Federal Work Study Policies

Students must send an email to FWS@BerkeleyCollege.edu with their name and Student ID Number in order to determine their eligibility. A member of the Federal Work Study Department will respond within two days.

To be eligible for a Federal Work Study Award in a particular semester, a student must: 

  • Be enrolled at least half-time as a matriculated student in an eligible program of study
  • Demonstrate sufficient unmet need as calculated by federal need-analysis formulas
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress levels

Half-Time Enrollment

Half-time enrollment is defined as taking six or more credits in a given semester. As most Berkeley classes are four credits, the six-credit requirement is equivalent to two courses.

Unmet Need

Unmet need is defined as the Cost of Attendance (COA), less the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), less all other resources, which generally consists of the total financial aid received by the student from all sources. COA is the total amount of average expenses that a student is expected to incur by attending the College. The EFC is the amount of money the student is expected to pay out of their own pocket based on the student’s FAFSA data and federal methodology. When the (COA) less (EFC) less (all other resources) is greater than zero, the student is deemed to have unmet need.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Levels

Students who are enrolled at Berkeley are considered to have fulfilled the satisfactory academic progress level requirement. However, students who are on probation may be deemed ineligible. This decision is under the sole discretion of the College.

FWS Awards and Pay Rates

Pay Rate Schedule

Level  Credits On-Site (Excluding ASC)  ASC/Off-Site 
Level I/II 0-71 $8.25/hour $9.00/hour
Level III/IV 72 and over $9.00/hour $10.00/hour

Pay Rate $8.25 per hour $9.00 per hour $10.00 per hour
Hours Per Week 20 hours 18 hours 16 hours

Awards and pay rates are based on credits that have been passed as of the semester of employment plus any transfer credits. Credits in progress will not be taken into account.

When a student has limited need, the award given may be less than in the above table. As a result, the student may have to work fewer hours per week. For example, a student who only has unmet need of $1,500 will not be awarded $2,000 of FWS but rather $1,500.

Any unused Federal Work Study awards may be carried forward and earned in subsequent semesters. However, future awards should not be earned in a current semester without exception approval from the Federal Work Study Coordinator.

Acknowledgement Letter

Upon successful completion and processing of the required paperwork for employment as a Federal Work Study student, the FWS Coordinator will send an Acknowledgment Letter. The letter will state the student’s start date, hourly pay rate, total award amount, and other pertinent information at the time of its writing.

Acknowledgment letters may be revised at any time during the semester should there be a change in the student’s FWS award, pay rate, or start date.

Resident Assistants

While working as a Resident Assistant does not disqualify a student from the Federal Work Study Program, there are special limitations for Resident Assistants working concurrently in FWS positions. Resident Assistants are only allowed to work at an FWS position if: 

  • The student demonstrates sufficient unmet need as calculated by federal need-analysis formulas with the Resident Assistant Credit taken into consideration
  • The student is willing to work only 10 hours per week
  • The supervisor for the RA/FWS recognizes that the student employee is limited in his or her availability to work based on the above

In summary, the College's recommendation is that RAs should not work in the FWS program. However, if both the RA student and the supervisor want to pursue the FWS Program despite its limitations on RAs, the College will not prohibit it.

Award Management

Students and supervisors are responsible for managing the amount of Federal Work Study awarded per semester. The number of hours per week on the Acknowledgment Letter will serve as a guideline. Adhering to those hours will evenly spread out the time students can earn their award.

However, the hours per week may be manipulated in that a student may exceed the recommended number of hours one week but work less than the recommended hours the following week to compensate.

Time Policies

Maximum Hours Per Week

Students are recommended to only work the number of hours per week outlined on their Acknowledgment Letter. Students and supervisors are allowed some flexibility in their weekly hours.

For example, if a student misses two hours one week, they may work the hours missed the following week even if this would exceed their regular weekly hours per their Acknowledgment Letter. However, under no circumstances can a student work over 35 hours in any given week.

Required breaks

Students who work between four to six consecutive hours are eligible to take a 15-minute paid break. This break does not need to be reflected on their timesheet. Students who work more than six consecutive hours must take a 30-minute unpaid break. This must be clearly reflected on their timesheet by creating an additional time slice (e.g. 9:00-12:00 then 12:30-16:00).

Class Conflicts

The student’s hours must not conflict with the student’s class schedule. Students cannot work when they have classes scheduled. When a class is canceled, a student may work during the time the class would have taken place. The student or the supervisor should inform the FWS Department when this happens.

Break Weeks

Federal Work Study students are not typically budgeted for the break weeks. Both students and supervisors should always assume that students are ineligible to work during break weeks.

One week prior to the break week, the Federal Work Study Department checks the salaries already earned and projects the amount of award the student will have left from his/her package. Students with a projected remaining award will become eligible to work during the break week. An email will be sent both to the student and to the supervisor to advise them of the number of hours they are eligible to work.

Students who will be not be attending the next term will be ineligible to work on the break week (withdrawals, graduates, leave of absences, etc.).

Timesheet and Payment Policies

All Federal Work Study students are required to submit their hours in Ultipro on a weekly basis. Timesheets are due every Monday for the previous week. Supervisors must approve the timesheets submitted every Wednesday.

Failure to comply with the timesheet deadlines may delay the student’s pay. In addition, late timesheets may be charged to the department’s part-time budget. Continued disregard of deadlines is considered non-compliance and may result in sanctions depending on frequency and severity.

FWS students are paid on the 15th and at the end of the month through either Direct Deposit or the Money Network Service Card. The paycard is sent to the student by mail prior to their first paycheck.

Students can get access to their funds faster by enrolling in the Direct Deposit program. Once enrolled, funds are directly deposited to the student’s chosen bank account. Students may enroll for Direct Deposit through Ultipro.

Changes and Termination

Changes to the student’s position such as supervisor changes or transfer to another department must be communicated to the FWS Department.

If a student is unreliable or does not perform their assigned duties responsibly, it may be necessary to terminate the student’s employment. A student should be treated fairly and courteously, as would any other employee. When a student is terminated, the Federal Work Study Department must be informed as soon as possible.