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Work-Study Aid

Please see Campus Employment for more information on how Federal Work-Study relates to undergraduate financial assistance.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) at Oglethorpe

About the FWS Program
Establishing a Student Assistant Position
Hiring a Student Assistant
Payroll Procedures
Monitoring Earnings
Student Assistant Employee Benefits

Employment Evaluations
Grievance Procedure
Student/Employer Rights and Responsibilities
Points to Remember

About the FWS Program

History of Federal Work Study
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program was originally authorized by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. It was originally intended to provide part-time employment for students from low-income families. The program became a student financial aid program when the Higher Education Amendments of 1968 transferred and incorporated the statutes for the program into the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. As such, it is a federal "Title IV" aid program. The program is currently authorized under Part C, Title IV, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Education Amendments of 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998.

Purpose of the Student Work Program
The purpose of the Student Work Program is to stimulate and promote the part-time employment opportunities for undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need.

Employment under FWS must be reasonably available to the extent of available funds, to all eligible students in the institution with demonstrated financial need who desire such employment. The institution must provide assurances that employment made available from FWS funds must, to the maximum extent practicable, complement and reinforce the educational program or vocational goals of each student receiving assistance under the FWS program.

Federal share/institutional share of student compensation (FWS)
For each academic year, the federal share of FWS compensation paid to students may not exceed 75 percent. The minimum institutional share for each academic year is 25 percent, which will be paid by the institution. The federal and institutional shares are expected to remain at the current split for subsequent years. This is subject to change based upon the annual appropriation from Congress and allocation from the U.S. Department of Education as well as FWS program Reauthorization regulations.

Qualifications for student employment
A student must meet the following qualifications to be employed in the work program:

  • Enrolled at least six (6) hours as a regular student pursuing a degree.
  • Maintain satisfactory progress as defined by the Office of Financial Aid.
  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Have financial need as determined by the FAFSA (for FWS).

Commitment to equal opportunity
Oglethorpe University makes no distinction in its admission policies or procedures on grounds of age, race, gender, religious belief, color, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability. The University also complies with all applicable federal and Georgia statutes and regulations prohibiting unlawful discrimination. All members of the student bodies, staff, and faculty are expected to assist in making this policy valid in fact.

Establishing a Student Assistant Position

Employment Request Form (ERF)
The employment request form must be completed and submitted by the employer for each available position in the department or organization. Information from the ERF is used to post job vacancies and the information is made available to student applicants. Incomplete ERF's will be returned to department and the job posting will be delayed.

Hourly Wage
The student's hourly wage is determined by the institution. Federal Work-Study positions must pay wages at least equal to the federal minimum wage. Pay level increases are determined at the beginning of the fall term each year for prior year student workers.

Hiring a Student Assistant

Student Employment Procedures
No student may work before all employment documents have been completed by the hiring department and submitted to the Office of Financial Aid for authorization to begin work. Under no circumstance will the Office of Financial Aid authorize payment for any student working before all employment documents have been completed and submitted for approval.

Employment Authorization Form - Expected to be effective at a future date
The Employment Authorization Form is used by the Office of Financial Aid to hire and authorize the student for the federal work-study position. An employment request form creating the job must be on file before or accompany an authorization form when submitted. Section 1 is completed by the employing department and must be filled out in its entirety. Section 2 is completed by student, which accepts the position. The supervisor must return all copies of the authorization form to the Office of Financial Aid along with the other required forms. If a student is a new applicant, it will be necessary for the supervisor to complete all payroll documents on the student and forward them to the Office of Financial Aid. NO STUDENT IS TO BEGIN WORK BEFORE HE/SHE IS AUTHORIZED BY THE OFFICE OF FINANCIAL AID. Federal work-study authorization is accomplished if section 3 is completed by the Office of Financial Aid and a copy of the authorization form is returned to the supervisor or department.

Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9
Federal regulations require an I-9 to be completed on every new applicant for employment. The student completes section 1. The supervisor completes section 2 after reviewing and inspecting the appropriate documents used to establish identity and employment eligibility. The I-9 must be re-certified (section 3) if there is any break in employment service. Acceptable documents are listed on the back of the I-9. 

Federal Tax Form
The Federal W-4 form is required for students who are new employees on the university payroll system or students who have not been employed for at least one year. This form must be completed and forwarded to the Office of Financial Aid. 

Payroll Procedures

Payroll Time Sheet - The purpose of the time sheet is to document the hours a student works during a bi-weekly pay period. Supervisors are required to utilize a time sheet, on the departmental level, for each student they employ. The student should use the time sheet to sign in and out daily. Supervisors will find the time sheet to be helpful when they are completing the official work-study time card. Supervisors are required to maintain time sheets for 3 years in the event there is a payroll discrepancy or audit question.

Beginning in 2008, time sheets are available online through OASIS.

Payroll Timecard - Pre-printed bi-weekly timecards are sent to the department once the student is established on the payroll system. Time cards are to be completed by the supervisor, not the student. Both the supervisor and the student must sign time cards. Time cards must be turned into the Office of Financial Aid by 11 AM on the Monday following the pay period end date.

If a student is authorized to work by the Office of Financial Aid and the department did not receive a pre-printed time card, a manual card must be completed by the supervisor and submitted to the Office of Financial Aid.

Departments should not allow a student to begin work nor should they submit time cards before the student is authorized to begin work. The department is responsible for 100 percent of the wages prior to work authorization.

Paychecks - Student Assistants are paid according to the bi-weekly payroll schedule. Students may pick up their paychecks at the business office on the Friday following the most recent pay period end date.

Problems with Pay - if a student does not receive a paycheck, the supervisor should check departmental records to ensure that the student is authorized to begin work and the necessary paperwork has reached the Office of Financial Aid on time. Departments may check with the Office of Financial Aid as to whether the time card was received in time for processing or for further assistance and direction.

Monitoring Earnings

Student should not be allowed to earn more than the amount of their work award. It is a supervisors responsibility to monitor the students bi-weekly earnings to ensure that he/she does not earn more than the total eligibility amount shown on the employment authorization form. If the student exceeds his/her  award maximum the employing department will be billed for 100 percent of the over earnings.

The Office of Financial Aid routinely sends out letters notifying supervisors of their students remaining earnings. It is a supervisor's responsibility to continue monitoring earnings and to ensure that the student does not exceed his maximum.

Exhausted Student Work Program Earnings
Once a student has earned his/her award maximum, the student must be terminated from the Student Work program. The department may hire the student at 100 percent departmental funding or the student must stop working. To continue to employ the student, the supervisor must contact the human resources office to complete the necessary forms and information regarding paying the student from the department's budget.

Unused Earnings
Unused work earnings cannot be carried over from one employment period to the next (i.e. one academic year to the next). Unearned work funds will not be made up by other sources of aid.

Student Assistant Employee Benefits

Students employed under the Student Work program:

  1. Do not accrue sick leave or vacation time.
  2. Do not receive pay for holidays.
  3. Are compensated only for hours worked.
  4. Are not paid over time (department will be charged).
  5. Generally should not work more than 20 hours per week during periods of enrollment.
  6. Should work only during normal working hours.


The student employee who resigns or is terminated will receive any unpaid wages that are due. When a student assistant finds it necessary to resign or leave a job he/she should give the employer two weeks notice. In the case of involuntary termination, two weeks notice should be given to the student by the supervisor or department head. The student employee who has been found in extreme violation of institutional policies may be terminated without advance notice. In involuntary termination, the circumstances of that termination should be reported to the Office of Financial Aid by completing a student employment evaluation form. Appeals of involuntary termination should follow the procedure discussed in the grievance procedure section.

Employment Evaluations

The work experience a student gains through part-time employment is a valuable asset and skill development and career/life planning. It is important to maintain a record of those experiences for reference purposes. Performance evaluations are beneficial to supervisors, to students, and to post-graduation employers. Supervisors are required to complete a student employment evaluation form at the end of each academic year. Also, the evaluation is required at the time employment terminates. The employer or share the evaluation with the student employee in both should sign evaluation. The joint signature is a method of notifying the Office of Financial Aid that the student has reviewed the supervisor's comments. However, if you are unable to obtain the student signature, a copy should be mailed to the student and to the Office of Financial Aid.

Grievance Procedure

The following steps should be taken in any case of misunderstanding or misinterpretation of student employment policies, procedures, or work practices:

  1. The aggrieved student employee shall make every effort to informally resolve the problem with the immediate supervisor.
  2. If the aggrieved student employee is dissatisfied with the action taken by the supervisor, or if the supervisor fails to take action, then the student shall contact the department supervisor at the next management level to request further action.
  3. Should the grievance remain unresolved, the student employee shall meet with the financial aid administrator in charge of student employment. During this meeting the nature of the grievance and past proceedings will be reviewed.
  4. The financial aid staff member will meet with the student employee and the departmental contact person to mediate the grievance. A written record will be made of the proceedings and copies of the record will be sent to the student employee and the department supervisor.

    Note: Any grievance regarding alleged discrimination as to race, religion, color, sex, sexual preference, national origin, age or handicap shall be reported to the Office of Financial Aid and to the Director of Human Resources for investigation and resolution.

Student/Employer Rights and Responsibilities

Student Employee

Each student employee has the right to:

  1. Information regarding the award amount, rate of pay, and the average number of hours to be worked per week.
  2. A specific job description, as well as the supervisor's expectations and standards.
  3. A clearly defined work schedule.
  4. Adequate training to perform assigned tasks.
  5. A safe and sanitary working environment.
  6. Regular supervision and review of work performed.
  7. Clear explanation of the procedures for submitting completed time sheets and for receiving paychecks.
  8. Instructions by supervisors regarding procedures to be followed if the student cannot report for a scheduled work period.
  9. A procedure for stating concerns related to the job or the supervisor.

Each student employee has the responsibility to:

  1. Become familiar with information provided regarding the terms of the award and with general student employee policies.
  2. Work out a schedule with their supervisor no later than the end of the first week of employment.
  3. Understand the specific job responsibilities, as well as the supervisor's expectations and standards.
  4. Arrange a mutually agreeable work schedule with the supervisor and work the assigned hours regularly.
  5. Notify the supervisor immediately if a scheduled work period must be missed.
  6. Accurately document work hours.
  7. Perform assigned tasks in an efficient and timely manner.

Remember that as an employer you are also a "work educator". You train and evaluate student employees not only in specific job duties but general employment matters as well. It is important that you provide adequate orientation and on-the-job training. Be sure your employee knows:

  1. The required hours of work.
  2. The expectations as to quality and quantity of work.
  3. The operational procedures and policies of work in your department.
  4. All other departmental and student employment policies and personnel procedures, as appropriate.

The supervisor has the responsibility to:

  1. Forward appropriate documents to the Office of Financial Aid when the student is hired or terminated.
  2. Not allow any student to work prior to completing payroll documents.
  3. Discuss any problems with the student employee if the student employee is not performing in a satisfactory manner.
  4. Maintain bi-weekly time sheets, complete time cards, secure student signatures, and send time cards to the Office of Financial Aid by the due dates.
  5. Complete student evaluations at least once an academic year and forward them to the Office of Financial Aid.

Points to Remember

Student Assistant positions may not replace or displace other institutional positions normally staffed through the Human Resources Office (particularly FWS positions).

Federal Work-Study regulations have strict requirements prohibiting certain types of religious or political involvement by a student while working in a work-study position. More information is available by contacting the Office of Financial Aid.

Questions or concerns related to the Student Work program at Oglethorpe University should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid in Lupton Hall (404.364.8354).

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