Student Employment

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the difference between FWS and a regular student employee?
  2. How do I find a FWS student?
  3. How do I get my FWS hire approved?
  4. I was sent an email right away from the FWS Office after I filed the online FWS Authorization Request. Is this the approval?
  5. Why do I have to supply the Departmental PTA code?
  6. We filed the online FWS Authorization Request. How long until we get the emailed FWS Approval?
  7. Who keeps track of the student's FWS earnings?
  8. Will the FAO notify us when our FWS student is about to go over?
  9. Our student was approved for FWS for $2,500 and now the Financial Aid Office says that the student can only have $1,500. Why?
  10. Can my student's FWS authorization be canceled?
  11. Are FWS students allowed to earn overtime or holiday pay?
  12. I have a question that wasn't asked here. Whom do I contact?

1. What is the difference between FWS and a regular student employee?

The difference between FWS and regular student employee is the source of their funding. A regular student is paid from his employer’s account. A FWS student receives funding from the US Department of Education.

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2. How do I find a FWS student?

Employers are encouraged to post their job openings for undergraduates on the Cardinal Careers website. It is run by the Career Development Center. Go to Resources for Employers and click on the Employer Login on the right hand side of the page. If you don’t have an existing account, click on the Register-Post Free Jobs for Students link. Fill out the short registration form and then post your job. By return email you will receive a username and password for the future. When you post your job, if appropriate, please specify "Federal Work Study Students Only" in the qualifications box.

Students who wish to work for you will inquire about the position. Interview and hire the students you want. 

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3. How do I get my FWS hire approved?

Simply apply by filing the online FWS Authorization Request form. You can have the student file the FWS Authorization Request instead but you will need to give them the department’s PTA code.

Within a week after the Online FWS Authorization Request is sent, you will be sent the “official approval” in an email, including the conditions of FWS employment and the PTA code to be charged. You will need to go through the normal procedures of hiring a student (I-9 form, etc… ) but when you set up the time card you will set up the student’s earnings to be charged from the FWS PTA code.

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4. I was sent an email right away from the FWS Office after I filed the online FWS Authorization Request.  Is this the approval?

No. This is an automated email to confirm that we have received your request and contains information on it which you should check (e.g. departmental PTA code.) Your official approval will be sent to you within one week.

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5. Why do I have to supply the Departmental PTA code?

The hiring department must be able to prove that they can pay for a FWS student’s earnings in case the student goes over their FWS earnings limit.  We ask that employers provide a PTA code as proof. (Note that departmental PTA codes that have restrictions on them which would prevent a student’s earnings from being charged to it should not be submitted as proof. Please check with your Financial Manager if you are unsure about which code to use.)

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6. We filed the online FWS Authorization Request. How long until we get the emailed FWS Approval?

Usually it is within one week, but at the start of a new academic year or summer session, it may go slightly over.

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7. Who keeps track of the student’s FWS earnings?

We encourage the student and the employer to keep track of the student earnings and make sure that they don't go over the student’s FWS earning limit. The FAO runs monthly reports to try to make sure that students don’t go over their earnings, but we should be considered the last line of defense rather than the first.

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8. Will the FAO notify us when our FWS student is about to go over?

Yes, when students are within $300 of their limit we try to notify both the student and the employer via email. It is not unusual for student earnings to be erratic between pay periods making this a difficult task. This is why we ask students and employers to be the primary trackers of FWS earnings.

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9. Our student was approved for FWS for $2,500 and now the Financial Aid Office says that the student can only have $1,500. Why?

Financial Aid can be fluid. Often we receive new information or new awards from outside the university which can affect a student’s award. It is also not unusual for a student to change their level of enrollment, their loan status or even take a leave of absence. All of these can affect how much FWS a student is eligible for.

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10. Can my student’s FWS authorization be canceled?

Yes. It is rare, but sometimes for the reasons stated above it can happen.

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11. Are FWS students allowed to earn overtime or holiday pay?

No. The Federal Work Study Program has limited resources. It was designed so that employers with limited funds but unique learning experiences can still employ students. Stanford policy is not to allow students to get overtime or holiday pay. In cases where students do earn overtime pay we expect the department to pay for the earnings.

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12. I have a question that wasn’t asked here. Whom do I contact?

Please email the question to the Federal Work Study Coordinator at federalworkstudy@lists.stanford.edu. The response time will vary. Please be patient at the start of a new academic year.

[back to top] Updated on August 7, 2014 12:55 PM