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Office of Financial Aid
University of Mississippi

Student Guide to Federal Work-Study Program for Undergraduates

What is Federal Work-Study?

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is offered as a part of your total financial aid package to assist you in financing your education at The University of Mississippi.  This is money that does not have to be repaid.  FWS is a real job.  The term “Work-Study” does not mean that you can “study” on the job. It means that you work to obtain the funds to be able to study at Ole Miss.

What are the advantages of a FWS job?

One advantage is being able to arrange your work schedule around your classes.  We do ask that your work schedule be in blocks of at least two hours.  If you can schedule entire mornings or afternoons, it would be better for you and your employer.  Other advantages include a bi-monthly (twice a month) pay check, gaining valuable work experiences that will look good on a resume, and keeping student debt to a minimum.

How much can I work?

Your award offer will indicate the dollar amount of your FWS award for the year.  Although your pay will always be based upon actual hours worked, this award indicates the maximum amount you will be allowed to earn.  You will be given a Federal Work-Study Placement Sheet which will indicate the maximum earnings and maximum hours for the assignment period, as well as the suggested number of hours per week.  You and your supervisor will determine your work schedule depending on your supervisor’s needs and your class schedule.

How and where will I be assigned to work?

The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) does not assign students to specific jobs. Instead, you must seek out and apply for placement in a FWS position, although the OFA assists with job leads by soliciting campus departments for FWS postings. A listing of openings can be found on the UM Financial Aid Home page at an address provided to all Federal Work-Study Award recipients.  If you find a job that you are interested in, contact the supervisor for that job to schedule an interview.  You must take the Federal Work-Study Placement Sheet (obtained from the OFA) with you to the interview for you and your supervisor to complete.

How do I get paid?

FWS students are paid bi-monthly (twice a month). The pay rate for campus jobs will be $9.00 per hour.  Students employed through the Family Literacy program, as reading and math tutors, will be paid $10.00 per hour. The preferred method of payment is through direct deposit to your personal checking/savings account. Paychecks do not process through the student Bursar’s account.

What are my responsibilities?

  • Take your job seriously.  This is a real job and an important one.  You are now a part of the department or area where you are working. 
  • Coordinate your work hours with your supervisor, remembering both the needs of the department and your own class schedule.
  • Be dependable.  You must report to work on time and always CALL if it is necessary for you to be late or absent.
  • Dress appropriately for your work location.  Check with your supervisor on appropriate dress if you are not sure.
  • If a problem develops on the job, discuss it with your supervisor.  Quitting a Work-Study job should be a last resort and should be done only after consultation with your supervisor.  We cannot guarantee replacement of your Work-Study award with other funds.

Can I be terminated?

YES.  Your employer can terminate you for unsatisfactory performance of assigned tasks, tardiness, or failure to report to work or follow rules of the department where you are working.  If terminated, reassignment to another job is NOT guaranteed.

Who do I contact for information?

For information about your Work-Study award or placement, contact the Financial Aid Office at (800) 891-4596.