Paying Work-Study Students
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) award amount reflected on the student’s Work-Study Verification represents the gross amount the student may earn per semester. The FWS Program will reimburse eligible employers 70% of wages paid to a FWS student as long as the student’s earnings do not exceed the amount of the FWS award. For example, on her Work-Study Verification, Misty Abbott’s Fall FWS award is $1400. If Misty works 10-12 hours per week, by semester’s end she will most likely have earned all of her $1400 award and her employer will most likely have been reimbursed $980 (70% of $1400) by the FWS Program.
The FWS Program will also reimburse eligible employers for 100% of wages paid to FWS students employed as reading tutors for children in pre-school or elementary school, OR reading tutors in a family literacy program that provides services to children from infancy through elementary or to their parents or caregivers, OR math tutors for children in grades K-9. These tutor positions must be reviewed and approved by the Work-Study Office (see the Pay Rates and the FWS Share section of Work-Study Policies.)
The required documentation for reimbursement (see below) must be completed and submitted to the Work-Study Office no later than 15 days after the FWS student has been paid by your agency and 30 days after the end of the semester (see the Important Dates). If your agency cannot comply with this schedule, please contact the Work-Study Office. Delinquent Billing Statements will jeopardize your agency’s participation in the FWS program as well as your agency’s reimbursement.
Required documentation for reimbursement includes:
- Each FWS student’s Work-Study Timesheetwith original signatures.
- Photocopy of each FWS student’s paystub.
- Paycheck Receipt Formfor each FWS student, EXCEPT for those whose paychecks are direct deposited to their accounts AND whose pay stubs confirm the direct deposit. Regulations require that compensation be made directly to students according to their request (e.g. paper check or direct deposit). The student’s pay stub and Paycheck Receipt Form serve as proof of compliance.
- Billing Statementreflecting the names, listed in alphabetical order, of those FWS students paid by your agency during the billing cycle. This form includes the amount your agency is asking to be reimbursed for a particular month. The University of Texas at Austin Office of Accounting refuses to process Billing Statements that contain white-out or errors that have been marked through. Please pay close attention to detail when completing the Billing Statement.
It is the employer’s responsibility to download and print copies of the Work-Study Timesheet and Billing Statement as needed from the Off-Campus Employer Forms page. All forms submitted to the Work-Study Office for reimbursement must bear the signature of the FWS student’s supervisor and/or the payroll accountant who processed the forms.
All packets submitted to our office for reimbursement must be complete. Complete reimbursement paperwork consists of the Billing Statement and the following documents for each student listed: Off-Campus Work-Study Timesheet with original signatures, photocopy of pay stub, and Paycheck Receipt Form EXCEPT for those whose paychecks are direct deposited and pay stubs confirm the direct deposit. Please review the sample documents on the Forms page with your Work-Study supervisors and payroll accountant.
“An institution must pay a Work-Study student at least once a month.”
–Federal Work-Study Regulation 34 CFR 675.76
A weekly record of time worked by students is required by federal regulations. A Work-Study Timesheet, with original signatures of the supervisor and the student, must be submitted each month for each student who is employed. No agency time sheets will be accepted in lieu of the Work-Study Timesheet. The supervisor’s signature certifies that the student has worked the number of hours reported and performed the assigned job in a satisfactory manner.
Each employer is responsible for documenting the time students start and stop their daily work schedule. Students cannot work during the time period when they are scheduled to be in class.
Please note that FWS Regulation 34 CFR 675.24 states, “FWS students must be paid on an hourly wage basis for actual time on the job”. If a student is hired during the latter part of the month, a Work-Study Timesheet with original signatures must be submitted for that month even if the student has worked only a few hours. Please do not, however, send zero Timesheets. Timesheets with original signatures must be submitted to the Work-Study Office no later than 15 days after the FWS student has been paid, and 30 days after the end of the semester (see Important Dates).
FWS Regulation 34 CFR 675.19 states: “The FWS student’s timesheet must include: certification by the student’s supervisor” that the student has worked and earned the amount being paid; and a time record showing the “total hours worked per day”. Any Timesheets submitted without the supervisor’s original signature will not be honored and will be returned to the agency. Photocopies of Timesheets cannot be accepted due to the risk of duplicate payment and FWS audit requirements.
Located in the Forms and Sample Forms section are a sample Work-Study Timesheet and a sample Billing Statement. These sample documents are provided to assist employers in completing the forms correctly. Please review these sample documents carefully. Errors on these forms can be very time-consuming and may require corrections on the student’s Timesheets for the following pay period.
«TIP» Audit the Work-Study Timesheet before signing. This will eliminate errors before the student is paid.
«TIP» Have FWS students sign-in and sign-out each block of time worked. This log will make the Work-Study Timesheet easier to complete and verify.
In order to comply with Federal regulations governing the FWS program, the Work-Study Office has found it necessary to implement the following procedures for handling delinquent paperwork:
- 1st Delinquent Noticewill be sent when Billing Statements, Work-Study Timesheets, copies of students’ pay stubs, and Paycheck Receipt Forms are 2 weeks overdue.
- 2nd Delinquent Noticewill be sent when employers fail to respond by the due date on the 1st Delinquent Notice.
- 3rd Delinquent Noticewill be sent when the employer has failed to respond to the 2nd Delinquent Notice. This notice will inform the employer that participation in the Federal Work-Study Program has been terminated.
Employers who are consistently late in providing required paperwork (Billing Statement, Off-Campus Work-Study Timesheet, pay stub, Paycheck Receipt Form) may be terminated from participation in the Federal Work-Study program at the discretion of the Work-Study Office, even if they have never received a 2nd or 3rd delinquent notice.
Once terminated, the employer must make a formal appeal to the Work-Study Office for reinstatement into the Federal Work-Study Program.
If a student earns the total amount of the FWS award prior to the end of the award period, the agency may wish to continue its work relationship with the student. This is considered additional employment, not another Work-Study position, which means the employer will not be eligible for reimbursement of the student’s wages by the Work-Study Office. Income earned in the non-Work-Study position will be treated as base-year income and will be counted toward next year’s student contribution for financial aid.
«TIP» Before accepting additional employment, the student may want to discuss the implications of such employment with their financial aid counselor.