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Financial Aid

Work Study Information for Employers

Federal Work-Study Forms and Information

State Work-Study Forms and Information

Other Forms 

Learn more about Work Study


*State Work-Study (SWS) Employer Update*
All SWS Employers must complete the online 2021-22 SWS Employer Renewal Process no later than June 30, 2021.

Please contact SWS directly ( if you require assistance completing the
2021–22 SWS employer renewal process.

Important 2021–22 Time Sheet Reimbursement Information
The 2021–22 state fiscal year ends on June 30, 2022. To avoid possible denial of
reimbursement, please submit all 2021–22 time sheets (for the period July 1, 2021–June 30,
2022) to the college your student employee attends by the deadline established by the college,
or by July 15, 2022, whichever is earlier. If your pay period crosses over the state fiscal year,
you must submit two separate time sheets for hours worked in June and July. For example, if your
pay period runs June 5–July 4, you must submit one time sheet for June 5–June 30, 2022 and one
for July 1–4, 2022.
2021–22 SWS Employer Renewal Process
Thank you in advance for completing the updated employer renewal process and continuing your
participation in SWS during fiscal year 2021–22. In order to better protect your data and to
fully comply with state information technology security rules, SWS instituted a more robust
employer log-in process for contract renewals. The process ensures that only authorized users can
make changes to your SWS employer account.

Minimum SWS Wages
Initiative 1433, passed in November 2016, directed higher state minimum wages for all
Washington employees beginning on January 1, 2017, and increasing incrementally as follows:

• $14.49 per hour as of January 1, 2022
• Minimum wage increases are calculated annually by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries using a formula tied to the rate of inflation.

Please note that employers in localities with higher minimum wages than the state minimum (Seattle, Tacoma, and SeaTac currently) must ensure compliance with the higher local minimum wage.
Thank you for continuing to ensure that your SWS student employees’ hourly pay rates comply with all applicable minimum wage requirements.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, depending on eligibility and financial need: Undergrads can be awarded up to $7,182 per academic year.  Grad students can be awarded up to $8,100.

Paid Family and Medical Leave
The 2017 Legislature authorized the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) insurance program,
administered by the Employment Security Department (ESD). Beginning January 1, 2019, eligible
employees, and employers with 50 or more employees, pay into PFML quarterly via payroll
withholding and remittance.

There are no exemptions for student employees (State Work Study, Federal Work Study, or
institutionally-funded employment), despite the low likelihood of student employees qualifying for
future PFML benefits. Employees qualify for PFML benefits beginning January 1, 2020, by having
worked at least 820 hours in the preceding 12 months, experiencing a qualifying event, and
successfully applying to ESD.

PFML premiums are calculated at .4 percent of gross wages. PFML’s direct cost impact to SWS
employees and employers is expected to be relatively modest per the following example:

• $3,047average gross earnings per SWS employee (2017-18 Unit Record Report) would
result in a total annual PFML premium of $12.19 ($3,047 x .004).

• Of the $12.19, SWS students would contribute about $7.72 per year, while employers
with 50 or more employees would contribute about $4.47 per year.

Employers with less than 50 employees do not pay the employer share of PFML premiums but still
must collect and remit the required employee portion. All SWS employers must report employee
wages, hours worked, and additional information to ESD quarterly on all PFML-eligible

More information on PFML can be found at

  • Federal Work-Study Program Description
    • The FWS Program provides funds for part-time employment to help needy students to finance the costs of postsecondary education. Students can receive FWS funds at approximately 3,400 participating postsecondary institutions. Hourly wages must not be less than the federal minimum wage.
    • A participating institution applies each year for FWS funding by submitting a Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) to the U.S. Department of Education. Using a statutory formula, the Department allocates funds based on the institution’s previous funding level and the aggregate need of eligible students in attendance in the prior year. In most cases, the school or the employer must pay up to a 50 percent share of a student’s wages under FWS. (In some cases, such as FWS jobs as reading or mathematics tutors, the federal share of the wages can be as high as 100 percent.)
    • Students may be employed by: the institution itself; a federal, state, or local public agency; a private nonprofit organization; or a private for-profit organization. Institutions must use at least 7 percent of their Work- Study allocation to support students working in community service jobs, including: reading tutors for preschool age or elementary school children; mathematics tutors for students enrolled in elementary school through ninth grade; literacy tutors in a family literacy project performing family literacy activities; or emergency preparedness and response.
    • Students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of the application process for FWS assistance. The FAFSA can be completed on the Web at For more information on the student aid award process, see the Federal Pell Grant Program (# 84.063, also under topical heading Federal Student Aid).
    • If you are interested in becoming a Federal Work-Study employer please contact
  • State Work-Study Program Description
    • Washington’s State Work Study (SWS) program partners with more than 500 employers and 54 nonprofit institutions to provide financial aid for low- and middle-income students. Qualifying students get an approved job, on- or off-campus, to support their education. Work study builds students’ skills, increases their earnings, and reduces reliance on student loans. The state contributes to the wages of work study employees, so participating employers benefit from educated, motivated workers at a lower cost. Work study contributes to economic growth by creating jobs and adding experienced, high-skilled college graduates to the state’s workforce. Many employers hire work study employees permanently after graduation.
  • Benefits of Hiring State Work-study Students:
    • Preview talent. Hire college students with the cutting-edge skills your organization needs now, while potentially finding ideal post-graduation employees.
    • Shape the workforce. Train and mentor college students, ensuring graduates have the skills Washington employers need.
    • Save money and get more work done. Partial wage reimbursements of up to 70 percent help offset costs. This means more work gets done at lower cost. You could also save on future recruitment and hiring costs if student employees are retained after graduation.
  • Off-Campus Employers Information
    • To Participate
      • Determine the kind of work you need performed and the necessary qualifications.
      • If interested in hiring students through State Work-Study: Complete the State Work-Study online contract renewal process by contacting, or create a new contract by completing the State Work-Study Program Employer Contract and Business Profile in the linked forms and submitting to
      • If interested in hiring students through Federal Work-Study: Complete Federal Work-Study Off-Campus Contract, Business Profile, and the Community Service Information and submitting to
      • Once your Federal and/or State Work-Study contract is approved please complete the Job Description form(s) in the linked forms and submit it to
      • Once the contract(s) and job description(s) are approved, start the interview process. Students will not be assigned work-study if they have not completed the FAFSA and received their award letter.
      • Once a student is hired, please complete the WSPAF with the student and submit a copy to
      • The WSPAF will be processed and work-study will be awarded to eligible students.
      • You and the student will be notified if the WSPAF has been approved or denied.
      • Students are able to start work on either the start date listed on the student’s WSPAF, the Monday of the first week of classes in September or the WSPAF approval date, whichever is LATER.
      • Contact
  • WSPAF or Work-Study Personnel Action Form
    • Work Study Personnel Action Form is only for off-campus work-study students and is filled out by you and the student.
    • You will complete the WSPAF with the student, and it must be submitted to the to be processed and receive the actual award.
    • The WSPAF is NOT an award.
    • Students are no longer required to come to the Financial Aid office to receive a certificate of eligibility. They may contact Financial Aid to find out their eligibility.
    • WSPAFs can be downloaded here.
  • Release of information Form
    • The student must release Financial Aid information to their off-campus employer by completing the Release of Information form on MyCWU.  Click here for Instructions.
  • Reimbursement
    • There is a large advantage to hiring a Work-Study eligible student to work for your organization. Work-Study will reimburse a large percentage of a Work-Study eligible student’s wages.
    • Students will receive a paycheck for their earned hours according to their off-campus employer’s payroll schedule. You must pay the student in full before Financial Aid reimburses the employer for a portion of the student’s earnings. The student must be paid at least once per month, and you must pay the student for all hours worked, even if the hours will not be reimbursed. Students cannot volunteer additional hours to any employer who has hired them for pay, per the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
    • Please fill out the Invoice Vouchers at least monthly and send to CWU Financial Aid. They must be signed in ink by the supervisor and student.
    • If there are adjustments or corrections we make to the Invoice Voucher during the reimbursement process, we will send an email explaining the changes to the student’s supervisor or email provided on the student’s WSPAF.
    • Disclaimer: Any requests for reimbursement made after the fiscal year end on June 19, 2022, will not be honored for reimbursement.
  • Renewal
    • For off-campus work-study, the new hire and rehire process is the same. To renew your off-campus job for the upcoming school year, your employer should complete the WSPAF with you and submit it to the Financial Aid office. You will be awarded Work-Study for the upcoming year when your financial aid file is completed. If we cannot award you, you and your employer will be notified.
  • On-Campus Employers Information
    • Renewal
      • You will receive an email message that it is time to renew your job for the upcoming year.  Students will be awarded Work-Study for the upcoming year when their financial aid file is completed. If we cannot award your students, you and the student will be notified.

Contact Us:

For Work Study eligibility questions, please contact a Financial Aid Counselor at or (509) 963-1611

With any other Work Study related questions please email
Work Study office hours are as follows: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 10:00am - 12:00pm

For more information:

Washington Student Achievement Council 
State Work Study

Phone: 360-753-7848


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