Federal Work Study - Employer Information

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally regulated financial aid program. The federal government contributes 75% and employers contribute 25%.

On-Campus Employers

Following each pay period, a monthly transaction will charge 25% of the FWS expense to your department's 6-digit Dept ID. The 25% of the expense will be the department's required matching share. Employers may contact Budget and Analytic Business Services (756-2091) if you have questions.

Off-Campus Employers

The federal government contributes 75% and employers contribute 25% plus an additional 10% administrative surcharge. Following each pay period, your organization will be billed the required 35% matching share.

Type of Position

All FWS jobs must, to the maximum extent practical, complement and reinforce the student's educational or career goals. FWS jobs may be on or off campus. Off-campus FWS jobs must be in the public interest if the work is for a federal, state, or local public agency.

Off-campus jobs meet the definition of community service provided the services are open and accessible to the community and that they meet the applicable FWS Program employment limitations and conditions. For example, it would be acceptable for an institution to set up services on the campus (i.e., tutoring centers or daycare centers) that are open to the community. If the institution sets up sites in the community and opens the services for the community, jobs at these sites would be acceptable. A service is considered open to the community if the service is publicized to the community and members of the community use the service.

Post Job

All Federal Work-Study positions are advertised to Cal Poly students on the Career Services website through Mustang Jobs, link here to start . When completing the job listing form, select Federal Work-Study (Pre-Approved Only) as the position type. Listings remain posted on Mustang Jobs as long as the position is open. Please deactivate position as soon as it is filled and/or the job is closed.


FWS employees are paid the current minimum wage or higher on an hourly basis. No FWS student may be paid by commission or fee. Wages should be based on the skills and experience required for the position. FWS students must be paid the same as non-FWS students.

An excellent method of verifying FWS is to have the student show you the current FWS award via the internet on my.calpoly.edu .

Complete the hiring process online at: my.calpoly.edu or have the student take the completed Student Employment Request Form (SERF) to State Payroll Services Office (01-107b). Be sure the appropriate documentation is completed BEFORE the student employee begins to work.

Verify the current FWS award amount and earnings paid to date as well as enrollment status (minimum of half-time) prior to approving and submitting payrolls. Monitor FWS students' earnings to be sure they do NOT exceed their award.

Submit student time by going to my.calpoly.edu and log in. Click on "Student Pay Timekeeper Access" and then on "Approve Student Time". Student payroll deadline is Wednesday following the end of the pay period. Refer to the Payroll Calendar, as deadlines may vary. Late payrolls may not be authorized through FWS.

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