Federal Work-Study Information for Employers

Work study

How Does the Program Work?

The purpose of the Federal Work-Study Program is two-fold. It provides part-time employment for undergraduate students who need the income to help meet the costs of postsecondary education. The program also encourages Federal Work-Study (FWS) recipients to participate in community service activities at qualifying agencies. The size of the program each year depends on the availability of FWS funds.

“Community services” are those services designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals, or to solve particular problems related to their needs. Community service activities include work in the areas of health care, child care, literacy training, education, welfare, social services, public safety, crime prevention and control, recreation and community improvement as well as work providing support services to students with disabilities and mentoring activities.

SUNY Geneseo will attempt to provide a participating organization with an eligible student to work for the agency at a reduced rate. The federal government and SUNY Geneseo will subsidize the wage costs up to 75%. Therefore, your organization would pay only 25% of the student’s salary.

What Organizations Are Eligible?

Local nonprofit, governmental and community-based organizations are potential employers. According to federal provisions your enterprise must be a public agency (such as city or county government offices, public schools, and public libraries) or a private nonprofit organization as incorporated under state or federal law (such as hospitals, nonprofit mental health facilities, shelters, conservation corps and child care centers).

What Jobs Are Eligible?

An off-campus FWS job must be in the public interest. Work in the public interest is defined as work performed for the welfare of the nation or community, rather than work performed for a particular interest or group. Therefore, although the following jobs may be in the nonprofit sector, FWS funds may not be used to pay students employed in jobs:

  • that primarily benefit the members of an organization that has membership limits

  • involving partisan or nonpartisan political activity or association with a faction in an election for public or party office

  • working for an elected official, unless the official is responsible for administration of federal, state or local governmentWork Study

  • that consider the student’s political affiliation for hiring purposes

  • that involve lobbying on the federal, state or local level

Any Additional Guidelines?

The following restrictions apply to the employment of FWS students:

  • The agency may not hire a FWS student to displace regular employees.

  • Students should not be used in jobs that usually employ full-time employees.

  • Wages should be comparable with those paid to other workers doing similar jobs.

Who Are the Student Employees?

All FWS employees are matriculated at SUNY Geneseo. Student workers come from all majors and have various levels of experience and areas of expertise.

How Do I Learn More?

Please visit the if you would like to learn more about the Federal Work-Study program.