federal Work-study Employees

Federal Work-Study is a federally regulated financial aid program authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965 and subsequent amendments and re-authorizations.

The Federal Work-Study Program provides students financial aid in the form of wages paid to the student for services rendered as a Federal Work-Study employee. As a Federal Work-Study employee, students are paid hourly. This is in accordance with Bluefield College payroll guidelines and as outlined in the FWS contract. Work cannot interfere with the pursuit of the student’s education.

The exact amount of the student’s Federal Work-Study award depends on the demonstrated financial need determined by the Financial Aid office and available funding from the Federal Government.

If the student’s financial aid award letter includes Federal Work-Study, the amount shown is the amount of money the student is eligible to earn during the academic year as a result of work performed and the hours necessary to perform such work.

Completing Required Documents

Before a student can begin working in a FWS position, the appropriate paperwork must be completed to establish a student on the payroll. This paperwork is completed in the Financial Aid Office. It is required that the student employee make an appointment with the Financial Aid Office after they have interviewed with the department and secured a FWS position. At this time, they will complete the necessary FWS contract. Should the Financial Aid Office need to meet with the student during the year, the student will be notified by email.

Work-Study Hours

Depending on the student’s FWS award, students may work up to 20 hours per week, but no more than eight (8) hours in a day during the Fall and Spring terms. Students may work up to 35 hours per week but no more than eight (8) hours a day during the Summer term. Students working six (6) or more consecutive hours MUST take a thirty minute, non-compensated break. This break must be documented on the time sheet. Availability of Federal Work-Study funds and written authorization by the Financial Aid Office will dictate work assignments during the summer. Students are not authorized to work during scheduled class periods. Students should notify their supervisor of their availability, so that work schedules can be arranged around class schedules. Student employees can only be paid for hours worked at their on-campus or off-campus site, which has been designated by the Financial Aid Office.

Steps to Finding a FWS Job and Being Placed on Payroll

  1. Visit the Financial Aid Office to see if you are eligible for Federal Work-Study and find a list of possible Federal Work-Study jobs.
  2. Review the positions and choose those jobs that interest you.
  3. Schedule interviews with supervisors. Be sure to identify yourself as a student who is eligible for Federal Work-Study.
  4. When you find a job, you will need to make an appointment with the Financial Aid Office. At this time, you will receive a FWS contract. You will need to take this contract to your supervisor to complete and return to the Financial Aid Office. After that, you will be provided timesheets and a work-study payroll schedule. You cannot begin working until you have been provided with a start date from the Financial Aid Office. Students who work in non-authorized periods of employment will not be paid from Federal Work-Study funds.
  5. Please visit the Human Resources Office to complete your tax information (e.g., W-4, state withholding, and I-9 forms).
  6. Contact your FWS supervisor to establish a work schedule.

FWS Employee Responsibilities

  1. Complete employment contract with the Financial Aid Office prior to working.
  2. All students must complete the following employment forms and return to the Human Resources Office:
    1. Personal Information Form.
    2. I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form (the student employee must provide eligibility verification from the list of acceptable documents).
    3. W-4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.
    4. VA-4 Employee’s Virginia Income Tax Withholding Exemption Certificate.
    5. WV/IT-104 West Virginia Employee’s Withholding Exemption Certificate.
  3. Fill out timesheets completely and accurately.
  4. Ensure that all timesheets are submitted on or before the due date.
  5. Do not work more hours than you have been awarded as provided on the FWS Agreement.
  6. Perform all duties in compliance with departmental policies.
  7. Notify your supervisor when you are unable to work as scheduled.
  8. Notify your supervisor and the Financial Aid Office in writing prior to terminating employment.
  9. Maintain good academic standing.
  10. Never work during scheduled class time.