Work-Study

One way you can help pay for your education is through a work-study job. A work-study job allows for part- time student employment on-campus or off-campus with a pre-approved organization.

Work-study is more than an ordinary part-time job. Work-study is a form of financial aid, awarded either by the state or federal government, as a form of “self-help” aid so you don’t have to pay it back.

Through work-study, you gain work experience and professional skills, network in your field of interest, and best of all earn a paycheck- ultimately helping you pay for your education, without ever having to leave campus.

 To get a works-study job, you must have a completed FAFSA or TASFA. Work-study can be requested online by submitting an Additional Aid Request

UTRGV offers both federal and state work-study programs

The Federal Work-Study Program allows you to work on campus with a specific department or off campus with a community service partner. You must:

  • Submit the FAFSA and have financial need
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be enrolled for the semester
  • Meet UTRGV’s Satisfactory Academic Policy Requirements

If you live in Texas, the Texas College Work-Study Program allows you to work on campus with a specific department. You must:

  • Submit the FAFSA/TASFA and have financial need
  • Be a Texas resident
  • Be enrolled for at least half time
  • Meet UTRGV’s Satisfactory Academic Policy Requirements
  • Have an Employment Authorization Card (if you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident)
  • Work-Study FAQs for Students

    What is work-study?

    Work- study is a financial aid based program (Federal, State or Institutional) that assists students seeking part- time student employment.

    This “self-help” aid helps students develop professional skills and experience by working on-campus or off-campus with a pre-approved organization.

     

    Who is eligible for work-study?

    Students, who demonstrate financial aid need by completing either a FAFSA or TASFA application, meet SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress), are a U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident or HouseBill-SenateBill (TASFA) student, and are actively enrolled students, may be eligible for work-study. Some students, who are receiving State work-study only or TASFA students, will be required to be enrolled a minimum of 6 Hours per semester.

    It is important to remember that students must have all financial aid requirements met, in order to receive work-study funds.

     

    How do I get work-study?

    If you answered “yes” to the work-study question on the FAFSA, you may be automatically awarded work-study. Students who were previously hired as work-studies will also be awarded.

    Any student, who does not have a work-study grant offered to them, may request work- study funds by submitting an Additional Aid Request. Once the request is submitted, the Work-study Program Coordinator will determine eligibility.

     

    What if I am not eligible for work-study?

    Like most financial aid, work-study awards are based on academic performance, fund availability, and financial aid need.

    Since work-study is based on financial aid need, the award amount will be influenced by the student’s financial aid budget. The work-study award must “fit” within the student’s financial aid budget, and not negatively affect other financial aid awards. If you are awarded, for a reduced amount of work-study, you are still be eligible for work-study employment, but you will be limited to the amount of hours you are able to work.

    If you have doubts or concerns about your eligibility, please visit or call your nearest UCentral.

     

    How does the work-study grant work?

    Eligible students are offered a generic work-study award, which may vary per student. The generic award helps students market themselves for work-study positions.

    Work-study does not pay for a student’s tuition and fees; nor does it get disbursed with other financial aid awards. Students earn their work-study award through part-time student employment.

    If the student is hired for a work-study assignment, the real funds are placed onto the student record once the department requests the student for hire. Work-study awards are also pro-rated based on the point of hire. It is important to know that your work-study awards may change from the time you are awarded to the time you are hired for a position.

    Your student ASSIST account will indicate the amount of work-study grant you are eligible for once the hiring department submits a request.

     

    What semesters can I work?

    Students are able to work during the semesters they are enrolled for. If you withdraw from all your classes or stops attending classes, you will no longer be able to work as a work-study student, since enrollment is required throughout the duration of employment.

    During the summer, students are eligible for institutional work-study, if funds are available. Students must be enrolled during the summer semesters they intend to work, to be eligible for work-study funds.

    Employment dates generally extend through the regular academic semesters. Keep in mind that holidays, university closings, and graduating semesters may influence the employment periods.

    Fall: September 1 – December 31

    Spring: January 1- May 31

    Summer 1: June 1 – June 30

    Summer 2: July 1 – August 31

     

    How do I find a work-study job?

    To find a work-study job, students must complete the Work-Study Orientation online on their student ASSIST account, after accepting the work-study award.

    Once the award has been accepted students will need to submit a resume to the UTRGV Career Center online or schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor. When your resume has been approved, Career Center will grant the student access to the Handshake* portal where you will be able to view job postings and apply for student employment positions.

    *Note: Career Center will be launching a new Student Employment platform called Handshake (formerly known as Career Connection) effective Fall 2018. Students who are seeking summer 2018 employment will use Career Connection.

     

    What happens if I can’t find a job?

    Just like a real job, sometimes there are simply not many positions available. If you are not able to find a work-study position, the Career Center may have other student employment positions available.

    Having a work-study award DOES NOT guarantee that you will find a job- it just means the student is eligible to receive the funding.

    If you are unable to obtain employment, the work-study award will be canceled on the 60th class day. However, you may always refer to the Additional Aid Request online to request work-study funds again, if available.

     

    I’ve been offered a work-study job. What do I do now?

    Once you have been offered a work-study job, the hiring department will submit a request for hire, called an ePAF (electronic Personnel Action Form). This multistep process requires Student Employment, Financial Aid, and Human Resources to review student eligibility.

    At this point, the department may begin to coordinate a work schedule and give you an expected date to begin working. New hires will be required to complete a Criminal Background Check and i9 employment authorization from, as well as additional On- Boarding documents. Be sure to monitor your UTRGV emails and have two valid forms of ID (Birth certificate, Passport, Social Security Card, State ID or Driver’s License) ready to turn in at Human Resources. Please keep in mind that Human Resources must give the final approval before you begin your first day of work.

     

    How many hours can I work now that I have a work-study job?

    All hourly employees can work no more than 19hrs per week. You and your employer will discuss your schedule.

    The amount of hours you can work during your employment depends on your work-study award and your pay rate.

    For example:

    If your work-study award is $4,000 for the Fall and Spring semesters combined and you are getting paid at $8.00 per hour, then you will have 500hrs to work between the Fall and Spring semesters.

    $4000 ÷ $8.00 𝑝𝑒𝑟 ℎ𝑟 = 500 ℎ𝑟𝑠

    It is important to know that you should not work more than your work-study award on a semester or annual basis. Doing so can negatively impact your other financial aid awards since your work-study earnings must fit within your financial aid budget.

     

    How do I keep track of my work-study award?

    Supervisors are responsible for monitoring the students schedule and remaining hours. Due to the amount of students employed as work-studies, the Financial Aid Office does not monitor each students hours.

    You can use the Work-Study Balance Sheet to keep track of your hours, or follow the formulas below.

    Workstudy Balance Sheet Example

    How do I get paid?

    Students are paid on a bi-weekly basis by submitting their timecard through Oracle before 5 p.m. of the due date. Time-cards must be approved by your supervisor by 5.pm. of the scheduled due date.

    Earnings will be released as either a Direct Deposit or a check that you can pick up at the Bursars Office.

    To get a copy of the Payroll Schedule for hourly employees, visit the Payroll & Tax Compliance website.

     

    What happens if didn't get paid?

    If you weren't paid on the due date, make sure your time card was submitted and approved by 5 p.m. of the due date. If your time card was not submitted and/or approved by the due date, Payroll will process it in the next pay period. If you have additional questions contact the Payroll Office.

     

    What happens if decide to quit or transfer to another department?

    If you decide to quit or transfer, it is customary to provide a “2 weeks’ notice” to your Supervisor. This will help make sure that your resignation or transfer is processed with ample time.

    Additionally, if you are transferring, the remaining award is what will be available to earn in the new department.

    For Example:

    If you were awarded $ 4,000 in your work-study award and you have earned $2,436 in Department A, you will have $1,564 available to earn in Department B.

    $4,000 − $2,436 = $1,564

    What happens if I earn more than my award?

    If you earn more than your work-study award, are generally charged to the department at 100% of the earnings. You will still keep your earnings.

    However, in some cases, earning more than the work-study award may cause a student to be over-awarded. An over-award means that the student has more financial aid than what their student's budget allows for. If there is an over-award, it is possible that other financial aid may be reduced to accommodate the work-study earnings.

    Therefore, it is imperative that both student and Supervisor monitor the assignment as diligently as possible.

  • Work-study FAQs for Supervisors

    What is work-study?

    Work- study is a financial aid based program (Federal, State or Institutional) that assists students seeking part- time student employment. This “self-help” aid helps students develop professional skills and experience by working on-campus.

    Work-Study is a cost-share program where the department is responsible for 30% of the award, while Financial Aid covers the remaining 70%. Providing the opportunity for UTRGV community to mentor our student’s professional goals.


    It is vital to keep in mind work-study is NOT:

    • A substitute for full-time or part-time non-student staff. Federal and State regulations prohibit a work-study student from being placed in a full-time equivalent and a part-time non-student staff position.
    • A guaranteed source of funding for all students and/or departments.
    • A method for departments to fill vacant, existing, or transitional positions crucial to department operations.

    Work-Study is meant to supplement the students’ academic and career goals.

     

    How is work-study funded?

    Work-Study is a cost-share program where the department is responsible for 30% of the award, while Financial Aid covers the remaining 70%.

    Funding availability and amounts can vary from year to year, or semester to semester, even student by student.

    Current funding are through the following sources

    • Federal Work-Study Program
    • Texas Work-Study Program
    • UTRGV Institutional Work-Study Program

    How do I know what students are eligible?

    You can verify student eligibility by asking the student to show you their award letter found on their student ASSIST account. Eligible students are students who are:

    • Actively enrolled in the semester and maintain their enrollment through their employment
    • Meeting financial aid SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress
    • Demonstrate financial aid need
    • Eligible for employment in the U.S.

    International Students are not eligible for Work-Study and must go through the International Office of Student Admissions, for employment.

    How do I hire a work-study student?

    In order to hire any type of student employee there are several steps that have to be followed. Even though it is student employment, there is still a process in place, in the same way there are processes in place for hiring Staff positions.

    1. Supervisors must determine their employment allowance for their student employees, positions available, departmental account to be used, amongst other factors for the department.
    2. When the department is ready to hire student employees, the Supervisor must contact the Student Employment Office for new Supervisor Training.
      1. Student Employment will review how to post jobs, classification types, recommended pay rates, job ID, etc.
    3. Once the department has attended training and advertised for their positions, departments must submit a request to hire the student called an ePAF- electronic Personnel Action Form. It is important to remember that ePAF submissions are required to be submitted 2 weeks prior to the intended start date. HR must give final approval before the student can begin their first workday.

    How do submit an ePAF for a student?

    It is recommended that all Supervisors attend ePAF training with HR prior to submitting an assignment. You can also log into the ePAF portal and review the manual if you are unable to attend HRs training sessions.

    Remember that ePAF submissions are required to be submitted 2 weeks prior to the intended start date. HR must give final approval before the student can begin their first workday.

     

    For questions regarding the ePAF system, please contact HR:

    Edinburg: (956) 665-2451

    Brownsville: (956) 882-8205

     

    What dates can a Work-Study student be hired?

    The hiring periods for work-study assignments are as follows:

    Fall: September 1 – December 31

    Spring: January 1- May 31

    Summer 1: June 1 – June 30

    Summer 2: July 1 – August 31

     

    Assignments can be created either on a per term basis or for Fall-Spring, or Summer 1- Summer 2. Please keep in mind that a student’s eligibility for work-study may change at any point in time, and may cause assignments to end prematurely even after HR approval.

    Things that can cause an assignment to end early:

    • Student exhausting the entire work-study award
    • Not meeting enrollment requirements
    • Not meeting SAP
    • Student awarded additional financial aid


    Note: Graduating students are able to work until commencement

    What project numbers do I use?

    The department is responsible for the 30% of the work-study grant, and will determine which project numbers are to be used. The Financial Aid Office will determine the remaining 70% when the assignment reaches the Work-study queue.  Work-Study project numbers are NEVER given to the department and will vary based on student eligibility, fund availability, and fiscal year; because of this, a generic project number is automatically generated for the 70% contribution.

    Please be courteous and use only project numbers that are active and have funds associated with the departmental account. The workflow approvers are under no circumstance able to determine if funds are in the department’s account. If you have questions regarding your balance with your project, please contact Grants & Contracts.

     

    How do I know how much to encumber?

    Department encumbrances are going to be 30% of the student’s work-study award.
    However, it is possible that the Work-study awards will change since awards are prorated based on point of hire.

    The amount specified by the department, does not mean that the student will earn that amount. Students can only earn up to the maximum work-study award based on their eligibility for the employment periods.

     Be sure to view the encumbrance after the assignment is finalized for the student’s award.

    Keep the following in mind:

    • Work-Study awards are to provide the student with employment from Sept-May.
    • High pay-rates and high weekly hours will exhaust the work-study award at a faster rate.
    • The ePAF/cPAF does not actually encumber the funds from the department. Funds are encumbered with each pay period.
    • The “Encumbrance calculator” is a tool on the ePAF system, that can help the department calculate their contribution prior to submitting the assignment.

     

    The assignment is submitted, now what?

    The work-study assignment will go through different areas for approval, hence the requirement of submitting the ePAF/cPAF 2 weeks in advance.

    The status can be checked on by logging into the ePAF portal and viewing the queue for updates. Please note that during high periods of employment, reviewing periods may take longer than 2 weeks for each of the respective areas to review.

    Under no circumstances should the student employee begin working prior to HR’s approval. Earnings prior to HR approval will be charged as Direct Wage to the department account.

    An email can be sent to the creator of the assignment, supervisor, and project manager automatically at the approval/rejection of each stage, simply by clicking “Yes” to the Email Message question located at the bottom of the assignment.

     

    Work-Study schedule

    The supervisor and department determine schedules.  All student employees are allowed to work 19hrs weekly or less. To determine how many hours a student can work a week for their departments needs, it is recommended to follow these guidelines:  

     

    Sum.1

    Sum.2

    Fall

    Spring

    Award

    544

    1156

    2000

    2000

    Pay-rate

    8

    8

    8

    8

    HRs per term

    68

    144

    250

    250

    Weeks per term

    4

    8

    16

    20

    Hrs per week

    17

    18

    15

    12


    Keep in mind pay-rates, award amounts, and employment periods will influence how many hours a student has available.

    Work-Study does not cover over-time, if there are high periods of need such as the STOMP, departments can create an additional assignment as Direct Wage to supplement.

    All university employees, salaried and hourly, are required to follow the UTRGV Holiday Schedule released by HR.  Student Employees should not be working during university closing.

     

    Keeping track of students remaining hours and earnings

    The UTRGV Work-Study Program employs over 900 students per academic year! Due to the volume of students employed under Work-study, the Financial Aid office does not monitor the students remaining hours.  It is essential that the Supervisor monitor the students schedule to ensure that the earnings are not over the award.  Any earnings beyond the student’s award will be charged as 100% direct wage.

    The Work-Study Coordinator does have an excel spreadsheet available for supervisors that can help monitor their student employee assignments. Click here to access the Supervisor Earnings Tracker, instructions are included on the first page of the spreadsheet. 

     

    Ending an assignment

    A cPAF should always be submitted to end a student employee assignment, with the students last physical work date. This helps all workflow approvers successfully close out the assignment.

    A Termination or Separation Notice should never be completed for an hourly employee.

  • Work-Study Calculator

     

     

Chat With Us