Federal Work Study (FWS) is a need-based employment program. Eligibility is based on the results of your FAFSA.
If you were awarded FWS and you accepted the offer, you are prompted to complete a FWS employment agreement. This agreement is used to help determine your job assignment. Students who have met all their Financial Aid requirements and have completed a Federal Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9) and a W4 tax withholding certificate will generally receive their FWS job assignment in late summer through their CU email.
Students who do not have a valid I-9 on file will be asked to report to the Student Employment Office, Harper Center rm 2054. At that time they will be asked to show an original, unexpired document that proves they can legally work in the US. See below for a link to the I-9 with a list of acceptable documents.
Students must complete and return a FWS agreement so that a job assignment will be reserved for them when they begin the Fall term. Job assignments are mailed out in July to those returning students who have turned in all required Financial Aid documents. New students must pick up their job assignments in the Student Employment Office, Harper Center, rm 2054, during the first 2 weeks of school. At that time they will be required to fill out a federal W-4 form for tax withholding and an I-9 employment eligibility verification form. All new students must bring an official photo ID and a document such as their original social security card or their birth certificate or a US Passport when they check in. No photocopies or faxes please. View the I-9 form for a complete list of acceptable documents.
Job assignments are made for the entire academic year. Students are required to remain in their original assignment for at least one semester before a transfer is considered, unless they are physically unable to perform the work, or their class schedule does not allow for sufficient work hours. Transfers are made only with the approval of the current employing department and the Student Employment Office. Each successive year, FWS students can indicate on their FWS agreement is they wish to return to their prior employing department, or request a new assignment.
FWS is not a credit against the studentís tuition bill. He/she must work for the grant to be realized. All earnings are considered taxable income and must be reported on the student's tax return. Students who work for the university they attend are exempt from FICA withholding (7.65%). Students are encouraged to sign up for automatic deposit, so that their pay checks go directly to their bank.
Most students average 8 hours of work per week, depending on the size of the FWS grant. FWS students are assigned to specific jobs on campus through the Student Employment Office and are paid every two weeks based on the number of hours they have worked in that pay period. Students can work over short breaks, such as Fall and Spring breaks and Thanksgiving. FWS is usually not in effect over Christmas and Summer breaks.
In accepting a FWS job assignment, students are agreeing to assume a normal work relationship with their supervisor. Students may be terminated from their FWS jobs if they fail to maintain satisfactory job performance and attendance. FWS does not allow "study time" on the job.
Hourly pay rates for the Federal Work Study program start at at lease the State of NE minimum wage with regular pay raises with grade level advancement. Grade levels are based on the numbers of academic credits completed (including transfer credits accepted by CU) and officially posted to the Registrar's records.
Freshmen: zero-23 credit hours completed
Sophomores: 24-59 credit hours completed
Juniors: 60-95 credit hours completed
Senior: 96 + credit hours completed
FWS pay raises, based on grade level advancement, will be updated twice each year, once at the beginning of each Fall semester and again at the beginning of each Spring semester.
Federal Work Study wages currently are:
It is always a good idea to know where you stand with your FWS award amount, earnings to date and remaining balance.
Your supervisor gets your earnings reports every payperiod and will share that information with you upon request.
Federal Work Study students can view their earnings to date on the web. Go to your NEST web page, financial aid section. Click "Award Information" then "Award History" for current academic year. Your FWS earnings to date will be in the paid column.
You can also view your paystubs on-line.
Forms for FWS supervisors only: