Work Study Student Employment
Appendix to Policy
This appendix is designed to assist hiring authorities and University departments with their recruitment and staffing needs and questions for hiring students with work-study funding for on-campus employment. For employment dates for use of work study funds, see the Office of Human Resources web site. Failure to adhere to work study employment requirements may be cause for your department to be charged 100 percent of a WS student’s earnings.
About Work Study
Work-Study (WS) earnings are limited to each student’s total award. The Office of Student Finance determines a student’s award based on the individual needs of the student and the amount the state and federal WS money allocated to the University.
Be aware that student’s Work-Study awards can change throughout the school year. Student’s financial aid records are reviewed each semester to ensure that all students are meeting Office of Student Finances eligibility requirements. Students who are not meeting these requirements may have their WS award reduced. The Office of Student Finance notifies students of changes in their award amounts. The student is responsible for communicating an award change to you, their supervisor/employer.
Student Eligibility Requirement
- Student enrollment as an undergraduate or graduate student is required for obtaining and continuing in an on-campus student employment position. Students who graduate or leave school will no longer be eligible to hold a student employment position.
- Students must be registered for a minimum number of credits. Students who drop below the minimum credit requirements lose their eligibility for a student employment position and are immediately terminated. Employers lose WS funding and are responsible for 100 percent of a WS student’s earnings, retroactive to the beginning of the semester.
- Students who are graduating during the summer and /or are not registered for the fall must register for the minimum credit requirements in the summer.
Minimum Credit Requirements to Hold a Student Job
|Fall and Spring||Summer Session|
Credit Requirement Notes:
- Independent Study credits are not permitted per the state and federal WS program.
- Students with WS funding must be registered during the summer in order to be eligible for student employment.
Once a student is hired, you need to monitor student registration and the Work-Study Error Report to verify eligibility to continue to work.
Hiring a Graduate Student into a Student Position
When hiring a graduate student there are considerations to take into account in determining the correct classification including course registration, hours of work per week, and labor requirements. Work-study monies cannot be used to fund these appointments.
Working more than 14 hours per week and/or more than 67 days per calendar year
- A graduate student who is or will be working more than 14 hours per week and/or more than 67 days per calendar year must be hired into the equivalent labor-represented classification.
- If the graduate student is hired, supporting documentation to include a Minnesota State Retirement System form and an HRIF must be completed for these appointments. In addition to becoming a union employee, deductions of union dues and Social Security, Medicare, and Minnesota State Retirement System withholdings will also be taken.
Working 14 hours or less per week and/or less than 67 days per calendar year
A graduate student who will be or is working 14 hours or less per week and/or less than 67 days per year has two available options based on their current course registration:
- A graduate student may be hired into the appropriate 2xxx student classification provided they are registered and maintain registration of at least 3 credits per semester. Placing the student in a 2xxx series classification will provide exemption from FICA withholdings, provided the student maintains the required credit registration. For this reason the minimum course registration must be strictly followed.
Note: The 2xxx classification series is for STUDENT classifications, not specific to Undergraduate or Graduate with the exception of 9522, 9523, 9512, and 9513 classifications specifically designated for Undergraduates.
- If the graduate student is not properly registered or drops below the required registration of 3 credits, the individual must be hired into a Temporary or Casual appointment.
Work Study Employment Requirements and Important Information
- Work-Study earnings are limited to each student’s total award. The Office of Student Finance determines a student’s award based on the individual needs of the student and the amount the state and federal WS money allocated to the University.
- All students with Work-Study must complete timecards regardless of fixed or flexible appointments. These cards must be retained for five years. State and federal auditors will ask for a random sample of student timecards each year and you may be asked to provide original timecards for the audit.
- Students may continue to work using WS funds during breaks and between semesters if they were properly registered for the previous term and can prove proper registration for the upcoming semester.
- Students may accept more than one position, but WS reimbursement ceases when the student’s total earnings exceed the total WS award. You may ask if the student is seeking or is currently employed in another position using their WS funds. WS awards must then be divided between the two employing departments. How the award is divided between the two employing departments is up to the student. The Work-Study Coordinator will need to assist in splitting the placement of the award in the PeopleSoft Work-Study Placement Panel. Call 612/626-8608 for that assistance.
- Work-Study cannot be used in excess of 40 hours of employment per week, nor to fund: paid holidays, paid sick days, paid parental leave, paid military leave, or paid jury duty.
- The award total, stated on the Student Quick Hire form, is the maximum amount that the student may earn in gross pay during the award period indicated. Note that award amounts can change due to changes in the financial aid package.
- Minimum credit requirements must be maintained. Verification of proper registration must be done each semester by the hiring/employing department.
- There are two separate WS award periods: the Fall/Spring award period and the May/Summer award period. You can verify work study funding for students whose employment crosses award periods.
- The Office of Student Finance will automatically issue May/Summer awards to students who earned Fall/Spring WS and are eligible for financial aid in the summer. Students who did not have WS in the Fall/Spring terms, but are eligible for May/Summer financial aid may request WS from the Office of Student Finance at 612 624-1111. Students who receive May/Summer Work-Study must meet and maintain the same registration requirements for the summer terms as the academic term as indicated under Student Eligibility Requirements.
- Employers of students continuing in a job from the Fall/Spring term into the May/Summer term, may verify the student’s eligibility for student employment and WS funds. It is advisable to confirm the status as students do not always receive the same type of financial aid awards from one award period to the next.
- University contingent checks are not eligible for automatic reimbursement of the 70 percent split. If an employer processes a contingency check for a student employee, the employer must request reimbursement on behalf of the department. Decisions are made based on availability of WS funds and the student’s eligibility.
- Be aware that student’s WS awards can change throughout the school year. Student’s financial aid records are reviewed each semester to ensure that all students are meeting Office of Student Finances eligibility requirements. Students who are not meeting these requirements may have their WS award reduced. The Office of Student Finance notifies students of changes in their award amounts. The student is responsible for communicating an award change to you, their supervisor/employer.
- The amount of the Work-Study award represents the maximum gross earnings for which employing departments will receive Work-Study reimbursement. In other words, the student’s gross earnings are subtracted from the award total each pay period. The employing department will be reimbursed for 70% of the student’s gross earnings for each pay period until the award is gone. For example, if the student has an award of $2700 and works enough hours to earn the entire award, the department will be reimbursed for 70% of $2700. The department will not be reimbursed for any unearned Work-Study funds; this means, if the student does not earn the entire Work-Study award, the department will only be reimbursed for 70% of the student’s actual gross earnings.
- You can verify a work-study award with the student. You must split the Fall/Spring award evenly between Fall and Spring semesters to avoid any charge backs. For example, if you hire a student who has an award of $3000 during the Fall semester, the student can earn $1500 for Fall semester and $1500 for Spring semester. If this student becomes ineligible for student employment after the start of Spring semester, their award would be reduced from $3000 to $1500. Your department would be charged back for any of the student’s earnings in excess of the $1500 Fall semester allotment. By distributing the award evenly over the two semesters, you reduce the risk of exceeding the Work-Study award and incurring a 70% charge back for reimbursement overages.
- Students’ earnings may not be funded by Work-Study for the Official University Holidays listed (see Appendix: Employer's Guide to Student Employment and Work-Study) or emergency closings. If their duties require them to work on holidays or emergency closings, for whatever reason, they must be paid in full from departmental funds.
Pay Provisions during Emergency Closing (Twin Cities)
"Critical" Work-Study Student Employees
Work-study student employees who have been designated as "critical employees" and are required to work during an official emergency closing that falls within their normal work schedule must be paid in full from departmental funds. Work study funds are prohibited from use during an official closing. If a "Critical" work-study student employees will also be awarded equivalent time off at regular pay for hours worked during the official closing. Time off granted under this provision must be authorized and approved by the supervisor and must be taken at a time convenient to the department.
"Non-Critical" Work-Study Student Employees
Non-critical work-study student employees, who are scheduled to work during an official emergency closing, may not be paid with work-study funds for their regularly scheduled hours. Federal regulations prohibit payment of work-study funds during an emergency closing and also for any hours not actually worked. Departments are asked to reschedule Work-Study students for the hours they would have worked during an emergency closing.