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Federal Work-Study Policy

FWS Policy PDF PDF Document

FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS) is a form of federal financial aid awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Under FWS, students have the opportunity to work part-time to help offset college educational expenses. A FWS award does not "guarantee" employment. Recipients must apply via the SECE website for on campus and approved off-campus jobs.

In addition to federal regulations, FWS students are subject to conditions of student employment stated in the System-wide Administrative Procedures Manual (#A9.880). The Financial Aid Office (FAO) has the right to rescind all or part of a FWS award at any time should there be a change in the student's award status. Federal regulations require FAO to revise awards to prevent a student from being over-awarded. FAO also has the right to rescind all or part of a FWS award if funds are depleted before the end of the academic year. Hawaii CC students who will be away on Study Abroad or Exchange programs will not be eligible for the FWS award during the semester in which they are participating in those programs.

Students placed on Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress WARNING for a term will not be eligible for FWS funding regardless of SAP appeal approval or denial.


Students may NOT begin work on FWS (F1 payroll) for any period of enrollment until they have been awarded FWS by the FAO and have filed required employment documents with the FAO, located in building 378. In-person counseling must be completed prior to the first disbursement of FWS funds. Please contact Chelsie Rapoza at (808) 934-2717 to schedule an appointment.

Students awarded FWS for both Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 – May observe the following work schedule, provided students are enrolled for both semesters:

Fall Semester August 23, 2021 - December 31, 2021
Spring Semester January 1, 2022 - May 13, 2022
Summer 1 May 14, 2022 – June 30, 2022*
Summer 2 July 1, 2022 – August 21, 2022*

Students awarded for the fall and spring semesters are authorized to work during the winter break if they have not earned their entire award during the academic semester.

*Student must be enrolled for the Fall 2021 Term at Hawaii CC in order to be eligible for FWS funding for the summer.

Students awarded FWS for Fall 2021 only – May begin work on the first day of instruction, August 23, 2021, and must cease employment by December 17, 2021.

Students awarded FWS for Spring 2022 only - May begin work on the first day of instruction, January 10, 2022, and must cease employment by May 13, 2022.


Students are notified by the FAO of any changes to their FWS award via e-mail. In turn, the FWS student is then responsible for notifying the employer of any change immediately. When monitoring FWS earnings, calculations must be based on 100% of gross earnings and NOT 75% of gross earnings.

FWS is awarded in allotments for each enrollment period to reflect a student's financial need for the respective term. The formula below shows how to obtain AVERAGE WEEKLY WORK HOURS from an allotment. (This average may not exceed limits set by the University for student employees: up to 20 hrs. /week while classes are in session; up to 29.5 hrs. /week during semester breaks and Spring recess).

Semester Allotment ÷ Hourly Wage = Total Work Hours/Semester

Total Work Hours/Semester ÷ Number of Weeks per Semester = Avg. Weekly Work Hours

Unearned FWS for each semester will automatically be cancelled by the FAO. Any unearned Fall FWS will not be carried over into the spring semester.


Employers may continue to pay students who have exhausted their total FWS allotment provided non-FWS funds are used. However, if a student continues to earn beyond their total FWS allotment, employers will be required to reimburse the FWS account for any amount over-earned.


  1. FWS students are prohibited from providing voluntary services to their employers.
  2. FWS students cannot be paid for work that students must normally complete without pay because it is part of their academic program.
  3. FWS funds may not be used to subsidize an employee's share of fringe benefits such as paid sick leave, vacation and holiday pay, contributions to welfare, or insurance programs such as Social Security, Worker's compensation or retirement.
  4. ELECTRONIC TIME SHEETS: Federal regulations require that the time sheets be approved by the supervisor, and accurately reflect the exact time period that the student worked. Timesheets must be submitted on a timely basis for the period worked.
  5.  Employers must select the F1 payroll number on the timesheet in order to charge a student's earnings to the FWS account. No reimbursements will be made to employers for pay inadvertently charged to F3 payroll. The final F1 timesheet for the 2018-2019 academic year must be approved by the employing department no later than the last timesheet deadline in December of 2018 for the Fall 2018 semester, and no later than the last timesheet deadline in May of 2019 for the Spring 2019 semester.
  6. FWS funds are made available to assist students to cover their educational expenses. Therefore, employers may not require students to work during class time or exam periods. Employers are to inform student and supervisor that financial aid records are randomly audited every year and the auditors do check to ensure that students do not work during scheduled class time. Violation of this provision could result in charges to the department for wages earned and/or may be prohibited from further participation in the FWS program. If extenuating circumstances exist (i.e. class is cancelled) and the student does work during class time and that period should be indicated in the comments section of the time sheet and an explanation must be noted.