The Federal Work-Study Program extends part-time employment opportunities during the academic year to students who need to earn money while attending at Ball State University. The federal government provides the university funding to subsidize wages of eligible students in Ball State positions and in certain positions in public or private nonprofit off-campus organizations.

Funds for the support of the program are provided primarily under Title IV, Part C, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.


The staff of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships determines eligibility for the Federal Work-Study Program. To be eligible, students must complete and submit the Financial Aid Form and the Ball State University Financial Aid Application on time annually, demonstrate financial need, and meet all other student employment eligibility requirements.


The federal work study award is comprised of two components. The federal contribution is 75% and the employer (university) contribution is 25%. For example, if the student you hire received a $2000 FWS award, the federal government would pay $1500 toward the student’s wages while your department budget would contribute $500 toward the student’s wages.


Work-study students normally receive awards that are calculated to allow them 10 - 15 hours of work each week for the academic year excluding breaks and vacations. Occasionally, an adjustment in the limit may be made if additional funds are available. Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships early in the academic year or before the spring semester for consideration.

Rates of Pay

Rates of pay for work-study students employed on campus are the same as those in effect for regular student employees.

Earnings Limits

A student is eligible to earn a specified amount through the Federal Work-Study Program based on demonstrated financial need and as determined by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Once the student reaches the earnings limit, he or she may continue to work if the employer chooses to pay 100% of the wages the student earns for the remainder of the academic year. The payroll office will automatically begin charging the employing unit 100% of the wages when the limit is reached unless the employing unit sends through an authorization to drop the student from payroll. Individual university departments must decide whether to continue to employ students who reach their limits. Departments will be notified by the Student Employment Coordinator as the student nears his or her earnings limit. The student’s award balance is also reflected on the department’s earnings by account report received at the end of each payroll period.

Non-university agencies with work-study contracts with the university must drop students who have earned their work-study limits from the university payroll unless additional funds are available for which they may qualify. Students may visit the  Office of Finanial Aid and Scholarships to inquire. Otherwise, such agencies may elect to pay the students from their own payroll if they want to continue to employ their student workers.