share this

Share This Search
Student Life

Student Life . Career Center . For Current Students . Work Study Program 

Federal Work-Study Program

What is the Work-Study Program?

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program allows students to earn funds for educational expenses by working a part-time job on campus or at several approved off campus sites. This program is designed to provide students with an opportunity for employment arranged around class schedules. The money earned from the FWS program may be used for tuition, fees, room, board, books, and any other educational expenses. However, no money is ever automatically credited toward payment of your tuition and fees, on-campus housing or other CIA charges or expenses.

Download CIA’s Work-Study Brochure for more information. 

How Do I Become Eligible?

To be eligible for the Federal Work-Study program you must demonstrate financial need (determined by the Department of Education) by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at, and all other required financial aid forms every year by March 15. Eligibility is determined each year so application must be made each year.

As a student, how do I begin?

Once you have received and accepted an Award Letter confirming your eligibility for the Federal Work-Study program, visit the Career Center (Room 120) to complete the following documents:

  • Form W-4: Federal IRS Employee’s Tax Withholding Allowance Certificate
  • Form IT 4: State of Ohio Employee’s Tax Withholding Exemption Certificate
  • Form I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification for Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Identification must be presented - for acceptable documents visit )
  • Paycheck Direct Deposit Authorization Form

How do I find a work-study job?

When you accept Federal Work-Study, it is your responsibility to secure employment. All work study jobs are posted on College Central, a comprehensive job board which also has internships, freelance and permanent employment opportunities. Work study jobs will not be available until the start of the semester. The Career Center staff will assist you at at that time with paperwork and access to College Central.  

What is the next step?

Contact the supervisor on the job posting to arrange for an interview. If you are hired for the position, obtain a Work-Study Referral Form from the Career Center. This serves as the contract between you, your supervisor and the Office of Financial Aid (OFA). It must be signed by all parties and returned to the Career Center before you begin working to generate your paycheck.

I had a work-study award last year; do I have it again this year?

Not automatically. You must demonstrate financial need (determined by the Department of Education) by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and all other required financial aid forms every year by March 15. Eligibility is determined each year so application must be made each year.

Can I continue to work in the summer?

The financial aid award year begins on July 1 of each year and ends on June 30 of each year. If you have not earned your entire Federal Work-Study award during the school year, you may continue to work at your job (or obtain another one) once classes have ended through June 30. Beginning July 1, only students who have been awarded and accepted federal work-study for the upcoming academic year are eligible to work beginning July 1. If you plan to continue a job you had at tne end of the school year (or through June), you must be rehired to continue working for the remainder of the summer. You must also complete a new Work-Study Referral Form and return it to the Career Center to generate your pay.

NOTE: It is your responsibility to monitor your earnings so as not to exceed your allotted award. Hours worked after July 1 will count toward your available funds to earn for the next academic year.

Please contact the Career Center or the Office of Financial Aid with any additional questions.

For more information:

Career Center
216.421.8073 | Contact

Location + Hours 

Located within Student Services, Room 120
Cleveland, OH 44106  


Drop-ins welcomed, appointments preferred