Title IV School Code: 003658
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Work-Study Policies

In order to establish eligibility for Federal Work-Study (FWS) or Texas College Work-Study funding at The University of Texas at Austin, a student must:
  • Show documented financial need every year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Need is determined by an analysis of financial resources available to the student.
  • Be awarded Federal Work-Study on the Work-Study Verification (WSV).
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy standards as set by the Office of Student Financial Services.
  • Students must be Texas residents to be eligible to receive funds from the Texas College Work-Study Program.
A student must maintain at least half-time enrollment in regular UT coursework at all times:
Fall or Spring Summer*
Undergraduate 6 hours 6 hours
Graduate 5 hours 3 hours
Law 7 hours 3 hours
*Student must be enrolled in both summer sessions
Please note that per FWS Regulation 34 CFR 675.16, "FWS funds may not be used to pay for work performed after the student withdrew." Students must remain enrolled as noted above in order to qualify for participation in the FWS program. Because it is impossible to monitor enrollment in UT Extension or Distance Education coursework, such hours cannot be included in the studentís total number of hours for Work-Study eligibility purposes.
  • Even if a student meets all the above-mentioned criteria, they may still be barred from participating in the FWS Program (e.g., when a student has a record of serious misconduct with a previous FWS employer).
«TIP» Remind your students to re-apply for financial aid early every year (no later than March 15).

The FWS award amount represents the total gross amount the student may earn per semester. For example, Sue Studentís pay rate is $8.00/hour. In order for Sue to earn her $1400 Fall FWS award, she must work 175 total hours (175 x $8 = $1400). This means Sue must work an average of 14 hours per week. Employers may easily verify the FWS award amount during the job interview by asking to see the studentís Work-Study Verification (WSV).
Students continue to receive large FWS awards, resulting in a greater likelihood that all FWS funds will be spent. For this reason, employers are strongly encouraged to hire their FWS students early and then promptly assign them in HRMS to secure funding for the position.
Students are never allowed to earn more than the amount of their Work-Study award. Work-Study funds cannot be used for hours paid in excess of the award. FWS Regulation 34 CFR 673.5 states: "An institution may fund a student's FWS employment with FWS funds only until the amount of the FWS award has been earned or until the student's financial need, as recalculated under paragraph (d)(1) of this section (due to unexpected resources received by the student), is met."
A Work-Study Balance Sheet is available to help students and employers determine the amount of Work-Study earned-to-date. Employers may also look at the Work-Study Section of the student's Assignment in HRMS to determine total award and remaining earnings. The student and the employer are responsible for monitoring FWS gross earnings.
«TIP» Review the student's Work-Study Balance Sheet immediately after each payroll.

Occasionally, the Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS) may reduce the student's FWS award upon learning of additional resources, e.g. scholarships or tuition waivers. If a student withdraws or drops below half-time, a reduction may also be made. Employers are notified of the revision via e-mail or telephone (the revision will also be reflected in the Work-Study Section of the student's Assignment.) The notification enables employers to determine the amount of FWS award remaining to be earned so that the student will not earn more than the award amount.
In the case of less than half-time enrollment or withdrawal from UT, employers will be notified of the date the student was last eligible to work as a Work-Study employee, and advised that any hours the student worked after that date must be paid 100% by the employer.

The award periods (also known as employment dates) are the times during which students may earn their FWS award. Students may never begin their FWS job prior to the start of the award period or continue to work after the award period ends.
Employment Dates for 2015-2016:
FALL 2015: September 1 - December 31
SPRING 2016: January 1* - May 17
*January 1 for Non-Academic Student Titles; January 16 for Academic Student Titles
The last day a department may hire a Work-Study student each semester is as follows:
FALL 2015: September 30
SPRING 2016: March 1s
A student's FWS award is meant to be earned over the entire award period -- it is unacceptable for a student to earn the full award in the first half of that period.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) students are employed on campus in a variety of positions. These include but are not limited to clerical assistants, data entry operators, photographers, artists and laboratory research assistants. Work-Study students must have the same qualifications as non-FWS individuals applying for the same jobs. Students employed in academic and non-academic positions have specific classifications, job codes, and pay ranges which can be found on the University's Student Employee website.
FWS Regulation 34 CFR 675.18 states: "A school must use at least 7% of its FWS allocation" for students employed in community service jobs. This must include at least one FWS student hired as reading tutor for children in preschool or elementary school, or one FWS student involved in family literacy activities.
Some FWS on-campus positions have met the definition of Community Service in past years. That designation continues to be important because in the event that FWS funds become limited, those positions designated as Community Service, Reading Tutor, or Math Tutor will be approved first.
Community Service positions usually support on-campus departments involved in programs designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals. Community Service positions also include FWS positions that: 1) are located in a University tutoring program or daycare center that is accessible to the greater Austin community; 2) provide mentoring for educational and recreational activities, or counseling (including career counseling) when these services are made available to the greater Austin community; 3) are affiliated with campus programs that provide supportive services to University students with disabilities; 4) are located in museums.
Beginning 2008-2009, the definition of Community Service was expanded to include FWS positions that educate the public about evacuation, emergency preparedness, emergency response, injury prevention strategies related to natural disasters, acts of terrorism, etc., and encourages civic participation.
In the past, Community Service positions have been identified in the University Outreach Center, School of Social Work, School of Nursing, the Charles A. Dana Center, the Department of Psychology Children's Research Lab, and the College of Pharmacy Pharmaceutics Division. If your department is involved in research, outreach or provides another valuable service that benefits the community at large, you may have a Community Service position!
«TIP» Contact the Human Resource Services (HRS) at (512) 471-5824 for more information on job classification.
«TIP» When creating a new job description in the Hire a Work-Study database, pay close attention to those questions concerning Community Service.

Students employed under the FWS Program are never paid on a salary, commission or fee basis (this includes variable pay rates of any kind). They are paid instead on an hourly basis for their actual time spent on the job at a rate of pay determined by Human Resource Services (HRS). Most jobs pay more than minimum wage depending upon the student's experience and skills.
Per HEA 488A(d), a student's FWS wages may only be garnished to pay costs of attendance the student owes the school during the period of the award. Schools, and thus FWS employers, must oppose any garnishment order they receive for any other type of debt.
FWS regulation 34 CFR 675.76 requires that FWS students be paid at least once per month. The FWS share of wages paid to students employed under the FWS program shall not exceed 70% except in those cases where the Work-Study Office has reviewed and approved the position as:
  • A Reading Tutor for children in pre-school or elementary school or
  • A Reading Tutor in a family literacy program that provides services to children from infancy through elementary or to their parents or caregivers or
  • A Math Tutor for children in grades K-9
For the eligible tutor positions above, the FWS share will be 100%. This also includes up to 20 hours of tutor training. The government share will be 70%, however, for any tutor training hours beyond 20. This is because the goal is to spend funds for FWS students to interact with the children, not for other activities.
Employers are not eligible to receive Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds for hours worked:
  1. In excess of the student's FWS award
  2. Prior to the start or after the end of the Award Period
  3. Beyond 8 hours per 24-hour period
  4. Beyond 19 hours per week, or 40 hours per week during those times within the Award Period when classes are not in session (e.g., Spring Break)
FWS funds may not be used by the student's employer to provide benefits such as sick leave, vacation or holiday pay. Also, FWS funds must never be used by the student's employer to pay the employer's contribution to Social Security, Worker's Compensation, retirement, or any other welfare or insurance program.

FWS students cannot be assigned to a position for more than 19 hours per week. In addition, no student can ever work more than eight hours in any 24 hour period or more than forty hours per week.

The Quantity of Work guidelines were established to help students achieve balance between their schoolwork and their job(s). Finding the right balance is the key to maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Employers are strongly encouraged to follow the Quantity of Work Guidelines:
For undergraduate students, the total number of credit hours plus the number of work hours for which a student is appointed per week cannot exceed 40. This includes all jobs the student may hold, on- and off-campus. The Quantity of Work Guidelines do not change for the summer semester.
Example: 40 total hours
minus 12 credit hours
minus 15 hours @ McDonalds
equals 13 hours @ Work-Study job
For graduate students, the Graduate School and the International Office limit employment to 20 hours a week for both domestic students (in their first two long session semesters) and international students. After their first two long session semesters, domestic students may work in any title at UT, academic or non-academic for a total of 30 hours a week. Summer employment for all graduate students is limited to an average of 30 hours per week over both summer sessions.
  Updated 24 November 2014