Can a Student Earn FWS Funds If She Is Not Attending Classes During the Upcoming Summer Term Or Payment Period?

KA-34779 Helpfulness Rating 363 page views

It depends.

The rules for awarding Federal Work-Study (FWS) for a period of nonattendance, including summer, have not changed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This is because the FWS employment for a period of nonattendance is based on the student's intention to reenroll in the upcoming period of enrollment after the period of nonattendance ends, and the student's FWS eligibility for the period of nonattendance is based on the student's need for the next period of enrollment. The student must actually work the hours to be paid FWS during the period of nonattendance.

For example, a student can be paid FWS for the summer 2020 if the student will not be attending summer classes and intends to reenroll in the fall. This student's FWS eligibility is based on her financial need for the upcoming award year (e.g., fall-spring). The student must work the hours to be paid during the summer period. Refer to Volume 6, Chapter 2 of the FSA Handbook.

Under the COVID-19 guidance in the April 3, 2020 Electronic Announcement, you still cannot pay a student FWS funds for not working if that student does not begin attendance in classes for the summer payment period or period of nonattendance. This is true regardless of whether the student is unable to work due to COVID-19. Therefore, you have to apply the FSA Handbook guidance noted above for periods of nonattendance, in which case, the student must actually work the hours in order to earn the FWS funds for the summer.

AskRegs Q&As represent NASFAA's understanding of regulatory and compliance issues. They are FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY. While NASFAA believes AskRegs Q&As are accurate and factual, they have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). If you should need written confirmation of AskRegs information for audit or program review purposes, please contact your ED School Participation Division. NASFAA shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein; nor for incidental or consequential damages resulting from the furnishing, performance, or use of this material.