The Federal Work Study Program (FWS) is a need-based, self-help financial aid program available to all eligible students. FWS students earn their award amount through employment versus borrowing to assist in paying educational costs. Funds are allocated to the school by the Department of Education, and are limited and awarded on a first come, first served basis each academic year. It is not guaranteed that a student will earn the full amount of their FWS award. Since FWS is a federal program, income from FWS will not affect a student's financial aid eligibility for the subsequent academic year. In other words, earnings are not considered when calculating financial need for the following academic year.

It is not guaranteed that a student will earn the full amount of their FWS award. Employment placement is available through the Career Services Office and other Law School Departments, depending upon the FWS approved position. 

To be considered for FWS, a student must:

  1. Meet Financial Aid Eligibility
    In order to receive federal financial aid, you must be enrolled at least half-time, be a degree-seeking student and demonstrate reasonable academic progress toward graduation or completion. Also, you must not be in default on federal student loans and be a United States citizen, permanent resident or eligible noncitizen. 
  2. Demonstrate Need on the FAFSA
    Funds are offered based on a student's Student Aid Index (SAI) and cost of attendance budget. Therefore, students must demonstrate financial need and have room within their Cost of Attendance (COA) budget to be eligible. To submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the U.S. Department of Education, please visit and enter Chicago-Kent's FAFSA code: E00773
  3. Accept the FWS award on the Financial Aid Dashboard of your Access Illinois Tech Portal.
    When your financial aid award is finalized and ready to be viewed and accepted, our office will notify you via an email that will instruct you to visit the Financial Aid Dashboard of your Access Illinois Tech portal.

Please note the following:

  • You cannot make changes to your financial aid award through the Access Illinois Tech portal after your award(s) have been accepted. You must contact our office via email if you wish to make changes to your financial aid award(s).
  • FWS reduces federal need and affects the Cost of Attendance for the current academic year. Once the FWS award is accepted, it may affect your eligibility to request additional loan funds later in the academic year. If a student has already been awarded the maximum in financial aid up to the Cost of Attendance, they are not eligible for FWS. Please visit our Estimated Cost of Attendance webpage for more information on COA budget components.
  • FWS reduces the amount a student can borrow in federal student loans. If you do not plan on participating in the program and need additional funds you may email your request to convert your FWS award to a federal student loan. In your request, you must include the exact amount to be converted from your FWS award into additional loan funds (you may view your FWS award amount on the Financial Aid Dashboard of your Access Illinois Tech portal).*The Office of Financial Aid cautions students against borrowing up to the Cost of Attendance limit. 
  • FWS is not a student loan.  All recipients' wages are paid and taxed as a regular job, and a W-2 is issued.
  • The U.S. Department of Education allocates the funds to the school. FWS students receive their paychecks every two weeks based on the number of hours worked and their hourly rate of pay. The student's employment ends after he/she earns the full FWS award unless the Illinois Tech department offers to pay the student's wages from the department's budget account.
  • Students are eligible to work in FWS jobs at the law school and any other IIT school/department that has been allocated FWS funding.
  • Assistance with employment placement is available through the Career Services Office, depending upon the FWS approved position. Employment opportunities as job postings might also be found, placed by Law School Departments or Faculty, in The Record weekly newsletter or via email distribution. 
  • FWS employment on Illinois Tech's main campus will be published on the Career Management Center's (CMC) website.