Using Federal Work Study (FWS) for Research Assistants 

What is work study? 
The Office of Undergraduate Research promotes using two different work study programs, the Federal Work Study (FWS) and the Florida Work Experience Program (FWEP), to fund research assistants’ wages. FWS is a federally funded program that provides college students, who qualify for this financial-need based program, a chance to learn useful skills that can be applied to their future employment and earn money while pursuing their degree.  

The Florida Work Experience Program (FWEP) is a state-funded program (for Florida residents only) designed to support students with financial need in gaining work experience relevant to their field of study through an internship experience; research internships can be a great fit for this program.   

Why pursue work study? 
For students who qualify for this financial assistance option, this is an opportunity to earn a hourly wage for research and creative scholarship endeavors. 

How do I get started? 
If you have a faculty mentor and you’re already working together on a research or creative project, follow the below steps: 

Steps to Complete to Become Work Study Eligible: 

  1. Prior to the beginning of each semester, check your Financial Aid tab in MyUCF to see if you qualify for Federal Work Study. 
  2. Federal Work Study and Florida Work Experience Program eligibility is determined by the information submitted on the FAFSA. Check https://finaid.ucf.edu/ for the most up to date criteria for qualification 
  3. If you do qualify, contact Student Financial Assistance to discuss your financial aid package https://finaid.ucf.edu/ 
  4. Ask your mentor to review https://academicsuccess.ucf.edu/our/faculty/fund-students/ they will need to make a position description and work with the Office of Student Financial Assistance to create the position. 
  5. They can contact our@ucf.edu with questions. 
  6. Once the position has been created and you accept, use MyUCF’s “View Financial Aid” tab to accept the award. Do this as early in the semester as possible. 
  7. Complete the annual FWS Contract on your MyUCF To Do List. 
  8. If you (or your mentor) are stuck or having trouble, please contact our@ucf.edu.