The Federal College Work-Study Program is a “self-help” financial aid program which enables the college to place eligible students in special jobs which are generally funded 75 percent by the federal government and 25 percent by the college. The primary purpose of this program is to offer financial assistance to students who show a documented need for such aid to attend college. The Federal College Work-Study Program also provides the opportunity for students to work in community service-related fields when appropriate. These are defined as services designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals, or to solve particular problems related to their needs. Emphasis in these jobs is placed on direct contact with the individuals being served.
In addition to allowing students to earn funds to help defray personal and college-related expenses, the Federal College Work-Study Program also provides the opportunity for students to obtain actual work experience, often in an area which is related to their curriculum. Studies have shown that working during college has a positive impact on the students’ career choice and attainment as well as the level of professional responsibility reflected early in their career. In addition, work-study students develop positive relationships with other college students, faculty, and staff. The student’s supervisor may become a valuable reference for post-graduate employment.
Searching for Current Jobs
The supervisor may complete a “Student Employee Performance Appraisal” to be retained in the student’s financial aid file for this purpose. Once the student has been planned work study, he/she will be able to access a referral form on their BannerWeb account. They then go to the Alfred State Career Development Web pages and follow these steps to see what jobs are available for Federal Work Study:
- Go to the Career Development Office Web page
- In the menu at the top of the page, click on JobLink. On this page, click on Students/Alums/Faculty.
- Log in. First time users must register for an account.
- Click on the jobs/internships tab and select Alfred State Job Postings.
- Under the position type drop down, select Work Study.
- Then click on the search button.
After students have searched the jobs and found one that they wish to apply for, they will take the referral form from their BannerWeb to the person listed on the job posting as proof of being work study eligible. If they are hired for the position, the student and supervisor must complete the required referral form and I-9 employment form. The student must also complete the W-4 form, State Tax form (2104 or 2104E), and the Retirement Election form. All forms must be returned to the Student Records and Financial Services Office so the information can be entered into the payroll system before the first paycheck can be issued. Time cards will then be mailed to the department coordinator.
Work Schedule and Expectations
It is the student’s responsibility to set up a work schedule with the supervisor, taking into consideration his/her class schedule. The average work-study position is approximately five-and-one-half hours per week at the current prevailing federal minimum wage. There is no paid credit for missed time, sick time, or meal breaks. According to NYS Labor Law, Article 5, an employee is required to take a 30-minute unpaid lunch break after a six-hour work span.
Student employees are expected to respect their work-study position as they would a “regular” job and to conduct themselves in a professional, businesslike manner. The following rules apply:
- The work schedule must be adhered to once it has been established. If a student is unable to report to work due to illness, it is his/her responsibility to call the supervisor as soon as possible (no later than the scheduled starting time), so arrangements can be made. It is also expected that the student will report to work on time, as tardiness will not be permitted. If a student must request time off, that individual should request this as soon as possible from the supervisor so that an adequate replacement or an alternate work time can be arranged.
- Student employees are expected to operate in an ethical manner. An area of special concern is that of confidentiality of situations and interactions that must always be respected. Questions about what is considered confidential should be directed to the student’s supervisor.
- If not stated specifically by the supervisor, the dress code should be that which is appropriate for the position.
- Though personal calls during the scheduled hours are discouraged, emergencies occur and exceptions will be made. The telephone policy of the department should be discussed with the supervisor. The accompaniment of children, friends, or family to the work site during working hours will not be permitted.
Disciplinary Measures Guidelines
The following guidelines have been established if disciplinary measures are required:
- The student will first be given an oral warning. It is anticipated that most situations can be handled within the department between the student and the supervisor. If the situation reoccurs, it is the responsibility of the supervisor to make the decision to dismiss the student from his/her work-study position and to communicate that decision to the student. The supervisor will then report to the Federal College Work-Study Program Coordinator in writing the reasons for the dismissal and provides the student with a copy of the report.
- If the student has an employment problem, it should be brought to the attention of his/her immediate supervisor. When a problem cannot be resolved in this manner, the student should discuss the problem with the work-study coordinator of the department. It is important that the student deal with the situation in the same manner as he/she would in the outside workplace. If the student chooses to terminate his/her employment for any reason, he/she will be expected to provide his/her supervisor with a one-week notice.
Accidents at Work
In the case of an accident on the job, the student must report this to his/her supervisor immediately and report to the campus Health Center. The campus Human Resources/Payroll Office must also be notified so that a worker’s compensation report can be filed. This is authorized under Chapter 1050 of the Laws of 1955 by the State of New York.
Keeping Track of your Time
Time cards are to be filled out in ink, kept current, and remain in the supervisor’s possession at all times. They are to be signed and dated by both the student and supervisor prior to submission to the Payroll Office for processing of payment. The student and supervisor must initial any changes. Student payroll checks will be available, according to the payroll calendar, in the Student Records and Financial Services Office, located on the second floor of the Agriculture Science Building. Time cards must be submitted on time to insure payment according to this schedule. If payroll checks are scheduled to be issued during a break, students may leave a self-addressed, stamped envelope in the Student Records and Financial Services Office for forwarding. The student must notify both the Student Records and Financial Services offices of any change in name or address. The earnings from a Federal College Work-Study position are reported to both the federal and state governments, so the student will receive a W-2 statement annually.
It is the student’s responsibility to review his/her paycheck stub to determine the remaining amount of his/her work-study plan. This is also available to view on Alfred State Portal under plan history.
If any questions arise regarding any of the preceding procedures, please contact the Student Records and Financial Services Office located on the second floor of the Agriculture Science Building, or call 607-587-4253.
Coordinator and Supervisor Guidelines
The work-study coordinator for the department is responsible for developing the position descriptions, preparing the annual department allocation, and presenting the request for an individual student employee. These tasks are completed each spring for the upcoming school year. All correspondence with the Student Records and Financial Services Office regarding the Federal College Work-Study program will be directed through the individual department’s coordinator. Therefore, if the need arises for an additional work-study allocation, this request will be the responsibility of the department coordinator.
The supervisor is responsible for training the work-study students they hire. It is the supervisors right to expect the students to respect their work-study position as they would a “regular” job and to conduct themselves in a professional manner. These responsibilities are outlined for the student in the Student Employee Section. However, the following tips for supervisors are suggested:
- State the expectations clearly - these would include job requirements and procedures, expected demeanor and ethical conduct, and dress code, if required. It is also important to inform the student of the consequences of not meeting these expectations.
- State a policy for the student to follow if it is necessary for the student to request time off or if the student will be reporting late for work.
- Be firm, yet flexible. By integrating the teaching of responsibility with the completion of work-study tasks, the student is being prepared for the outside work place.
- Provide positive reinforcement for a job well done as well as constructive criticism when needed.
It is the responsibility of the supervisor to make sure that all of the students paper work is filled out and turned in before the student starts work. If a time card is turned in before the paperwork is received, the time card will be returned to the department and the hours worked on that time card will not be covered by Federal College Work Study funds, so the department will have to pay the student. This also applies to a student that goes over their plan.
Also, to help track the students hours, the Federal College Work Study Coordinator will e-mail the supervisor how much the student in their department has earned to that point and how much is remaining of their plan at least two to three times a semester.
Coordinators are responsible for overseeing that the student’s time card is correctly completed and submitted to the Payroll Office on the due date to be processed for payroll.
The late submission of a time card will result in the delay of the student’s paycheck until the next pay period. Incorrect time cards will be returned, a copy of the time card in question, or a phone call will be made to rectify the issue. A student should not be allowed to work without an authorization, even if the student has worked for the supervisor previously and assures them they are eligible. The average student works approximately five and one half hours per week. This allows students to gain knowledge about their position while still allowing ample time for academics.
Campus policy dictates that a student employee may not work more than 20 hours per week during the academic year or 29 hours per week in a summer work-study position.
If a problem arises with a student employee, the following steps should be taken:
- The student should first be given an oral warning. Supervisors are encouraged to keep notes of dates and items discussed during these warnings. Most situations can be handled within the department between the student and the supervisor.
- If these oral warnings are not successful in correcting the situation, it is the supervisor’s responsibility to determine whether to dismiss the student. Notify the Federal College Work-Study Coordinator in writing of the reasons for the dismissal and provide the student with a copy.
In the situation where a student chooses to leave the position, it will be requested that he/she give the supervisor a one-week notice. If the need for the services which this student provided remains, please contact the Student Records and Financial Services Office to request the position be re-posted.
The work-study supervisor may be requested to serve as a reference for the student’s post-graduate employment. For this purpose, and to further prepare the student for his/her career, the supervisor may complete a performance appraisal for each employee. The completed form will be retained in the student’s financial aid file.
Outstanding student employees are recognized on an annual basis through our “Student Employee of the Year” plan program. Nomination forms for this plan will be mailed to each department in February, followed by a reception for the nominees held during the spring semester.
If any questions arise regarding your rights and responsibilities as a student employer or any of the preceding procedures, please contact the Student Records and Financial Services Office located on the second floor (main entrance) of the Agriculture Science Building or call 607-587-4253.