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Hiring an FWS Student

There are different steps to hire FWS students –the depending on if you are a WVU department (i.e. an “on-campus” employer) or a Community Partner (nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization). Step One below is only for Community Partners (not WVU departments), and Step Ten below has two options - one for WVU departments, and one for Community Partners.

Step One: Submit a Community Partner Agreement

This step should only be completed by Community Partners. If you are a WVU department, skip to Step Two.

  • New Community Partners: A Community Partner Agreement between your organization and West Virginia University will need to be completed before any hiring.
  • Returning Community Partners: A Community Partner Agreement will need to be completed each year before hiring; contracts for returning Community Partners will be sent out before the next academic year begins.

The Community Partner Agreement can be found on our FWS Supervisor Forms webpage.

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Step Two: Complete Supervisory Training

Supervisor training must be completed before supervisors will be able to hire new workers. Once completed, training will not be required in a consecutive year unless requested by the Federal Work-Study Team. For more information, visit our Supervisor Resources webpage.

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Step Three: Submit a Job Request Form for a New Position

Previously posted work-study positions will not be re-posted each academic year. Supervisors must request a new listing or request a previous position to be re-posted if they are interested in new or additional applicants. Each academic year, new Handshake Job IDs will be assigned and supervisors will be notified.

A Job Request Form (available on our FWS Supervisor Forms webpage under the Post a New FWS Position section) must be submitted for each position. If you are hiring more than one student for the same position, only one form is necessary.

  • The duties listed on the form should describe the position, not the ideal candidate to fill the position.
  • Student Financial Services staff will review the FWS Job Request Form and enter the position information into Handshake. Once position information is entered into Handshake, a position number will automatically be assigned to your position.

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Step Four: Interview and Select Prospective FWS Employees

Students will apply for open positions through Handshake. If a student applies for your position you will receive an email with the student’s application.

The following information will be attached to the email:

  • Student's resume
  • Work availability and/or class schedule
  • Any other information you required for your position

Once you have reviewed the student's application email, you may:

  • Contact student to set up an in personal interview
  • Contact student to conduct a phone interview
  • Hire directly from the information contained within the student’s application

Students may apply for more than one position at a time. However, the first supervisor to submit a Federal Work-Study New Hire Form to hire a student will be the supervisor that student is assigned to. Therefore, it is important to review the job referral emails and select your desired employees in a timely manner.

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Step Five: Hire Your Selected FWS Employee

To hire a student, submit the Federal Work-Study New Hire Form.

Your selection will be reviewed by Student Financial Services staff to make sure that the student is eligible for work-study and that no other department/agency has already hired the student.

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Step Six: Wait for Confirmation from Shared Services that the Student Can Begin Work

If another department/agency has already hired the student you requested, you will be notified that the student was already selected for another position.

If no other department/agency has hired the student but the student has not processed for payroll, you and the student will receive an email confirming the assignment and next steps the student must take for payroll.

Once the student has processed for payroll, you will receive an onboarding email from Shared Services that includes the student’s start date and employee information. You MUST receive the onboarding email before the student can begin working. At no time should a student begin working in a Federal Work-Study job assignment unless the onboarding email from Shared Services containing the start date and employee information has been received. This communication will resemble the sample email below:

"Please print a copy of the on-boarding information listed below for your employee. If your employee has not already activated their account, please have them go to on or after the access start date provided below and follow the instructions to claim their account and create a password.

Employees must immediately enroll in two-factor authentication. After creating their password, they should return to the main screen at, click My Login and follow the instructions. They should be ready to install the Duo Mobile app on a smartphone.

Employee Number ----- 123456789
Employee Name ----- Man, Iron
WVUID ----- 826124748
Username ----- im40001
Email Address -----
Assignment Number ----- 8675309
Employee Start Date ----- 18-MAR-2020
Position Title ----- Office Assistant
Supervisor ----- Fury, Nicholas
HR Unit ----- ANRD Animal and Nutritional Sciences L4 Access"

The department/agency will be required to pay any earnings for any student placed on FWS funding who otherwise was not eligible for FWS.

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Step Seven: Set Up a Start Date and Schedule with the Student

Once you have received the official onboarding email, work with the student to determine their first day of work and their schedule for the semester. Remember, their first day of work must be on or after the official “Start Date” from the onboarding email.

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Step Eight: Introduce the Student to the Workplace

Your student may arrive with little or no work experience. It will benefit both you and the student to take the time to introduce the student to the different aspects of the workplace.

  • Describe both the big picture goals and daily activities of your department.
  • Discuss the student's duties, responsibilities, and how they are expected to interact with other members of the department. Consider having the student sign a Federal Work-Study Agreement ( click here to download a sample work-study agreement).
  • If a student has access to confidential records in their work-study position, they must be informed/trained on FERPA, HIPAA and any other WVU privacy policies. The student must also sign any applicable confidentiality statements.
  • Explain to the student how they should record their time worked. Do not permit students to enter time for other students.
  • Explain that payment will only be rendered for hours worked; students will not be paid for studying or completing classwork.
  • Outline your expectations of the student's work. Agree on a specific work schedule and on procedures for reporting absences or delays.
  • If applicable, assign a workstation, show the student where to find work materials, and where to secure personal belongings.

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Step Nine: Monitor Time Worked and Federal Work-Study Award Usage

You must monitor the hours students work to ensure they:

  • Do not go over the hours they are permitted to work per week (no more than 28 hours unless during the times they are permitted to work up to 40 hours);
  • Have clocked out for at least half an hour break if they work six or more hours in a day;
  • Do not earn more than their Federal Work-Study award allows (departments/agencies will be required to pay any earnings paid that go over the student’s work-study allotment).

You can use a spreadsheet to track hours worked, work-study funds used, and remaining work-study allotment ( click here to download a spreadsheet with formulas already built in for these calculations ).

For more information on permissible work hours - including days when students are not permitted to work - see our Managing an FWS Position webpage.

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Step Ten: Review or Submit Time Cards

There are different steps to review or submit time cards for FWS students – depending on if you are a WVU department (i.e. an “on-campus” employer) or a Community Partner (nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization).

WVU departments should be aware of the following information to review bi-weekly time cards:

Community Partners follow these steps to submit time cards to the Federal Work-Study Administrator on a weekly basis:

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