College Work Study Guide for the Off-Campus Employers
Table of Contents
- Program Eligibility
- Amount of Award
- Award Revisions
- Estimating How Many Student Employees You Will Need
- Job Descriptions
- Interviewing Tips
- Applicant Placement
- New Hire Paperwork
- Work Hours per Week
- Work Schedule
- Pay Periods/Time and Effort Reports
- Employee Benefits
- Dress Code
- Program Responsibilities
- Prohibited Conduct by Student
- National Student Employment Week
The purpose of the handbook is to clarify the Federal and State College Work Study Program employment practices and procedures for all Work Study supervisors. Any questions regarding the procedures as outlined herein can be directed to the Office of Financial Aid, Room 110 or by calling (361)570-4130.
The Federal College Work Study Program (FCWSP) and the Texas College Work Study Program (TXCWSP) provide part-time employment for qualified undergraduate and graduate students so they can earn funds to help pay for their educational expenses in order to continue and/or complete their education. The programs are subsidized by the federal and state governments. They provide a portion of the funding to assist students both on campus and off-campus at public or private non-profit organizations.
Since Work Study is a form of federal/state financial aid, a student must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine the student’s financial need in order for College Work Study (CWS) to be awarded. Financial need is defined as the difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA), other aid and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If the EFC and aid added together are less than the COA, the student is considered to have financial need. Texas residents who are not U.S. citizens can complete the Texas Application for State Financial Aid. College Work Study is frequently awarded in conjunction with other types of financial aid programs in a package. This package may consist of various types of aid such as grants, loans, and/or scholarships.
To be eligible for Federal and State student aid, an applicant must:
- Be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or eligible non-citizen,
- Demonstrate documented need for need-based financial help,
- Have a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or by completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law,
- Be enrolled or accepted as a regular student in an eligible degree seeking program,
- Must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP),
- Must meet enrollment status requirements,
- Have registered with the Selective Service if male,
- Not be in default on any educational loan or owe a refund on any educational grant,
- Not been convicted of possession or sale of drugs while receiving Federal Title IV Aid,
- Have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).
- Sign certifying statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
The Texas Work Study Program differs from the federal program in that it is restricted to residents of the state of Texas who are enrolled at least half-time. The students cannot be a recipient of any form of athletic scholarship during the term the student is receiving Texas College Work Study.
Enrollment and Satisfactory Academic Progress is continuously monitored and verified by the Office of Financial Aid each term. Once a student ceases to be enrolled or placed on Financial Aid Suspension, his or her employment will immediately be terminated.
The student’s Work Study award is determined by the Office of Financial Aid. The award is the total gross dollar amount a student may earn during the award period. Award amounts depend upon each student’s financial need, available funding, and the student’s acceptance of the awarded amount. Depending upon the student’s award, work schedule and rate of pay, the student may or may not earn his or her entire award.
Once awarded, each student and the hiring department will receive an email from the Office of Financial Aid. This email will direct the student to myUHV to view his or her financial aid status which will indicate the total dollar amount awarded each term. The student must accept the Work Study Award in myUHV.
The award will be either term specific (FALL or SPRING) or academic year specific (FALL and SPRING). The total dollar amount will be divided into terms and will create a limit for fall and a limit for spring. If a student exceeds the specified limit in the fall, they may begin earning the spring award if they plan to attend in the spring. The Office of Financial Aid will decrease the spring award for the following term to cover the hours worked in the fall term.
The off-campus employers who contract with the university to employ work study students will be responsible for 25% of the amount of the award plus the employer’s taxes (FICA, WCI, and UCI). The other 75% of the amount of the award will be paid by the federal or state work study program. If the position is a reading or math tutor, 100% of the wages will be paid by the federal work study program. The employer will be responsible for the (FICA, WCI and UCI). The federal share may not be used to pay for employer’s contributions to social security, worker’s compensation, retirement, or any other welfare or insurance program.
Occasionally, changes in policies, regulations, enrollment status, and financial need may cause a student’s financial aid award to be adjusted or reduced. A student’s College Work Study award may have to be adjusted downward if there is a reduction in the financial need, such as a change in the number of hours enrolled or awarded an additional grant or scholarship, which would reduce the cost of attendance. Other adjustments may be necessary if the need is reduced due to the student receiving a grant, scholarship, waiver, exemption, etc. The reduction in the work study award will help prevent an over-award situation (the student is given too much financial aid).
This revision will affect the student’s remaining award. When this occurs, the Office of Financial Aid will notify the student and employer via email so the student can view the award amount changes made on myUHV.
A few things to consider when determining how many students to hire are:
- Remember that a student employee’s first responsibility is to his/her academic pursuits. You will need to be flexible to the student’s academic schedule and responsibilities, as this will dictate their availability to work.
- A student employee should never be used to replace a full-time position.
- Determine the resources available to hire student employees. Request funding for college and non-college work study funding during the annual budget hearings.
- Some work study students may have a limited award so they may not be able to work the whole year or only 5 – 10 hours per week.
The best approach to estimate how many students you will need is to determine the duties you want them to perform, and the number of hours it will take to complete each task. For example, if you would take the equivalent of one full-time employee to complete the tasks, consider hiring three student workers.
Prior to the start of each term, all departments (on and off-campus) are responsible for submitting a request for all work study positions that includes a continuance plan and a job description. The continuance plan should state what would happen to the students’ employment when the work study funds have been spent. The request and job descriptions should be entered in the Career Services Jobs for Jags website.
The job descriptions are to include the following:
- Name of the position
- Classification of the position
- Department or office in which the student will be employed
- Name and Address of the work site, if different from the main agency address
- Location where the student will perform his/her duties
- Name of the student’s supervisor
- Purpose/role of the position within the organization
- Duties and responsibilities and how they relate to the student’s role
- Rates of pay for the position
- General qualifications and specific qualifications for pay levels
- Procedures for determining a student’s rate of pay if multiple levels exist
- Length of employment
- Evaluation procedures and schedules
- Application instructions
- Learning Outcomes
Learning outcomes are critical to ensure that students are learning transferrable skills as part of their professional development. Learning outcomes specify the knowledge, skills, and abilities that the student worker should be able to demonstrate at the conclusion of his or her employment. Each job description submitted for the student work study program should include three to five learning outcomes.
Examples of learning outcomes are:
- Time Management/Organizational Skills: Student worker will demonstrate techniques for effective organization and efficient task prioritization and understand how time management affects his or her job performance and the ability of others to do their jobs.
- Professionalism: Student worker will understand expectations for professionalism in the workplace including language, dress, and phone/email etiquette.
- Customer Service: Student worker will be able to meet and exceed customer expectations by listening to customer needs, responding in a timely manner, and anticipating what a customer may need in the future.
- Teamwork: Student worker will work successfully in team settings which require flexibility, conflict management, and cooperation.
- Communication Skills: Student worker will communicate in a professional manner and understand the appropriate style of communication based on the audience.
- Work Ethic: Student worker will understand the value of a strong work ethic and the impact it can have on success in the workplace.
- Critical Thinking/Problem Solving: Student worker will demonstrate the analytical ability to gather facts, suggest solutions, and make decisions which are sound and timely.
Although paid through specific cost centers, federal and state work study employees should be compensated with the same consideration as non-college work study student employees. All work study positions, on and off-campus, will be reviewed by committee and prioritized based on the learning objectives and continuance plans.
For the supervisor, interviewing is a time to gather information about the candidate. For the student, interviewing is an invaluable lesson. A student’s professional development begins with the application and interview process. Here are a few tips to help you begin your interview process.
- Make your list of questions before the interview. Use open-ended questions and try to avoid yes/no questions.
- Introduce yourself and provide a brief overview of the position before you start asking the applicant questions.
- All candidates should be asked the same basic questions in the same manner.
- Inform the applicant when they can expect to hear of your decision.
- Rate each applicant immediately after the interview.
- EEOC Interviewing Guidelines prohibit asking questions about race, age, marital status, number of children, religion, or any other subject that could be perceived as discriminatory.
Once applications are received by the department, the department may initiate a call to prospective employees for an interview. If the student is hired, the employing department will complete the College Work Study Employment Form and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. The Office of Financial Aid will prepare the payroll documents (ePRF and/or ePAR). A copy of the student’s job application must be sent to the Human Resources Office. In addition, the employing department must contact the Career Services Office to record the placement, or they may report it directly in Jobs for Jags.
A meeting must be scheduled with the Human Resources Office once the student has accepted a job offer. All new student employees must complete a criminal background check. New students must complete an I-9, W-4 and Direct Deposit form for student payroll. A Personal Data Sheet must also be completed. New students should bring their banking routing and account numbers, original driver’s license, social security card or birth certificate to the meeting with Human Resources.
All students will be required to complete some mandatory on-line training sessions within the first 30 days of employment.
The university has an established Work Study Rate Pay Plan. Each category is based on skills required and job assignments. The minimum wage for a student employed under the Work Study Program is $7.25 per hour. The department may elect to begin above the minimum, depending on the student’s skills and qualifications. Off-campus positions are expected to comply with minimum wage guidelines; however, rates for off-campus positions may vary from on-campus ones based on the hiring organization’s pay scale. All off-campus position rates must be approved by the Office of Financial Aid and can be found on the job posting.
|Student Assistant 1||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3+|
|A person with a few special skills and little or no previous training or work experience. A minimum amount of training is necessary to prepare the employee for work. The jobs are of a routine nature requiring little decision making.||$7.25 per hour||$7.75 per hour||$8.00 per hour|
|Student Assistant 2||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3+|
|A person at this level requires independent judgment in addition to extensive previous training and experience.||$8.75 per hour||$9.25 per hour||$9.75 per hour|
|Student Tutoring||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3+|
|Positions include tutoring on or off campus. The wage rate may depend on tutoring individuals or a group, and on subject area tutoring.||$8.00 per hour||$9.00 per hour||$10.00 per hour|
|Student Tech Assistant 1||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3+|
|A person must have technical skills, knowledge of the job, or be in a training phase of a technical position.||$7.90 per hour||$8.50 per hour||$9.25 per hour|
|Student Tech Assistant 2||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3+|
|Student workers must have technological expertise or knowledge of the job through previous training and experience.||$8.40 per hour||$8.90 per hour||$9.15 per hour|
A supervisor may recommend an increase to a student worker’s wage rate at the beginning of each year. The employee must have been employed at least one year. Longevity, experience, and job performance must be considered when requesting an increase to the wage rate. A Student Worker Performance Review must be completed prior to the request.
For an exception above/below the qualified hourly wage level, the employing department must submit a written request to the Director of Financial Aid for approval. The recommendation will have to be approved by the signature authority in the requesting department and the Human Resources Office. The Office of Financial Aid will revise the ePAR with the updated wage rate for Federal and State Work Study positions if approved.
The total number of work hours per week is contingent upon the amount that is awarded to the student. During the fall and spring terms, a student should not work more than twenty (20) hours per week in any week that classes are scheduled, including final examination week. An exception to the twenty (20) hours per week schedule is between terms. In between terms a student may work up to (35) hours per week contingent upon the amount of award that is remaining. To be eligible to work during periods of nonattendance, a student must be planning to register for the next term, including a summer period, or in the case of summer earnings, the next academic year, and must demonstrate financial need for the upcoming period of enrollment. If the student is a new student, a written record showing that the student has accepted the school’s offer of admittance for the next period of enrollment is required.
NOTE: Work Study hours are also limited to the amount of the award. If the student exceeds the amount of the award, he or she will not be permitted to work during the remainder of the term under the College Work Study Program. However, if the office has funding available, the student may be able to continue employment as a non-college work study student. If the employer chooses to continue the student’s employment, it would need to terminate the college work study position and replace it with a funded non-college work study position when completing an ePAR.
Prior to employment, the supervisor and the student will determine an agreeable work schedule. The employee must notify the supervisor if he or she is going to be absent for a scheduled shift. This notification must be made either prior to the intended absence or as soon as physically possible if the absence was unexpected. It may be necessary at times to allow student employees flexibility due to exams, class schedules and other factors related to their student status. If the student’s academic performance suffers due to his or her work schedule, the student must notify his or her supervisor, so hours may be changed or arranged accordingly. Ultimately the supervisor establishes the work schedule and determines any changes.
All pay periods for Work Study employees are bi-weekly. Each paycheck will reflect hours the student actually worked during the preceding two weeks. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, prohibits employers (including schools) from accepting voluntary services from any paid employee.
Each off-campus student employee will enter only the hours he or she actually worked each day and the correct totals for each day and week. The supervisor approves the hours worked and signs the time sheet. A timesheet not signed by both the student and the supervisor will not be accepted for processing. Timesheets must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid for manual entry of time in the Human Resources P.A.S.S. module by 9:00 every other Wednesday. The timesheets can be faxed, but the original copies must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the first opportunity.
If the student’s timesheet is late, it may not be processed with those submitted on time and may result in a late paycheck. This delay may range from one to two weeks. Therefore, the timesheets must be submitted to supervisors at the designated deadline, so supervisors can submit them to the Office of Financial Aid in a timely manner.
Time for holidays, sick days, vacation and lunch is not to be included on the timesheets. Garnishing federal work study wages for any debt other than cost of attendance is not permissible.
W-2s are mailed the last week in January to the student’s address listed on the W-4 form. The W-2s are also available in the Human Resources P.A.S.S. module.
- On occasion, the university must process payroll earlier than normal to correspond with state-mandated deadlines. Students will be advised when these dates occur that Time and Effort reports should be submitted early. Time and Effort reports are to reflect only the hours worked to the date of submission. Time worked for College Work Study MAY NOT be estimated during times in which payroll must be processed earlier than normal.
- Student employees may elect to have their pay electronically deposited into their personal bank accounts or to their Jaguar Card/VIBE card accounts. Employees are paid the second Friday following the end of the pay period.
- Recording additional minutes or hours that were not actually worked on time reports is considered padding a time sheet which is a federal offense that will result in termination from the program. Each student should take time to properly sign in and out each workday to ensure that only time he or she actually worked is entered. The supervisor must review the accuracy of the Time and Effort Report prior to approving the time.
Work study employees do not earn vacation, sick leave, or holiday pay due to the irregular nature of employment. Work Study Program employees are not eligible to apply for a leave of absence. Student employees are not eligible for unemployment benefits. For more information on employee benefits such as social security and Medicare, contact the Human Resources Office.
The Work Study Program does not establish a dress code for student employees. However, depending upon where the student is employed, a dress code may be required. Each employer is entitled to set a dress code. Work Study employees who are employed in on-campus departments or with off-campus agencies that have a dress code are required to adhere to that code.
The student is expected to do the following:
- Complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Receive award notice via email from the Office of Financial Aid.
- Accept the Work Study award on myUHV.
- Review Position Postings in Jobs for Jags.
- Complete college employment applications in Career Services.
- Await a call for an interview.
- Await notification from interviewer of employment status.
- Arrange work schedule with supervisor.
- Meet with HR to provide a copy of Social Security card and government-issued identity card, e.g. driver’s license, bank routing and account numbers, and complete other required paperwork.
- Attend Student Worker Orientation.
- Begin work for employing department.
- Clock in and out of the P.A.S.S Webclock. For off-campus employees, enter hours worked at the end of each day, and when due, submit time sheet to the Office of Financial Aid.
- Complete UH System training online within 30 days of employment.
- Notify the Office of Financial Aid (in writing) of changes in:
- Term hours enrolled
- Name and Address
- Financial status
- Apply for continued Work Study employment each academic year.
- The student is expected to perform the work assigned by the supervisor.
- The student is expected to conduct him/herself as a mature adult and deliver a full measure of work for the time employed.
The Career Services Office is expected to:
- Assist off-campus employers with posting position requests in Jobs for Jags.
- Serve as a liaison between the employing department and the Office of Financial Aid.
- Assist students with completing the Employment Application in Jobs for Jags.
- Assist students with searching for work study opportunities.
The Office of Financial Aid is expected to:
- Receive the student’s application and verify whether the student is eligible to participate in the College Work Study program.
- Complete and submit ePRFs on behalf of the hiring department for work study positions
- Create new position numbers.
- Update ePRFs by July 1 using the new aid year work study cost centers
- Update the ePRFs by September 1 for the new UHV fiscal year.
- Complete college work study student ePARs on or before the student’s first day of work.
- Signed Time and Effort Reports from off-campus employers must have the student’s time entered manually in P.A.S.S. Approve the payable time.
- Maintain earnings and hours worked records to assure that the student does not exceed his/her award limit.
- Reconcile the work study cost centers.
- Notify the employing department if a student is approaching the award limit.
The employing department is expected to do the following:
- Post job opportunities on Jobs for Jags.
- Refer all students seeking work study positions to the Career Services Office.
- Review eligible applications and arrange interviews.
- Make an appointment with Human Resources so the new employee can complete all necessary paperwork and the background check.
- Arrange the work schedule with the student.
- Supervise the student’s work assignments.
- Ensure that the student employee completes mandatory UHV training.
- Maintain earnings and hours worked to assure that students do not exceed the amount of their award. The employing department must pay 100% of all earnings beyond the work study award. A reallocation will be initiated by the Financial Aid Accountant to transfer funds back to the Work Study cost center.
- Notify the Office of Financial Aid of new hires by completing the College Work Study Employment Form and terminations with the reason and last day of employment.
- Budget funds in the cost center for college work study and non-college work study employees.
Supervisors play a key role in students’ future employment success. Every effort should be made to encourage student employees to develop characteristics of good judgment, dependability, initiative, and responsibility. Work helps prepare a student for office culture and promotes employer/employee relationships. Supervisors are expected to:
- Communicate the job standards, requirements, and expectations to your student employees.
- Train students to successfully carry out the duties and responsibilities of their job and supply any other information they may need (lines of authority, schedule changes, etc.)
Be sure to instruct the student workers on:
- What to say when answering the telephone, how to transfer calls, and how to put someone on hold.
- How to log into the computer, navigate to computer programs, and navigate within the programs.
- Answers to commonly asked questions, frequently used phone numbers, and a summary of office staff responsibilities.
- Keep students informed of any changes in procedure, scheduling, or working conditions.
- Be prepared for student’s daily arrival and have assignments ready.
- Correct inappropriate behavior as soon as possible. Explain why the behavior was inappropriate or incorrect and how to remedy the situation. Try to resolve any problems pertaining to job performance or working relations at the time of the incident.
- Develop good supervisor/student relations among student employees. This is not a “friendly” or “parental” relationship.
- Model strong work habits through efficient, dedicated work practices.
- Provide consistent and appropriate feedback so they can benefit from it in job performance. Acknowledge good behavior or work.
- Share how their work fits into the larger purpose of the department and the institution.
The following list of prohibited conduct has been developed to inform the student employees of unacceptable behavior and/or activity. Engaging in one or more of the following forms of prohibited conduct may result in a reprimand or termination. Additional work rules may be established by management.
- Insubordination, including disobedience, failure, refusal to carry out an assignment or instructions.
- Loafing, loitering, sleeping, or engaging in unauthorized personal business.
- Unauthorized disclosure of confidential information or records.
- Falsifying records or giving false information to other agencies or to employees responsible for recordkeeping.
- Failure to provide accurate and complete information whenever such information is required by an authorized person.
- Negligence in performance of assigned duties.
- Unexcused or excessive absenteeism.
- Failure to report promptly at the starting time of a shift or leaving before the scheduled quitting time without approval.
- Unauthorized or improper use of University property or equipment including computer, telephone, or mail service.
- Unauthorized possession or removal of University or another person’s private property.
- Threatening, attempting, or doing bodily harm to another person.
- Threatening, intimidating, interfering with, or using abusive language toward others.
- Reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
There are three (3) broad categories under which a student termination would fall: (1) the student may be terminated by the Work-Study Program; (2) the student may voluntarily terminate employment; or (3) the employing department may initiate an involuntary termination.
Types of Termination
By the Work Study Program
A student who has earned enough to meet the total of his or her work study award for the academic year is terminated from the Work Study Program. A student may also be terminated if he or she is no longer enrolled, enrolled for an inadequate number of hours, no longer has financial need, or if satisfactory academic progress is not maintained.
Both the student and the employer will receive written notification of termination when it is initiated by the Office of Financial Aid due to the limitations of the Work Study Program. The reason for the termination and the effective date will be given.
The student will be terminated upon request. Such a request should be presented to the supervisor two (2) weeks prior to the effective date.
Involuntary termination results when the employee (a) does not perform in a satisfactory manner, (b) has committed a minor offense, (c) has committed a major offense such as theft, insubordination, gross misconduct, etc. (d) has excessive unexplained absences, (e) has walked off the job, or (f) has a recorded absence without permission or notice, except when an emergency situation precluded giving such notice.
The recommended method for terminating a student includes (a) a written warning to the student with a copy sent to the Office of Financial Aid, (b) allow a reasonable time of two weeks for the student to correct his/her inadequacies, and then (c) termination of the student with written notification sent to the Office of Financial Aid if the student does not correct his/her inadequacies.
In cases of a possible violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the Office of Financial Aid or employing department will refer the situation to the Director of Student Life. For students that work for off-campus agencies, the decision is at the discretion of the agency.
The involuntary termination of a student employee is received in the Office of Financial Aid, forwarded to and reviewed by the Human Resource Office, and approved by the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management and the Director of Financial Aid.
All termination requests for Federal and state work study students should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid so the ePAR can be processed. The request should include the student’s last date of employment and designate if the termination in voluntary or involuntary.
The second full week in April each year is National Student Employment Week. This week gives us the opportunity to show our appreciation for their contributions. Some ideas on how your office can help celebrate during this week are:
- Bring cookies/cake for the students.
- Have lunch catered to the office.
- Give gift cards to local restaurants or movie theaters.
- Prepare a “Thank You” goodie bag or basket.
- Give them flowers or balloons.
- Make a banner/poster to hang for the whole week.
Since both the Federal College Work Study Program and the Texas College Work Study Program are government funded, compliance with each program’s regulations is essential for the programs to continue at the University of Houston-Victoria. Compliance is the responsibility of all members of the campus community, so it is important to become familiar with the requirements listed in this guide. It takes everyone’s cooperation and understanding to develop and carry out a successful Work Study Program. Failure to comply with all federal/state regulations could result in the loss of, or reduction of, federal/state financial aid funds provided to the University.
The Office of Financial Aid is located in UW 110.
Work Study Program:
Zoeann Byerly, Financial Aid Specialist
Career Services is located in University North Room 214.
Amy Hatmaker, Career Services
Kayla Sturm, Career Services Coordinator