Federal Work-Study

Fall 2020 Federal Work Study

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our campus is closed but our Federal Work Study program is open. We encourage you to apply! Students will work remotely with the supervision of their manager.

If you are interested, please complete this application and contact financialaid@cooper.edu with any questions. 

Under the Federal Work-Study program, eligible students may be employed on campus or off campus as Community Service (FWS). Employment is generally limited to about twenty hours a week during the academic year. Federal Work-Study is paid as a salary, twice monthly, directly to the student. 

Federal Work Study Policies and Procedures

Federal Work Study Program is a program based on financial need that allows students to work part time. Funds that are earned through employment will assist students in their educational expenses.

Student Eligibility

In order to receive FWS you must meet the below eligibility requirements:

  • A student must show documented financial need every year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • A student must be awarded Federal Work Study as a part of his/her financial aid package.
    • Federal Work Study is awarded on a first come first serve basis.
    • Once the Financial Aid package is completed and eligibility is determined the student must submit a FWS Application to the FWS Coordinator.
    • Those wishing to return to their FWS employment are required to complete the FAFSA by June 1st with all remaining financial aid paperwork on file.
    • Student is awarded with a specific amount of FWS as listed on his/her financial aid award letter. This amount is based on your need.
  • Student must be enrolled full time in the upcoming year.
  • Student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Employment Opportunities

  • Federal Work Study jobs are available on Campus. Most Jobs are offered within the Administrative Offices or at the three Academic Schools Art, Architecture and or Engineering.
  • Off –campus is community service employment.
    • Tutoring- Tutor elementary children with Reading or Math at our participating local Afterschool Programs.
    • Saturday Outreach Program- Help students in New York City Public High School students with the learning experience of Art.

Obtaining Employment

  • Interested Students should contact the Financial Aid office to make sure all financial aid paper work is on file before they can start to work.
  • Federal Work Study Coordinator will inform students about the various on campus jobs.
    • Student must complete the Federal Work Study Application.
    • Department Supervisor’s may request an Interview with student.
    • The Coordinator will email student to Cooper Union email with the position information once the student has been matched with employment.
    • Student must complete and submit all paperwork to the Payroll Department.
    • Once all required documents are complete the Federal Work Study Coordinator will send the student an email to Cooper email address to verify that he/she is approved to begin working.


Students will receive a new badge ID, password, and PIN once paperwork is submitted to the Payroll. Students must clock in and clock out using the new student portal system. Any incorrect timesheets received will be sent back to the Supervisor.

  • Students and supervisors are responsible for the accurate record of hours.
  • Timesheets are submitted to the Financial Aid Office for processing. Please note that all timesheets are due the day before the payroll scheduled date.
  • Late Timesheets will result in a delay in receiving payment.
  • Incorrect timesheets will be sent back to Supervisor causing a payment delay.
  • Falsification of timesheets will result in immediate suspension with potential termination from Federal Work Study Program without the right to appeal any decision.
  • Student payroll is paid twice a month.
  • For a copy of the Payroll Schedule please contact the Financial Aid Office.
  • A 30-minute lunch break is mandatory as the minimum break for all FWS students who work 6 or more consecutive hours.

Pay Rate / Hours

Students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week and are not permitted to work during the times of their class schedule. For the current Academic Year Federal Work Study Student pay rate should be no less than the minimum wage of $15 per hour. Higher pay rates are up to the employment Department discretion.

  • Students must establish a work schedule that does not interfere with their class schedule.
  • Student may earn up to their awarded amount.
  • Total earnings are based on a school wide Federal allocation.
  • Please be aware that any Federal Work Study earnings not used will result in a decrease of your awarded amount.
  • Student may increase/reduce their Federal Work Study amount. Student must contact the financial aid office to increase the award as it is determined based on the need and eligibility of financial aid.
  • Financial Aid office will keep track of your earnings. Any over usage will not be paid and timesheet will be sent back to supervisor.

Breaks and Holidays

  • When classes are not in session or during scheduled breaks student are allowed to work.
  • Supervisor’s approval is required in order to work longer hours.

Rehire Procedure

  • You must notify the Financial Aid Office and your supervisor in writing if you are interested in returning to a previous position.
  • Your Financial Aid Process must be completed.
  • Your supervisor must notify the Financial Aid office of their rehire approval.

Employment Termination

Due to the limited availability of funding all students must meet Federal Work Study Eligibility requirements. Failure to attend classes while in session to work is not permitted. This action will result in termination of employment and an automatic cancellation of your award

Q. A.
Q. How is My Federal Work Study information sent to me?
A. All Cooper Union correspondence will be sent via Cooper Union email address. Please make sure you check your emails at all times.

Q. Can I receive additional Federal Work Study after my award is depleted?
A. If you have additional financial need, you may request an additional Federal Work Study award.

Q. Are my earnings taxable?
A. Yes. Federal Work Study earnings are considered taxable income for both Federal and State purposes. However, they are not included in the calculation of your eligibility for financial aid.

Q. Where can I pick up my check?
A. You may pick up your pay check from the Payroll Office on the dates indicated on the Payroll Calendar. Student I.D. is required. If you wish to sign up for direct deposit, please see Payroll Office. Payroll office is located at 30 Cooper Square, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10003.

Q. Can my paycheck be mailed to me?
A. Mailing request must be submitted to the payroll office.


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.