Monday, October 20, 2014
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Federal Work-Study Program Handbook

Introduction

Montgomery Community College (MCC) sponsors a Federal Work-Study Program under the Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part C. The program provides jobs for admitted students who are taking at least six credit hours in their curriculum. These positions are on and off campus.

Mission

The mission of the Federal Work-Study Program at MCC is two-fold:

  • To assist the financially needy student in meeting the costs of postsecondary education by providing an opportunity for the student to earn money with part-time employment.
  • To stimulate and promote the learning of skills, responsibilities and attitudes related to the world of work in an educational setting; combining learning with work that will transfer into careers and vocations after college.

The Federal Work-Study Program is an integral part of the College and is committed to providing benefits for both the student and MCC.

MCC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age or handicap.

Federal Work-Study Procedures

  1. The student applies for the Federal Work-Study Program by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Financial Aid Office will determine eligibility for Federal Work-Study funds.
  2. The student completes an application for work-study, which will outline the student’s skills, experience and interests. The student’s job preference, as well as the College needs is given consideration in job placement. Whenever possible, placement may be made in an area related to the student’s course of study or career goals.
  3. The Financial Aid Office will review the student applications and place students in an appropriate job setting when positions and funds are available. Returning students may resume their job from the prior school year provided they have been requested back by their supervisor, and have completed all necessary yearly paperwork with the financial aid office.
  4. A Work-Study Contract is prepared and all payroll information is given to the student. A student cannot begin work until a work contract is signed and payroll information is processed. Required forms include a W-4 (Tax Withholding Form), NC-4 State Form and an I-9 (Employment Verification Form). Proper identification is necessary to complete this process. A valid driver’s license, a U.S. social security card or an original or certified copy of a birth certificate will be needed to prove eligibility to work. Also, a valid U.S. Passport may be used in the place of the previous mentioned documents.
  5. The supervisor and student together complete a class/work schedule form to be on file with the supervisor and the Financial Aid Office. A student contract is then completed and is kept on file in the Financial Aid Office.

Coordination

The Financial Aid Office provides a centralized department for all phases of the Work-Study Program. The Financial Aid Office determines final placement of a student into an employment position. No job should be promised to a student by a department/division. The Financial Aid Office coordinates all aspects of the program, interprets policies and provides support to students and supervisors.

Student Work Schedules

College departments/divisions vary in work schedules. Some offices require that all student hours be worked Monday through Friday from 8:00 – 5:00; other departments/divisions may require some night or weekend work. Students are not allowed to work over 6 hours in a day without a 30 minute break reflected on the timesheet. Students are not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week unless approved by financial aid office.

When a student is hired, both the student and supervisor complete a class/work schedule Form and determine an agreeable work schedule. Students are not allowed to work at any time in which their classes are in session. After setting up an agreeable schedule, the student must adhere to that schedule throughout the term.

Work-study commitments must take precedence over extracurricular activities such as clubs, athletics, etc. Continuous deviations from the work schedule will result in disciplinary action, which could include suspension from the job.

Regulations stipulate that a student cannot work during class time.
The official class schedule must not overlap with any time worked by the student during the term. (Federal Regulations are very specific on this point; individual timesheets and student schedules are included in financial aid audits.)

Hours Per Week

A student agrees in the Work-Study Contract to work a specific total number of hours during the academic year. When these hours are fulfilled, the student will have earned his or her total award. A student may not work over the contracted awarded amount. Any work over this amount constitutes an over-award in financial aid. In such a case, some other type of aid may have to be reduced. In some cases the amount of the award may be increased, provided fund are available. This increase would require a new updated contract be on file reflecting the increase.

The contract also states an average number of hours a week the student should try to work. This keeps the student “on track” and allows the supervisor to plan and prepare work assignments.

A student, who desires to reduce his or her weekly work hours, thereby reducing their total work-study award, should do so within three weeks from the beginning of the term. Once a work-study award is reduced, the award should remain reduced for the remainder of the academic year, and no other financial aid changes should be made. Students who do not work the entire contracted award amount may have their work-study award reduced for the next academic year.

Work-study can be suspended at any time due to lack of funds.

Missed Work Hours/Sickness

Permission to be absent must be requested well in advance of the absence from the work-study supervisor. In case of emergencies, the student should notify their supervisor during the first day of their absence. Students using sickness as an excuse for being absent for more than one day must call the supervisor each day in order to give notice. Excessive absences would be grounds for a disciplinary notice and possible suspension from the program.

Missed work hours each week should be made up the following week, or in cases of excessive absences, as soon as possible. In such cases, the student and the supervisor should determine agreeable times for the missed hours to be made up. Classes cannot be skipped in order to make up missed work hours. In the case of an extended illness, a physician should confirm this. In rare cases a student may be permitted to take a leave of absence and be replaced by another student. Once this leave of absence is over, the student will be placed in a position when one becomes available and when funds allow.

Work Assignments

Each day upon arriving for work, the student should consult the supervisor for work assignments. Work assignments may also be written or given in advance. Students are not allowed to study or leave the work site without the permission of the supervisor. Supervisors are to see that the student employees have enough to do.

It is illegal to pay the student Federal Work-Study funds if the student is not working. Each division or department is responsible for closely monitoring the use of student time. If a student’s primary assignment is not requiring all of his or her time, the student should temporarily be assigned to another area within the same department/division. Students should clearly understand that they are assigned to an entire department or division, with their work time to be used as efficiently as possible throughout the year.

If there is not adequate work to be done over a period of time, the Financial Aid Office should be advised, either by the student or the supervisor. The student will then be assigned to another department/division.

Work-study positions are a vital and necessary part of the College’s operations and require a commitment (as confirmed by the contract) on the part of each student, in terms of time, energy and dependability. Work assignments are viewed as important employment.

Timesheets

Students should keep an accurate daily account of time worked on a timesheet. Timesheets should be completed each day, not at the beginning or end of the month. Supervisors should monitor the accuracy of the times reported, so as to prevent students from being paid for hours not worked. In accordance with Federal Regulations, both the student and the supervisor must sign each timesheet, certifying the hours as a true statement of hours worked. A supervisor, therefore, cannot be expected to certify back hours for a student who turns in late timesheets. Regulations also require the supervisor to state if the work was performed satisfactorily. (Timesheets must be retained five years for auditing purposes)

The student is responsible for ensuring the timesheet is completely filled out and for getting the timesheet to the Financial Aid Office by the last school day of the month. Timesheets that are held for more than 30 days and not turned into the Financial Aid Office for payment are at risk of not being paid. Fraudulent or “padded” timesheets will result in termination from the Federal Work-Study Program, and will be considered a Code of Conduct violation.

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