Student Federal Work Study Program (FWSP) Q & A

What is the Federal Work Study Program (FWSP)?

FWSP is a Financial Aid program that allows student to earn money while working part-time. The program provides part-time job opportunities to students who demonstrate financial need and are awarded funds as part of their Financial Aid package. The purpose of the Federal Work Study Program is to assist students with educational expenses. It is funded through Federal Financial Aid.

How is my eligibility determined?

When students complete the FAFSA, they must indicate they are interested in Federal College Work Study, where appropriate on the FAFSA application. A student’s Financial Aid package will only include a FWSP grant if the student is eligible and has indicated an interest in FWSP. The number of hours a student is permitted to work each week is based solely on the student’s Financial Aid package and FWSP grant amount. If a student is interested in FWSP and does not know if s/he is eligible for the grant, s/he can go to the Financial Aid Office to inquire.

How do I apply for a FWSP grant?

To Apply for a Federal Work Study Program grant, you must:

• Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov

• Indicate on the FAFSA you are interested in Federal College Work Study.

FWSP grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis.  Funding is limited; students should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible for each academic year.

How will I know I have been awarded a FWSP grant?

You will receive an award letter from NCCC listing all of the Financial Aid being offered to you, including your FWSP grant, if you were awarded one. The grant must be reapplied for every academic year when you complete your FAFSA.

How will I know it’s time for me to look for a FWSP job?

Students who have been awarded work study will receive directions in the mail no later than August 1st for those entering in the fall semester and December 31 for those entering in the spring semester. You will be provided a list of information sessions and you will be required to select one you wish to attend to get further information.

How do I find a FWSP job?

The process is the same as it is when you search for any job.

• After choosing an office or department from the list below, you should apply directly to that individual department for employment. All contact information appears in the list of positions below.

• Once hired, the Human Resources packet you get at the information session must be brought in person to the Human Resources Office (A-261), along with your driver’s license and social security card. This must be done before the hiring process is complete.

• Next you will bring the Authorization To Work form back to the supervisor who agreed to hire you, which both of you will read and sign. This is your employment contract. The supervisor will then send this form to Student Development. You absolutely cannot begin working until these documents are submitted. Keep in mind that an office may elect to hire another worker if you do not complete your paperwork in a timely fashion.

You can search for available Work Study positions here.

How many hours can I work each week?

Your FWSP award is a fixed amount of money available to you for the academic year. The amount of your award dictates how many hours you can work each week for the academic year. For example, a $3000 Work Study award allows the student to work 12 hours each week while a $2000 award allows the student to work 8 hours, from the first week in September until the end of exam week in May.

How will my hours be scheduled?

The schedule will be determined by you and your supervisor. Normally, you will set up your work schedule around your class schedule. It is expected that you will work your assigned hours or give adequate notice if you are unable to do so. New York State Labor Laws require that after 6 hours in one shift, you must take a 30 minute lunch break. This break is unpaid.

Students may not earn more than the award amount granted. It is your responsibility to monitor your earnings to date to ensure you DO NOT EXCEED YOUR AWARD. You may elect to earn less than the awarded amount, but the amount may not be increased without the permission of the Financial Aid Office.

What if I don’t like my job and I want a different one?

If you want to terminate your current job, you should let your supervisor know that is what you want to do. Normally, giving your supervisor two weeks notice that you wish to vacate the position is the standard in the workplace. You are welcome to try to find a new Work Study job, but there are no guarantees that you will be able to do so because all positions might be full.

How do I get paid?

You get paid via direct deposit into your bank account, every two weeks. A common misconception is that the money gets applied toward your tuition, but that is not the case. You will be paid, just as you would at any other job. Students working on campus make $7.25 an hour. Students working off-campus, in a community service position, make $7.75 an hour.

Student must complete timesheets by the deadline to be paid on time. The Payroll schedule and timesheets will be provided at the information session all students are required to attend before beginning working. All documents provided at the information session must be completed before a student begins working. These documents ensure you will be paid.

What if I don’t have a bank account?

You will have to set up a bank account to be paid. If you don’t have a bank you are already affiliated with, you are welcome to join the Alliance Credit Union, which has an office on campus in B-103. You will want to go to this office to get information about setting up your account.

What are my responsibilities as a student worker?

This is a job, just like any other, and should be treated as such. Be punctual, call your supervisor if you will be late or if you will not be in, etc. It is not time to do your homework, get your lunch, or text your friends. You can be terminated for poor performance or not showing up, just like any other employment you commit to throughout your life. Likewise, if you wish to terminate this employment at any time, please let your supervisor know as soon as possible. Your FWSP money can only be earned by fulfilling your obligation as an employee. Please be advised that falsifying your time card is a serious offense which will result in your dismissal from your job and the program as well.
You are expected to work the hours agreed upon by you and your supervisor. Discuss with your supervisor the procedure to follow if you need to reschedule your hours due to illness or other another emergency. It is expected that you will give adequate notice if you are unable to work your scheduled hours. Failure to do so could result in a poor evaluation or even dismissal from your job. You are required to:

• Provide your supervisor with a copy of your class schedule. Students are prohibited from working during scheduled class time. If you are working while you should be in class, you will lose your work study award.

• Complete and return the Human Resources packet and return it to the Human Resources Office, A-261, prior to beginning work. You absolutely cannot work until all necessary document are turned in. The packet is available in Student Development, A-131 or in the Human Resources Office, A-261.

• Submit a timesheet to your supervisor by the date indicated on the Payroll schedule if you wish to be paid according to the schedule. You will be paid every 2 weeks. You must complete the Direct Deposit form on the back of your Human Resources packet to ensure payment.

Read and sign the Authorization to Work. This is your employment contract. This must be signed by Human Resources when you submit your Human Resources packet, and then it will be turned in to your supervisor when s/he agrees to hire you.

Your FWSP money can only be earned by fulfilling your obligation as an employee. Please be advised that falsifying your time card is a serious offense which will result in your dismissal from your job and the FWSP program, thus denying access to the remainder of your award.
You are expected to work the hours discussed by you and your supervisor. Discuss with your supervisor the procedure to follow if you need to reschedule your hours due to illness or other emergency. It is expected that you will give adequate notice if you are unable to work your scheduled hours. Failure to do so could result in a poor evaluation or even dismissal from your job.
You are also expected to perform your duties, as outlined by your supervisor, in a mature and professional manner. Please ask your friends to respect your responsibilities as an employee and not visit you while working. Different departments will have different expectations relating to appropriate dress, eating while working, telephone procedures, safety procedures, confidentiality issues, and so on.

If you are unsure about your supervisor’s expectations concerning these or any other issues regarding your employment, it is important that you ask questions.

What should I expect from my supervisor?

It is important to establish a good working relationship with your supervisor. This person is depending on YOU to do your job in a satisfactory manner. Student workers are an important part of the campus workforce. Your supervisor is someone you could use as a job reference later on, and your FWSP job could be added to your resume when you seek employment elsewhere.
You should expect your supervisor to make their expectations clear about your tasks. Referring back to the written job description is a good place to start. If you are unsure about what your supervisor expects, you should ask. Remember that you are expected to conduct yourself as a professional.
You should expect your supervisor to fairly evaluate your performance and provide you with feedback, not only in areas where improvement is desirable or required, but also in areas where you have performed well. A FWSP job, like your class work or other employment, is a learning experience. Let your supervisor help you become a more effective employee. Accept constructive feedback as a natural part of the employment process, not as a punishment.

What can I do to present myself professionally when I am searching for a work study position?

There are a number of tools available through Student Development to assist you in presenting yourself as a professional. Some examples:

• Putting together a cover letter resume for your prospective supervisor’s review is a good way for him/her to know you’re serious about securing the position and you’re a prepared job seeker.

• Getting feedback on your interview skills will help you to be more prepared when you interview for the position.

• Attending workshops on basic employment skills and professionalism will help you to gain a clearer image of what is expected of you in the workplace.

Come to the Student Development Office in A-131 or call 716.614.6490 to find out what workshops are currently available.

Any other questions will be answered at the information session you attend. Student workers make valuable contributions to the campus community every day and we are grateful to have you.

Thunderwolves