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Career and Professional Success

Federal Work Study

What Is Federal Work Study (FWS)?

The FWS program subsidizes the paychecks of college students who work qualifying part time jobs (on or off campus), allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. Learn more by reading "What Is Work-Study?"

Students (or parents/guardians) must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be eligbile for federal work study. Students who have been awarded FWS as a part of their financial aid package must secure employment on campus or through our approved Community Service partnership organizations. FWS positions are available on campus in a number of university departments and off campus at approved non-profit and government agencies. 

Here are some resources for FWS student employees:

What Does The FWS Aid Amount Mean?

  • Although your aid award may list a certain amount allocated for work-study — say, $1,500 — that doesn’t mean you automatically get that money.
  • You have to find a work-study-eligible job and then work enough hours to earn up to that amount. The monetary award is simply a place holder in your financial aid record.
  • The dollars that are awarded to you must be acquired by working in an approved campus job—the only jobs on campus that do not fall under this category are those that are with outside companies such as Follett, Starbucks, etc. 

Does The Money I Earn Go Directly Towards My Tuition?

  • The student receives a paycheck with normal withholding - the money is not automatically applied toward their student account.  
  • FWS students can take their paper check to the Office of Student accounts and ask to have it applied directly to their student account.

Are Jobs On Campus Or Off Campus?

  • Both. If you work on campus, you’ll usually work for your school, specifically within a office or center on campus. If you work off campus, your employer will usually be a approved nonprofit organization or a public agency. Butler has signed agreements with several private for-profit , non profit, and other community service related organizations for work-study jobs.

Are FWS Students Guaranteed A Job?

  • No. Supervisors are free to hire any student they feel is the best fit for the job, department, or organization.
  • However, FWS students do have the opportunity to apply for on-campus jobs on Handshake about 10 days earlier than all other students, giving them a slight advantage. Some supervisors take this into account and will hire FWS students based on financial need for a job on campus, but others will hire based purely on fit, whether they are FWS eligible or not. 

Where Do I Find a FWS Job?

  • Butler University uses the online job search platform called Handshake, to promote open on- and off-campus. Whether those are part-time or full-time. Work study positions will state "work study" in the title and include a disclaimer in the description to remind students these positions are only for federal work study eligible students. 
  • Utilize Handshake to search for on campus or off campus FWS positions. When searching, use the search box and type "work study" to narrow down you results. You can also search by the approved list of FWS employer organizations listed on this page. 

I Have Accepted A On Campus Job & I am FWS Eligible. What Now?

  • You are good to go! As a FWS student, you can work anywhere on campus!
  • What you (or your parents/guardians) will need to do next time is fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and report all of the income you made as a Butler student employee. Find out more using the FAFSA Guide.

  • However, if you are employed in any of the following on campus centers, then both the student and supervisor should contact the Student Employment Coordinator - Alyssa Laskowski (alaskows@butler.edu) for next steps:
    • ​Butler Center for the Arts (Schrott & Clowes)
    • Butler CUE
    • Center for Faith & Vocation
    • Center for Citzenship & Community
    • Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra
    • Indianapolis Childrens Choir
    • Indianapolis Symphonic Choir

How Do I Know If I Am FWS Eligible?

  • Eligibility: On-campus student employment offered to students who have financial aid eligibility as determined by the FAFSA.
    • Average award equivalent to eight to twelve hours per week at minimum wage.
    • Award amount is not automatically deducted from the student's bill.
    • Students receive a paycheck for the hours worked every two weeks.
    • Students are required to pay taxes on earnings, however amount earned is not used against the student when determining financial aid eligibility in the following year.
    • *Available only to full-time undergraduate students pursuing their first bachelor's degree.
  • FWS students will be informed individually by Financial Aid of your eligibility status, and amount of funds offered. If a student is unsure of whether or not they are eligible for FWS funds, please contact Financial Aid at 317-940-8200 or finaid@butler.edu

What Kind Of Organizations Are Part Of The FWS Community Service Program?

  • Various organizations partner with Butler University by hiring only FWS eligible students to work for the academic year. Each year, there are about 15-18+ non-profit organizations (located both on and off campus) that will hire Butler students, on the terms that Butler is responsible for paying 100% of the students' wages, up to the students' allotted FWS monetary award. These jobs are found in the same section on Handshake where on-campus jobs are located. Some organizations include:
  1. Newfields (formerly IMA)
  2. Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site 
  3. Humane Society of Indianapolis 
  4. Harrison Center for the Arts 
  5. Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra 
  6. Indianapolis Children's Choir 
  7. The Milk Bank
  8. Indianapolis Symphonic Choir 
  9. International School of Indiana 
  10. Indiana Youth Institute 
  11. The Orchard School 
  12. St. Thomas Aquinas School 
  13. The Indianapolis YMCA 
  14. The Butler Center for the Arts (Schrott & Clowes)
  15. Butler CUE Farm
  16. Center for Citizenship & Community
  17. The Indiana Arts Commission
  18. Indianapolis Symphonic Choir
  19. Center for Faith & Vocation
  20. Women4Change
  21. Northminster Presbyterian 

Taxes and FAFSA Information

  • You have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for federal work study. You will need to complete a FAFSA form for every year that you need student aid. Even if you have been awarded a work-study position for one school year, you must fill out the FAFSA again for each subsequent year. Be sure to answer the question regarding how much was earned through work-study on your FAFSA accurately. If you do not know the answer, you can contact Butler's Financial Aid office for help.
  • The foremost reason to choose work-study is that the amount of money you make doesn’t count against you when you file your FAFSA for the next year. Income from any federal work-study job is not counted in yearly income on the FAFSA. 
  • Earnings from a work-study position are subject to state and federal payroll taxes. If you are currently enrolled in college full time, and currently work less than half time, you are exempt from Social Security and Medicare withholding, but not income taxes.
  • Click here for additional information:
  • Are My Work-Study Earnings Taxed?
  • How Work-Study Affects Your Taxes
  • Filling out FAFSA

Do I Have to Accept FWS Aid?

  • No. If work-study is on your financial aid award and you don’t intend to use it, you can decline the award. However, in most cases, getting a work-study job is a good idea, especially if it decreases your student loan borrowing and the amount of student debt you’ll face after graduation.

FWS Student Paychecks

  • You can opt to get paid by check (available for pick up from Student Accounts in JH 102), via direct deposit, or by having the money credited to your school account to cover tuition, fees, or room and board.
  • There’s no requirement that you use the money for anything specific; many students use their work-study paychecks to cover day-to-day living costs.
  • Students earn the federal minimum wage at the very least ($7.25 in Indiana), and may actually earn more.
  • If you decide to utilize direct deposit, please take the completed form to Catherine Judson in Human Resources - JH 052.

Questions?

Questions regarding on-campus employment can be forwarded to Alyssa Laskowski, the On-Campus Student Employment Coordinator, located in the Career and Professional Success office in the new Lacy Building 102. She can be reached at 317-940-6562 or via e-mail at alaskows@butler.edu.