Work-Study in The Community

Work-Study in the Community

A Federal College Work Study award is an amount you may earn through employment on campus or in a volunteer position with a nonprofit community partner organization.


Federal College Work-Study (FCWS) is a federal work-study program providing part-time employment for eligible college students. Awards are need-based and are part of your financial aid package. The Federal College Work Study program does not guarantee you a job. It gives you an opportunity to earn wages for on campus employment or for service as a volunteer with a nonprofit community partner organization. Instructions on how to use your FCWS award as a volunteer serving a nonprofit organization or agency in the community can be found on the Financial Aid Office Federal Work Study webpage.

If you have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the fastest and easiest way to find out if you are eligible for FCWS is by following these steps:

  • Go to MAX.
  • Enter your username and password.
  • Go to the Financial Aid tab.
  • Click on "My Awards", select "Award by Aid Year", enter the aid year, and submit.
  • Look at the section Financial Aid Award by Term for the aid year and the Federal College Work-Study line. This will tell you if you were awarded Federal College Work Study, the amount of the award, and whether you have accepted the award. The award amount is the maximum amount of money you can earn through the Federal College Work-Study program.

Even if a Federal College Work Study award does not appear on your Financial Aid account, you may still be eligible to receive one.  If you have been awarded other financial aid, then contact the Office of Financial Aid to find out more about whether a Federal College Work-Study eligibility can be added.


Students may choose to work on campus or serve as a volunteer at an off campus nonprofit community organization or agency. Volunteer Central maintains up-to-date information on the many community organizations that welcome Work Study students, as well as additional resources to assist you in finding a volunteer position that meets your interests and schedule. Our staff will help you identify the opportunity that's best for you.

Nonprofit community organizations must complete and submit the Community Service Learning Agreement Form and a FCWS Job Description for the volunteer work that will be completed in order to host Work Study students.  Experiential Learning and Career Management has existing agreements with a number of community partner organizations and we can help match you to a volunteer position.  


The amount of hours you work will be determined by the amount of your work study award and the current, pre-determined hourly wage. Most students work about 8-10 hours per week. Your hourly wage will be no lower than the current minimum wage. You can confirm the work study wage through the Office of Financial Aid.

Once you have secured a volunteer placement with a community partner organization, you will need to follow the instructions for becoming a student employee of the Office of Financial Aid and complete the necessary background clearances.  Once you are cleared to serve, you will receive information on time sheet and payroll processing so that you can begin service as a volunteer and getting paid. You will submit a time sheet to the Office of Financial Aid according to the University payroll schedule and you will be paid by Millersville University's Student Payroll Office every other week. Your site supervisor at the community organization will need to sign your time sheet.

You cannot earn more through the Federal College Work-Study program than your award allows. You will be notified if you approach your limit. You will then need to decide if you want to continue as a volunteer or leave the placement.


Nonprofit community organizations are usually understaffed and depend on every person in the organization, including volunteers, to meet their commitments. If you are absent, it will affect others. If you are unable to go to your volunteer assignment or job, you must contact your supervisor so they can adjust work schedules. If you leave unexpectedly halfway through the semester, your departure will create more work for someone else to do. Make sure you plan your schedule carefully so that you can meet your commitment to the organization and the people with whom you will be working.

You represent Millersville University when you work for a community organization through the Federal College Work Study Program. Millersville University is committed to devoting these federal work study resources to the Lancaster community as a partner in the community. As a student in this program, you will reflect that commitment. We are glad that you are interested in being a part of this opportunity, and we look forward to assisting you.