Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Home > Student Services > Financial Aid > Federal Work Study Program (FWS)
Federal Work Study Program (FWS)
Federal Work-Study, also referred to as FWS, is one of three major federal student programs from the U.S. Department of Education.  It is designed to provide part-time employment to students who have established significant financial need according to federal guidelines.  The federal government pays a percentage of the student's salary; the school pays the remainder.  FWS is a part of the total financial aid package and is not intended to be the sole source of assistance.
Many students either seek a position related to their career objective or seek positions that offer skill development.  In either case, the FWS Program is intended to provide a balance between the interests of the student and the needs of the department/area/office.       
Currently, OCC places all FWS students into jobs which are on the campus through the Job Placement Office.

How do I apply for Federal Work-Study?

You must complete the FAFSA and meet all the deadlines for submitting supporting documentation. The deadlines to submit for the FAFSA is March 2nd and you must indicate on the FAFSA you are interested in employment as part of your financial aid award.
If you did not indicate that you would like federal work study on your FAFSA, please email the financial aid office at and we will place you on the wait list.  These funds are limited and are awarded based on need and a first-in, first-out order.
Once the OCC Financial Aid Office receives your FAFSA information, you will be evaluated for financial need and a financial aid package will be determined. If you have been offered a Federal Work-Study award, you will be given the opportunity to seek employment on campus. To initiate the process for work-study, you must first accept the work-study award.
If you will be employed, you must pick up the work-study student assignment form at the Financial Aid Office and have it signed by the work-study coordinator. The FWS assignment form must then be completed and signed by your employer and returned to the work-study coordinator to establish eligibility in the work-study program.

Who is eligible for Federal Work-Study?

FWS is awarded according to the standard financial aid application and statutory need analysis procedure.  In order to be eligible for a FWS award/funds, a student must:
Ø  Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) which is determined by the number of units attempted and completed at the end of each semester as well as maintaining a minimum GPA requirement. 
Ø  Be determined eligible and awarded a FWS allocation by the Financial Aid Office.  Student must have a FAFSA submitted by the March 2nd priority filing deadline. Recipients must reapply for the FAFSA each year.
Ø  Not owe a repayment to any Title IV grant program nor be in default on any Title IV loans received at any school.
Ø  Be enrolled and remain in at least 6 units throughout each semester that you are working and must be making consistent progress toward a degree / certificate.  When a student withdraws or is withdrawn from a class for any reason, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the Financial Aid Office.

How do I sign up for a Federal Work Study Orientation?

If you have already been awarded a Federal Work Study for 2014-2015, the FWS Coordinator will be emailing you the Federal Work Study Student Handbook that you will need to study before taking a FWS Orientation/Quiz starting the week of July 22nd.  If you pass the quiz, you will then be directed to Job Placement with your FWS Student Assignment Form.  If you do not pass, you will need to do an in person FWS Orientation with the FWS coordinator to go over the questions you have missed.

How much will I make?

Your Federal Work Study wages will be at least the current federal minimum wage.  Your total Federal Work Study award will depend on when you apply, your level of need, and the funding level received by Orange Coast College.

Can I work as many hours as I want?

The amount you earn cannot exceed your total Federal Work Study award. In addition, you will not be allowed to work more than 19 hours per week.
Questions? Contact Angela Varner at: 
The Coast Community College District does not discriminate unlawfully in providing educational or employment opportunities to any person on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition, physical or mental disability, military or veteran status, or genetic information.
OCC 504/ADA Office - Special Services Building: (714) 432-5042;
OCC Title IX Office - ​ Administration Building: (714) 432-5766;
OCC Campus Safety: (714) 432-5017.