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Federal Work Study FAQs

Application & Eligibility

When should I begin the application process?

As soon as possible. If you are considering an internship with a non-profit organization in the public interest sector or government agency (including court chambers), you can submit the Federal Work Study Request Form available on the Law School Federal Work Study Program SharePoint.

I don’t have a confirmed internship yet, should I wait to request FWS fund?

You should still apply for FWS even if you are only considering a summer internship, in the middle of interviews, or have not received/accepted offers yet. Applying early will allow the Office of Finance time to confirm your FWS eligibility and funding. The Federal Work Study Request Form will be available in December on the Law School Federal Work Study Program SharePoint.

Can I still request FWS funding and apply for the program after March 1st priority deadline?

Yes, you can still submit your FAFSA and apply for the program. Any students who did not receive work-study funding in their initial financial aid award package, but may be eligible, are encouraged to contact Mary deRivera, Financial Aid Manager for law school to discuss eligibility. Please submit the Federal Work Study Request Form available on the Law School Federal Work Study Program SharePoint to

Can I cancel my FWS award if I end up finding a paid internship?

Yes, you may request to delete/reduce your current FWS at any time. Please email Mary deRivera, Law School Financial Aid Manager with details.

I plan to intern at a private law firm, would I be able to use my Federal Work Study award?

No, you cannot use your FWS award while working for a private law firm, even if your internship is unpaid. Eligible organizations are non-profit organizations in the public interest sector and government agencies offering unpaid internships.

How can I confirm if an organization is FWS eligible?

Non-profit organizations will need to provide a 501(c)(3) Determination letter issued by the IRS with the FWS Agreement to be considered eligible. Additionally, the internship must be unpaid. The Office of Finance can assist with confirming eligibility.

Which FWS agreement should I use?

Standard FWS Agreements are for non-profit organizations (need to provide a 501(c)(3) Determination letter issued by the IRS). Government FWS Agreements are for government departments and agencies or court chambers. Both Agreements can be found on the Law School Federal Work Study Program SharePoint.

Who should sign the FWS Agreement?

That determination should be made by your off-campus organization. Some organizations have their own Human Resources or dedicated office/individual that handles internships. Most judges have law clerks or other administrator that will supervise interns that can sign or the judge may want to review and sign personally. The organization’s authorized representative that signs the Agreement will be accepted by Office of Finance. The Dean of the law school will sign on Drexel’s behalf.

If I work on campus at Drexel, will I need a FWS Agreement?

No, you will not need a FWS Agreement since that is only for off-campus (non-Drexel) organizations. You will still need to submit the Federal Work Study Request Form available on the Law School Federal Work Study Program SharePoint.

Can I begin to work if the FWS Agreement is pending and not fully executed by both internship organization and Drexel?

You may begin to work if your off-campus employer permits, but you will not be able to submit hours and use your FWS award. Your actual start date where you can begin to submit hours for payment is contingent upon having a fully executed FWS Agreement in place and why we advise to start the process early and have agreements in ASAP so that it can be fully executed well before your internship start date.

To ensure timely hiring process, the FWS agreement must be received at least two weeks prior to your internship start date by the law school’s Office of Finance, 3320 Market Street, Suite 430, Philadelphia, PA 19104 or

Hiring Process

Who hires, approves time sheets and pays me while I work at my off-campus internship?

Drexel Kline School of Law’s Office of Finance will submit the request to hire you once all requirements are met.

Your internship supervisor will approve and sign your paper time sheet that you will need to submit to the Office of Finance. Once the Office of Finance can match paper and online time sheets, we will approve your online time sheet. Drexel Payroll will then process and submit request for payment, that will be deducted from your FWS award.

If I have never been employed by Drexel before, what is the hiring process?

You will go through the New Hire process.

  • First, you will receive an email from Drexel’s central HR office with information about the I-9 form and new hire packet. You must complete each form with acceptable signatures.
  • Next, you will receive a second email from with instructions for completing Section 1 of your I-9 form electronically.
  • Once you have completed Section 1 of the I-9, HR will provide instructions on how to complete Section 2 either in person or remotely. Prepare to provide an original form of ID from this list of acceptable documents.

If completing in person: Make an appointment before visiting Drexel Human Resource office located at 3201 Arch Street, Suite 430, Philadelphia, PA 19104. This is where HR completes Section 2 of the I-9 form by verifying your identification documents in person. Please note that the identification documents you present must be unexpired, original documents. Copies cannot be accepted.

If completing remotely: You will need to identify an “Authorized Representative” (a responsible non-family individual who can physically verify your documents) to complete Section 2 on your behalf. HR will provide more instruction for this process.

How long is the hiring process?

Drexel Kline School of Law’s Office of Finance will submit the request to hire you once all requirements are met.

New hire process: from 2 to 8 weeks, and it will need your cooperation in responding to HR’s onboarding instructions timely and accurately. The hiring process can significantly be delayed if you do not complete and respond to HR requests.

Rehire process (if you have been employed by Drexel within the past 12 months): generally takes about two weeks if HR doesn’t have further requirements.

Can I begin to work if my new hire process is not completed?

No. A new student employee may not begin working until all required HR paperwork is completed on or before their first day of work. By federal law, employees who do not complete an I-9 form within their first three days of employment are not authorized to continue working until they do so. All students participating in the work study program are encouraged to complete the HR forms before the spring term exam period, regardless of the actual start date.

Payment & Hours

How do I get paid?

You will be paid on a bi-weekly basis. The standard pay rate is $15/hour. Once your hiring process is completed, you will become an employee of Drexel. An Employee tab will appear in your DrexelOne Account, where you will need to submit bi-weekly timesheet. FWS regulations require that weekly hours must be supported by a listing of clock hours and may only be paid for actual hours worked. Bi-weekly timesheets must be submitted in TWO formats:

  • an online submission of work hours via the DrexelOne portal;
  • an identical and signed (by both student and supervisor) Off-Campus Work Study Timesheet (available on the Law School Federal Work Study Program SharePoint) which may be submitted by email to However, FWS regulations require that the original timesheet be mailed or hand-delivered to the law school’s Office of Finance at the first opportunity.

Both timesheets must be completed and received no later than 11:00 a.m. on the last Friday of the two- week payroll period. Failure to submit both timesheets by the specific pay period’s deadline may cause a paycheck to be delayed until the next pay period. Instructions and a payroll schedule are listed on the timesheet.

How do I receive my payment?

If you did not setup direct deposit, you will receive a manual paycheck that will be sent to your current employee home address. Here are instructions for how to view your employee home address to ensure your address is up to date so there are no issues receiving your paycheck.

If you want to setup direct deposit, here are Direct Deposit Instructions.

For more information, please visit Drexel Payroll’s website. The Office of Finance cannot view employee personal payroll information, so you will need to contact Payroll via AskDrexel.

How much can I expect to be paid during the summer?

Federal work study funding and earning goes by Academic Year. Each summer, if a student has funding for the current academic year, the student may earn this award through June 30th. Starting July 1st, you may be eligible for an additional $3,000 award for the subsequent Academic Year. Depending on your current FWS award balance and eligibility for the new award, you may earn up to $6,000 each summer with combined awards from both award years. Any unearned funds cannot be carried over into the next award year.

Is my internship payment taxable?

Yes. Student wages are subject to the same federal, state, and local income taxes, but exempt from the FICA & Medicare tax deductions.

What is the maximum number of hours I can work in a week?

Students can work up to 40 hours per week during summer. Students can work up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session. Each work week begins on Saturday and ends on Friday.

Do I get paid for lunch?

Students cannot be paid for lunch/breaks and must enter time out and time in on the online timesheet when working 6 or more hours per day. If a student works through lunch, a comment must be made on the online timesheet (ex. Worked through lunch all days or Worked through lunch 6/15, 6/17 & 6/19) and “Check here if you worked through lunch” box must be checked on the paper timesheet if working through lunch on any day within pay period.

Can I work on weekends or holidays?

Students may work on weekends if your organization supervisor approves working on weekends and if you will not exceed the maximum number of hours allowed per week. Each work week begins on Saturday and ends on Friday. Your combined weekend and weekday hours should not exceed 40 hours in total (20 hours in total when classes are in session). The pay rate for weekend hours remains the same at $15/hour.

Can I have more than one job?

Yes, students can work for more than one off-campus organization simultaneously but cannot exceed the maximum number of hours when combining all jobs per week. Individual off-campus FWS agreement and paper timesheets from each organization must be submitted and submit one online timesheet combining all jobs.

What happens if I need to take time off or become sick?

Students will need to inform their internship supervisor and follow the organization’s policies for personal time off. Students cannot be paid for personal time off and cannot submit any leave hours.

Can I work for an off-campus organization and for a Professor as a Research Fellow at the same time?

No, students cannot hold off-campus and on-campus FWS jobs simultaneously. However, you can have multiple off-campus jobs or multiple on-campus jobs.

What happens if I exhaust my FWS award?

Students are responsible to track their FWS award and once funding is exhausted, students are no longer able to be paid and your FWS funded employment will be terminated.

An option would be to reach out to Rashida West, Director for Pro Bono and Public Interest Programs, to see if you would qualify to receive pro-bono credits for any unpaid hours. This option does not apply to internships in court chambers.

How can I check my FWS Award balance?

Students can log in to their DrexelOne account, select Billing+Financial Aid tab to access their financial aid awards. Depending on the timing of your review, you may need to count in your current work hours that was submitted but not paid yet. If you need assistance with viewing your FWS award balance, please contact or visit Drexel Central.

My supervisor is not available to sign my paper time sheet, can my online time sheet still be approved?

Our office cannot approve online time sheet without your paper time sheet. If you are unable to obtain your supervisor’s signature for the paper timesheet by the time sheet deadline, you can email the paper timesheet with just your own signature first, and our office will approve your online timesheet and meet payroll deadline. Once your supervisor can sign, you will need to forward paper timesheet immediately to

Failure to provide supervisor signed paper time sheet before next time sheet deadline will result in our office not being able to approve your time sheets going forward until issue is resolved.

Can I still get paid if I forget to submit my bi-weekly time sheet or do not submit by deadline?

Yes, but your payment might be delayed. You will need to submit a Payroll Resolution Form available on the Law School Federal Work Study Program SharePoint.

Can I start early or extend my internship?

Our office will submit the request to hire you with appointment start and end dates based on the information provided on the FWS Agreement and Internship Information Form. If you want to start early or extend beyond the end date, you will need to discuss this with your supervisor and submit the FWS Program Agreement Amendment available on the Law School Federal Work Study Program SharePoint. The amendment must be received by Office of Finance before the desired early/extension date.