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Financial Aid

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

FWS refers to the money used to pay a student for hours worked at a part time job that is usually on campus. Via the America Reads program, a limited number of students are eligible to work off-campus as tutors with the Chicago Public School sites for which UIC has agreements. For those students who wish to work off-campus with other community organizations they are more than welcome. However, due to limited FWS funding, only students working off-campus with the America Reads program are eligible to be paid with FWS funds.

This program is funded by the federal government and UIC. The amount shown on your Award Notification is the amount you may earn during the academic year through a FWS position. Having a FWS award on your Award Notification is not a guarantee of a job, nor a guarantee that you will earn the entire award if you are hired as a work-study student. Students working under the FWS program are paid at least minimum wage, and often more, depending on the type of work and the skills required. To search for a FWS job, visit the Office of Student Employment website.

FWS employees are paid every two weeks. They receive a paycheck just like regular student employees. Therefore earnings from federal work study do not go directly to pay any outstanding bill with the University.  If this is the intent, you will need to pay the Office of University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations (USFSCO) directly. Please keep in mind that FWS funds earned are considered taxable income per the IRS and need to be reported as such in the appropriate tax year.


If you have been awarded FWS, be sure to tell your employer about your FWS eligibility so that they can set up your job appointment as a FWS job. There is also a financial incentive for you to be paid via the Federal Work-Study program.  On the following year’s FAFSA you can indicate the amount earned as a result of the Federal Work-Study program and that amount will be subtracted from your Adjusted Gross Income, thus not negatively affecting your eligibility for financial aid.   

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