Information for Students
What is Work-Study?
The Federal Work-Study program is a need-based program of financial aid providing students an opportunity to work part-time in an approved on-campus or off-campus job. You must have financial need as determined by the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). (For tutoring and other community service jobs, see below.)
What are the eligibility requirements for Work-Study?
Eligibility requirements for a work-study award include being admitted to a degree program, be enrolled at least half-time (six hours for undergraduates and three hours for graduate students), and be making satisfactory academic progress: http://policies.ncsu.edu/regulation/reg-02-70-02. Continuing work-study students who wish to return to their job in the following year need to tell their supervisor.
How do I find a job?
Students with a work-study award may look for jobs on the work-study website beginning in early August:
You may select several jobs and contact the employers to set up an interview. If hired, you need to print your award letter in your employer’s office. You should also provide a class schedule.
How will I be paid?
If hired, you must complete the I-9 hiring form, the state tax withholding form, and the federal tax withholding form. For the I-9 form, your employer will need to see your driver’s license and Social Security card or other qualifying documents.
You will be paid every two weeks for the hours worked in the prior two-week pay period. Federal work-study funds are not applied to your account in the Cashier’s Office. Rather, you are paid directly. If you want to be paid through direct deposit, your employer will give you instructions for that process. If you elect to be paid with a paper check, you must go to the University Payroll Office to pick up your paycheck.
How much can I earn?
Your award letter lists the maximum amount you are allowed to earn in a work-study job. You cannot work over your award amount for the fall semester or for the year. If you do not earn your entire fall amount, it can be carried over to spring term, as long you remain eligible to work. Jobs have variable pay rates. Most employers pay higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Most students can earn their award amount by working 6-8 hours per week if they begin working in August. The typical award is $1,500 per year. If you receive a new scholarship or grant, your work-study award may have to be reduced or canceled. You should review carefully any revised award notice sent to you (via email to your unity address) to see if your work-study award amount has changed. You should immediately report any reduction in your work-study award amount to your employer.
Your employer will help you create a work schedule that does not conflict with your class schedule. You cannot begin work before the first day of a term or continue beyond the last day of the exam period. Your employer will establish with you procedures for dealing with any change to your work schedule (for tardiness, absences, inclement weather, etc.). You can be paid only for actual hours worked. You cannot work more than 20 hours per week.
How do I apply for a community service job?
If you want to apply for one of the community service jobs listed on the website, you still need to contact the employer and if hired, print your award letter in the employer’s office. Next, you need to bring your driver’s license and Social Security card to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) to complete the hiring process. If you want to be paid through direct deposit , you will be given instructions in the OSFA. If you elect to be paid with a paper check, you must go to the University Payroll Office to pick up your paycheck. You will be paid by the OSFA rather than the community service agency. You and your employer will complete your time sheet, and your employer will fax it to the OSFA every two weeks.
Can I change jobs during the year?
You are encouraged to remain in your position for one academic year. As with any job, periods of short employment may raise questions for a future employer. And, your work-study job is an opportunity to establish a good work record for your resume, along with a favorable letter of reference. If you are experiencing any difficulties in your work situation, you are encouraged to discuss your concerns with your employer. If you decide to quit your job, you should give your employer at least one week’s notice of resignation.
If you have conflicts that cannot be resolved to your satisfaction after working with your supervisor, you may contact the Work-Study Coordinator in the OSFA and the Office of Legal Affairs.
Since it is called work-study, does that mean I can study on the job?
No. Federal work-study jobs are not any different from other jobs. You will have a job description and defined tasks to perform. Work-study means you are working to pay for the opportunity to study and obtain an education. It is a real job.
Should I notify the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid if I decide to decline my work-study award?
Yes. Call or write the office if you decide not to work so the funds can be given to another eligible student who wants to participate.