General Information

Also known as FWSP or “Work-Study”, the Federal Work-Study Program is an employment program for some, but not all, financial aid recipients. Work-Study eligibility is noted on financial aid awards as “Federal Work-Study.” Students on work-study are full time students, U.S. citizens or permanent residents, who qualify for federal financial aid based on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Regardless of whether you will be using on-campus or off-campus federal work study, you will need to fill out the online work-study referral card. Instructions for filling out this form are listed in the next section. Please also review the information below specific to the different types of employment before beginning the process.

On-Campus Work-Study

On-campus work-study is any employment at Harvard University, not just the GSD. Please review the information listed in the next section before filling out the referral card. Your payroll coordinator will be able to provide you with all necessary information about completing the hiring process. A list of GSD payroll coordinators is also listed in the Online Referral Form Instructions section.

Off-Campus Work-Study

If you have received an off-campus work-study job, go directly to the Harvard Student Employment Office website to review the Off-Campus Work-Study Employer section. This site will have instructions for setting up your employer as well as the guidelines for you to discuss with them to ensure that they will be able to participate in the FWSP program. You will also need to speak with the Student Employment Office (SEO) directly about the hiring and payroll process as they will act as your payroll coordinator. GSD students may be able to use their Federal Work-Study awards for jobs at non-profit agencies in conjunction with the GSD Career Services office and the Community Service Fellowship Program.


FWSP Online Referral Form Instructions

Before your payroll coordinator will be able to hire you, you will need to fill out the online referral form. Please review the instructions below before completing the process:

  1. Before filling out the online referral form please check in with your payroll coordinator. They will have important information to provide you with that will be necessary for the online form.
  2. After speaking with your coordinator, complete the online referral card. Fill in all the sections and submit the form electronically to the Student Employment Office. Additional instructions for filling out the referral form are also available on the SEO website.
  3. You will receive an email confirmation from the SEO of your work-study eligibility. Print out the email and submit it, with your hire paperwork, to the appropriate payroll coordinator.

If you do not know your supervisors contact information, please use the Harvard directory.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • I have a work-study position; how do I fill out the Work-Study Referral card?
    The Work-Study Referral Card is available on the Harvard Student Employment Office site. Ask your payroll coordinator if you need further guidance.
  • How do I know who the payroll coordinator is for my job?
    Your supervisor should be able to tell you who the payroll coordinator is for the department, and you can also check the Payroll Coordinators page.
  • How do I apply my work-study to multiple jobs?
    The first time you complete the online referral form, 100% of your work-study award will default to that job. If you fill out additional referral cards you will receive an email from the SEO asking you to send them the appropriate allocations for all of your positions. If you wish to change your work-study ceiling or move your allotment from one job to another, contact the SEO at [email protected] or 617-495-2585.
  • Do I have to complete an online referral form for each job, or will one form cover all my work-study jobs?
    You must complete an online referral form for each job. If you wish to change your work-study allocations for jobs, you must contact the SEO at [email protected] or call 617-495-2585.
  • How much of my work-study award is remaining/available for use?
    You can calculate how much of your work-study award remains by subtracting your total earnings for the academic year (starting in July and ending in May) from the initial amount awarded. You should be able to look up your earnings to date by logging into the PeopleSoft system. If you are unable to utilize PeopleSoft, please contact your payroll coordinator.
  • I forget how much my work-study award was to begin with. How do I find this information?
    Contact the Financial Aid Office at [email protected] or 617-495-5455 for more details.
  • Can I request more work-study funds?
    You can inquire as to the status of work-study ceiling increases by contacting the Financial Aid Office. We normally review our work-study budget in February to determine whether increases will be available for the remainder of the academic year.