Washington and Lee Student Employee Work-Study Handbook Academic Year 2018-19

Employment Program Overview

The Campus Based Employment Program is in fact two separate work programs: Institutional Work-Study (IWS) and Federal Work-Study (FWS). The goal of Work-Study is to provide employment opportunities to enrolled students who are receiving some form of financial aid assistance, whether it be merit or need-based. Students designated as Federal Work-Study (FWS) receive 75 percent of their funds from the Federal government and must have determinable financial need. Students designated as Institutional Work-Study (IWS) receive 100 percent of their funds from Washington and Lee University and must currently be receiving some form of financial assistance.


A Work-Study student is expected to hold his/her academic progress as the number one priority. It is understood that students are at Washington and Lee University to be educated and not for the sole purpose of part-time employment. However, Work-Study can be an education in itself, and students who choose to work in the Work-Study program are expected to perform in a professional and reliable manner.

The Student is expected to:

  • Provide the employer with a schedule of the hours and days the student is available for work.
  • Accurately report the hours worked, and submit time sheets to the supervisor by the due date each month.
  • Maintain his/her accepted work schedule and inform the employer in a timely and appropriate manner of his/her inability to maintain this schedule.
  • Seek permission from the supervisor to be excused from regularly scheduled work hours.
  • Follow and maintain confidentiality with regards to any information revealed during his/her employment. A student employee may be required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement.

Scheduling Work Hours

While most students are scheduled 5 to 10 hours per week, work schedules may be flexible throughout the academic year to accommodate departmental needs and student academic and extracurricular schedules.

The supervisor and the student should arrange a working schedule which is mutually acceptable. Students are expected to work all of the agreed upon hours throughout the academic year and will be expected to discuss any deviations from their schedule with their supervisor in advance.

Work-Study students are eligible to work during the academic school year. They are not eligible to work before the academic year begins or after it ends. Students are allowed to work during all official breaks within the academic year EXCEPT for Winter Break.

Changes in Work-Study assignments during the academic year cannot be made once the student has been assigned to a department unless the student’s academic schedule directly conflicts with his or her Work-Study schedule.

Benefits of Work‐Study

Employment under the Campus Based Employment Program benefits students in the following ways:

  • Provides funds for education and personal expenses.
  • Helps student make a connection to the University.
  • Improves time management skills.
  • Provides future job reference and resume material.

The term Work-Study does not imply that these positions provide time for the student to study at their place of employment.


Upper-class and first-year students are usually awarded $2,000 in Work-Study funds for the academic year. Student employees may not earn more than the total Work-Study award listed on their financial aid award letter. The award limit is also available online. Employment ends when the student reaches the earnings level. It is the responsibility of both student and supervisor to track earning levels and limit work hours when appropriate.

Types of Jobs

Students who are awarded Work-Study may request positions in academic, administrative or athletic offices, or in off-campus community service areas. Each position has different responsibilities and expectations.

  • Level I: Positions require skills and knowledge that can be learned on the job. Tasks may be manual and/ or repetitive in nature.
  • Level II: Positions require additional skills and a little prior knowledge. General instruction is given but there is less supervision and more independent decision-making.
  • Level III: Positions involve skills beyond those typically expected of an undergraduate student. The student must be able to prioritize, demonstrate leadership and complete tasks with high accountability.
  • Internship Positions: Internships are special positions involving a deep commitment and willingness to coordinate the processes needed to complete complex tasks. Positions can involve academic research, project coordination and supervisory positions. Internships can be created based on the student and/or the supervisors initiative.

Wage Rate and Increases

Work-Study students must be paid at least the federal minimum wage ($7.25 as of July 2009). Also, the pay must meet the requirements of the state or local law.

Current base hourly pay rate:

  • $8.00 for Level 1 positions
  • $8.50 for Level 2 positions
  • $9.00 for Level 3 positions

Students can only be paid for hours worked and are not authorized to receive overtime of holiday pay above the standard hourly wage.

Each year that a student returns to the same position they will receive a $0.10/hour raise.

Students working as interns, research assistants, or in other special positions may have a modified wage schedule.

Summer Work Opportunities

Bonner Community Service Program

The Bonner Program is a unique leadership development program for students with an interest in service and civic engagement. The program is based on the belief that students have the desire and ability to leave lasting and unique contributions through their community service. For Bonners, their service serves as a tool to broaden and enhance their education at Washington and Lee. Many W&L Bonners are eligible to receive Federal Work-Study funding for community service work during the summer in programs coordinated through the W&L Bonner Program.

Shepherd Internship Program

The Shepherd Internship Program (SIP) unites students from Consortium member institutions with agencies that work to benefit impoverished members of society. Students learn first-hand about the multiple dimensions of poverty in the United States by working for eight weeks to strengthen impoverished communities and working alongside individuals seeking to improve their communities. The agencies, located in various urban and rural sites in the United States, focus on education, healthcare, legal services, housing, hunger, social and economic needs, and community-building efforts. Students work with agencies that fit their intellectual interests in order to develop their experience and skills for future civic involvement and employment.

Federal Work-Study Community Service

W&L law school students and undergraduates may qualify for Federal Work-Study funding during summer period of non-enrollment. Eligible positions must be community service oriented and approved by the appropriate law or undergraduate office. The hourly rate for FWS accounts for estimated travel, housing, meals and funds to save for future educational expenses. It is expected that a portion of the funds earned through Summer FWS will be used to pay for the upcoming year’s educational expenses.

On Campus Program Support

Federal Work-Study funding is available for selected on-campus programs that are essential to the university mission. These areas include but are not limited to the Work-Study program, university registrar, human resources and the university business office. Funds and positions are limited and may not be available every summer.

Employment Conditions and Limitations

The Washington and Lee University Financial Aid office determines student eligibility for all WS awards. In assigning an FWS job, a school must consider the student’s financial need and the amount of other assistance available to the student. A student’s need places a limit on the total FWS earnings permissible but has no bearing on his or her wage rate.

WS jobs must be reasonably available to all eligible students at the school.

At least 7 percent of FWS allocations must be used to employ students in community service jobs.

Work-Study must be governed by any applicable federal, state or local law.

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, prohibits employers (including schools) from accepting voluntary services from any paid employee. Any student employed under WS must be paid for all hours worked.

Safety Information and Training

Students who work in areas that contain any types of hazardous materials must be provided with proper safety equipment and training.

Requirements for attire and attendance are determined at the discretion of the department and/or supervisor.


Documents and files (both electronic and hardcopy) containing confidential information are to be accessed, used, and disclosed only with explicit authorization and only on a need-to-know basis for either an employee's job functions or volunteer's service.

All employees, student workers and volunteers have a duty to use available physical, technological and administrative safeguards, in accordance with University policies and procedures, to protect the security of all confidential information in whatever form or medium.

Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action being taken against the responsible employee, student worker or volunteer.


Washington and Lee University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national, or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran’s status, or genetic information in its educational programs and activities, admissions, and with regard to employment. In addition, harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age disability, sexual orientation, or for any other unlawful reason is a violation of W&L policy and is prohibited by both state and federal law.

Warnings and Terminations

Washington and Lee University invests a significant amount of funds to the Campus Based Employment Program. Students who are not dependable or unwilling to meet the demands of their position waste significant University financial resources. Work-Study students are expected to arrive at work promptly, complete their duties competently, and work all scheduled hours. At the same time, student employees should expect meaningful, well-defined work responsibilities.

Student employees who fail to perform are subject to dismissal. It is expected that the student will receive prior notification before the problem reaches that point, i.e., discussion of problems and performance, written warnings, etc. Student employees should also be able to discuss work problems with their supervisors, e.g., underutilization, scheduling conflicts, etc., and work out mutually agreeable solutions. Recommendations for addressing performance issues:

  • Give the student a verbal warning, stating exactly what the unacceptable behavior was, and what needs to be done to correct the problem.
  • The second time there is a problem, give the student a written warning.
  • If the problem is not resolved at this point the department should feel free to terminate the student’s employment or contact FA for additional options.

The Office of Financial Aid is not the arbitrator for student/supervisor disputes; however, we are available to both supervisors and students for consultation when needed.

Getting Paid

Recording and submitting your Work-Study hours is an essential part of the program and a great opportunity for a student to show responsibility and integrity. Remember you can only be paid for hours worked and the only record of your hours is the online timesheet system. Students must provide their supervisors with an accurate record of the hours they work each day and verify and submit those hours to their supervisor before each monthly deadline. Hours must be verified by the supervisor in order for payment to be issued.

All time records are to be entered online on the Work Study time sheet. Students should keep accurate records and store hours after each day of work. At the end of each month students and supervisors must electronically verify the accuracy of the hours recorded and submit the verified report. The supervisor is responsible for making sure these time sheets are accurate, and signed by both the student and the supervisor. The student is responsible for submission of the signed timesheets online at the end of each pay period.

The due dates (deadlines) for each pay period are listed here and on each of the monthly online timesheets. Please review this schedule with your supervisor and make sure you understand the submission process. Time sheets not verified or submitted by the designated day and time will be held until the next pay period.

Paychecks are issued to students once a month through the Business Office. No pay advances will be given.


Students who fail to submit their time sheet by the period deadline have one month to complete and verify those hours. Un-submitted pay periods remain open for one month, after which the student will not be able to access or submit those hours. Students must receive payment for any hours worked; however; hours not recorded on the online system cannot be paid through the Work-Study program funding and must be paid through departmental funds.

Failure to maintain and submit an accurate record of your Work-Study hours is grounds for dismissal.


Once a month, Work-Study students must submit an accurate record of the hours they worked each day to their supervisor.

To update and submit your time sheet, complete the following steps:

  1. Login to your financial aid webpage.
  2. Click on the current academic year and then on “Work Study Time Entry/Status.”
  3. Enter your time accurately into the boxes. On the left, you can see your award, the amount earned so far and remaining funds.
  4. If it is not the end of the pay period, hit “save” to record your hours. If it is the end of the pay period and it is time to submit, you must hit “submit” to submit the recorded hours to your supervisor for approval.
  5. Make sure you check the little box indicating that your hours are correct and that you are ready to submit them for approval.

How to Apply

Finding and applying for a Work-Study position is not difficult. The following steps detail the process you must go through once you have been granted a Work Study Award:

  1. Accept your Work Study Award online via the secure W&L financial aid webpage.
  2. Complete the WS application, which can also be found on the FA webpage. This is the common application you submit to different positions.
  3. Browse available positions and submit your application(s). The deadline to do this is June 30th or you will be waitlisted.
  4. Once you have submitted your application to one or more positions, supervisors may contact you to schedule an interview or to offer employment.
  5. Check the status of your applications frequently. If a supervisor offers you a position, you must accept or decline.
  6. You can only accept ONE Work-Study position. A supervisor may withdraw his or her offer if you do not accept it in a timely manner.
  7. In mid-August, students and supervisors are notified of placements.
  8. In September/October, students who have not been placed can apply for available positions until all positions are filled.

Timeline for Returning Students

February 1 -  March 1 Returning students and supervisors must complete online position evaluations.
March 15 - April 15 Job Fair occurs once a week.
March 15 - April 15 Application and interview/hiring process open for returning students who wish to switch positions.
May 1 Returning students will be notified of their Work-Study placement for the upcoming year.
June 15 Returning Work-Study students  not placed will be assigned positions in the summer.
September 15 - October 15 Waitlisted students can access their Work-Study application and apply for any available positions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I find a job related to my chosen career field?

Yes. Work-Study positions are available in most areas on campus and with many different off-campus community service organizations. Although you may not find a position that is directly related to your field of study it is very likely that there are positions that would provide you with relevant experience. The type of position you receive is very much related to the effort you put forth in reviewing the various opportunities.

Can I have more than one Work-Study position?

No. Because of the limited number of Work-Study positions and the large number of students who wish to participate it would be unfair to offer one student more than one position. Doing so might in fact eliminate another student’s opportunity for funding their education.

Can I switch positions during the academic year?

No. Generally the Work-Study position you receive at the beginning of the academic year is for the entire year and changes are not permitted. Again this policy is based on the large number of students seeking positions. Please contact the Financial Aid office if you find that your current position does not offer hours that work within your academic schedule.

What happens if I exceed my award?

Your Work-Study financial aid award is the maximum amount of funds you can earn while participating in the current year Work-Study program. You must work with your supervisor to monitor your earnings and cease work once you have reached your award level.

Do my Work-study earnings get taxed?

Yes, Work-Study earnings are taxable and should be reported on your federal tax return.

Is Work-Study available in the summer?

Yes, but only for specific community service positions. Please see the details in this handbook.