The Federal Work Study Program Overview

Federal Work-Study is a federally funded financial aid job program. To be eligible you must be matriculated and enrolled in an undergraduate, and have been awarded work study by the Office of Financial Aid. Eligibility is based on need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet Geneseo's FAFSA filing deadline. Work-study funds are limited and are awarded to the extent that funding permits.

Notification of a work study award is made through an award letter or email from the Office of Financial Aid. Students can go to and click on the Financial Aid Dashboard to check their financial aid awards to see if work study is included in their aid package.  If a work study award is not listed, it means either you are not eligible or funding has been depleted. Work study is not a grant or loan program, it may not be used to defer college charges.  Funds are earned for hours worked at the rate of pay that is set for your job. 

Hiring Process

  • The Office of Financial Aid notifies eligible new students about the job application process. 
  • Students will review available jobs online and submit applications to the jobs that interest them.
  • Supervisors review the applications and may contact students to request interviews.  Supervisors will determine who is hired and will notify the student and Office of Financial Aid.
  • Work hours are determined by the student and work study supervisor.
  • Returning work study students who have filed their FAFSA on time and meet the eligibility requirements will return to their previous employer provided they have received a favorable evaluation from their supervisor.
  • A valid I-9 form must be on file in the Payroll Office before any student employee can begin work at SUNY Geneseo.  New student employees must also have a valid federal W4 form, NYS IT-2104 form, and retirement option form completed and submitted to the Office of Financial Aid before they can be paid.
  • Upper-class students interested in tutoring children as a part of the America Reads & Counts Program should go to  Funding is made available through the Federal Work Study program. 
  • All work study positions are filled on a first come, first serve basis. Acceptance of a work study award offer does not guarantee placement in a position.

Key Points about the Work Study Program

  • Federal Work Study students are eligible to earn up to the amount listed in their most recent aid package.
  • Work study is a job, not a paid study time.
  • Students are required to contact their employer if they cannot work as scheduled. Failure to do so can result in termination. Failure to carry out job responsibilities as assigned can also result in termination.
  • Students found to have falsified information on a time sheet are subject to disciplinary action by the college and termination from the federal work study program.
  • The Office of Financial Aid will not award work study to a student that has been terminated or not re-hired by the supervisor due to performance issues.
  • Work study participation is limited to no more than 4 years. Students will not be awarded for a 5th year.
  • Students who become RAs will not be awarded work study due to limited funding.  Students who start their RA position in the spring semester and have a work study job, will be allowed to keep work study but only until the end of the academic year.  Students who end their RA position and wish to get work study reinstated, must contact the work study coordinator in the Office of Financial Aid.

Work Study Payroll Information

  • Student pay rates are typically set at minimum wage.
  • Students must submit timesheets and are paid every two weeks for hours worked.
  • Students may can chose to receive their pay via direct deposit. To set up direct deposit, go to Student Payroll and download the form.
  • If direct deposit was used in the previous academic year, students must complete the Direct Deposit Reactivation Request upon returning to school in the fall in order to receive their pay again through direct deposit.
  • If students are paid via paper check, they may be picked up in the Human Resources Office (Doty 318) with their student ID.
  • Students must stop working by the last day of the fall semester if they will not be returning to school for the spring semester.  The last day to work in the spring semester is Commencement.