin a new position until the start of the next semester. If you plan to work a different job for the spring term (January), you must notify the Federal Work Study Office in writing and must pick up a new FWS packet in early January. The new paperwork must be returned to the Federal Work Study Office as soon as possible.


One Job Limit

You cannot hold more than one Federal Work Study job at a time. Also, no student can hold a Federal Work Study job and a non-Federal Work Study job within the University at the same time.


Withdrawal from program

If you intend to withdraw from the Federal Work Study Program, either temporarily or permanently, you must advise your supervisor and the Work Study Office. You should give two weeks’ notice to the employer.


Maximum Hours

During the academic year, you may work no more than 20 hours per week. During the summer, you may work no more than 37.5 hours per week. Students are not paid for lunch hours, holidays, or time off.


Loss of Earnings

If you leave a job, you should not expect to have earnings replaced by any other type of financial aid.


Student Eligibility

You must be enrolled on a full-time basis to be eligible to participate in the FWS during the fall/spring term. (No enrollment during the summer term is required for participation in the Summer Work Study Program).