Federal work study students to earn wages through end of semester, officials say

Students employed at GW through federal work study will continue receiving pay through the end of the semester.

Rachel Brown, the associate vice provost for University Career Services, said officials will allow departments to pay work study students wages for the hours they would have worked through May 2 or up to when the student’s award has been reached, even if they cannot work remotely. Officials had previously allowed departments to pay work study students through April 6 before they extended online classes into the remainder of the semester amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Departments are strongly urged to consider using this opportunity to further support our FWS students,” Brown said in an email. “FWS students who work for off-campus organizations should check with their employer about this opportunity.”

She added that departments and organizations will still be responsible for paying 25 percent of the student’s earnings, and the earnings will be subtracted from the student’s overall federal work study allotment.

Brown said the University’s decision followed guidance from the U.S. Department of Education released earlier this month allowing closed colleges to continue disbursing work study wages. The guidance cites a provision of federal law allowing institutions to continue payments under “certain limited circumstances” to disaster-affected students who cannot continue employment.

“Given the unique nature of this situation, it is unlikely that an entire region would be declared a Federal disaster area, yet to students enrolled at a campus that must close temporarily, the loss of this important form of financial aid can be devastating,” the ED release states. “The impact may be magnified if the institution accommodates students by providing alternative instructional opportunities and the student is required to continue paying tuition, but the student loses FWS as an important part of their financial aid award.”

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