Federal Work Study Orientation
What is Federal Work-Study (FWS)?
- FWS is a financial aid program that gives you an opportunity to be placed in a part-time program that accommodates your class schedule.
- Gives you an opportunity to gain work experience related to your program of study or career choice.
- Provides you with an opportunity to participate in paid community service work.
What are the basic requirements for FWS participation?
- You must have a FWS award.
- You must be a matriculated student.
- You must be registered for a minimum of six credits each semester you participate in the FWS program.
- You must stop working when you have earned the maximum earnings or reached the last date off attendance indicated on the FWS Student/Employer Contract whichever comes first.
- Awards not used by the last scheduled day to work will not rollover into the next academic year.
- You will not be paid for hours worked in excess of your award.
What is placement?
Placement is the process by which you select a potential job, and are interviewed for a FWS position.
What Are the Steps Involved In Placement?
- Select an on-campus job utilizing Hunter College’s Financial Aid web site: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/finaid/federal-work-study-information
- Schedule an interview by completing and submitting the FWS job application at the Office of Financial Aid.
- Download required forms.
What kinds of FWS jobs are there?
You will work in one of the Hunter College’s offices or departments. There are a variety of on-campus positions available from clerical to language tutor. The minimum hourly rate for on-campus jobs is $7.25 but may be higher depending on the skills required.
NOTE: There are a few community service jobs on campus.
What is Hunter College’s On-line FWS Job Search?
This allows you to search the FWS job database for specific work-study job assignments. You can access this job bank from any computer with an Internet connection at any time of the day or night, or use the computers and printers in the Office of Financial Aid, Room 241N during the hours scheduled for placement.
What are the steps for a successful on-line job search?
- Visit the Hunter College Office of Financial Aid Work Study web page for listings of jobs: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/finaid/federal-work-study-information
- Every on-campus job is listed on this web site.
- Once you find a job that interests you, complete the FWS job application and summit it to the supervisor; supervisors will only contact you at your Hunter College email.
- The supervisor will contact you via email to set up an appointment for an interview.
What are the steps for a successful FWS job interview?
- Be on time for your interview appointment and bring a resume if you have one.
- Be appropriately dressed and well-groomed.
- Have some familiarity with the position for which you are applying.
- Be prepared to discuss why you believe you qualify for the position.
- Know your schedule of availability so that you will be ready to discuss the hours you will be available to work.
What is the FWS Student/Employer Contract?
The FWS Student/Employer Contract is a formal agreement between you and your employer that outlines the terms and conditions under which you may work. Read this document carefully so that you have a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities, as well as those of your employer.
The contract contains important information about you and your job assignment such as your name, social security number, job location and supervisor, hourly pay rate and total FWS award amount. Check this information carefully to make certain it is all correct before signing the contract.
Upon agreeing to hire you, your supervisor will also sign the contract. All completed contracts should be returned promptly to the Office of Financial Aid Room 241N. When your contract is received, you will be placed on the FWS payroll. Since the FWS contract is the only way the Office of Financial Aid knows you have been hired, your timesheets cannot be processed for payment until the contract has been returned.
What is the FERPA Agreement?
As a student employee at Hunter College-CUNY, you may be granted access to confidential and private records of students, faculty, staff, and applicants for admission or employment. All of these records are protected from disclosure to third parties under CUNY, as well as Federal and State privacy laws. In particular student records are protected by the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) and must be treated as confidential.
If as part of your job responsibilities you are required to release information about faculty, staff, students, or applicants for admission or employment, you will be directed to so by your FWS supervisor in writing.
You should avoid acquiring student information that you do not need to do your job, nor should you exchange information about students that you may have learned while performing your job. Even a minor disclosure of information (such as telling another student of someone's class schedule) could be a violation and result in penalties including the loss of your job, and possibly the denial of future employment through the FWS program.
You will be required to sign a statement agreeing that you will abide by the FERPA provisions of confidentiality while you are employed as a FWS student.
What are my responsibilities to my employer and the FWS program?
- Maintain the work schedule you and your supervisor agreed upon.
- Complete all work assignments to the best of your ability.
- Conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times.
- Always notify your supervisor if you cannot report to work.
- You can not work during your scheduled class times, or on legal holidays when the college is closed.
- You may only be paid for the hours you actually work.
- Make sure you do not work in excess of your FWS award.
How many hours can I work per week?
The maximum number of hours that a student can work is 20 hours per week. During the January intersession or spring break, when classes are not in session, or during the summer break, you may be allowed to work up to 35 hours per week, but the FWS Coordinator must authorize such periods of employment.
Can I earn more than my FWS award?
No, the maximum that you can earn is the amount that you are awarded by CUNY; this amount is listed on your FWS contract. You cannot be paid for hours worked in excess of your award. Once you have earned your maximum FWS award you must stop working.
How do I get paid?
- Record the hours you work on a FWS Timesheet. The timesheet covers a 2 week work period that corresponds to the pay periods listed on your FWS payment schedule.
- The completed timesheet must be signed by both you and your FWS supervisor. Only the supervisor(s) who signed your FWS contract may sign your contract.
- Submit the timesheet by the established due date for each work period; otherwise, you will not be paid on time.
- The completed timesheet can be delivered by using inter-departmental mail or in person by the supervisor to FAPC 1605 East; all time sheets must be in a sealed envelope.
What information is on the FWS Payroll Calendar?
- Starting and ending dates of each 2 week work period
- Timesheet due dates for each work period
- Check distribution dates
What are my payment options?
Direct deposit: your FWS earnings will be transferred electronically into your personal checking or savings account on the payment date indicated on the FWS payroll calendar.
What do I need to know about Direct Deposit?
To make direct deposit your preferred way of receiving FWS payments, download the Direct Deposit Authorization Form and return it to FAPC 1605East.
Every time you receive a direct deposit payment, you will be sent an email notification providing you with information about your disbursement via your Hunter College email address. Be sure to check your Hunter College email account regularly.
You will not receive a check stub when you elect direct deposit. Should you need the information that would be provided on an actual stub, you may come to the Office Financial Aid Room 241N to obtain a printout of this information.
What happens if I don't receive my check in the mail?
If you do not receive your check within two weeks of the check date, contact the Bursar’s Office Room 238N. A stop must be placed on the check; you will have to present your Hunter College ID card in order to place the stop. It can take 6 – 8 weeks for the check to be replaced.
Are my FWS earnings taxable?
FWS earnings are considered taxable income by both federal and state governments. Your FWS earnings must be combined with any earnings from a regular job and reported as wages on your tax return. However, FWS earnings are excluded in the calculation of your eligibility for financial aid.
At the end of the calendar year, CUNY will send you a W-2 form reflecting your FWS earnings for that 12 month period (January-December). This information is also furnished to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and local taxing agencies.
If you work off-campus, or if you work during periods of non-enrollment such as intersession, spring break or summer, FICA (Social Security taxes) from your earnings at a rate of 7.6%.
I am currently receiving unemployment. Do I have to report FWS earnings to the unemployment office?-
Yes. If you are currently receiving unemployment benefits, you should contact the NYS Department of Labor before accepting a FWS job to see how this might affect your benefit rate or continued eligibility for unemployment.