Federal Work Study Requirements

Federal Work Study Requirements

Federal Work Study (FWS) is financial aid paid to you as hourly wages for a job you obtain through the Financial Aid Office. It helps you earn money to meet your educationally related expenses. FWS gives you an opportunity to gain work experience related to your program of study or career choice and it allows you to participate in paid community service work in after-school programs or in city agencies.

Note: International students are not eligible for participation in the FWS Program.

Note: Entering freshman, cannot work until they have completed a semester at John Jay College and have satisfactory academic progress. Refer to the FWS Coordinator for requirements.

FWS Basic Requirements:
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Application. Bring in documents if you were selected for Verification.
  • Have a Federal Work Study award (Verify your CUNYFirst account)
    • If you don't have a FWS Award, go to the Career Development Center and click on "John Jay Careers Online" to search for non-FWS jobs.
  • Work only one job (either on or off-campus) with the FWS Program.
  • Work to earn your award.
  • Be registered for 6 credits (or equated credits) for each semester except for summer and winter session.
  • Be in good academic standing, 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) for Undergraduate, 3.0 (GPA) for Graduate Students.
  • Be matriculated (registered in a curriculum and are pursuing courses toward a degree)
  • Stop working on the day you stop attending classes, or on the last day to work indicated on the FWS contract, whichever is earlier.
  • Pay close attention to the Academic Calendar for important dates, college closings and schedule changes.


IMPORTANT: There is no penalty if all or part of your FWS is unearned. Unused portions of the award are not converted into other forms of financial aid. You cannot be paid for hours worked in excess of your award.

  • Your award is per semester; however your contract is for one academic year (summer, fall and spring), so be mindful of the hours you are allowed to work per semester and keep track of them.
  • FWS students are not allowed to work during class hours even if your class is cancelled
  • On-campus student rates: Undergraduate at $15.00 and Graduate at $16.00
  • Off-Campus hourly rates vary based on job selection
  • Award balances will expire if you do not use the full award by your last scheduled day to work, (check your contract date). Awards do not rollover from one academic year to another. Every year you will need to reapply for a new FAFSA, select the FWS option and complete the process.
  • Students who attended another college in the Fall semester, are only eligible to use Spring funds.


Note: The information that appears on CUNYfirst is your award for the semester. CUNYfirst does not indicate your remaining balance. The information on your pay-stub/email will not be accurate because it will not include days you recently worked. It is important to keep track of your hours on the Record of Available Hours Form.

COPE- The College Opportunity to Prepare for Employment (COPE) Program
As of July 1, 2012, the John Jay College Opportunity to Prepare for Employment (COPE) Program has been closed. However, the Center for Career & Professional Development WILL maintain liaison services to the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) to assist affected students who wish to apply certain college activities towards their HRA participation requirement. Specifically, students who require documentation of their class schedules or wish to count their hours in work study or internships towards their participation requirement should continue to use the Center for Career & Professional Development, where an official "HRA Liaison" has been designated. We will additionally provide social services support and facilitate access to employment services.

For information or inquiries, please contact Purnima Taylor, Deputy Director at ptaylor@jjay.cuny.edu.

Proceed to Summer and Winter Session Facts