FWS Student Information Workshop

Below you will find information regarding the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program at CSUN. Reading each section will help you complete the survey at the end of this page. Remember to click the submit button on your survey.

What is FWS?

FWS stands for Federal Work Study.  It is one of the types of financial aid that you apply for when you submit your FAFSA.

FWS gives you the opportunity to earn part of your financial aid by working in a job, either on or off campus. The salary received is at least equal to the current state minimum wage, but many FWS jobs pay more than minimum wage.

As you work on the job, you submit time cards for the hours worked, just as you would at a regular job. Once a month you will receive a paycheck for hours worked the previous month.  Instead of a financial aid payment, the student's Work-Study award is paid in the form of a payroll check for time/hours worked.

FWS awards may range up to $4,000 or more per year.

How do I qualify for FWS?

We received your financial aid application and you check yes, to being interested in work-study. We then identified your FAFSA as eligible for a FWS award.  To receive a FWS award as part of your Financial Aid package you will need to search, apply and go through the interview and hiring process with an Authorized FWS Employer.

CSUN FWS Student Eligibility:

  • Submit a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) by the March 2nd annually.
  • Indicate on the FAFSA that you are interested in work-study.
  • Have a qualifying Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA.
  • Maintain CSUN Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.
  • Be enrolled in classes at least half-time (6 units undergraduate; 4 units graduate) during any semester of FWS employment.

Benefits of FWS Employment

The intent of the FWS Program is to encourage part-time employment and reduce the amount of loan debt incurred while attending college. Income earned in a FWS job will not affect your future financial aid eligibility. Income earned in your FWS job is taxable like any other income.  When you fill out your FAFSA, you would list it as your income earned from work.  However, you will also list it as income from "need-based employment," and it will be excluded when FAFSA makes its calculations about your financial need.

What kinds of jobs are there?

There are a variety of jobs available through the Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP)

On-Campus Employers offer jobs such as: clerical, technical, lab assistant, research projects, recreational, facilities, and public safety just to name a few. Some jobs are for students who have never held a job, and others require experience, education, or a skill in a particular field.

Off-Campus jobs offer students the opportunity to work for local schools and other community non-profit agencies and organizations, providing direct service to their clientele.

In Handshake, you can search and apply for all FWS jobs and most non-FWS Student Assistant on campus positions.

If you are new to Handshake, you will need to register and complete a profile. Your profile information is important because employers often use that information in searching for candidates who meet certain job qualifications.

  1. Step 1: Go to  Log in using your portal username and password.
  2. Step 2: Once logged in, select the Go To Handshake button.
  3. Step 3: Select the California State University, Northridge blue button. You will be prompted to fill out your career interests profile, making your job search personalized and unique.

If you are not able to access Handshake with your CSUN login credentials, contact, include your name and CSUN ID number in the body of the email

How to Search & Apply for a FWS job in Handshake

  1. Login to Handshake
  2. From the homepage, start by clicking on Jobs in the top menu bar. You will be taken to the JobSearch page.
  3. From here, there are various options available to view available jobs and narrow your search.
  4. To search for FWS jobs, CHECK the Work Study box by clicking the blue “Filters” button. Use this filter to specifically search for a FWS job. 
  5. From there, you will see all jobs related to Work Study positions.
  • You can continue to narrow your search by adding additional filters. Some common filters include on-campus & paid roles only. You can also select the industry, job functions, employer preferences, etc.
  • Once you have applied all of the preferred filters, click on the blue “See Jobs” button on the bottom of the screen.

 Once you find a job you would like to apply to: 

  • Click on the job title and it will bring you to the full job description.
  • Click the green “Apply” button on the right of the screen.
  • Fill in all necessary information and upload all required documents (resume, cover letter, etc.) and click the green “Submit Application” button.

Handshake quick-training videos:

In addition, visit the On-Campus Student Employment Pagelet for more non-FWS job opportunities.

  • Login to myNorthridge Portal
  • Select Financial Matters tab
  • Locate On-Campus Student Employment
  • Select Employer link and search

Job Expectations

Before work

  • Show up to your scheduled shift
  • Show up to work on time
  • Groomed appropriately
  • Running late, notify your supervisor

During work

  • Ready to focus on tasks
  • A good fit for the position
  • Understands that this is a job
  • Need to take the day off, ask permission (study, day off)

Typical Work Schedule

  • 10-15 hours a week. Maximum is 20 hours per week, in all student positions combined.
  • After 4 consecutive hours of work, you take a 15 minute break.
  • After 5 or more consecutive hours of work, you must take a 30 minute meal break.
  • Cannot work unpaid (volunteer) for work you have performed in a paid status previously.

Payroll Calendar & Schedule

  • Pay Day - a "pay check" it's called a Pay Warrant.
  • FWS & Student Assistant's workers, are paid on the 15th on each month.
  • Off-Campus and some On-Campus jobs have different pay dates.
  • Ask your Employer for a copy of the payroll calendar.

**You are encourage to sign up for Direct Deposit. You will still get a monthly warrant statement. Your money is sent directly to your bank account electronically**.

Confirmation of FWS eligibility

Confirmation is only offered to student that have secured a FWS job interview or have a FWS job offer.  You will need to email, in the body of your email include your CSUN ID number, Name of interested FWS Employer, and date of interview or job start date.  We will respond with confirmation of your FWS eligibility that you can provide the FWS Employer.

FWS Information Workshop Survey

To finish this workshop, fill out the Workshop Completion Survey. For questions, please email us at