The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is a federally funded need-based program that allows students to gain experience by working while they are attending college. FWS is a campus -based program, which means that a finite amount of money is allotted to the college to offer to students. At Brooklyn College this often means that there are more eligible students than offers that can be made.
Below is a guide outlining FWS program procedures for supervisors. The guide include information about how to become an FWS Supervisor, the process for students, and how supervisors and students can request help.
Why does the FWS process seem complicated?
FWS student workers are required to meet eligibility criteria for BOTH Federal Student Financial Aid and work authorization within the United States. Additionally, there are NY state employment forms which must also be submitted by students. FWS employment is an actual job. Wages are reported to the IRS and the NY State Department of Taxation and Finance. The earnings may be taxable. Consequently, placing a student in an FWS position requires compliance with multiple federal and state laws and regulations, which can make the process seem challenging. To make it less challenging this webpage has been developed to guide you through the process of becoming an FWS Supervisor.
Just as students must meet certain eligibility criteria to participate in the Federal Work-Study program so too must Federal Work-Study supervisors. Read on to learn more to determine if you would qualify as an FWS Supervisor, which students qualify and to learn about the FWS placement and hiring process.
Who is eligible to be an FWS Supervisor?
- Academic Department Chairs
- Administrative Department Heads
- Higher Education Officer (HEO) series employees
- College Laboratory Technicians (CLT)
- CUNY Office Assistants (COA/Gittleson)
- Off campus agencies that have an approved contract each year with CUNY
Who is not eligible to be an FWS Supervisor?
- Part-time employees such as college assistants
- Research Foundation employees even if they are employed full-time.
I am in one of the eligible categories above and I work on-campus how do I become an FWS supervisor?
- On-campus employees should review the online orientation for on-campus FWS Supervisors
- After reviewing the relevant orientation access the “Responsibilities for FWS Supervisors” electronic Dynamic Form using your BC WebCentral login. Complete and submit the form. This form only needs to be completed if this is your first time becoming an FWS supervisor (or if you have never completed it before) at Brooklyn College. NOTE: Must be completed by all supervisors and alternate supervisors.
- Access the JobX and TimesheetX Systems homepage:
Then click on “On-Campus Employers”
Then the “On-Campus Supervisor Training” and “Request a Login”
Review the instructions for how to login, submit a job description conduct interviews etc. Fill out the form under the request login link to get access to the JobX system to be able to submit a job listing. You will see links for PowerPoint presentations for each part of the JobX and TimesheetX system under the On-Campus Supervisor training link.
I am in one of the eligible categories above and I work off-campus how do I become an FWS Supervisor?
- Off-campus employees, who work for an agency that has a contract with CUNY, should review the online orientation for off-campus FWS Supervisors
- After reviewing the relevant orientation access the “Responsibilities for FWS Supervisors” electronic Dynamic Form. Follow the prompts to create Dynamic Forms login credentials. Complete and submit the form. This form only needs to be completed if this is your first time becoming an FWS supervisor at Brooklyn College.
- Access the JobX and TimesheetX/Systems homepage:
Then click on “Off-Campus Employers”
Click on “Request Login” and complete the information to request a login. Click on “Off Campus Supervisor Training” to view instructions in PDF for using the JobX and TimesheetX systems.
Why do new FWS Supervisors need to be approved before they can login?
To ensure compliance with federal regulations and guidance all prospective FWS supervisor requests are reviewed to ensure that the candidate meets the eligibility criteria outlined in the second answer above.
I was an FWS supervisor during the prior academic year, what do I need to do?
- Submit a new job description, even for a job that was posted in the prior year. For technical reasons, do not remove the prior job description from storage. You may copy and paste the text from the prior job description into the new submission.
- Your job description will be reviewed by FWS staff to ensure it still complies with federal program guidelines. If it does not it will be sent back for revision. If it does, it will be approved.
How do I request to hire an FWS student employee?
- Your request to be made a supervisor must be approved by FWS administrative staff.
- Submit a job description in JobX (refer to the training slides on the JobX website indicated above for details on how to do this)
- Your job description will be reviewed by FWS staff to ensure it complies with federal program guidelines.
- If the job description meets federal guidelines, it will be posted in JobX allowing students to find an apply for the position. If the job description is not approved it will be sent back to you for revision.
Which students can be considered for FWS employment?
Any student you are interested in considering for a position must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- File a FAFSA for the current academic year and meet the Basic Eligibility Criteria defined in the law (this would exclude international students).
- Have no outstanding financial aid to do list items in their CUNYfirst Student Center.
- Have accepted the FWS offer on their CUNYfirst financial aid package for the term they will work.
- Enrolled for a minimum of six (6) credits in their division of matriculation. They must maintain this minimum enrollment to continue working.
- Must meet the Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.
Can I use FWS student employees to replace (or in lieu of) regular staff?
No. Federal regulations expressly prohibit the use of Federal Work-Study resources to replace the work performed by regular positions whether those position are full-time or part-time. Your job description must not be one of a regular employee.
My job description has been approved what is the FWS student employee hiring process?
- Students must apply for your job listing in the JobX system. If you have a student who meets the eligibility criteria above, you can encourage them to apply. Before a student will have access to the JobX system to apply for jobs they must review the student FWS orientation and successfully submit the forms below. The FWS unit will activate a student profile in the JobX system upon completion of the processing of the following forms:
- FWS Fact Sheet and Placement form (this is an electronic form)
- IRS Form W-4
- IRS Form W-4
- You must interview the students.
- Determine which student(s) are the candidate(s) for the position.
- Candidates for hire must submit to you the original USCIS Form I-9 and unexpired acceptable documentation as outlined in the form’s instructions. You must see the original documentation and complete section 2 of the original form.
- You must retain the original Form I-9 and a copy of the documentation you saw verifying the student’s eligibility to work in the United States.
- You must tender a copy of the Form I-9 and documentation you saw verifying the student’s eligibility to work in the United States to the student so they can submit these documents to the office of financial aid.
- You must submit a hire request for the student in the JobX system.
- The student must submit the Form I-9 and supporting documents as well as the NY State Acknowledgement “Labor” form (electronically via Dynamic Forms) to the financial aid office. The documents will be reviewed by financial aid processing staff for accuracy and completeness. If the documents are incomplete they will be returned to the student for correction and the student will need to resubmit.
How do I know when my hire request has been approved and the student can start working?
You and the student will receive a “hire approval” email indicating the earliest date the student can start working.
The student told me they submitted all documents why can’t they start working?
- The student does not have an FWS offer or completed the orientation and is therefore not following the process as outlined.
- The student only just submitted the documents. There is an approximate turnaround time of 2-3 weeks when documents are submitted. While we strive to complete document review as soon as possible there are occasions where it can take longer, especially during the summer.
- The student submitted partial or incomplete documentation, didn’t follow the form’s instructions, did not sign a required document (or the supervisor didn’t sign section 2 of the USCIS I-9). In those cases, the forms are returned electronically to the student with instructions to fix the issue.
- The student does not check their email. If forms are returned with instructions for how to correct the submission but the student does not respond to the email’s instructions the process cannot continue.
As noted above the FWS program requires compliance with multiple federal and state regulations. Skipping a step or leaving something out which might seem insignificant really might not be and can delay the process.
How can I, as an FWS supervisor, help the student complete the process?
- Encourage students to file the FAFSA early
- To review their aid package in their CUNYfirst student center and immediately accept any FWS offer they have. Instructions for doing this are available in the CUNYfirst Student Financial Aid Guide
- To take their time completing the process and pay attention to form instructions and details. As mentioned above, missing something small can cause a big delay.
- Refer students back to the online orientation and FAQ for students to help them navigate the process.
- Contact the FWS unit at FWS@brooklyn.cuny.edu if they need help.
Who do I, as an FWS supervisor or prospective supervisor, contact if I need help?
Prospective and approved FWS Supervisors should contact us at FWSSupervisor@brooklyn.cuny.edu. This is our dedicated email for all FWS Supervisor questions and concerns.