Financial Aid and Scholarships

Federal Work Study Information for On Campus Employers and Supervisors

The Federal Work Study Program is a financial aid program that promotes part-time employment for undergraduate, credential, and graduate students to help finance their education. By participating in the Work-Study Program, your department can hire student workers and obtain a subsidy for a portion of the students' wages.

Benefits to the Student

By participating in the Work Study Program, you can help students avoid increasing their student loans by earning part of their college costs. In addition to the financial benefits, students can gain valuable work experience and develop transferable skills while in school, putting them in a stronger position to pursue graduate school and/or employment opportunities when they graduate.

Benefits to the Employer

Departments can employ Cal Poly Pomona students for a quarter of the cost with the Work Study subsidy! As an on-campus employer, you have access to a talented pool of job applicants that bring with them diverse personal, academic and career interests that can meaningfully contribute to meeting your department's business needs.

Through Federal Work Study, 75% of a students’ wages are paid with federal funds and 25% are paid by the department that employs them; therefore, the net cost to the department is only 25%.

Effective January 2021, 100% of student earnings will be paid by the Federal Work Study Program (On-Campus employment only), for the remainder of the 2021 Fiscal Year.

Students must have a Work Study offer as part of their financial aid to be hired as a Work Study employee. 

Students must apply via the FAFSA to be considered for Work Study. Due to limited funding, a student must indicate they are interested in FWS on their FAFSA and must file their FAFSA by the March 2nd priority filing deadline.  

Work Study is offered to students based on financial need as demonstrated by the FAFSA; at Cal Poly Pomona, FWS is offered to those students who meet the FAFSA filing requirements, have an EFC of $1,000 or less (for the 2020 - 2021 year), and have financial need, as reflected in their FAFSA.  The initial Work Study offer for eligible students ranges from $3,500 to $5,000.

Students who drop below half-time, graduate, withdraw, are academically dismissed, are not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Financial Aid Applicants, or are otherwise no longer enrolled are no longer eligible for Work-Study. The student's last day of enrollment is their last day of Work-Study eligibility.

The first step in participating in Federal Work Study as an Employer is to create & post a position:

  • Obtain a Student Assistant New Position Request form Budget Services.
  • Match your job description and pay rate to the defined job titles.
  • Determine the rate of pay for the position using the pay classification standards – available on the Student Payroll website.   Note that Federal Work Study positions must be paid the same rate given to Non-Federal Work Study student employees doing the same type of work.
  • Post the position on Handshake, Cal Poly Pomona's job board
We understand that navigating the various steps in On-Campus Student Employment process can be complex. the Career Center has provided helpful resources to assist on-campus student employers.

Student and Employer Work Study Eligibility

Students must have a Work Study offer as part of their financial aid package to be hired as a Work Study employee, and departments must register the job with Budget Services and Payroll.

Students who graduate, withdraw, are academically dismissed, or are otherwise no longer enrolled are no longer eligible for Work Study. The student's last day of enrollment is their last day of Work Study eligibility.

The following steps must be completed each year – regardless of whether or not the student is continuing in a position from a prior year:

  • Confirmed the student’s FWS eligibility (request a copy of their Financial Aid Summary showing the Federal Work Study offer).
  • Complete Section C of the Employment Agreement. (The student needs to complete Section A and B). Be sure to select the appropriate Job Title.
  • Direct the student to Human Resource Services Center located in the Student Services Building, Bldg 121-West, Room 2700.  For a listing of what is required, review the university’s New Employee Sign Up page.
  • The student cannot begin working until all employment documents have been submitted to Human Resources and you've received the clearance form from Human Resources.
  • You must complete a new job listing every year for any job you are filling.
  • You must complete a new Employment Agreement each fall and summer or the first semester the position is available for a Federal Work Study student, even if you are keeping the same student worker(s).

Students are paid for the hours they work each month; paychecks are typically issued on the 15th of every month.

  • You must submit the Student Assistant Time Report (CD048) to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by the due date each month.
  • Pay periods do not always fall within a calendar month, so follow the Pay Period Schedule.
  • Late or incomplete timesheets result in late paychecks.
  • Federal Work Study students are not entitled to benefits such as overtime pay, paid holidays, paid vacation, paid sick leave, unemployment insurance or permanent status.
  • Students cannot work more than 20 hours during times when class is in session; during scheduled breaks (winter break, spring break) students can work up to 40 hours.
  • Federal Work Study wages are subject to State and Federal taxes. Your student will receive a W-2 at the end of each calendar year.

A student’s Work Study earnings limit is the maximum gross amount of potential Work Study earnings. It takes into account both the department share and the Work Study share. If a student earns more than this amount, the department is responsible for paying 100% of additional costs. A Work Study earnings limit can increase or decrease at any time during the award year based on changes to a student’s financial aid. It is not a guaranteed amount for the award year.

  • Think of the earnings limit as a snapshot of the current Work Study offer based on the student's financial aid package and eligibility at the time of referral.
  • Any updates that change the Work Study offer will trigger an auto generated email notification to the student and employer that includes the updated earnings limit.

Examples of why a Work Study offer can change include

  • Student receives additional financial aid which reduces Work Study eligibility
  • Student has an incomplete financial aid task
  • Student accepts another Work Study job
  • Student converts loans to Work Study or Work Study (unearned) to loans
  • Student is no longer enrolled

A student may begin earning Work Study on the first day of classes, provided all paperwork has been completed. Please note:  Students who hold a conditionally classified status, such as qualifying for credential or qualifying for master's, are ineligible for Work-Study.

  • For an academic year offer, a student may work from the first day of classes in August through the last day of finals in the spring semester in May.
  • For a fall only offer, a student may work from the first day of fall classes in August through the last day of finals for the fall semester.
  • For a spring only offer, a student may work from the first day of spring classes in January through the last day of finals for the spring term.
  • Summer Work Study requires a separate application and approval from the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.

A student may earn up to their Work Study offered amount during the academic year, half each semester. Students may work up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session and up to 40 hours per week when classes are not in session (i.e., Spring Break).

Conditions of Employment for students:

A student must stop working immediately if any of the following conditions apply to them:

    • When they reach their Earnings Limit
    • If they have a financial aid hold (check BroncoDirect)
    • If they drop below half-time enrollment at any time during the semester
    • If they are no longer eligible for aid under the Cal Poly Pomona Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for aid applicants.
    • If they are graduating, they must stop working on the last day of finals for the semester
    • If they are not graduating, they must stop working on the last day of finals for the semester (not the last day of the pay period).

Unearned Fall Semester amounts

If a student does not earn up to their full Earnings Limit during the fall semester, they can use unearned amounts in the spring — but they cannot be automatically carried over to the summer period.

Note: Effective January 2021, 100% of student earnings will be paid by the Federal Work Study Program for the remainder of the 2021 Fiscal Year (On-Campus and ASI/Foundation employers will not be billed the 25%).

Departments / On Campus Employers

  • You are billed 25% of the student's total pay each month by Budget Services.
  • At the end of the month, the charges will appear on your department's monthly report.
  • You do not need to send a payment as these charges are credited from your designated work-study account.
  • For questions or assistance regarding billing, please contact Manisha Desai, Billing Specialist at 909-869-2024

ASI-Foundation Accounts

  • You are responsible for 25% of the student's total pay each month.
  • University Financial Service's Billing Department will send you a monthly invoice.
  • Payment will be due upon receipt of the invoice.

  • To clearly define employment expectations and standards.
  • Keep a copy of the Job Listing you submitted on Handshake and review with your Federal Work Study students when they begin work.
  • To ensure that a Federal Work Study student does not begin working until all employment documents have been submitted to Human Resources and the student receives a clearance form from Human Resources.
  • To respond to all requests from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships in a timely manner.
  • To sign all Timesheets and Student Assistant Attendance Reports and submit paperwork by the date and time due each month. Remember, you are verifying the student worked the hours recorded when you sign the Student Assistant Time Report (CDO48).
  • To monitor the student’s earnings against their allocation each month to make sure they do not exceed the maximum for any semester. We have supplied an FWS Balance form that you can download and use for this purpose.
  • To pay 25% of all Federal Work Study earnings (America Reads and America Counts jobs are exempt of this requirement) – unless an exemption has been announced by the university.
  • To pay for 100% of any earnings you allow a student to work in excess of the semester's Federal Work Study allocation.
  • To ensure no student is denied work or subjected to treatment under this program agreement on the grounds of race, color, national origin or gender.

In accordance with Federal Regulations, employment under the Work Study Program must follow the specific guidelines and conditions as outlined below.
  1. Undergraduate students must be paid hourly wages; however, graduate students can be paid hourly or on a salary.
  2. Work must be regulated by employment conditions, including wages that are appropriate for the type of work, the geographic location, and proficiency of the employee.
  3. Students must be paid at least the federal, state, or local minimum wage, whichever is higher.
  4. Work Study employment must not displace employees and must not impair any existing service contracts. This includes filling jobs that are vacant because employees are on strike. Replacement is interpreted as displacement- You cannot replace a full-time employee, whose position was eliminated, with a student who is paid Work Study funds.
  5. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, prohibits employers (including schools) from accepting voluntary services from any paid employee. Any student employed under the Work Study Program must be paid for all hours worked. Volunteer work is not permitted. Work without pay is in direct violation of the conditions of Work Study employment.
  6. Students are not permitted to work during scheduled class times. Exceptions include: When a class is cancelled:
    1. An Instructor has excused the student from attending during a particular day
    2. The student is receiving credit for their employment in an internship or externship
    3. Any exceptions must be documented
  7. A student may earn academic credit as well as compensation for Work Study jobs. However, a student employed in a Work Study job and receiving academic credit for that job may not be paid less than he or she would be if no academic credit were given.
  8. Work Study does not subsidize fringe benefits such as sick leave, vacation pay, holiday pay, or employer’s contributions to Social Security, workers’ compensation, retirement, any kind of leave or any other welfare or insurance program. Please note that students may be eligible for these types of benefits; however, they are disallowed benefits under the Work Study Program. If such costs are incurred, the department covers 100% of the cost.
  9. You must maintain timesheet records of all hours worked by student workers. Timesheets must:
    1. Be certified by the supervisor/ school official
    2. Show the hours a student worked during each day and the total worked during each pay cycle
    3. Match the hours for which the student is paid
  10. Solicitation or acceptance of gifts, fees, or commissions as a condition for a student’s work-study employment is prohibited.