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 Federal Work Study (FWS)

Federal Work Study is a need-based, federally funded program that allows students to earn money through on-campus or off-campus employment. Students are required to fill out the FAFSA and a student employment application to determine eligibility.  Please contact for more information.


Complete & Submit a FAFSA

  • Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at the Federal Financial Aid - apply for aid website
  • Make sure to check your "My Student Dashboard" account for any additional requirements that may be needed to complete the FAFSA.
  • Enroll in at least 6.0 credit hours of coursework that applies to your major every semester.

Fill out the Student Worker application online

Student Employment Application

Employment Eligibility Review

  • Administrators will review applications for employment eligibility.
  • Applications for eligible students are then forwarded to hiring departments for consideration.

Qualifying Students

  • Qualifying students may be selected to interview by a hiring department.
  • Department supervisors are responsible for hiring decisions.

If Selected For Hire

  • If hired, a student will be sent an official employment offer via email ( address)
  • The student would then electronically accept the offer and report to Human Resources for on-boarding

Credit Hour Requirement

  • How many credit hours must I be enrolled in to participate in FWS?
    • The student must be enrolled in at least 6.0 credit hours per semester.
      • This rule also applies to the summer term.

Available Jobs

  • What types of jobs are available?
    • Most positions are clerical and customer service oriented. There are several positions available that offer opportunities to tutor both college and elementary (K-5) level students. An attempt is made to match your major of study with a related department but it is not guaranteed.

Maximum Work Hours per Week

  • How many hours can I work?
    • Students can work up to 20 hours per week. Number of hours a student is eligible for is determined by a student’s unmet need in his/her financial aid budget.
    • Unmet need is calculated by…
      • Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial Need
      • Financial Need – All Financial Aid Awarded = Unmet Need
    • A student’s unmet need is divided by the number of “work weeks” in a semester and up to 20 work hours per week.
    • The FWS Administrator will determine number of hours/week student is allowed to work and will report number on Student’s Work Authorization Form.

Non Pell Grant Eligible Students

  • I am not eligible for the Pell Grant; Do I still qualify for FWS funds?
    • Maybe. FWS awards are based on unmet need in your financial aid budget. Even though a student may not qualify for the Pell Grant, they still may have unfulfilled “unmet need”.

FWS Advantages

  • Are there advantages to participating in FWS?
    • Yes. Income earned under the FWS program can be excluded in calculating financial aid eligibility on your FAFSA; be sure to report these FWS earnings in question 44c.
    • You earn on-the-job experience that can be applied to future employment endeavors and help you further develop your reference list on a resume. Flexible work schedules that accommodate your school schedule. By working on campus you can save on commuting costs. 

FWS Wages

  • How often are students paid? How much can I earn per hour?
  • Are FWS earnings taxable?
    • Yes, FWS earnings are considered taxable income. The Business Office will mail out W-2s by the end of January.
      • If you consent to electronic W-2s on Lighthouse, you can view and download a copy of your W-2 under the “Employee” tab.
    • FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes do not apply to service performed by students employed by GCSC where the student is pursuing a course of study.  Please visit the IRS - Student exception to FICA tax website for more information.
    • For questions regarding tax requirements, please consult the IRS or your tax advisor.

Work-Study vs Student Assistant

  • Can I work both a Work-study and Student Assistant position?
    • No. A student must choose either to work under the Work-study or Student Assistant Program.

Applying for FWS

  • Do I need to apply for FWS each year to continue receiving it or to be considered?
    • Yes, you are required to fill out the FAFSA every academic year and submit an employment application each academic year.
Orientation Orientation is accessible via the Student Employment Orientation link
Schedule Your department supervisor will develop a schedule with you that should not interfere with class hours. Students are not permitted to work during scheduled class times.
Timesheets Timesheets are must be submitted via "My Student Dashboard" around the 21st of each month  (with the exception of holiday breaks). Your department supervisor will receive an email from payroll specifying when the time sheets are due. Make sure that you report your time worked on a work-study time sheet. You should not work more than 20 hours per week. If your time sheet is submitted after the due date, you will not receive payment until the following pay period.
Direct Deposit FWS students have the option to either pick-up their check in the Business Office or can opt to use direct deposit. To submit the form, please click Direct Deposit Authorization Form to complete the process.
Taxes FWS funds are considered taxable income. You may be required to file taxes. For further assistance, please refer to IRS regulations at or discuss with a professional tax preparer.
Studying Work-study does not mean that time on the job is dedicated to study time for classes. If you have completed all of your tasks for the day, you may study on the clock with your supervisor’s permission.
Calling Out Contact your direct supervisor if you plan on being absent from work or will be late. You will need to make arrangements with your supervisor to make up missed hours.
Dress Code Ask your supervisor about dress code policies for your particular department. In general, students are expected to have a clean and neat appearance; keep in mind that you are representing GCSC.
Tuition & Fees / Bookstore Vouchers FWS funds cannot be applied to your tuition/fees or bookstore charges. Funds are earned through work and cannot be awarded in advance.
Hiring Process Please refer to the Student Employment Workflow
Orientation Student-Employees review GCSC's "Student-Employee Orientation" as part of their employment offer.
Work Authorizations Work Authorizations are attached to each student's application and stipulate the number of hours a student is allowed to work per week and the start/end dates for the semester.
Work Schedules In general, students may work up to 20 hours per week. Reference the student’s work authorization form to determine their allotted hours/week. Students are not permitted to work during scheduled class times. If a student works more than 5 hours in a day, they will need to take an unpaid 30 minute break.  
Timesheets Time sheets must be submitted online, using the employee tab on Lighthouse, by the 21st of each month. The Business Office will send out an email with specific due dates. If time sheets are not turned in on time, the student will not be paid until the following pay period. 
Rehiring of a Student-Employee If a student has worked under FWS then they need to re-apply each new aid year so a new authorization can be attached to their application.
Termination of a Student-Employee Please email and CC if you need to terminate a student employee.
Gulf Coast State College does not discriminate against any person in its programs, activities, policies or procedures on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, marital status, religion, age, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. All questions or inquiries regarding compliance with laws relating to non-discrimination and all complaints regarding sexual misconduct or discrimination, may be directed to Lee Wood, Executive Director, Human Resources/Title II/504/Title IX Coordinator and Employment Equity Officer, Gulf Coast State College, 5230 W. US Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401.