Federal Work Study Program

Current Federal Work Study Job Postings are now available online.

Student Employee Handbook

Please click here to download the 2016-2017 Federal Work Study Student Employee Handbook. This will provide you with helpful information regarding the hiring process, eligibility criteria, work schedules, etc. 

Supervisor Handbook

Please click here to download the 2016-2017 Federal Work Study Supervisor Handbook. This will provide you with important information regarding hiring, scheduling, and evaluating student employees. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Federal Work Study?

Federal Work Study (FWS) is a type of financial aid. It is a federally funded program, supplemented by institutional dollars, that provides part-time jobs for students with financial need to help them pay for their college-related expenses. This program encourages students to take part in community service work, as well as, gain experience in the student's courses of study. 

Who is eligible for Federal Work Study?

Federal Work Study is awarded to students who meet the HCC Priority Deadline and are otherwise eligible. To be considered for a Federal Work Study award, you must submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year; submit all required documents to complete your financial aid file, and be registered for classes by the priority deadline. You must have financial need as determined by federal need-analysis. Lastly, you must maintain good standing in accordance with the College's Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP).

If you are interested in beginning work in the summer term, and you are not enrolled in that summer term; you have to have next year's FAFSA completed before the priority deadline to ensure availability of funds.

What kinds of jobs are there? Are jobs guaranteed?

There are both on campus and off campus opportunities available, but job placement is not guaranteed. On campus jobs are in the academic departments and administrative offices.

Community service work is also strongly encouraged. The College has contracts with various public, non-profit organizations in the community in which students can work. These jobs provide services that are designed to improve the quality of life for community residents or to solve particular problems related the community's needs. Most of the community service jobs are located off campus at local nonprofit organizations.

How do I find a job?

Available Federal Work Study positions are posted on the FWS Job Board in the hall outside of the Financial Aid Office in Frost 201. Jobs can also be viewed online.

Before you contact a supervisor for an interview, be sure you have (1) accepted your FWS award on Online Services, (2) submitted the FWS Employment Packet to the Financial Aid Office, and (3) have received your Employment Authorization Form. You cannot begin working without these items on file. Pick these up at the Financial Aid Office in Frost 201.

What is the rate of pay?

Hourly rates for Federal Work Study positions vary depending on the type of position and the length of time the student has been employed in the position, but are at least the State minimum wage. The state's current minimum wage is $10.00 per hour. Some positions, such as community service, may be eligible for a higher wage. You can earn up to the total amount of your Federal Work Study award.

How will I be paid? Are my earnings taxed?

Federal Work Study earnings are subject to all federal and state income taxes. Students must complete a Federal W-4 form and a State M-4 form prior to beginning employment. You are paid bi-weekly through direct deposit or by check.  

How many hours can I work?

The number of hours a student can work depends on his/her award and rate of pay. Most students are able to work an average of 10-12 hours per week. Sometimes additional hours are available during the summer or other vacation periods, but rarely would total hours exceed 30 per week. A student cannot earn more than the total amount of his or her Federal Work Study award.

Is there a limit on how much can be earned?

Students receive individual work awards based on their particular financial need. The award amount is the student's maximum level of earnings. This means that the student's wages cannot exceed the award amount. Once a student has earned his or her allocated award, he or she is no longer eligible for payment of FWS funding. Generally, however, the supervisor and the student establish a work schedule at the beginning of the work period that will enable the student to work throughout the entire semester.

Can I keep the same job every semester?

Re-hiring is not an automatic process. A FWS student must have his or her supervisor sign a new Student Employment Authorization Form at the beginning of each new employment period (usually the beginning of the semester). Additionally, all financial aid eligibility requirements apply.

Additional Information

U.S. Department of Education

FWS Community Service

Federal Work Study Community Service is an excellent way for qualified students to work in paid positions that complement academic and career goals. Students can assist in improving the quality of life for local residents in agencies that offer services in areas such as:

  • Health care and child care
  • Literacy training and education (including tutorial services)
  • Welfare and social services
  • Public safety, crime prevention, and control
  • Disability services and elder care
  • Recreation, community, and economic development
  • Immigration services
  • Veterans outreach and civic engagement
  • Emergency preparedness and response

Students and employers of non-profit federal, state, and local public and private agencies find this type of employment to be mutually rewarding and enriching. Students have been placed at a variety of locations:

  • 1st Generation Performance Project
  • Ascentria Care Alliance
  • Baystate Medical Center
  • The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke
  • Cancer Connection Thrift Store
  • Casa Latina
  • Homework House
  • Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary
  • New England Farm Workers Council

HCC is always looking to connect with more community organizations. If there is a specific agency you would like to work with, please let us know!

How to Apply

Students must be eligible for Federal Work Study to apply. Available community service positions can be viewed at http://hcc.edu/workstudy or on the FWS Job Board outside of the Financial Aid Office in Frost 201. Interested applicants can contact:   

Erin Schotanus
Coordinator of Federal Work Study Community Service
Donahue 135

Job Placement Procedures

Award Letter

In order to be employed through the Federal Work Study Program, you must be offered an award on your Financial Aid award letter or the award section of your MyHCC Online Services. You are required to indicate your acceptance of the award on Online Services.

Job Openings

Review the job postings to determine what jobs you are interested in pursuing. The job postings are available online and on the FWS Job Board located outside of the Financial Aid Office in Frost 201.

Employment Documents

Pick up the FWS Employment Packet at the Financial Aid Office in Frost 201. You must read through this packet in its entirety. Complete and return the following documents to the Financial Aid Office. You will not be approved to work without submission of these forms:

  • Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9): Complete Section 1 and submit with your HCC ID, state ID, or driver's license AND your Social Security Card or Birth Certificate to the Financial Aid Office. Original forms of identification must be brought to the office (copies of these items are not acceptable).
  • Form W-4 (2016) and Form M-4
  • Employee Confidentiality Agreement: Please make a copy for your records.
  • Employee Responsibility Agreement: Please make a copy for your records. 

Interview and Hire

Schedule an individual appointment to meet with the supervisors of any jobs you are applying for. After a supervisor has hired you for a job, complete and submit the Student Employee Authorization Form.

**Obtain the Student Employee Authorization Form from the Financial Aid Office after you have submitted the documents listed above. This authorization contains information about your award which will help a prospective employer determine the number of hours you will be allowed to work each week. Each supervisor has been assigned a specified department budget, therefore you may be asked to work fewer hours than your award would normally allow. This authorization must be completed by your hiring supervisor and returned to the Financial Aid Office before you begin working.


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040