Student Employee Manual

Click here for a .pdf version of the most up-to-date Student Employee Manual.

Student Employee Manual

This manual describes the Student Employment (SE) program at GW.  “Student Employment” means that you work part time, you earn an hourly wage, and your employer is the George Washington University.  This includes Federal Work Study (FWS) jobs, both on and “off” campus.  Student Employment does not include full time employment, jobs on campus that offer compensation other than an hourly wage, or part-time jobs where you are employed by any external organization.

What is Student Employment & Where Can You Find Us?

About the Office of Student Employment

Student Employment at GW helps to connect you with jobs that:

  • Are offered by departments of the George Washington University (or its pre-approved off-campus Federal Work Study partners if you are participating in the Federal Work Study program), and
  • Are temporary
  • Are part-time jobs
  • Pay an hourly wage
  • Are available while you are still enrolled in school

What we do

We do not assign you to a specific job but rather provide you with the resources necessary to locate the job that is best suited to your skills and needs.  We do that by:

  • Maintaining the Handshake job listings for Student Employment jobs at GW.
  • Training staff members of GW departments and in our pre-approved off-campus Federal Work Study partner organizations to recruit and supervise student employees.
  • Providing informational materials and assistance to students about Student Employment issues.
  • Providing and assisting you with the paperwork that all new employees must complete before they begin working at GW.
  • Working with Human Resources information systems to hire you onto GW’s payroll as a temporary student employee.
  • Referring you to resources within the Center for Career Services or within the university so that you are prepared to conduct a job search with a marketable resume, effective cover letters and interviewing skills.
  • Managing many of the behind-the-scenes processes related to the heavily regulated Federal Work Study employment program.
  • Working together with GW departments including Human Resources, Human Resources Information Systems, Office of Student Financial Assistance, Information Technology, Payroll Services and more to provide you with a meaningful part-time employment experience.

Where to find us

We are located within the Center for Career Services in Colonial Crossroads on the 5th floor of the Marvin Center at 800 21st Street, N.W.  Click here to view a campus map.

Our office hours

Monday through Friday, 10:00 am through 4:00 pm. Summer hours may vary.

Contact us

What does it mean to be a student employee at GW?

You become a temporary employee of the George Washington University

After you accept a job offer but before you begin working, the Student Employment Office must hire you as a temporary university employee. Temporary employment is “employment at will,” which means that you can leave your job if you choose, and your employer can dismiss you from your job if he or she chooses (this happens only in rare circumstances).  You must complete the same paperwork as any other new hire before starting work at GW.  Some positions will be subject to the same background screening.

All complaints associated with the worksite and/or supervisor should be directed to the Associate Director of Student Employment.

You will be paid an hourly wage for each hour that you work

You will receive an hourly wage for each hour that you work.  Each department decides what wage to offer for each available position.  You’ll see the wages posted in each job description.  The minimum wage in Washington, D.C. is $13.25 (beginning July 1, 2018) per hour, so you will earn at least that much.  This also applies to Federal Work Study jobs which may be located in nearby Virginia or Maryland. You will receive a paycheck from the university every other Friday, just as other employees do.  We strongly encourage you to sign up for Direct Deposit so that your paychecks are sent directly to your bank account (more on that later).

You do not accrue benefits

You earn only an hourly wage for each hour that you are working.  You do not accrue sick leave; you do not get paid if you call in sick.  You do not accrue vacation time.  You do not accrue retirement benefits.  You do not get paid for time spent commuting to and from your job.  Your supervisor will discuss short breaks and protocol for longer breaks with you.

“Student Employment” includes two types of jobs:

  1. Federal Work Study (“FWS”) jobs
  2. Non-FWS jobs

If you are not working in the Federal Work Study program, we refer to you as a “Wage Account” employee, or sometimes a “non-Federal Work Study” student employee, and your job is referred to as a “Wage Account” or “non-FWS job.”  These are GW phrases used to help us distinguish between FWS matters and non-FWS matters.  The FWS program will be explained in the next section.

You’ll have an employment record at GW

The Office of Human Resources will maintain a permanent record of your employment with the university.  If future employers wish to verify that you worked at GW during a certain time period, the university’s main Human Resources Office should be contacted to obtain what’s called “employment verification.”

What is the Federal Work Study (FWS) Program?

The Federal Work Study Program (FWS) is a federally-funded work program that allows students who have received a Federal Work Study award from GW’s Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) to earn money to help with college expenses.  The 2018-2019 FWS program starts on August 26, 2018 an ends on May 04, 2018. Students cannot work in a FWS position before or after the start/end of the program.

Graduate students:  If you are a graduate student and want to know about FWS eligibility, please contact the GW Office of Student Financial Assistance.  This is the office that handles FWS eligibility for graduate students.

You should know:

  • If you did not apply for federal financial aid through OSFA – you are not a FWS student.
  • If you did apply for federal financial aid but OSFA did not give you a FWS award – you are not a FWS student.
  • How do you know if OSFA gave you a FWS award? – Review your financial aid package in your GWeb account.
  • If you have questions about any aspect of your aid package – including the FWS award – you should contact OSFA.
  • OSFA determines who is eligible for FWS and what the amount of each award will be.  SE does not.
  • International students are not eligible to participate in the FWS program.

FWS participation is optional

Students who received FWS awards from OSFA are not required to get FWS jobs.  The program is optional; however you only receive the amount of money you earn.  You may decide not to use your FWS award – perhaps you’ve found a more suitable work arrangement elsewhere or perhaps you’ve decided not to work.  This is an individual choice that you make.  GW’s FWS program runs during the Fall and Spring semesters.  There is no summer FWS program at GW.

Where do FWS students work? 

If you do decide to get a FWS job, you will be working either on campus for departments of the university or off-campus at local nonprofits, government agencies and community service employers who have been pre-approved by the GW Center for Career Services.  Only those employer partners who have been pre-approved by Student Employment can hire you as a FWS student.  We release a list of the approved off-campus employer partners on our website each August.  Only the employers on the list represent your off-campus FWS options for that FWS program year.

How much do FWS students work?

Students typically work eight to ten hours per week.  You’ll determine your schedule together with your supervisor, keeping in mind that you cannot earn more than the amount of the FWS award you’ve been given, nor can you work during scheduled class times.  You will be issued a paycheck every two weeks for the hours you have worked.  You can spend this money however you choose.  The money is not directed back to GW to reduce your tuition balance.  It will be deposited into your bank account electronically if you sign up for Direct Deposit (which we urge you to do) or you will pick up a paper paycheck and bring this to your bank.  It’s up to you how to spend your paychecks.

What if I am not part of the FWS program?

You will use Handshake to look for non-FWS jobs on campus.  There are more students working as non-FWS students than there are working as FWS students – you will not be alone. 

You may also decide that you want to work off campus for an employer who has no relationship to the university.  An example would be applying for a host or hostess position at a restaurant or applying for a sales associate position at a retail store.  You are not required to work on campus, nor to deal with Student Employment.  If you decide to seek part-time employment off campus, you can use Handshake to locate some of these jobs but you will deal directly with that organization and not with Student Employment when it’s time to interview or go through a hiring process.

Other Types of Employment for GW Students

There are student positions that provide compensation in forms other than an hourly wage.  Some jobs offer lump sums (sometimes called stipends); some offer something that is not money in exchange for your labor.  These positions are not handled through Student Employment.  We handle only FWS jobs and jobs on campus that pay an hourly wage. See Appendix 9.

International Students

If you are an international student, you must contact the GW International Services Office (ISO) to find out if you are allowed to work on campus with the type of visa you used to enter the United States.

Finding a Student Employment Job with the University

When do I look for a student employment job?

  • You should begin to look for a Student Employment job in early August.  By this time of year, we expect employers who intend to hire students to have posted their SE jobs in Handshake, the online career management platform at GW that includes job listings. 
  • Most employers seek students who can work for the whole academic year (Fall and Spring semesters), so most hope to hire their students in the Fall.  You are not required to begin working by any particular date.  You are not required to begin working during the Fall semester.  Keep in mind that as the year progresses, fewer jobs are available because many have been filled.  
  • FWS students only: This year’s FWS jobs will go online in Handshake in mid-July.
  • Employers will continue to post jobs in Handshake as their business needs evolve, so you should check Handshake for jobs on a continuing basis.
  • FWS students only: There is no summer FWS program at GW.  If your FWS employer wants you to continue working during the summer, this can happen if: (a) an on-campus department lets SE know that you should be hired as a non-FWS students once the FWS program ends or (b) an off-campus FWS partner hires you directly onto the organization’s payroll for the summer work.

Where do I look for a student employment job?

  1. Jobs are listed online through Handshake. If you are a new student, watch your GW email during the summer for information about how to access your new Handshake account.  (FWS students: remember that FWS jobs go online in mid-July)  There are search categories in Handshake for “on campus FWS,” “off-campus FWS” and “on-campus jobs that are not FWS.”  You’ll select the category you want to search on from a drop-down menu.
  2. Contact a GW department that interests you to see if student jobs are available. If you have an interest in working for a particular department or office at GW, go to that department’s or office’s website and try to locate the person whose title is “Office Manager” or “Administrative Manager,” or use the general department’s email (example: [email protected]).  Send a polite, well-written email explaining why this department interests you and asking if student positions are or will be available.  If you are seeking a FWS job, be sure to mention that you are a FWS student. 

Where can I get help with the job search process?

The Center for Career Services can help you with your resume, your cover letters, your interviewing style and your job-search strategy.

I am a FWS student. What else do I need to do before I find a job?

If you received a FWS award from the Office of Student Financial Assistance and would like to look for a FWS job, you must do the following before you begin searching for your FWS job:

Accept your FWS award

  • If you do not do this, you will not be able to print your EAF (explained below)
  • You can accept your FWS award by logging into your GWeb account or by contacting OSFA directly.
  • You’ll find specific instructions in Appendix 1.

Print your EAF (Employment Authorization Form)

  • An “EAF” is a GW document that proves to a potential FWS employer that you do have a valid FWS award and can legitimately participate in the FWS program. 
  • Take a copy to each job interview.
  • Log into your GWeb account and use the link in your Financial Aid section to print your EAF (EAF printing instructions are in Appendix 2).

Calculate the number of hours you can work

  • Remember, you can earn up to the amount of your FWS award.  If you receive a $3,000 FWS award for the academic year, you can earn a maximum of $3,000 in your FWS job during this year.  You do not have to earn 50% of your award in the Fall and 50% in the Spring.  You can earn the money at any pace that suits you and your employer.
  • Step 1: Start with the amount of your FWS award. (Example: $3,000)
  • Step 2: Divide that by the hourly wage you’re going to earn at this job. (Example: $3,000 / $13.25 per hour)
  • Step 3: This is the number of hours you can work throughout the FWS program year (August – May). Divide this by the number of work weeks remaining in the FWS program year. If you’re doing this at the start of the Fall semester, divide by approximately 34 weeks. (Example: You can work 226 hours for the year.  You can work about 6 hours per week if you want your FWS award to last through the year.)

I've accepted a job offer - now what?

Now we have to hire you as a GW employee.  You can’t start working until we’ve hired you! 

Once you have accepted a job offer from a particular employer, the hiring process begins.  There are steps you need to take and steps that your new employer needs to take. Your next step is to complete the necessary Student Employment forms.  If you have previously worked for GW and are returning to the job you previously worked in, skip down to the section titled “Returning Student Employees”.

You need to complete four forms:

  1. Sign and return your offer letter
  2. For FWS Only: Sign your EAF and give a copy of it to the employer whose job you accept.
  3. The Federal Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 (part one of this is completed online)
  4. Federal and local tax forms
  5. Direct deposit form (optional but strongly recommended!)

Completing the Federal I-9 Form

  • You must wait until you receive email notification from SE ([email protected]) to complete your I-9 form.
  • Do this as soon as possible after accepting your job.
  • This is a federal law, not a GW policy.
  • ALL students, regardless of citizenship status, must complete an I-9 form.

1st step:  Go online to the TALX website and fill out Section 1:

  • The “Employer Name or Code” for GW is 14290. 
  • As you are completing Section 1 online, watch for the list of identification documents that are acceptable to the federal government (also available in Appendix 4). 
  • You will have to bring an original document or documents from this list to complete the next step. We cannot accept copies.

2nd step:   After completing the online Section 1 information, come to the Center for Career Services to have Section 2 completed by a Student Employment staff member.  Please note that if no hire has been submitted from your department SE will be unable to process your I-9.

  • Federal law requires you to bring ORIGINAL forms of ID with you. 
  • If you missed the list of acceptable ID documents while you were online in the TALX system, you can find them here.
  • Copies or faxes of I-9 documents will be rejected. We can only accept original documents – it’s the law.
  • You do not need to submit a printout of the Section 1 information; we can access that online when you get here.

Completing the Federal and Local Tax Forms

  • You can pick up blank forms at the Center for Career Services or download and print from Payroll's website.
  • Our staff is not authorized to advise you on tax matters.  If you need assistance filling out the forms, you are encouraged to talk with a trusted adult.  Some FAQs can be found in Appendix 3.
  • It’s not a problem if you need to take the tax forms home to get advice about filling them out.  This will not delay your hire, but you must bring them back to us as soon as possible.  If you fail to bring them back, the GW Payroll Department will deduct the maximum federal and state taxes from your paychecks.  Taxes withheld from paychecks can only be recovered by filing an annual tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and requesting a refund.

Completing the Direct Deposit Form

  • Why should you sign up?
    • This form is optional , but we strongly recommend that you sign up for direct deposit because:
      • It’s easy.  Your paycheck is electronically deposited into the bank account or accounts of your choice.  You don’t have to walk anywhere to pick up a check or to bring it to a bank.
      • It’s fast.  You don’t have to wait several days for a check to clear.
      • It’s safe.  You can’t lose your check on the way to the bank.  There’s no chance of an ATM failure.
      • It’s constant.  Your paychecks will be deposited even if you are away from campus on pay days, e.g. Winter Holidays and Spring Break.
      • You can change your options or cancel at any time.  You do this through your GWeb account under Employee Information à Pay Information à Modify Direct Deposit
  • How do you sign up?
    • Pick up the Direct Deposit form at the Center for Career Services or download and print a blank form.
    • To designate the account your money should be transferred to you can attach a voided check from that account OR fill out the form in your GWeb account (see above).
  • When do you sign up?
    • You can complete a Direct Deposit form at any time during the year.
    • Note that it can take up to two pay cycles (four weeks) before your checks will be electronically deposited.

Background Check

  • A background check may be required if you will process or view financial transactions, work in residence halls, have access to restricted areas or have access to university keys,  work with minors, drive university vehicles, have access to sensitive data such as student records, social security numbers, grades, and admission records.

Important: You must wait to receive email notification that you have been hired before starting work!

  • Normally we are able to complete your hire two to three business days after we receive the request from your supervisor.
  • Watch for an email from GW with the subject “YOUR EMPLOYMENT RECORD HAS BEEN MODIFIED”.  Your supervisor also receives this email.  This is confirmation that you are officially a GW employee.
  • This is an automated email that often goes into Spam folders, so please check your Spam folder when you are expecting to be hired.
  • If you do not receive an e-mail a week after completing your I-9, contact the Office of Student Employment.
  • A copy of the e-mail you will receive can be viewed in Appendix 7.
  • You will be able to view your new job information on your GWeb account on your hire date.
  • Do not start working until you receive this notification!

Returning Student Employees

  • FWS students only:

You must submit a current EAF to your FWS employer each time you begin a FWS job.  

  • Sign and return your offer letter to your employer.
  • I-9 FORM

If you have previously worked for GW and have an I-9 on file with the university, you most likely will not have to complete another I-9.  If your information expires, you will receive notification.

  • Federal & Local Tax Forms

You do not need to complete new tax forms unless you want to change part or all of the information you previously submitted. If you need to adjust the information, complete a new form and return it to SE. If you claimed exempt, you must resubmit a tax forms each year in January.

  • Direct Deposit Form

You do not need to complete a new form unless you want to change your information, or unless it has been more than three months since you earned a paycheck from GW.  You can do this online through your GWeb account.

  • You must wait to receive the email from GW again before starting to work. 

Watch for the email with the subject line “Your employment record has been modified.”

Going to work and reporting your hours

Questions you should ask when starting your job

Individual offices decide how to handle orientation for new employees.  Some may have formal orientation programs.  Others may be very informal.  Make sure you know the answers to these questions:

  • Who are my direct supervisor and/or timekeeper?
  • How do I track my hours?
  • Does anyone else exercise supervision over me?
  • What is my work schedule? Is there any flexibility?
  • What is the dress code?
  • What should I do if I cannot come to work?
  • Where can I leave valuable items while I am at work?
  • Am I allowed to have a cell phone or other personal device with me while I am working?
  • Will training be provided and who should I ask if I don’t understand what I should be doing?
  • What should I do when I complete an assignment?
  • Will you be completing a performance evaluation of me?  If yes, what will I be evaluated on?
  • Are my friends allowed to come to my workplace?
  • What is the expectation about work schedules at exam times and during school breaks?
  • What if my class schedule changes?

Recording your hours

You need to record the hours you work so that GW knows how much to pay you!  If you fail to record your hours, it’s impossible for GW to issue a paycheck.  The process of recording hours is called “clocking in” and “clocking out.”  At GW this is done electronically using a software product called Kronos.

It is a violation of the terms of your employment to misuse the Kronos system and/or misrepresent your work hours; doing so may result in termination and/or disciplinary action through Student Judicial Services and the University Police Department.

Using the Kronos system

  • To access Kronos, you’ll dial a GW phone number (202-994- 2274) and follow voice prompts to enter information about yourself and your work hours.  You’ll do this each time you arrive at work and each time you leave at the end of your shift.  (You should clock out and back in again during lunch breaks.)
  • Please note that the clock code to record a punch  is a “1” at the start and end of the shift.  Your employee number is your GWID without the “G”. 
  • If you forget to clock in or clock out, tell your supervisor or office timekeeper immediately so that the correction can be made. 
  • Please keep a notebook or other written record of your work schedule and the hours you’ve worked.  If you dispute your hours at some point in the future, written records will be essential in proving your case.

What if I have more than one Student Employment job?

  • You may have only one FWS job at any given time, but it is possible to have several non-FWS jobs at the same time.  It is also possible to have one FWS job plus a non-FWS job. 
  • In these cases where you may be working at more than one Student Employment job, the process for recording your hours is more complicated – we have to make sure your hours get charged to the correct employer.
  • To view instructions for clocking into secondary positions consult GW Payroll’s website.

Getting paid

  • You will be paid every other Friday.  You may view the 2018-2019 payroll calendar here.
  • You’ll see the letters “BW” when we mention pay periods.  This is GW’s abbreviation for “Bi Weekly,” which refers to the fact that GW pays its employees every other week.  GW numbers its pay days and calls them Bi-Weeklies, or BW’s.  BW1 starts at the beginning of the calendar year, as close as possible to January 1.  There are usually 26 BWs in a year at GW. 
  • You are paid for hours worked during a bi-weekly two weeks after the bi-weekly ends.
  • If you have direct deposit, your paychecks are electronically deposited into your bank account(s).  There is nothing you need to do.
  • If you do not have direct deposit:
    • Working on campus: You will pick up a paper paycheck at the Center for Career Services on payday Fridays. 
    • FWS off-campus: You will pick up a paper paycheck at the Center for Career Services on payday Fridays.  Your paper paycheck is not sent to your off-campus FWS work location.  You must come to Colonial Crossroads in the Marvin Center to get it.
    • Paper paychecks are not mailed to you if you are away from campus on a payday Friday.
  • If you have multiple positions you will only receive ONE pay check with your combined hours. Your check will be picked up at the Center for Career Services. You can determine your primary position from your GWeb account.

Delayed pay when you first begin working at GW

Everyone starting work at GW faces a delay of about two pay cycles.  Remember that it can take up to two pay cycles for your direct deposit service to begin as well.  This is the case for all new employees at the university, not just student employees.  Since each pay cycle is two weeks in length, you may be waiting for up to four weeks.  Please plan for this delay.

Viewing your payroll history online

You can access your payroll history online.  Sign into the GWeb Information System.  Click on the tab at top labeled “Employee Information,” then click on “Pay Information.”  The Easy View Paycheck (accessible by those enrolled in direct deposit), Earnings History, and Pay Stub links will give you further information about your monthly earnings and any deductions from your earnings.

Paying taxes

  • This is a part-time job like any other for tax purposes.  All student employees (including those working through the FWS program) are subject to federal and local taxation.  Please see the section above about completing tax forms.  
  • Only certified tax professionals can answer tax questions.  Staff members at the Center for Career Services and at the front desk in Colonial Crossroads are legally prohibited from advising you on how to complete tax forms or how to estimate the amount of tax you will have to pay. 
  • If you wish to file your taxes in a local jurisdiction other than the District of Columbia, please visit the Internal Revenue Service website to find out whether that is permissible and to download the appropriate jurisdiction’s form.
  • A W-2 (a federal tax form from your employer that states how much you have earned during a tax year) will be sent to the address you listed on your W-4 form in late January.  You will use this to file taxes with the IRS.  You may also print a copy of the W-2 (once it’s available in late January) from GWeb by following the directions given here

FWS Only: Monitoring your remaining FWS award balance

  • The maximum amount of money you can earn at your FWS job is 100% of the amount of your FWS award.
    • If you’ve been given a $2,200 FWS award for the current academic year, for example, the most you can earn through the FWS program is $2,200. 
    • At the point you have earned $2,200 (as calculated before any tax deductions), you must stop working through the FWS program. 
    • Your employer may or may not have a budget that will allow them to hire you directly onto their payroll after you are terminated from the FWS program.  Many off-campus employer partners, being non-profit organizations, do not have extra funds available and cannot hire you after your FWS funds are used.  This means that you must stop working for the year.
  • You are responsible for knowing how many hours you may work before your FWS money is used up.  Your goal is to make your FWS funds last as long as possible throughout the FWS program year.  If you run out of FWS money before the program year ends, there is no guarantee that your employer can continue to employ you.
  • The amount of your award will appear on your EAF (Employment Authorization Form) each time you print it.
    • Before you begin working, your EAF should reflect your entire FWS award amount. 
    • As you begin earning money, the EAF should reflect the declining balance that remains on your FWS award – because you are using (earning) this money as the year progresses. 
    • We recommend printing a new EAF at the beginning of each month and reviewing your FWS balance with your employer so that your hours can be adjusted if necessary.
    • The balance represented is only accurate as of the last pay check you earned.
  • You may also check your GWeb account regularly to see how much money you have remaining.  We recommend checking your award the first day of each month so that you remember to do it.  (Remember: The balance represented is only accurate as of the last pay check you earned.)
  • If the FWS award amount changes, inform your employer immediately in case the number of hours you are working must be adjusted to avoid running out of FWS funds.
    • If you have questions about your FWS award amount, contact GW’s Office of Student Financial Assistance. 
    • The Center for Career Services does not make decisions about the amount of your FWS award, so we cannot answer questions about any changes.
  • If you do not earn your entire award within the year the funds expire; they will not roll over into the next year’s award and you cannot collect them.
  • For a pre-programmed tracking sheet to make monitoring your award easier, email [email protected].

Your responsibilities as a student employee

DO NOT start working until we’ve hired you as a GW employee

  • You may not begin working until you have received the Oracle email message with the subject line YOUR EMPLOYMENT RECORD HAS BEEN MODIFIED. 
  • If you show up at a job site before you get this message, the university has no idea that you are an employee and has no way to pay you.  You will be working illegally.  Don’t do this!

On the job

  • You cannot work during scheduled classes.
  • You are responsible for dressing and conducting yourself appropriately on the job.
  • You are responsible for getting to work on time, learning and abiding by your employer’s policy for calling in sick or taking time off, and any other regulations of the workplace.  Ask your supervisor for clarification.
  • You should not work more than 25 hours per week when school is in session.
  • You are not allowed to exceed 40 hours per week under any circumstances.
  • FWS students only: you must stop working in the FWS program once you use up your FWS funds, or once the FWS program ends.
  • Graduating seniors must stop working as a student employee by the last day of finals.

Report your hours accurately

  • Make sure you’re paid for the hours that you work.  “Clock in” when you arrive at your job site and “clock out” as you leave your job site.  You are not paid for the time it takes you to travel to and from your job site.
  • Ask for help if you don’t understand how to record your time.  Inaccurate reporting results in delayed paychecks.
  • Reporting time that you have not worked is considered theft from the University.  Time theft is reported to the University Police Department and to the Division of Student Affairs student judicial offices.  You will be terminated from your job and may lose your Federal Work Study funding.

Additional Responsibilities for FWS Employees

  • You may not work before the FWS program has officially started or after it has officially finished.  The relevant dates for the current academic year are included on our website.
    • The 2018-2019 FWS program starts on August 26, 2018 and ends on May 04, 2018.
  • Track your FWS earnings:
    • You must not earn over award amount. 100% of your gross earnings (earnings before taxes). 
    • You are responsible for always knowing the amount of your Federal Work Study award and communicating any changes in your award to your employer immediately.  Check your award by viewing or printing an EAF (Employment Authorization Form) through your GWeb account.
    • You must tell your employer that you are close to using up your Federal Work Study funds BEFORE you exhaust your funds. Your employer has the option of hiring you as a non-FWS student employee if the employer’s budget can support your wages. Otherwise, you need to stop working.
  • You are only entitled to the funds that you actually earn.  Unearned FWS funds cannot be claimed.
  • You can only have one FWS job at any given time.
  • We hope you will keep the same job for the full academic year.   Mid-year job changes may result in paycheck delays.
  • Make sure you tell all your on-campus employers about every job that you have on campus (including off-campus FWS).  Every employer you work for needs to know how many jobs you have in order to pay you correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions: All Student Employees

I need advice on writing a cover letter and resume.  What should I do?

  • Go to the Career Preparation section on the Career Center’s website to view the resources we have available for writing resumes and cover letters, improving your interviewing skills, and more.  If you are having trouble locating a FWS job, log into your Handshake profile to make an appointment with one of our consultants to discuss your job search strategy.  There are also walk-in consulting hours from 11am-2 pm each weekday.

I completed the I-9 process at GW two years ago.  Do I have to complete this process again for my newest position at GW?

  • Most likely not, unless you receive an email instructing you to do so.  Once you have submitted the relevant paperwork, you will not need to go through the process again for work that you do at GW unless there has been a gap of three or more years in employment.  You should make sure your tax documents are accurate each year.  Complete new tax forms if you have changes to make.

I was offered another position that is more attractive than the one I currently have.  Is it possible to switch jobs mid-semester?

  • Yes, but your current employer must terminate you. We will be unable to process a new FWS position if the employer has not terminated the first FWS position.  We strongly recommend that you give two weeks of notice before leaving a position, as your employer needs time to find a replacement to do the work.  The end of a semester is the best time to make any employment changes.

The weather doesn’t look good.  How do I know whether I need to go to work?

  • See cancellations online at  If possible, Student Employment will also, notify you by e-mail of any unanticipated work cancellations.  If the university is closed, you are not required to go to work. This also refers to student’s working at off-campus FWS site; however, students should notify their supervisors that they will not be coming into work.

My office is letting everyone go home early; do I still get paid for my scheduled hours?

  • No. Student positions are non-benefited, temporary hourly positions. You only get paid for hours actually worked. You are not eligible for vacation time, sick time, university closings, or holiday pay.

If GW has a day off but my employer’s office is open, do I still need to go to work?

  • Please ask your supervisor about this. Please note that many offices are open for Winter, Spring, and Summer breaks.

How do I see my payroll history?

  • Sign into the GWeb information system.  Click on the top tab labeled “Employee Information,” then click on “Pay Information.”  You may then select “Easy View Paycheck” (or, if you are not enrolled in Direct Deposit, “Earnings History”) to see payment information.

I didn’t get a pay check even though I worked during this pay period.  What should I do?

  • Talk with your supervisor and/or timekeeper.  It is possible that your department did not complete its required time approval process on time.

I cannot remember if I clocked in (or out) using Kronos.  Is there a way I can find out online if everything was recorded correctly?

  • If you work on campus: Find the timekeeper or supervisor for your department.  That person can view the information to determine if there are any problems. 
  • If you are an off-campus FWS student: Off-Campus FWS employees may look at the times recorded through the Kronos system by following the instructions in Appendix 8.  You will not be able to make any changes yourself.  Contact the off-campus designated timekeeper for your organization to have changes made.

I have graduated and am no longer enrolled at GW, can I continue working as a student employee?

  • No! Your supervisor should speak to GW HR to hire you into a non-student position.

Frequently Asked Questions: FWS Students Only

I have an off-campus internship.  Can I use my FWS funds with my internship employer

  • Only if your internship employer applied to participate in the off-campus FWS program for the current year (there is a summer deadline) and was selected for participation.  Organizations wishing to apply for the FWS program must submit an application by the July deadline – there are no exceptions to this rule.  Interested employers can request an application by e-mailing [email protected].  

Can I have more than one FWS job at a time?

  • No, students are not permitted to have more than one FWS job at any given time.  You may have one FWS job plus any number of non-FWS jobs.

My FWS award amount has changed, and I don’t understand why.

  • The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) will answer questions about your FWS award and eligibility.  The Center for Career Services plays no role in determining if you are eligible for FWS funding or what amount you are awarded.  All matters pertaining to your financial aid package are handled by OSFA.

I will return to the same FWS position that I had last year.  Do I need to be rehired?

  • Yes.  All FWS employees are terminated at the end of the FWS program year.  FWS does not continue during the summer months.  You need to be rehired at the start of the next FWS program year.  Remember that you will not need to complete the I-9 form again in order to be rehired unless it’s been three or more years since you last worked here.

Do my earnings through FWS automatically apply to my tuition?

  • No.  You will either receive payment in the form of a check or deposited directly into whatever bank account you submit information for.  You may then use the money in whatever way you choose. 

Can I earn my entire FWS award within one semester, or is the amount evenly divided between semesters?

  • The amount of your award may be earned at any point during the academic year.  If you are able to earn the entire amount within a single semester, that is fine, but your award cannot be increased and you are not allowed to work during scheduled class time.

If I do not earn my entire award amount in the current academic year, will the remaining amount be transferred to the next academic year?

  • No, the award amount you receive is only valid during the current academic year.  Any remaining balance will not carry over to another academic year. Also, not earning your entire award will not affect your FWS award for the following year.