Work Study Supervisors

This page has been created to address the questions that you will encounter while supervising Work Study students and managing their accounts. We understand that your time is valuable and utilizing this page will provide you with immediate assistance to your Work Study questions.

FAQ's for Work Study Supervisors

What is the Work Study Program?

Work-Study is a program whereby students work for the university to earn a paycheck. It is designed to offer students financial assistance while providing valuable work experience which can be used on a resume. Funding is received from several sources and is distributed among departments by Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Work-study benefits our students by providing them with a source of “self-help” financial aid. Money they earn does not have to be paid back and can be used to subsidize their educational expenses or other personal expenses. Work-study jobs are also extremely valuable sources of experience to the students, many of whom may never have held a job before. It offers them an opportunity to grow professionally before they leave college. This is experience that can be used on resumes and can sometimes mean the difference between finding or losing a good job right out of college.

For our departments, work-study students can become valuable assets. Since eligible work-study students are not paid out of the departments’ wage accounts, it is essentially free help for the department. Students who are trained and retain eligibility year after year become true team members within the departments and are often necessary to keep the office running smoothly. This leaves other staff free to devote their time to larger tasks.

Work-Study is NOT:

  • A substitute for necessary full or part-time staff (by Federal Regulations, work-study student may NOT take the place of full-time or part-time staff)
  • A guaranteed source of funding for departmental operations
  • A method for departments to fill positions which are crucial to department operations

Work-Study is SUPPORT funding – not staff funding.

How is Work-Study funded?

Current funding for the work-study program comes from the following three sources:

  • The Federal Government (Federal Work-Study Program)
  • The State Government (Texas Work-Study Program)
  • UTSA (Institutional Work-Study Program)

Funding amounts can change from year to year, depending upon the ability of the university to fully utilize funds previously received. Generally, small increases can be expected from year to year, provided we use all of our funding the previous year.

How to Begin Participation in the Work-Study Program

Becoming a part of the Work-study program starts with obtaining an allocation. In order to request an allocation, you must obtain a PeopleSoft cost center number. The following should guide you through the major steps in the program:

Step 1: Obtain a PeopleSoft cost center number

Your department was given a PeopleSoft cost center number by the Budgets Office. If your department is new and does not have a number, you will need to request one through the Budget Office.

Step 2: Request an allocation (if new department)

Departments would need to notify the account that your department in interested in pursuing Work-Study funds. Please make sure the email contains the following information:

  • Name of the department and/or division
  • Name of the supervisor
  • The supervisor’s contact address and phone number
  • Department’s Point of Contact information: name, email, and phone number. Point of contact should be administrative assistant or other personnel who will be handling department’s work-study accounty.
  • A description of the need within the office to hire a work-study.
  • A job description listing the essential duties and responsibilities for the job
  • A list of qualifications and skills required to perform the job

Step 3: Finding work-study students

Our office will provide departments a Master list, a spreadsheet that contains work-study eligible students for the upcoming academic year. If a student is not on the spreadsheet, departments can contact the with the student’s name and banner ID for confirmation of their eligibility.

Please keep in mind that even if we have previously confirmed eligibility for a student, there are many situations that can occur between the confirmation of eligibility and the appointment being approved. If you have started a student working who is no longer eligible, and hours that have been worked will be charged to your department.

Additionally, departments can post job positions with Career Services.

Step 4: Hiring Procedures

In order to prevent work-study student’s wages from coming from your department’s wages, departments have to follow the following protocol:

  • Departments need to submit the appropriate hiring documents to HR via SharePoint. If your student is a new hire or had a break in service and is returning, please submit a Hire/Rehire form to HR.
  • For students that are new to UTSA, or they have had a break in service of 1 year or greater, they will need a new I-9 and paperwork.
  • If your student is currently employed, the department should submit a Job Record Change Form to extend their end date into the upcoming academic year.
  • Keep in mind, the Job Record Change Form is used for end date extensions and terminations only. HR cannot process any other changes with this form.
  • After HR confirms the appointment of your work-study hire, departments need to email the Department Work-study Final Hire spreadsheet to the account.
  • After our office receives the Department Work-study Final Hire spreadsheet, we will change the student’s wages on PeopleSoft so that they can get charged from the work-study account cost center. IMPORTANT! After HR creates an appointment for a work-study student, the student’s wages are set up to be paid from the department’s cost center thus, it is important that we receive the Final hire spreadsheet as soon as possible.
  • We will email you that the work-study student’s wages have been changed on PeopleSoft and confirm that their wages will now come from the work-study cost center .The turnaround time for a final hire spreadsheet under normal circumstances is between 24- 48 hours.

How does financial aid coordinate student awards with departmental allocations?

As a department, you are given a certain amount of funds, usually indicated as being for a certain number of students. For example, with awards of $4500, you may receive an allocation of $16,000—enough for four students.   However, not every student will qualify for the full $4500. In that case, you will have extra money and should hire another student to use the remainder.

Another case for allocating a smaller amount to a student would be if the student, on average, works less than the maximum of 19 hours per week, or you hire them for less than 19 hours per week. You should lower their award amount by letting the Coordinator know how much to hire them at—this will help you more effectively use your allocation throughout the year. For help with deciding on award amounts, contact the Coordinator.

Remember, if the amount you have remaining in your allocation is less than the amount the student has been awarded, they can only be given what you have remaining in your allocation.

If you lose a student partway through the year, you can only hire a new student using the amount left after the other student was terminated, regardless of the new student’s award being larger.

How do I post a job opening?

By far the most efficient way to find work-study students is through the Career Services JobBank. Students are referred directly to Career Services to begin searching for open positions. From the JobBank, they can upload their resume and send it to hiring managers. This cuts down on the amount of time your department spends answering questions and handing out applications to walk-in searchers.

It is important from a tracking standpoint that work-study jobs be posted online at Career Services. Much of their funding comes from their ability to provide statistics of students placed in jobs both on and off-campus. Posting your job helps give them credit for the outstanding work they do.

Career Services offers a wide range of workshops and services to support your department both in finding and hiring a student, as well as developing that student’s working skills. Workshops such as “Phone Etiquette” and “Dress for Success” are highly recommended.

Another opportunity for hiring students is the Student Employment Fair, held at least twice per year. In August, the Student Employment Fair will be part of the Rowdy Days celebration, greeting new students to campus and welcoming back our returning students. Participating departments can interview and hire students during the course of the fair by utilizing quiet rooms set aside for on-the-spot interviews, or may simply choose to accept resumes and conduct interviews at a later date.

What do I do now that I have hired a student?

Once a hiring decision has been made, there are several steps of paperwork that must be completed before the student may begin their job as a work-study.

  • Verify student eligibility through the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. If the student has already been awarded work-study, an official copy of their award letter is sufficient. If they have not been awarded, the Coordinator will provide them with the necessary verification, if they are indeed eligible.
  • See Step 4: Hiring Procedures in “How to Begin Participation in the Work-Study Program” question in the FAQ’s.
  • Have them fill out the Non-Benefits Eligible Employment Packet (found on the Human Resources Web site).
  • As part of the Employment Packet, have the student complete the Criminal Background Check.
  • Have the student take the I-9 and the rest of the employment packet to the Human Resources Office. The date on the I-9 must be within 3 days of the first day of work.

Please remember the following guidelines for a student’s eligibility to work:

  • Students must be enrolled at least half time to be eligible to work (with the exception of Summer, which has different requirements).
  • Work-Study funding will be cancelled if the student drops below half time or withdraws from UTSA.
  • Students may work up to, but not more than, 19 hours per week while classes are in session. During academic breaks, holidays, and spring break, students may work up to 40 hours per week, provided that their award covers this amount.
  • Students may not work during any time they are scheduled to be in class, unless it is documented on the time sheet as class cancelled, released early, etc.

What are the start and end dates for appointments?

In general Fall/Spring appointments should be dated September 1st through May 31st.  If you have a student that is hired after September 1st, you will put their start date as the intended/hire date and make the appointment through May 31st.

Spring Only appointments should be dated January 3rd through May 31st.  If you have a student that is hired after January 3rd, you will put their start date as the intended/hire date and make the appointment through May 31st.

Summer appointments should be dated June 1st through August 31st.  If you have a student that is hired after June 1st, you will put their start date as the intended/hire date and make the appointment through August 31st.

When can the student start working?

The student may not begin working until you have received official notification of approval from the Work Study Coordinator.  This is because student’s eligibility can change during appointment process.(Change in unmet need, number of hours enrolled, no longer meeting academic progress, etc).

Additionally, HR may not approve appointment is the student fails criminal background check. If the student has started working and the appointment is not approved, the student will need to be paid from the department's funds! You will be contacted via e-mail when the appointment has been approved.

Students can’t start working until the appointment has been approved, but the new hire packet asks for a start date.  What do I put?

The date on the new hire packet for HR is more of a hire date/intended start date than the actual date the student started working.  When putting a start date, try to pad a few days from the day that you create the appointment to allow for the appointment to process. That way the intended date is as close to the actual start date as possible.

Time Sheet Information

The correct time sheet for work-study students can be obtained from the Work Study Coordinator. It should also be available under Outlook, in Public Folders—Financial Aid, Work-study.

The time sheet MUST include: times in, times out, total time worked, Privacy Notice, and the students Banner ID. It is important that students fill out their time sheets properly. Nothing should be left blank, especially the student ID. They are not required to indicate their Social Security Numbers, but MUST at least include their Student ID.

Certain situations cause what we call a deviation—a class is cancelled allowing the student to work during a normally scheduled class time, corrections have been made due to mistakes in a previous pay period, etc. All of these circumstances should be noted in the Deviations section of the time sheet (see example below).

Deviations (use back of time card if necessary)

Date Class Time Work Time Reason
April 15 9am - 11am 10:30am - 1:00pm Class let out early
April 15 NA NA 1 hr deducted from total
(overpaid by 1hr March 16 - March 31)

Holidays, ice days, and sick days are not to be counted as hours worked. Student employees are not paid for lunch or break periods. Overtime is not authorized for work-study student employees and any overtime worked will be at the individual department’s expense.

Every pay period, review and sign the student time sheet. Partial hours worked should be rounded to the nearest quarter hour.  Time sheets that are not signed or contain incorrect calculations will be returned to you for corrections.  Original time sheets should be kept at the department.

What happens if our students run out of money?

In order to continue paying the student, they will need to have their work-study appointment terminated, and be appointed under a wages account. If the student continues to work under the work-study appointment, the amount over the allocation will show as a negative balance in the sub-account, and will be the responsibility of your department.

How can I keep track of each student’s remaining hours and earnings?

The Work Study Coordinator can provide you with a basic spreadsheet at any time. Other departments have also developed extensive Excel spreadsheets to make tracking easier. It is essential that you keep track of this along with the student to prevent them from going over their award.  It is the responsibility of the individual departments, not the Work Study Coordinator to track the student’s earning.

How many hours a week can students work?

Currently, UTSA policy is to not allow students to work more than 19 hours per week during weeks when classes meet. There are several reasons for this policy. Firstly, working more than 19 hours a week while appointed for more than 4 ½  months would make a student benefits eligible, which we cannot do. Secondly, it is the policy of the Vice President of Student Affairs to not allow students to consistently work more than 19 hours a week. We feel working more hours per week will be detrimental to their studies and their academic success.

On rare occasions, we may grant special permission for a particular student to work more than 19 hours in a specified week for a departmental project or other special circumstance. Any special permission for a student to work more hours per week should be requested from the Work-study Coordinator, who will request permission from the Vice President of Student Affairs.

During weeks that classes do NOT meet (e.g. Christmas break, Spring break), students may work a maximum of 40 hours per week without prior special permission. During partial break weeks (i.e. Thanksgiving break), students should work no more than 8 hours per day on the days when classes are not in session.

There is currently no policy regarding a minimum number of hours per week. Departments may set a minimum, if desired, but it is not required.

How do I know if a student is eligible for Work-Study?

In some cases, you may hear that a student is “eligible” but not “awarded.” An “awarded” student has already had work-study added to their award—presumably, they met the priority deadline and were meeting the academic requirements for eligibility. A student that is “eligible” has not yet been awarded—therefore, has not met priority deadline (but is also not on SAP.)  If at all possible, only students that have met the priority deadline should be given hiring priority. We will hold job fairs throughout the year, which will be open to all students, but in all fairness, first choice of jobs should go to students who met the deadline and have all requirements complete.

Students are notified of the amount of their work-study awards via their award letters, prior to the beginning of the semester. They should be able to provide you with a copy of this award letter as proof that they are awarded. Verification can also be obtained by calling or emailing the Work-study Coordinator. Once awarded, students will look for job openings through Career Services’ JobBank and at the Job Fairs.

Keep in mind, even after eligibility has been confirmed, the student can not begin working until the appointment has been approved.

We received an e-mail from the Work-Study Coordinator confirming eligibility for more students than we were given an allocation for.  Are we allowed to hire more students now?

Many departments will send the Work Study Coordinator a list of students to confirm eligibility for.  The Work Study Coordinator will confirm eligibility for all of the students listed on the e-mail.  However, even if the list of students has been approved, the number of students you hire must fit within your department’s allocation.  For example: Your department’s allocation is $9,000 (2 positions) and you send a list to the Work Study Coordinator for 10 students and it turns out that they are all eligible for $4,500 each.  This does not mean that you can hire all 10 at $4,500.  It means that you have 10 eligible students to fill your 2 vacant positions.

What is Unmet Need?

Work-study is need-based aid and in order for students to be eligible, they must have enough unmet need to be awarded. 

Cost of Attendance minus their Expected Family Contribution = Unmet Need.

Grants, Scholarships, and certain loans take away from unmet need.  Here is an example of two students.  One student has unmet need, the other doesn’t:

Student Example #1:

$10,500 Cost of Attendance
-$2,000 Expected Family Contribution
$8,500 Unmet Need

Then this student was awarded $2,000 in grants and $2,000 in scholarships.

$8,500 Unmet Need
-$2,000 Grants
-$2,000 Scholarships
$4,500 Unmet Need

Then this student has unmet need and shows the financial eligibility for work-study funds.

Student Example #2:

$10,000 Cost of Attendance
- $6,000 Expected Family Contribution
$4,000 Unmet Need

Then this student was awarded $2,000 in grants and $2,000 in scholarships.

$4,000 Unmet need
-$2,000 Grants
-$2,000 Scholarships
$ 0 Unmet Need

Then this student does not have any unmet need for work-study eligibility.

Why is it so important to completely use our allocation?

The amount of money UTSA receives from the government on a yearly basis depends very much on how we have used the previous year’s money. If we do not use enough of what we have been given, we face the possibility of having our funding cut in future years, which is detrimental to being able to offer this form of Financial Aid to our students.

What do we do if we no longer need as many students as we were allocated?

Please notify the Work Study Coordinator as soon as you know that you will not need the amount of funds allocated to you.  This will allow those funds to be distributed to other departments who need the funding.  Failure to notify the Work Study Coordinator of any unused funds may result in a reduced allocation for your department the following year.

Where can students work?

Most work-study positions are found on campus, within individual departments. On-campus includes any UTSA campus, including the Institute of Texan Cultures, and other programs administered by UTSA. Students who qualify for the work-study program may also seek employment off campus with the America Reads/Counts program. We do not currently offer any other type of off-campus work-study employment.

Can students work for more that one work study department at a time?

Students may not work for more than one work-study department at a time. If the student is working as a work-study and will also be hired as a Supplemental Instructor, or other non-work-study job, the combination of the two jobs must not exceed 19 hours per week.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

Students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress—in other words, they must maintain a 2.0 GPA and at least 67% course completion. Students who do not meet these requirements will receive notices that their financial aid (including work-study) has been terminated until they submit an appeal and it is approved. Students that are on SAP will neither be awarded nor be considered “eligible.” If a student that is on SAP submits an appeal and is approved, they may or may not be eligible for work-study. Part of our responsibility to these students is ensuring their academic success—even if it means asking that they no longer work, but concentrate on their studies instead. Exceptions may be made in extreme cases, and should be directed to the Work Study Coordinator.

Are Fall/Spring and Summer allocations renewable?

Fall/Spring and Summer allocations are not renewable.  Submission of a Fall/Spring Request and a Summer Request form is required each year.  You will notified in an e-mail each year of the deadline submission date.  Please note that you may not be granted the number of students that you have been requested.  You will be notified in an allocation letter prior to the start of the semesters of the number of students that you have been given.

Can I request additional students?

Occasionally, throughout the year, opportunities may arise to have extra funds reallocated to departments seeking additional students. If that is the case, the Coordinator will send out an announcement, and departments interested in these funds will need to fill out the “Additional Work-study Request Form".

What is the last work day for a graduating student?

Work-study students who are graduating at the end of a semester can not work past commencement.  For example: If their previous appointment was approved for September 1st through May 31st but their commencement is May 15th, they can not work past May 15th.

How do I submit a termination?

A termination is a change hour appointment. Please note: when changing the end date of the appointment, please change it to last day worked—the termination amounts must be calculated to last day worked, not the day the appointment was put through. This keeps us from hanging on to appointments that could be terminated because we’re waiting for amounts in a pay period that the student did not actually work. It would be beneficial to also note the last day worked on their final time sheet.

If the student stopped working during the last pay period of the term (e.g., May 16-31, for Spring), AND they WILL be returning to your department the next term (for example, they are leaving at the end of Spring but will work for you again in the Fall), please do not submit a termination—the system will terminate them automatically. If a termination is submitted, it will sit in the HRMS inbox, because it cannot be terminated until a final payroll document is received, which can take as long as a week and a half. This problem will prevent you from submitting a new appointment, hourly or work-study, for that student. If the student is NOT returning, a termination must be submitted, along with separation documents to Human Resources.


Students are automatically terminated from the WS Program on the expiration date shown on their appointment (May 31 for Spring, for example.) New appointments must be submitted for the student to work in the next term. Students are not automatically terminated at the end of Fall. They may continue into Spring unless the supervisor wishes to terminate them or the student asks to be terminated from the position.
Student employees are encouraged to remain in their positions for the full academic year.  However, they may resign their position at any time, for any reason. They are asked to give two weeks notice to their supervisor, but this is not required.

Additionally, Financial Aid and Scholarships must immediately terminate a student’s employment upon determination that the student no longer meets eligibility requirements. Changes in eligibility may result from:

  • Change in enrollment status
  • Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (2.0 GPA and 75% course completion)
  • Receipt of additional resources, which were not known at the time of award (i.e. scholarships, grants, etc.)

Under certain conditions, the student may be immediately terminated by the department. The following situations are considered grounds for immediate dismissal:

  • Theft of supplies/equipment
  • Three consecutive absences without prior notice
  • Destruction of university property
  • Trespassing on work site after hours
  • Long-distance phone calls charged to office phone
  • Falsification of timesheets

Improper use or violation of UTSA property and falsification of timesheets will result in the termination of the student without grounds for appeal.

It is recommended that both supervisors and work-studies give two weeks notice of resignation/termination, whenever possible. See also “How do I submit a termination?” under Frequently Asked Questions.

What do I have to do to re-hire a work-study student?

A work-study student’s continued employment at a work site depends on several factors:

  • The student must continue to be a recipient of Work-Study funds, and
  • Have a satisfactory job evaluation, and
  • Indicate his/her desire to continue working in the same site, and
  • Must continue to hold a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and 67% course completion (as required by the regulations regarding meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress, which govern all Financial Aid funds).

Student appointments are automatically terminated at the end of the Spring semester. Please remember that students must submit a Summer Application if they wish to receive Financial Aid (including Work-Study) for the summer. New appointments will need to be created for the summer term. New appointments will also need to be created for the following Fall/Spring term, even if continuing the same student. You must verify that they have again received work-study funds—it is not guaranteed to be the same amount every year.

Summer Work-Study Information

Institutional funds are used to supplement our summer work-study program. As a result, students interested in receiving summer work-study funds need to have Texas residency. In addition, eligibility requirements for the Summer are somewhat different than during the Fall and Spring. While the Fall and Spring semester requires at least half-time enrollment, such is not always the case with summer. Federal regulations allow for a student to work during a period of non-enrollment (summer, for example), provided they are registered for the immediately following term (Fall, in this case), and they still have room in their current Fall/Spring budget for the award. (Please see budgeting examples below). It is not always guaranteed that a student will have room for Summer work-study, and you should remember that every single student may have an entirely different situation during the Summer because of the varied regulations regarding its awarding during that term. The best course of action is always to ask about their eligibility before relying on what you or the student thinks they may have.

When we determine a student’s budget for financial aid for the Fall and Spring, we estimate their tuition and fees and cost of living expenses over a 9 month period, not 12 months. We only want to consider expenses that they will incur while they are enrolled. So when students enroll for at least 6 hours in the Summer, we add another 3 months to their budget which make room for more financial aid. Here's an example of a student that would need to register for classes in the summer to be eligible for work-study.

Example 1: In this example, the student needs to register for classes in the Summer to be eligible for Summer work-study:

Fall/Spring Budget: $10,000
-$4,000 grants
-$6,000 loans
$0 room left for any aid

Then this student registers for Summer which adds $2,000 to their budget:

Fall/Spring/Summer budget $12,000
- $4,000 grants
-$6,000 loans
$2,000 left for aid such as work study

Example 2: In this example, the student does not have to register for Summer to be eligible for Summer work-study as long as the student is registered for the upcoming Fall semester:

Fall/Spring budget: $10,000
-$2,000 grants
-$3,000 loans
5,000 unmet need for aid such as work study

This student already has enough unmet need remaining in his current budget to be awarded work-study.  However, this student would need to register for at for the upcoming Fall so we can verify that this is a returning student.

How do I confirm Summer eligibility for a student?

Awards for summer terms are always separate from awards for Fall/Spring terms. Summer is subject to different regulations regarding eligibility, and even students who were eligible during the Fall/Spring may not be eligible during the Summer. Lists of students you are interested in can be emailed to the Coordinator, who will email you back with information regarding their eligibility, SAP information, and/or award status.

Failure to Follow Policies and Regulations

Work-Study is a program that benefits both our students and our departments. Due to the strict regulations provided by the Federal Government, we must make every attempt to enforce all guidelines. Continuous failure to adhere to policies and guidelines endangers the University as a whole. We risk losing our funding privileges, and thus lose a much-needed source of Financial Aid for our students. Consistently failing to follow regulations may result in a supervisor and/or department becoming ineligible to participate in the work-study program.

Are there resources to help me ensure my student employee is career-ready?

The 'Runner Career Launch website is a resource hub for student supervisors help elevate the work experiences of on campus student employees and to help them be better prepared for the workforce after college. Career readiness refers to attainment of core competencies that form the foundation for workplace success across fields and job functions. New college graduates will set themselves apart in the job market by demonstrating how they have gained and applied these competencies. Visit the 'Runner Career Launch website.