Purpose of the Program
The purpose of the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program is to promote part-time employment opportunities for financially eligible undergraduate and graduate students in order to help offset the students' cost of education. Federal funds are made available to the University that enable students with FWS awards to be hired by on-campus departments, or work in the public interest for a public or private nonprofit organization. Students are awarded FWS funds based on financial need. The FWS program is mutually beneficial to both the students and University offices, as the University pays 25% of the eligible students' gross earnings and the federal government pays the remaining 75%. This type of funding for on-campus departments helps to supplement limited office budgets.
Eligibility Requirements - Academic Year
- To be eligible for the FWS program, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have a FWS award included in their financial aid package. The FAFSA can be submitted in either an electronic or paper format. Paper applications can be picked up from the WSU Office of Financial Aid, Room 203, Jardine Hall. Students can also apply through the internet by accessing FAFSA on the Web. WSU's application priority date is March 15; students applying after this date are less likely to receive a notice of approval due to limited funds. Students must reapply each academic year for FWS funds.
- If the student is eligible for need-based federal work study funds, the student will receive an award notice from the WSU Office of Financial Aid that will include a federal work-study award. Students who do not have financial need, according to the federal formula, will not be awarded federal work-study funds.
- Students must maintain at least half-time enrollment (6 credit hours for undergraduates; 5 credit hours for graduates) during the fall and spring semesters. Failure to maintain minimum enrollment requirements will result in termination. The employing department is responsible for monitoring students' compliance with enrollment requirements and must terminate employment at the end of the payroll period in which it becomes known enrollment has not been maintained.
Eligibility Requirements - Summer
- Summer allocations are made in two parts because the new fiscal year begins during the summer term. Federal regulations prohibit individual student work-study awards being carried from one fiscal year into the next. The first summer allocation is based on the student's financial need analysis, as established from the FAFSA submitted for the academic year just completed. The second summer allocation is based on the student's financial need analysis, established from the FAFSA submitted for the upcoming academic year.
- A student cannot be awarded FWS for the second part of the summer session until she or he has completed a new FAFSA, and the WSU Office of Financial Aid has received the appropriate need analysis and determined that the student's aid status is complete. (For example, the Office of Financial Aid may request a student tax form or an affidavit of nonsupport for a student's file. The Office of Financial Aid must receive these items before an award can be made.)
- Students may be employed on the FWS program during the summer even if they are not enrolled in summer classes, provided they are pre-enrolled the following fall semester. (Note: students who can earn FWS wages during the summer session and are not enrolled may have a portion of those earnings counted as a resource when determining their aid eligibility for the upcoming academic year.)
Employment Eligibility Verification
All offers of employment must include notification that employment is subject to proof-of-employment eligibility as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. No person may be added to the payroll until an I-9 form and release consent form have been completed.
Maximum Hours of Work - Academic Year
Students may work up to twenty (20) hours per week when school is in session during the academic year, and may not exceed forty (40) hours per week during finals and break periods.
Maximum Hours of Work - Summer
Students may work up to forty (40) hours per week during the summer session. The Office of Human Resources will monitor hours worked and notify the employing department(s) of violation. The Office of Human Resources will also assess overtime payments to the department (proportionately when more than one department is involved.)
Persons employed through the FWS program are exempt from social security deductions while enrolled. Social security will be deducted when employed but not enrolled during the summer. Worker's compensation coverage is also provided for FWS students. FWS student employees are not eligible for other employment benefits.
A person shall not be compensated at less than the federal minimum wage nor more than 2.5 times the federal minimum wage per hour. Requests for wages above the highest rate per hour must be approved in advance by the employing budget officer, budget review officer, vice president for the employing department and the Office of Financial Aid. The total amount a student may earn on FWS is referred to as their allocation. This amount is based on his or her financial need. The federal government subsidizes 75 percent of the student's earnings, and the employing department is responsible for the remaining 25 percent. The total amount the student earns must not exceed his or her FWS allocation.
If the student reaches his or her maximum FWS allocation or the FWS authorization end-date is reached, the student may continue employment with the employing department provided the department assumes 100 percent of the salary costs. This situation would require the employing department to initiate a Change of Status form (OHR 134) to switch the student from FWS to regular student employment.
Pay periods will begin on Sunday and end two weeks later on Saturday. Paychecks will be issued two weeks later on Friday. If Friday (payday) is a holiday, paychecks will be issued on the closest preceding work day.
Students must keep a daily record of hours worked during employment.
Students who have an employment dispute should try to resolve the problem with the immediate supervisor (when person is not the department budget officer) then the budget officer and/or budget review officer. If these efforts are unsuccessful, students should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee for assistance with resolving the problem. Decisions of the Vice President for Student Affairs on employment disputes are final except in cases involving sexual harassment. When sexual harassment in employment is alleged, a person must use the Sexual Harassment of Students Policy located at Section 8.11 of this manual.
All vacancies through the FWS program must be listed with Career Services for a minimum of one class day. Additional recruitment sources may be utilized as needed.
- Departments should check WSU Student Employment Pre-Approval (STUE) screen in CICS2 to verify whether student is FWS eligible and available for employment.
- Departments must complete a Student Employment Authorization form (OHR 133) to place
a student employee on the payroll. Departments are responsible for obtaining from
the student the following forms and documents, completed and signed:
- Substance Abuse Policy Affirmation Form
- INS I-9 (A social security card may not be used as evidence of employment eligibility for a noncitizen. Employment may not begin any earlier than the date the I-9 is signed.)
- Copies of identification for I-9 Form
- Consent to Release I-9 Form
- New Hire Report Form
- W-4 Tax Form
- State of Kansas Employees Oath (must be notarized)
- Employee Information Form
- Americans with Disabilities Status Form (optional)
When hiring a previously employed student, departments should check the WSU Student Employment Pre-Approval (STUE) FORMS screen to verify if the forms listed above are already on file. If so, those forms do not have to be completed. These completed and signed forms should be attached to the Student Employment Authorization form and forwarded to Payroll in the Office of Financial Operations and Business Technology.
- The Office of Human Resources will distribute copies of the Student Employment Authorization Form. White original will go to the Office of Financial Operations and Business Technology for processing to the student payroll. Yellow copy is returned to the department. The Office of Human Resources will ensure that a student meets all eligibility requirements and is not scheduled to work more than the maximum hours allowed. When the Office of Human Resources determines a student is in violation of requirements, the employing department(s) will be notified of the need to resolve the problem.
Change of Status and Termination
Any change of status in salary or funding account must be processed through a Change of Status form. Terminations must also be processed through a Change of Status form. Each FWS student must be terminated when she or he is no longer working for a department, has used all of the allocation, or she or he is no longer a eligible.