To be able to work through the work-study program, a student must receive a work-study award by the Financial Aid Office. Work-study awards at HCC are packaged for students who meet the financial aid priority deadline, have relatively high financial need, and who indicated an interest in jobs on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Financial aid applicants are notified of the work-study award offer on a financial aid award letter. If the applicant wants to accept the work award, he/she needs to indicate the acceptance on the letter and return it to the Financial Aid Office. This award can also be accepted online at www.hcc.edu/myhcc.
The number of hours a student can work depends on his/her award and rate of pay. Most students are able to work an average of 10-12 hours per week. Sometimes additional hours are available during the summer or other vacation periods, but rarely would total hours exceed 30 per week.
Hourly rates for work-study positions range from $8 to $9.15, and vary depending on the type of position and the length of time the student has been employed in the position.
Students receive individual work awards based on their particular financial need. The award amount is the student's maximum level of earnings. This means that the student's wages cannot exceed the award amount. Once a student has earned his or her allocated award, he/she is no longer eligible for payment of work-study funds. Generally, however, the supervisor and the student establish a work schedule at the beginning of the work period that will enable the student to work throughout the entire period.
Work-study earnings are subject to all federal and state income taxes. Students must complete a federal W-4 form and a state M-4 form prior to beginning employment.
To receive payment for hours worked, time slips are submitted to the HCC payroll office at the end of the student's employment period for the week. As with other HCC employees, work-study students are paid on a bi-weekly basis. Students can have the wages paid through direct deposit or through a paper check that must be picked up in the HCC payroll office.
Receiving a work-study award does not guarantee a job placement for a student. Students must apply for work-study positions and be hired by a supervisor before they can start to earn funds from their award. To begin the job placement process, students obtain a work-study packet from the Financial Aid Office. This packet contains information about the work-study job hiring process, the forms needed to put the student on the HCC payroll and a copy of the student's "Student Employment Authorization." Once hired, the supervisor signs the "Student Employment Authorization" and returns it to the Financial Aid Office.
Available work-study positions are posted on a bulletin board outside the Financial Aid Office. Some of the positions are classified as "community service" jobs because they provide services that are designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals, or to solve particular problems related to their needs. Most of the community service jobs are located off-campus at local nonprofit organizations.
Students are not allowed to work during time periods when they are scheduled to be in class, except in the event of a special circumstance (e.g., class cancellation). Any changes to the work schedule that conflict with the student's class schedule must be documented by the student's supervisor.
Work-study re-hiring is not an automatic process. A work-study student needs to receive a determination of award eligibility from the financial aid office each semester. In addition, the student must have his/her supervisor sign a new "Student Employment Authorization" at the beginning of each new employment period (usually the beginning of the semester).
U. S. Department of Education (http://studentaid.gov)