Federal Work Study - Division Coordinators Page


Student Employment Handbook

Review the SDSU Center for Human Resources Student Employment Handbook in addition to the following information.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer, download excel.

Forms in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view and print. Adobe PDF icon Download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Division Coordinator Defined

The term "division coordinator" refers to the contact person in a division or agency who is responsible for coordinating information between the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, department supervisors, and student employees. The division coordinator is responsible for—

  • developing job descriptions for student positions in the division,
  • posting, updating, and removing job postings,
  • tracking all students hired in the division,
  • monitoring student earnings throughout the division, and
  • forwarding information regarding FWS policy, procedures, or a specific FWS student's eligibility to work to all affected supervisors and employees.

Generally, each division consists of several departments. Each department supervisor works closely with his/her Federal Work Study (FWS) division coordinator to administer the FWS program in the division.

Who is the Division Coordinator

In most cases, the person responsible for the division's budget assumes the role of the FWS division coordinator. Sometimes, a division coordinator may also assume the role of supervisor if he/she also supervises FWS employees.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the FWS program coordinator at 594-5436.

top of page

The FWS Job Description

The purpose of the Job Description is to establish a written record of the duties and responsibilities of a job for both the student and employer.

Developing a Job Description

A Job Description must be completed for each different type of job within the division. The job description is reviewed by the FWS program coordinator to ensure that FWS regulatory requirements have been met.

Each FWS position should have a Job Description that includes the—

  • name and address of the employer,
  • purpose of the student’s job,
  • student’s duties and responsibilities,
  • job qualification requirements, and
  • name of the supervisor.

Download the Job Description form in Adobe Reader PDF format.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Posting an FWS Position

Division coordinators should contact the FWS program coordinator by e-mail when they wish to post or remove a position. Include in the e-mail the—

  • FWS job number,
  • job code,
  • division number,
  • department ID, and
  • department contact.

Where available jobs are posted

Students can access the list of available jobs from the "Work Study" section of the Web site and from the student's AidLink record work study award.

As a Division Coordinator you have access to the current job list.

Posting newly created positions

If the position is newly created, attach a completed Job Description to an e-mail that you send to the FWS program coordinator.

Posting updated positions

If the job duties and responsibilities for an existing position change, attach a completed revised Job Description to an e-mail to the FWS program coordinator.

Removing posted positions

Send an e-mail to the FWS program coordinator asking that the position posting be removed from the bulletin boards and the job list. It will be done within 72 hours after your request is processed.

top of page

Determining the Hourly Pay Rate

A student’s hourly pay rate should be based on the student’s length of employment at that particular job, prior work experience, or skills related to the position.

Pay rate increases

A pay rate increase should normally occur after one year (or approximately 500 hours) of employment in the same position.

Guidelines for Assigning Federal Work Study Hourly Pay Rates
(Pay Rates from $9.00 to $17.26)
Description No Experience Required:
Entry-Level Pay
Some Experience Required:
Mid-Level Pay
Extensive Experience: Top-Level Pay
Degree of experience and education; special skills Previous experience, education, or specialized skills not required Job-related experience, education, or specialized skills required Extensive job-related experience, education, or skills required
Complexity of tasks Routine tasks which require a brief training period Plans and completes detailed assignments as well as routine tasks Difficult technical tasks; coordinates / completes complex assignments; generates reports
Level of responsibility Limited responsibility where length of service does not increase level of responsibility Initiative, independent judgment; decision-making ability may be required Problem solving and decision making using considerable independent judgment may be required
Degree of immediate supervision Under direct supervision; minimal direction required once trained Requires moderate supervision Minimal supervision needed.

The Hiring Process

1. Determine students' eligibility for FWS

Before seeking FWS employment, students must check their award status on AidLink to determine whether they have an FWS award.

After they login to AidLink, students may view their Award Summary. If they have an FWS award, they can then access an FWS descriptive page. This page has two links to—

  • the page with a list of posted jobs, and
  • the Student Employment Authorization form.
    Note: The form is on the Human Resources Department's Forms / Documents page where there is a link called Employment and Classification.

Note: documents in Excel Format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer. Download Excel Viewer.

Students who are NOT awarded FWS should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to find out if their student loan eligibility can be converted to an FWS award. Converting loan eligibility to FWS is NOT automatic so please refer these students to us.

2. Schedule an interview

Students telephone the department's contact person listed on the job posting to obtain details about the open job and to schedule an interview. During the initial telephone contact, introductory screening can be done to determine if the student—

  • meets the minimum requirements of the position,
  • is eligible for FWS and the amount of his/her award, and
  • continues to show interest in the job.

If mutual interest is established, an interview should be scheduled.

3. Conducting the interview

The student must bring the Student Employment Authorization form he/she downloaded from AidLink to the interview.

The interviewer should explain the department's expectations for the job which should be thoroughly discussed and agreed upon.

4. After the interview

If the interviewer determines the student is suitable and the student accepts an offer for the job, then—

  • the student and interviewer complete and sign the Student Employment Authorization form and submit it to the division coordinator for signature, and
  • the division coordinator provides the student with an employee sign-in packet that includes a schedule of new employee sign-in sessions held at the Center for Human Resources.

5. The sign-in session

The student completes the payroll sign-in process by attending one of the new student employee sign-in sessions scheduled at the beginning of each semester (no reservation needed). If the student is unable to attend one of the prescheduled sessions, he/she may schedule an appointment by calling the Center for Human Resources, (619) 594-7901.

Whether attending an open session or an appointed time, the student should bring the following items to the Center for Human Resources—

  • completed and signed Student Employment Authorization form
  • student's original Social Security card
  • photo identification, and
  • any other documentation specific to the student, as indicated in the sign-in packet

6. When will the student be able to work

The student may not begin working until his/her name appears on the FWS Certification spreadsheet sent to division coordinators.

top of page

The Student's Responsibilities

For the interview

Students are expected to come prepared to the interview and must—

  • bring the Student Employment Authorization form, and
  • know the amount of their FWS award.

When hired

Upon being hired, the student must—

  • complete the payroll sign-in process as described in Item 4 above and in the sign-in packets.

After the student has been cleared by the division coordinator and the Center for Human Resources he/she must—

  • submit the completed Student Employment Authorization form to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for final certification.

Responsibilities of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

The FWS coordinator will review the Student Employment Authorization form for accuracy and completeness.

  • The data from the form is entered into the FWS database.
  • The student’s name and information from the form will be entered onto a spreadsheet.
  • The spreadsheet will be sent daily to division coordinators for dissemination to supervisors.

The Payroll Process

The time sheet

Hours worked are recorded on a standardized time sheet for each payroll period
(download the MS Excel time sheet).

Download the Federal Work Study Signature Authorization form if your division has a new student employee supervisor who will be signing time sheets. (Download in Adobe Reader PDF format.)

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer, download excel.

How to Review the Time Sheet
Item to Check
Check for

Employee Information
  • Name
  • Red ID Number
  • Student Signature

Employer Data
  • Division Number
  • FWS Job Number
  • Job Code
  • Supervisor and Division Coordinator Signature

Hours Recorded
  • Payroll month is correct
  • 20 or less hours a week during school
  • 40 or less hours when school not in session
  • Division coordinator's initials next to hours worked on weekends and university holidays

Incomplete or inaccurate time sheets may result in a late paycheck for the student.

Submitting the time sheets

Time sheets are due in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by 3 pm on the second business day of every month. Students are paid for those hours by the middle of the following month.

Please contact the Work Study coordinator immediately, if you are having trouble submitting your time sheets on the due date.

top of page

Changes in Students' FWS Status

Making changes in pay rates

First the student's supervisor must make sure that the new rate is based on the position's level of responsibility and required experience. Then an e-mail is sent to the division coordinator requesting a pay rate change and the reason for the change.

If the division coordinator agrees with the change, complete section E of the original Student Employment Authorization and forward to the Work Study Coordinator in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Once we processes the pay rate increase, the Student Employment Authorization will be forwarded to the Center for Human Resources.

The completed copy of the Student Employment Authorization must be submitted by the 15th of the month to ensure that the change is effective for hours worked during that month.

No retroactive raises will be permitted.

Making changes in job responsibilities

If a student's job responsibilities change and a pay increase is warranted, please complete a new Job Description and submit to the FWS coordinator in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Making position number changes

Please complete section D-HCM Position Number Change on the original Student Employment Authorization form and submit a copy to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Terminating a student's employment

Automatic termination occurs for every student's FWS employment at the end of the academic year, and a written notice is not required.

To rehire a student for the next academic year, repeat the hiring process.

If termination is before the end of the academic year—

  • complete the Termination section of the Student Employment Authorization Form,
  • submit a time sheet for any unpaid hours the student has worked, and
  • inform the FWS program coordinator if the open position should be posted.
Reasons for student termination

A student must terminate employment—

  • when the student's Earnings Limit is reached,
  • when the student withdraws from the university, or
  • when the department/division FWS allocation is spent.*

* If the student is eligible to earn more, the department may transfer the employee to the student assistant payroll and/or the student could change to a different FWS position.

top of page

Monitoring Students' Earnings

Students may earn no more than the Earnings Limit (FWS award amount) set by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Any earnings that exceed the student's FWS Earnings Limit must be paid entirely by the employer from student assistant or departmental funds.

Students and supervisors are responsible for monitoring earnings to ensure that gross earnings do not exceed the Earnings Limit. Once the limit is reached, students must stop working under FWS. However, if your department has funds to match an increase, ask the students to contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to see if an increase of their FWS award is possible.

Maximizing Earnings Limit within budget allocation

To maximize students' Earnings Limits while not exceeding the allocated amounts, supervisors and students should plan the students' work schedules for the semester or academic year.

  • Students forfeit any amount not earned by the end of the award period (summer or academic year).
  • Any portion not earned during fall semester can be carried forward to the spring.
  • Unearned spring awards cannot be carried over to summer.

Resources for monitoring

The Department Report

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships sends a Department Report to each division coordinator on a monthly basis, 2-3 weeks after a payroll is processed. The report provides detailed information regarding each FWS employee's earnings in the division.

This report contains a listing of all FWS students employed within a particular department in alphabetical order.

  • The division coordinator mails the printout to the respective department supervisors.
  • Before distributing the printout, the division coordinator should check for any differences between the totals on the report and the office record. Contact us if any discrepancy is found.
  • Students who are nearing their Earnings Limit are flagged with an alert.

The report is the most up-to-date record of the student’s actual earnings and earning limits, as well as the department’s expenditures and include any changes to a student's earnings limit due to an adjustment to his/her award.

An internal monitoring system

Since the report is only issued monthly, it should not be your only tool for monitoring student earnings. Your division and department(s) should also create and implement separate processes to ensure that students do not underutilized or exceed their available earnings. You may use the MS Excel time sheet spreadsheet to create your division/department monitoring system to track student earnings and departmental expenditures

How FWS Funds are Allocated

The U.S. Department of Education authorizes funding for SDSU's FWS Program each fiscal year.

  • After SDSU is notified of its federal authorization amount, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and the Office of Budget & Finance make initial allocation recommendations to the President's Budget Advisory Committee (PBAC), usually in late summer.
  • The PBAC reviews the proposed allocations, makes needed changes, and releases approved allocation amounts in mid to late October.
  • The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships then notifies the university divisions (e.g., Academic Affairs, Business Affairs, Student Affairs) of their fiscal year FWS allocation and matching share requirement for earnings.

Monitoring Division and Departmental allocation

The division allocation is the maximum amount that may be earned by all students employed by the division during the fiscal year (July 1-June 30). This amount includes the 30% match which the departments contribute toward each student’s earnings.

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships support

To assist the division and department in monitoring the allocations, we mail the Department Report to each division coordinator approximately 2-3 weeks after time sheets are processed by us (approximately the 15th of the month).

Please note: During the first couple of months of the fall semester, the division allocation may show as $0 until the PBAC has finalized FWS allocations for the year.

Maximizing or Exceeding Division Allocation Limits

Once the division allocation is expended, all FWS employees must either stop working or be switched to another student employment program, for example to student assistant employment.

All submitted earnings that exceed the division allocation will be charged to the division at 100%.

Request for an allocation increase

The department or division may ask for an increase in their FWS allocation, if necessary. The procedure for requesting additional FWS funds is as follows—

  • The department supervisor should contact the division coordinator to request additional funds.
  • The division coordinator should attempt to reallocate funds from within the division.
  • If all divisional funds are utilized, the division coordinator should make a written or e-mail request to the Director of Budget and Finance for additional funds.

If the increase is approved by Budget and Finance in the Division of Business and Financial Affairs, the division coordinator will receive a written memo confirming the transfer of funds.

Consequences of unused FWS Funds

All funds not utilized by the end of the fiscal year will be returned to the FWS Program. Underutilization of the division allocation may result in reduced FWS allocations for subsequent years.

top of page