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Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
Supervisor Resources

Federal Work-Study Program - Supervisor Resources

The Federal Work-Study Program at SUNY ESF can provide access to eligible student employees during the summer and academic year. A complete program description can be found in the Federal Work-Study Handbook.

Requesting Funding for Federal Work-Study

To be considered for a Summer or Academic Year FWS allocation, supervisors should do the following:

  1. Review the FWS Position Request Procedure Memo and the FWS Policy and Procedures Memo
  2. As appropriate, complete one or both of the following
    1. Summer Request Form
    2. Academic Year Request Form
  3. Submit completed forms to Director/Department Chair by the listed deadline.

The Allocation Process

Individual supervisor allocations are determined by Directors/Department Chairs based on allocations submitted to them by the appropriate division supervisor (President/Vice President).  Supervisors are responsible for tracking the earnings of their FWS employees and limiting overall expenditures to the allocated amount.

Supervisors, as well as student employees, are also responsible for tracking individual employee earnings and limiting expenditures to the allocation assigned to the student by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.  Supervisors will be informed of each student's assigned allocation on their copy of processed FWS Appointment Forms.

Academic Year Federal Work Study

Eligible students will be awarded FWS grant amounts as part of the overall financial aid package. Once the grant has been accepted, the student is eligible to work in an FWS approved position at SUNY ESF until the full grant amount has been earned. Students are responsible for tracking their own earnings during the year and ensuring that their total earnings do not exceed the grant amount. Students who submit time sheets in excess of their approved amount may not be paid for the extra time worked.

Summer Federal Work Study Grants

Eligible students will be awarded FWS grant amounts as part of the overall financial aid package. In most cases, the amount will be based on the employment availability dates indicated by the student on the Summer FWS Application. Summer grant amounts can usually be adjusted in cases where the student's employment plans change. Students are responsible for tracking their own earnings during the summer and requesting grant increases before earnings have exceeded the originally approved amount.

How to Find a Federal Work-Study Employee

Prior to each employment period (summer or academic year), the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will post position descriptions for all available FWS opportunities. These listings will be available on the FWS bulletin board in Bray Hall and on the Position Listings database page, available from the link on the top of the page. Students are responsible for reviewing these descriptions and contacting the listed supervisors directly to discuss hiring options.

Supervisors are responsible for notifying the Office of Financial Aid if a listed position is no longer available.  The Office of Financial Aid does not assume a position is closed based on hiring decisions made by the supervisor.

Supervisors having difficulty finding student employees may want to try the following, in addition to their own recruitment activities:

  • Contact the Office of Financial Aid to confirm that the position is still listed as available for students
  • Contact the Office of Financial Aid to request a list and contact information for students still looking for an FWS position

Employment Paperwork

All students must complete the necessary paperwork prior to their first day of work for each employment period. In other words, new forms will be required at the start of each summer and/or academic year period. For liability purposes, supervisors are not advised to provide guidance with the completion of tax withholding forms. Students who are not sure how to complete these forms should be referred to parents or professional tax advisors for advice.  Additional information can also be found on the web at and

*The I-9 form must be completed in-person.  Please bring your blank form and appropriate documentation to an authorized college representative.  A list of acceptable documentation is provided on the back of the form.

Payroll Procedures

Federal Work-Study employees are required to complete bi-weekly time sheets showing hours worked during each period indicated on the FWS Time Period Schedule. All time sheets are required to be completed online in the SUNY Time & Attendance System (TAS). Instructions for accessing and using the system are provided by the SUNY ESF Payroll Office after completion of the hiring process. Time sheets should be completed by the deadline listed for each time period. For students not enrolled in direct deposit, pay checks are mailed from Albany to the permanent address on record. There is a minimum four week lag between the first submitted time sheet and the first available pay check.

A full listing of deadline dates for appointments and time sheets is available in the Payroll Calendar section of the NYS Payroll Forms and Calendars page.

Federal Work-Study employees may work up to 20 hours per week during periods when classes are in session and up to 40 hours per week when classes are not in session. Students under the age of 18 may only work up to 37 1/2 hours per week. Time sheets that are submitted with hours in excess of these limits will be adjusted by the Payroll Office.

Converting Grant Amounts to Hours of Work

Supervisors and Employees will often plan FWS schedules based on an average number of hours to be worked per week. In order to determine how many hours a student can work based on the grant/allocation amount, the following calculation should be used:

Grant Amount ÷ Wage Rate ÷ Number of Weeks in Employment Period
= Average Hours of Work per Week

For example, a student working during the academic year with a grant amount of $2,500 would calculate the following:

$2,500 ÷ $15.00 ÷ 30
= 5 Hours Per Week

Please note: the average number of weeks in the summer enrollment period is 15, while the average number for the academic year is 30 (15 per semester). The number of weeks may vary for students who plan to work during semester or other breaks.

Last updated on January 26, 2024