This information is for all students who will be attending at least half time during the current or upcoming academic year who do not go through the renewal awarding process.
This process for applying for Work-Study jobs is intended to make it easier and faster to apply for Work-Study and gives you a longer period to search for a job.
You DO NOT need Work-Study to work on campus, in fact, over 85% of the jobs on campus are Regular Student Employment positions. You can work a regular student job in addition to all your financial aid. Work-Study subsidized employment IS financial aid and must fit within your determined financial aid "need" as determined through filing the FAFSA form. Learn more about Work Study
To apply for a financial aid Work-Study employment award, please follow the steps below:
Work-Study awards are made on a funds-available basis and are contingent on your available financial aid "need" and continued eligibility for financial aid per the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress policy. You are not guaranteed an award. Awards are made only after you submit the completed WSPAF form that has been filled out by you and your employer. You and your employer will be notified if we are unable to fulfill your request.
Apply for Financial Aid for the academic year
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is available on the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov and at all local high schools and institutions of higher education. Continuing students should receive a FAFSA renewal notice. Apply for financial aid for the upcoming year as soon as possible after January 1. Be sure to check the box on the FAFSA indicating that you are interested in Work Study. If you did not indicate your interest on your FAFSA or are unsure if you did, please contact Financial Aid directly after you receive your financial aid award notice that shows financial aid need. If you receive any requests for additional information from Financial Aid, be sure to respond immediately, as delays could affect your aid, and processing will stop on your file until you respond. Please check your Safari To Do list regularly to see if you need to provide any additional information. (Use estimated tax information if you have not yet completed a tax return, then correct the information later if necessary.) You must have a complete financial aid file demonstrating "need" to be able to work as a Work-Study student.
Obtain a Work-Study Personnel Action Form (WSPAF)
After you are awarded your initial aid package, IF you indicated on your FAFSA that you want Work Study employment, and IF you are eligible for at least $1000 over the academic year, you will receive the Work-Study Personnel Action Form (WSPAF) automatically in the mail, usually within a couple of weeks after your initial aid package is awarded. If you have less than $1000 in eligibility, you may still request the WSPAF form directly from Financial Aid.
You can easily see if you have eligibility by taking your financial aid need amount, subtract any grants or scholarships you have, and if there is any remaining need, that amount is your eligibility for Work Study. If this remaining need is filled with loan, Work Study may reduce some loan or switch some of your subsidized loan to unsubsidized loan, so you would be able to work to earn some of this money instead of borrowing it and having to pay it back later. Work Study does not pay off loan, but is often awarded instead of loan. If you have unmet need (financial aid need that is not filled with any other type of award), you can receive Work Study on top of, and without affecting, your other aid.
Many students with only a few hours per week of eligibility find career-related Work Study positions, such as working as a reading or mathematics tutor of children. So, even if you have only a few hundred dollars available for Work Study over the year, you may still receive a Work Study award.
IMPORTANT: The WSPAF is your "hunting license" for a Work Study job, it is NOT an award. You must find a job, complete the WSPAF with your new supervisor, and submit it to Financial Aid to receive an actual award!! It is possible for graduate students to receive a Work-Study award at CWU.
If you do not receive a WSPAF in the mail and you have financial aid need, or if you need a duplicate WSPAF for some reason, you may request the WSPAF by visiting the Financial Aid office and speaking with a counselor, and please make sure to bring picture ID, or you can email your request to the financial aid office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you still have questions about how Work-Study may affect your other aid, ask to speak with a counselor about Work-Study, in the Financial Aid office, in person or by phone. You will have an opportunity to discuss your financial aid file and learn how your financial aid could change if you accept a Work-Study employment award. Counselors will usually be available on a walk-in basis from 9:00 to 5:00 p.m. unless otherwise posted. If you are at a Westside CWU Center, please see your financial aid officer.
Review the Work-Study Job postings and begin your job search
Contact the employer contact person listed on the Job Description directly to apply for a job. Do not limit yourself to what is posted on the Job Board, because there are many jobs available that employers just do not advertise. If you are interested in working with a particular department, please ask that department directly. It is best to apply for many jobs at once, rather than to apply for one or two and then wait. While you are waiting, the job of your dreams could be filled by someone else! If you apply for many jobs at once, you maximize your chances of getting hired quickly. You self-select the job you desire and pursue it. We do not find a job and place you in it, and there is no universal application. Each department does their own interviewing and hiring. Learn more about where you can work!
DO NOT COMPLETE THE WORK-STUDY PERSONNEL ACTION FORM WITH AN EMPLOYER UNLESS YOU ARE HIRED AT THE JOB. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR FORM WITH AN EMPLOYER UNLESS THEY HAVE ACTUALLY HIRED YOU. If you leave your form with an employer who is merely thinking of hiring you, and then you find a job somewhere else, you will not have your hiring form when you need it. You may request a duplicate form from Financial Aid.
Remember, it is the Work Study Personnel Action Form that gets you hired and on the payroll, so take good care of it. Make sure when you complete the form with an employer, that job is what you want, the hours per week requested are realistic for you with your anticipated scheduling, you feel comfortable with & can communicate with the supervisor, and the wage is satisfactory. Awards are job-specific and cannot automatically be transferred to another job. Make sure you and the employer make a commitment to each other that you can both live with. Most hiring takes place within a few weeks of the start of school, so if you cannot begin your job search until that time, you should still have a good chance of finding a job. Remember, employers are reimbursed a large percentage of your wage when you work as a Work-Study student, so it is VERY attractive to them to hire you!
Return your Work Study Personnel Action Form (WSPAF) to Financial Aid
You can bring it to Barge 115 or mail it to Financial Aid at the address listed on the form. You can submit it to Financial Aid anytime before fall quarter starts, but be aware that WORK-STUDY AWARDS ARE MADE ON A FUNDS-AVAILABLE BASIS. Return your form as soon as possible to have maximum chance to receive an award before funding is exhausted. Awards will continue to be made after school starts until funding is gone. Typically we still have funding in October and possibly later, so even if it is later in the academic year, please feel free to inquire about the availability of funds. If you know you cannot submit your WSPAF until after your aid disburses be sure to ask a counselor if it will affect your ability to accept Work Study in that quarter. If your aid package is full and you need an adjustment to your loan to make room, you may not be able to receive Work Study until the next quarter because there will be no room left. Learn more about how Work Study fits in with your other aid.
Financial Aid will award you based on how many hours per week, the wage rate, and the length of employment listed on the WSPAF (formula: hours per week x wage per hour x number of weeks of employment = total Work-Study award amount). MAKE SURE the employer lists a definite and realistic estimate of the number of hours per week you will work. Do not allow them to leave this field blank, or write in an "X," or a range of hours. We cannot calculate your award without this information, and we will have to follow up to get the information, which WILL delay your employment.
When you are awarded, we will approve the form (if you have completed an I-9 and W-4 with Student Employment for on-campus jobs; or complete these forms directly with your employer if you are working at a CWU Center, or at an off-campus Work-Study job). When your employment is approved and you can start, you will receive a notice from Financial aid that you were awarded and your employer will receive an approval email as well as an approved paper copy of your WSPAF to indicate that you are ready to begin working. This copy will show the award amount and other important information. (If you are working at an off-campus Work-Study job, such as at Ellensburg School District, your employer will also receive a supply of Time Sheets to record your time which they will submit to Student Employment each month to receive reimbursement.) You will see the award on your Financial Aid account which will show the Work-Study award and if necessary, changes in your loan amounts made to accommodate your Work-Study award. You will find at least one message on your account or Award Letter which gives additional information about your award.
If you requested more hours than your eligibility will allow, the number of hours per week you can work on Work-Study will be the maximum possible, and will be listed at the bottom of the approved copy of the WSPAF that is sent to your employer. You cannot work as a Work-Study student until your form is approved. Hours worked before approval may not be reimbursed to your employer (though your employer MUST pay you for all hours worked, regardless of whether or not the hours will be reimbursed) and your employer will pay these hours at 100%.
When your form is approved, you will be placed on the university payroll system if you are working at an on-campus job. See student information on the menu at left for more information on pay dates, & details of employment. If you are working at an off-campus Work-Study job, such as at Ellensburg School District, you will be paid by your employer according to their regular payroll schedule.
Make sure you monitor your 100% GROSS earnings against your award amount so you don't exceed your award. Excess hours worked will be paid by the employer at 100%. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers MUST pay you for all hours you work. You cannot volunteer hours to an employer who has hired you for pay and you cannot be forced to volunteer hours to your employer.