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Information for Work-Study Employers

About Work-Study

The Work-Study Program was created to allow students with financial need to meet their educational expenses through part-time employment. The student is able to gain work-experience at a reduced cost to the employer, as the student’s salary is partially subsidized by the Federal Government.

Qualifications to Participate as an Employer

All Federal Work-Study jobs must adhere to the following:

  • Jobs should complement and reinforce the student's educational or career goals.
  • Off-campus jobs must be a public or private non-profit, tax-exempt organization as certified by the IRS.
  • Students in off-campus jobs may only perform work that is in the public interest.
  • Students with federal work-study are limited to working a maximum of 20 hours per week.

Posting a Job

All Federal Work-Study positions are advertised to Cal Poly students on the Career Services website through Mustang Jobs. When completing the job listing form, select Federal Work-Study (Pre-Approved Only) as the position type. You can also indicate Federal Work-Study preferred if you are open to hiring either an FWS or non-FWS student. 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.

Hiring Process and Wages

Complete the hiring process on the My Cal Poly Portal or have the student take the completed Student Employment Request Form to State Payroll Services Office (01-107b). Be sure the appropriate documentation is completed before the student begins to work.

When employing a FWS Student, you will need to verify their FWS status by having the student show you their current FWS award as indicated on their financial aid award letter. Either you or the student will need to keep track of their hours to make sure they don’t exceed their allotted FWS time. Students can work more than the FWS allotment, but you will not be reimbursed for those hours. You should also verify their enrollment status (minimum of 6 units for undergrads and 4 units for graduate student) and FWS earning paid-to-date.

FWS student’s hourly wages should be based on the skills and experience required for the position and need to meet minimum wage requirements. FWS students can’t be paid by commission or fee and must be paid the same wage as non-FWS students.


On-Campus Employers

The federal government contributes 75% and employers contribute 25%. 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 (805-756-2091) with 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.