Federal Work-Study

2023 – 2024 Academic Year 

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

Under the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program, eligible students may be employed on campus or off campus. Employment is generally limited to 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 is a program based on financial need that allows students to work part-time. Funds that are earned through employment will assist students with their educational expenses.

Student Eligibility
To qualify for FWS, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Demonstrate documented financial need every year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Be awarded Federal Work-Study as part of their financial aid package.
    • Note that Federal Work-Study is granted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    • Once eligibility is determined and the financial aid package is complete, students must submit a FWS Application to the FWS Coordinator.
    • Students who wish to return to their FWS employment are required to complete the FAFSA by June 1, with all remaining financial aid paperwork on file.
    • The specific FWS award amount is listed on the student's financial aid award letter and is based on their financial need.
  • Must be enrolled full-time in the upcoming year.
  • 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, School of Art, School of Architecture and School of Engineering. 
  • CampusJobs Connect is the portal where students from all three schools can learn about and apply for student work opportunities. Both federal work-study and non-work-study jobs are listed on the site.  The portal is internal and only accessible to enrolled Cooper students.
  • Off-campus is community service employment.
    • Tutoring – Tutor elementary children with reading or math at our participating local after school programs
    • Saturday Outreach Program – Help New York City public high school students with the learning experience of Art

Obtaining Employment

  • Interested and eligible students should contact the office of financial aid to make sure all financial aid paperwork is processed.
  • Various jobs are available through CampusJobs Connect .
    • Student must complete the Federal Work Study Application.
    • Department supervisors may request an interview with student.
    • Students must complete and submit all paperwork to the Payroll Department.
    • Once all required documents are completed and processed, students can begin working. 


Students will receive a new badge ID, password, and PIN once paperwork is submitted to the Payroll department. Students must clock in and clock out using the Attendance OnDemand portal. 

  • Students and supervisors are responsible for an accurate recording of hours.
  • Time-sheets are submitted to the Office of Financial Aid for processing. Please note, all time-sheets are due as the date indicated on payroll scheduled date.
  • Late time-sheets will result in a delay in payment.
  • Incorrect time-sheets will be sent back to the supervisor and likely cause a delay in payment.
  • Falsification of time-sheets will result in immediate suspension with potential termination from the Federal Work Study Program without the right to appeal any decision.
  • Student payroll is paid twice a month.
  • 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, the Federal Work-Study student pay rate should be no less than the minimum wage of $16 per hour. Higher pay rates are determined by the employment department.

  • Students must establish a work schedule that does not interfere with their class schedule.
  • Students may earn up to their awarded amount.
  • Total earnings are based on a school-wide federal allocation.
  • Unused Federal Work-Study earnings will result in a decrease of your awarded amount.
  • Students may increase/decrease their Federal Work Study amount. However, the student must contact the Office of Financial Aid to increase the award based on the need and eligibility of financial aid.
  •  Any over usage will not be paid and the timesheet will be sent back to the supervisor. Please ensure to keep track of your work study earnings. 

Breaks and Holidays

  • Enrolled students are allowed to work even when classes are not in session and during scheduled breaks.
  • Supervisor’s approval is required in order to work longer hours.

Rehire Procedure

  • You must notify the Office of Financial 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 Office of Financial Aid 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

How is My Federal Work-Study information sent to me?
  • All Cooper Union correspondence will be sent to your Cooper Union email address. Please make sure you consistently check your email.
Can I receive additional Federal Work-Study after my award is depleted?
  • If you have additional financial need, you may request an additional Federal Work-Study award.
Are my earnings taxable?
  • 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.
How do I get paid?
  • The fastest way to get paid is through direct deposit, and you will be paid on the dates indicated on the payroll calendar. Given our Payroll Office is currently working remotely, picking up your check is not an option at this time.  
Can my paycheck be mailed to me?
  • 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.