Work Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is a federally subsidized student employment program through which a portion of your wages are paid by federal funds and the balance by the employer. In addition to on-campus jobs, you may also work in off-campus community service jobs developed by the Student Employment Office (SEO). Job opportunities are also available for non work study applicants. 

Average awards range from $2,000 - $2,600 per year. 

Federal Work-Study (FWS) FAQs

I see an amount for FWS listed on my financial aid award. Is this money subtracted from my Tufts University bill?

No. The FWS program was developed by the federal government to allow students who are eligible for financial aid to earn some of their out of pocket expenses. The award is earned by working and receiving a paycheck at the end of the week for the hours worked. It is not funding that is subtracted from the university bill.

Am I automatically guaranteed to earn the FWS amount listed on my financial aid award?

No. The amount listed is the maximum amount you can earn through a work-study job. The work-study program consists of part-time employment during the academic year and full-time employment during the semester breaks.

Am I required to take a work study job while I'm a student?

No, you can choose to turn down your work-study award if you wish. To do so, please contact the Financial Aid office. However, you can use federal work-study in several different locations including On-Campus, Off-Campus Community Service, and America Reads opportunities.

What's the advantage of accepting the work-study award portion of my financial aid?

When you accept a work-study job, the government subsidizes a certain percent of your wages and the employer is responsible for paying the remainder. Therefore, if a department hires you, they use less of their departmental budget to pay you. This might give you a preference in the hiring process.

Can I earn more than the FWS amount listed in my financial aid award?

Technically, you can earn as much money as you wish. However, because the federal government will subsidize only up to the amount listed in your aid award letter, any surplus amount you earn above and beyond must be paid directly from your employer's budget. Depending on your employer, this surplus amount may not be in their budget. Therefore, some employers may keep track and restrict how many hours you work to ensure you don't earn more than your award amount.

How can I use the money earned from my FWS job?

You can use it on just about anything! The paycheck you receive at the end of each week is yours to do with as you wish. You can spend it on academic expenses (books, lab fees, or printing costs) or social expenses (movies, ordering pizza, or a night out with friends).

Work Study Program Information

On-Campus Work Study

Many departments on the Tufts campus offer positions for students with FWS. These jobs are available on a part-time basis during the academic year. During the summer there are a few community service and America Reads jobs available on campus on a full-time basis.

Off-Campus Community Service Work Study

This program allows work-study students to work for nonprofit organizations in positions that will directly benefit the community. For a position to be considered community service, you must provide services that are designed to improve the quality of life for community residents or solve particular problems related to those residents’ needs. The SEO has well over 100 listings each year of nonprofit and public agencies with open positions. If you are interested in working for an agency that is not listed, you MUST speak to the Manager of Student Employment first.

Please note: All off-campus Work Study slots have been filled for 2021-2022. As a result, we are unable to offer any Community Work Study awards for Spring 2022.

America Reads and America Counts

Another important work-study program to which Tufts is committed is the America Reads program. This program allows 100% of the wages of work-study students to be paid from federal dollars if you are employed as a reading or math tutor for children in preschool or elementary school. This program also includes students employed as tutors in family literacy programs that provide services to families with preschool or elementary school children.

Tufts Subsidized Work-Study

Tufts Subsidized Work-Study is a small program that subsidizes wages for needy undergraduates who do not qualify for Federal Work-Study, such as international students. If you qualify for this program, the Financial Aid Office will subsidize 75% of your wages and the department that employs you will pay the remaining 25%. Tufts Subsidized Work-Study is limited to on-campus employment during the academic year only.

Non Work-Study

Non work-study jobs are positions available to all students regardless of financial aid status. Therefore, if you are a Tufts student who does not receive financial aid, you are still eligible for a non work-study position. Non work-study jobs are located both off and on campus during the academic year and semester breaks.

Work Study Eligibility

Find out if you’re eligible for Federal Work Study or Tufts Work-Study jobs

  • You are eligible if you receive financial aid AND it's included in your package. Check your Financial Aid Award.
  • You are not eligible if you do not receive financial aid OR if it's not included in your Financial Aid Award Notice.