Frequently Asked Questions -- UTK’s Federal Work-Study Program

What is Federal Work-Study?  Federal Work Study is a need-based part time employment that provides additional income and valuable workplace experience for enrolled students.  There are Work Study positions all over campus, as well as some community-based positions available off campus (in area schools or non-profits.) 

How do I know if I am eligible for Work-Study?  Work Study is a need–based award, so students with a zero or low EFC (expected family contribution) who indicate on their FAFSA that they are interested in Work-Study may receive an automatic award offer.  This offer may be accepted in your MyUTK account.  If you did not receive an award, you may contact One Stop to determine if you are eligible for a manual award:

How do I sign up for Work-Study?  In order to initially enroll in UTK’s Federal Work Study Program, you will need to  first accept your Work-Study award on your MyUTK and then complete the employment onboarding process. Simply follow the Federal Work-Study Next Steps and Onboarding instructions at:

In order to complete your employment verification process, please note that you will need to present an appropriate combination of ORIGINAL identification documents with you.  Photocopies or images of the documents are NOT acceptable.  You can determine which combination of documents you need to bring from the lists on the last page of the Form I-9:

How much will I get paid?  Effective July 3, 2023 FWS positions pay at a rate of $11-16 per hour.  You may work up to 29.5 hours per week in your Work-Study job.  You were given a Work Study award amount, and you may only earn up to that award amount.  If you wish to request an increase in your award amount, please contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at   Please note that increasing your award amount is dependent on your financial aid budget as well as the availability of funding in the Federal Work-Study program.

When can I start working? Please note that no student may begin work until they have been successfully hired by an employer in this system.  Once hired, both the student and supervisor will receive a clearance to begin work via a system email from

Great - I've been hired! How do I report my work hours?  You will need to record each shift start and stop time in this system on the date you actually work.  The system will not allow retroactive time entry in many circumstances!  For information on how to access system instructions, as well as your timesheet deadlines and payroll schedules please visit:

How will I be paid?  The University will direct deposit your FWS earnings.  This is a separate direct deposit set-up specifically for payroll earnings, and FWS earnings never credit against any student fees owed.

How do I find a position?  You may browse open positions and apply for them using this site.  Please consult the Applicant & Employee Training Presentation for detailed instructions on applying for available positions and for use of this system.

I’ve already been in Federal Work-Study, so what do I need to do to keep my position in a new term?  If you are a returning Work-Study student, your department will need to re-hire you into your former position at the beginning of each Fall semester.  If you are working in a position that has summer Work-Study opportunity and you will be enrolled over the summer, please request a Summer Work-Study award by emailing once you have registered for one or more summer classes.