Frequently Asked Questions about PSR Student Employment

What is Federal Work Study?

Federal Work Study, or FWS, is calculated as part of a student's financial aid package. In place of loans taken at the start of an academic year, work study allows a student to earn money throughout the year, which can be paid toward the student's account or used for other expenses. As with other jobs, students receive a paycheck for their work.

What is the benefit to me of taking work-study rather than non-work-study employment?

PSR supervisors are strongly encouraged to hire PSR students with Federal Work Study (FWS) grants and PSR international students who are 'non-resident aliens' in this country on an F1 visa.

Can I get a student job without having Federal Work-Study (FWS)?

Most positions open to students with FWS are also open to students without, but those with FWS do have an advantage. Without FWS, you will not be hired prior to September 15, or within the first two weeks that a student job is posted, as this time is reserved for FWS and international student applications. (Some exceptions occur such as when a former student applies for the same position in the new academic year.)

How do know if I have Federal Work-Study (FWS) as part of my financial aid package?

FWS is usually included on the print out sent to students illustrating expenses, scholarships, loans, and estimated costs. If you are unsure about whether or not you qualify for work study, or are unsure about how much work study you qualify for, you can contact the GTU financial aid office.

How do I find a Federal Work-Study (FWS) position?

Most student positions are available to students with FWS. PSR does not assign job positions. When seeking jobs on campus, check the Web site and Holbrook student mailroom notice board for information on available positions. As with any job, a resume and possibly an interview will be required. Be sure to inform the employer that you qualify for work-study status.

Is there a way that I can acquire Federal Work-Study (FWS), or additional FWS?

The GTU financial aid office is available to assist students who do not currently have FWS grants and possibly make additional awards.

Does the money I earn in a student position go directly towards my student account with PSR?

No, you receive the money you earn in the form of a paycheck. You will need to budget it towards your school expenses.

Can I work more than one job as a student?

Yes, but while enrolled in classes your total hours per week may not exceed 20. Limited exceptions may be made with approval of the Academic Dean. Also, you may work no more than 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week during academic breaks.

How do I balance work with school?

A national study showed that students who work 10-15 hours per week have a higher graduation rate than the overall student body. However, the graduation rate begins to decline as the number of hours worked increases above 15. Students who try to work more than 20 hours per week and go to school full-time have the highest dropout rate. But remember, you know yourself better than anyone, so pay attention to how you handle a workload. You are here first as a student, and student employment is meant to support that endeavor, not detract from it. You may decrease or drop your work hours at any time, such as if you plan on needing more time during finals week, though you should discuss this with your supervisor beforehand so that they can prepare and the work can still get done in your absence.

How do I get paid, and how often?

As a student employee, you will fill out a timesheet. Blank timesheets can be found just inside the door to the student mailroom. Make sure the 'type of work funding' section is marked appropriately, as well as the Employer/Job line and the Account No. If you do not know your job’s account number, please contact your supervisor. Verify that the hours worked each day, the daily totals, the total hours for the week, and the total hours for the pay period are all accurate. Student and supervisor signatures are required before the timesheet can be processed. Review the timesheet for completeness. The typical pay period at PSR is two weeks, and time sheets are due to the Business Office as outlined in the payroll schedule, generally every other Friday. Paychecks are placed in the student's PSR mailbox. A direct deposit option is available (forms are available at the PSR Personnel Office or online): Direct Deposit Memo & Authorization

Do I get to take breaks?

Student workers are considered non-exempt employees. All employees who are non-exempt (covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and thus entitled to overtime) must be provided a meal break of at least one half hour (unpaid) for every work period of more than five hours. However, if six hours of work will complete the day's work, the employee may voluntarily choose not to take the meal break. Student workers are also entitled to a rest break of not less than 10 minutes for each four hours worked, to occur as nearly as possible near the middle of the work period. These breaks are paid, and are not noted on time sheets.

If I work on a holiday, do I receive overtime pay?

If student workers are asked to work on a PSR holiday, they will be paid at regular or overtime wage rates depending on the number of hours worked during the work day and week.

Is my paycheck taxable?

Yes, your earnings are taxed. Besides Social Security and other applicable taxes, how much is deducted from your paycheck depends on how you complete your W-4 form.