Office of Financial Aid — Work Study Handbook

Work Study Handbook: Information for Supervisors

Hiring Procedures

  1. Setting Up An Account
  2. Interviewing Process
  3. Hiring and Payroll Forms
  4. Scheduling
  5. Summer Employment
  6. Taxes
  7. Benefits

1. Setting Up An Account

Before hiring a work-study student, off-campus employers must first contact the Financial Aid Office to request a work-study contract. On-campus employers use their department account number and either 5400 for Federal Work Study or 5410 for Willamette Work-Study (example: 1-_ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _). Off-campus employers are billed on a monthly basis. To ensure credit to the proper account, all checks should clearly state the organization's name and invoice number.

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2. Interviewing Process

Individual employers determine the manner in which they make their employment decisions; most employers conduct several interviews and select from a pool of applicants. Students should know how much, if any, Federal Work-Study they have been awarded and bring this information to the interview.

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3. Hiring and Payroll Forms

Since financial aid packages are revised annually, employers should remember that a student may not have the same award from year to year. Also, some students may be confused regarding work-study and may claim to be eligible when, in fact, they are not. To determine a student's eligibility and earning limit, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

First-time hires (students who have never been paid through the WU Payroll system before) are required to fill out standard hiring forms: a Federal W-4 form, and an I-9 (Employment Eligibility Form). These forms may be obtained at the Student Payroll Office. These forms must be submitted to the Student Payroll Office within three days of the date of hire or the student cannot continue to work. If a work-study student continues working before the Payroll forms are received, and time sheets are submitted to Payroll, his or her paycheck can be held by the Student Payroll Office.

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4. Scheduling

Once a student is hired, the employer and employee should determine a mutually convenient work schedule. Work-study students may generally work from the Monday of New Student Orientation Week through the last day of final examinations in May, including breaks.

In setting a schedule, employers and students should take careful consideration of not only the student's academic schedule, but also his or her earnings limit. Employers should obtain a copy of the student workers' class schedules; students are not permitted to earn work study funds during their scheduled class times.  Ideally, the student should work the number of hours necessary to reach, but not exceed, the earnings limit by the end of the year. As an example, if a student is awarded $2,000 for the academic year and is paid $8.95 an hour, the student may work approximately 7.4 hours a week and not exceed his/her earnings limit for the academic year. See the Scheduling Guide for more information.

Once a student reaches his/her earnings limit, the student may no longer be employed through the Federal Work Study Program for the remainder of the academic year. Any continued employment would be contingent upon the availability of department funding. Employers are asked to set a weekly limit of 10-15 hours of work per week for each student to ensure that students reach their earnings limit by May. Students scheduled during class breaks may work full time. Please remember that money earned during vacation periods counts towards a student's earnings limit. The Federal Work Study Program is intended to help students offset the cost of their educational program, not to replace employees in a work place.

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5. Summer Employment

Please see Summer Work-Study in the Student section of this website for information about hiring students for the summer.

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6. Taxes

Work-Study income is taxable, and students are required to fill out Federal W-4 forms when hired. At the beginning of each calendar year, student employees will receive a W-2 form from the University, listing their work-study earnings from the previous year. Students should contact the Student Payroll Office at 503-370-6188 if no W-2 is received after February 1.

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7. Benefits

Work-study students do not receive benefits such as sick or vacation leave. Employers must give student employees a minimum thirty-minute lunch/dinner break if scheduled for six or more hours.

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