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Student employment is both a way to help meet costs without borrowing and a way to gain valuable experience.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Federal Work-Study provides eligible students an opportunity to earn money to help meet educational expenses.

  • A pay scale, based on your year in school and the type of work performed, determines the pay rate for on-campus FWS jobs.
  • Job listings will be available in the Financial Aid Office during the first week of classes.
  • Second- and third-year students may work up to twenty hours per week during regular full-time enrollment.
  • The American Bar Association regulates employment during the first year of full time enrollment in an ABA approved law school.
    • FWS will only be offered to first-year students in cases of exceptional need, and will be limited to five hours work per week.
    • Students enrolled in the Part Time Program are not subject to these limitations and may work up to forty hours per week.
  • Employees are paid twice per month.

Federal Work-Study During Summer Break

Continuing students wishing to work under the Federal Work-Study Program during a summer break must submit all required materials to the Financial Aid Office by the summer deadline, and Intend to enroll for the fall trimester. Required documents include:

  • A completed California Western Financial Aid Application (for Fall/Spring)
  • A completed Summer Break Federal Work-Study Application
  • A completed FAFSA for both the current and subsequent award years (e.g., for Summer 2013, that means 2012-13 and 2013-14).

Due to limited FWS funds, applicants who do not meet the deadline will be put on a wait list and will probably not receive consideration.

The FWS award, though used during a period of non-enrollment, is considered part of the student's financial aid award package for the following session (e.g., Fall/Spring). This means that a student's eligibility for other aid will usually be reduced due to the receipt of Summer Break FWS funds.

The initial award letters for students with Summer Break FWS awards will reflect only their FWS award; Fall/Spring aid such as Stafford, Perkins, and alternative loans will appear on separate award letters during fall/spring processing.

For more information, consult the current Summer Break Federal Work-Study Application on our Forms page.

Community Service Employment (CSE)

The employers who participate in California Western's Federal Work-Study program are non-profit organizations and are required to pay 25% of the student's wages. Some employers are financially unable to pay the 25% share because of their pro bono nature.

To help these community service agencies with their valuable missions, and to help students gain experience in these agencies, California Western has implemented the Community Service Employment Fund (CSE), which supplements the Federal Work-Study program by paying the 25% share on behalf of selected employers located in San Diego County.

In order to participate, students must have:

  • A Federal Work-Study award
  • Completed 50 hours of volunteer work through the Pro Bono Honors program
  • Applied for and been approved for CSE funding at the student's chosen employer

The deadline for applications is the end of the first week of each trimester; if funding remains, awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Since awards are not determined until the end of the first week of each trimester, students with pending applications must not work during that week.

Summer Break CSE employment can be applied for at the same time and on the same form as Summer Break Federal Work-Study.

For further information, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

FWS and CSE Requirements

Before beginning paid work under FWS or CSE, a student must submit:

  • A completed Work Authorization Form, signed by the student, Financial Aid Office staff, the supervisor, and an authorized representative of the employer;
  • W-4 and I-9 forms along with supporting documentation; and
  • All documents required for the student's financial aid file.

Work Authorization Forms, as well as W-4 and I-9 forms, are available in the Financial Aid Office.

Student Work Opportunity (SWO)

Students who wish to work as a research assistant to a professor but are not able to receive Federal Work-Study due to low financial need may be able to receive paid employment through Student Work Opportunity.

  • Students must first apply for Federal Work Study; if denied, the employing professor may request Federal Work-Study on behalf of the student.
  • Student Work Opportunity is not administered by the Financial Aid Office, and is not considered a form of student financial aid.

For further information, please inquire with the professor who wishes to employ you or with the office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.