Off-Campus Work-Study Student Employers


This page is dedicated to government/public agencies and private nonprofit organizations that have been approved or hope to be approved to hire and employ University of Iowa (UI) students part-time (20 hours per week maximum; 40 hours per week maximum during breaks) through the Federal Work-Study Program.  Regular correspondence occurs via email between Student Employment and approved Off-Campus Work-Study employers.  It is important that the off-campus employer notifies Student Employment of any email address changes.

Links to sections below:


Obtaining Approval as an Off-Campus Agency

Government/public agencies or private nonprofit organizations interested in becoming Off-Campus Work-Study Employers should contact Student Employment. Due to limited Work-Study funding, it is generally necessary that the off-campus employer offer a work opportunity that is not already being offered in order to be approved as a new employer. A contract needs to be signed between the employer and the UI. Documents verifying the non-profit status of the employer along with job descriptions are required.  Some employers may also be able to sign a Community Service agreement because of the nature of the job to be supported by Work-Study funds. Community Service is defined by Federal financial aid regulations to include services which improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals, or solve particular problems.


Establishing Rate of Pay

The employer determines the hourly rate of pay based on job duties and qualifications and the current job market.  A review of the most recent Work-Study Wage Survey (PDF) may be helpful in establishing the rate of pay.  The rate of pay must be equivalent to that of a non-Work-Study student employee. The student's experience and background for the particular job should be used as criteria in setting the exact hourly wage. Iowa minimum wage is $7.25 effective January 1, 2008. Currently, the Work-Study program covers 50% of the wage (60% if the position meets community service guidelines) up to $9.00 per hour.  The portion of the wage greater than $9.00 per hour receives no reimbursement.


Posting Jobs on Jobnet

Jobnet is the University’s on-line advertisement system for posting student jobs.  All job qualifications must be in accordance with the University of Iowa Non-Discrimination Statement. Select Advertise, View, and Update Listings to post a job. Job opportunities advertised on Jobnet must be part-time (20 hours per week or less) and paid by the hour. Exception: Jobs that are full-time for the summer only will be posted during the summer posting period. The employer's geographic location and the job location must be within 30 miles of Iowa City. 

Jobnet is updated daily, Monday-Friday with new jobs being reviewed and posted within two business days. Jobs are posted for one month. Employers should call 335-1460 or email to remove the job if it is filled before the month.  Employers may also request that the job continue to be posted if it is not filled within the month. Currently the Jobnet Vacancy Form does not provide a space for the employer's email address. You may want to include your email address in the duties or qualifications area of the form. By providing your email address, you will allow both students and the Student Employment staff quick access to your email address.


Student Job Fair

Beyond advertising on Jobnet, Off-Campus Work-Study employers are invited to attend the annual Student Job Fair.  This is an excellent opportunity to showcase job opportunities and find the right Work-Study employee(s).


Interviewing Work-Study Student Employees

When interviewing a UI student, employers should ask the student to bring a copy of the award letter outlining the dollar eligibility of the Work-Study award. Students have access to their award letter via ISIS by clicking on Student Records/Financial Aid/Award Notification. This dollar eligibility can be important in finalizing a hiring decision. For example, an award of $1,000 may not be sufficient to meet the needs of the department based on the rate of pay, hours of work needed per week, and weeks of employment needed in the year.


Work-Study Award/Eligibility

The student's Work-Study award/eligibility represents the maximum amount that can be earned without any revisions to the award and is based on the student's financial need. Students must apply for financial aid each year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), supplying all required documents (Iowa Verification Form, student and, if applicable, parent Federal tax returns) and requesting Work-Study on the Iowa Verification Form. In addition, there is a separate summer application. In order to be awarded and utilize the Work-Study award, a student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), not have a University bill from a prior session, and be registered for at least half-time hours (academic year: 6 hours undergraduate or 5 hours graduate; summer: 3 hours undergraduate and graduate). 

This dollar eligibility is not the amount of Work-Study reimbursement that can be received but is the total dollar amount of the student's earnings potential.

                  Total Work-Study dollar eligibility = Work-Study reimbursement + employer portion

Semester Work-Study awards range from $500 to $1,750 for returning students and from $500 to $1,250 for incoming freshman and transfer students.

Summer Work-Study awards are established each year based on funding availability. The summer 2010 maximum award is $2,500.

Students are encouraged to email if it is possible to earn more than the original award based on hourly pay and work schedule. The Work-Study award can be used to determine weekly work hours. The Employment Dates web page provides information on the number of weeks covered by the Work-Study award or eligibility.

Work hours per week = Work-Study eligibility ÷ Pay Rate ÷ planned work weeks in academic year or summer

An email is sent to the employer when the student is nearing the Work-Study eligibility dollar limit. Once the student has earned his/her Work-Study eligibility, the student is terminated from the Work-Study Program.

The Work-Study eligibility may decrease if the student receives additional scholarships or grants, requests a reduction in Work-Study for an increase in loans, or chooses to accept another Work-Study job. The eligibility may increase if Work-Study funds are available and the student has remaining financial need and can earn beyond the original award based on pay rate and work schedule.  Employers are sent emails if the Work-Study eligibility is adjusted.


Hiring Work-Study Student Employees

Students cannot start working (this includes training) until the employer receives an approved Work-Study Appointment from Student Employment.  The following must be done by the employer to start the hiring process:

  • Complete the Off-Campus Work-Study Appointment Request (Microsoft Word document) with the student and email it to
    • Beginning Date of Employment
      • Employers are encouraged to complete this form as soon as the student is hired to avoid back-dating the form since it may not always be possible to approve back-dating.
      • The beginning date of employment must fall within the employment dates for the hiring period, i.e. summer or academic year.
      • The beginning date may need to be changed by Student Employment if the student needs to complete the Form I-9.
    • Job Duties
      • Provide a brief listing of duties in order for Student Employment to determine community service eligibility.
    • Bloodborne Pathogens
      • If, in the normal course of job duties, the employee is exposed to blood or blood products, indicate "yes."  If "yes," list the employee job duties and direct the student to Student Employment to receive information on the Hepititus B vaccine.
  • Inform the student to expect and be looking for an email from Student Employment regarding required payroll forms, i.e. I-9, W-4, Direct Deposit, and information regarding UI’s Terms & Conditions of Employment (PDF) and the On-Line Time Reporting System.
    • A delay will occur if the student is required to complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.  Student Employment will email the student directly if this is necessary and copy the employer so the employer is aware of the delay.
    • If the Form I-9 is needed, it MUST BE completed by the student with Student Employment staff at 213 Calvin Hall BEFORE the appointment can be approved. The student must bring the required Form I-9 documents (PDF) to Room 213 Calvin Hall to complete the I-9 form.
  • The student may NOT start working until the employer has received an approved Work-Study Appointment from Student Employment.  This approved form will be sent via email. Appointments cannot be created if students are not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards or are not registered for the correct number of hours or have a University bill that is outstanding from a prior session.  If the appointment cannot be created, the employer and student will be sent an email explaining the issue and the steps to correct the issue.


Entering Work Hours On-Line by the Student Employee

Students are sent an email every two weeks prior to the end of the biweekly pay period and told to enter work hours on-line and submit the hours electronically to the employer for approval. Additional information on this process is available to the student via the On-Line Time Reporting web page. The Biweekly Payroll Schedule is found on the University Payroll web site.


Approving Work Hours Using your HawkID & Updating your HawkID

Approved off-campus employers are provided with a HawkID and password in order to approve work hours electronically.  To obtain a HawkID, the off-campus employer must provide Student Employment with his/her social security number and date of birth. This information allows UI Human Resources and UI Information Technology Services (ITS) to set up the HawkID and password.

Every two weeks, according to the Biweekly Payroll Schedule, employers should go to Employee Self Service to approve work hours for Work-Study employees. First, enter the assigned HawkID and password. Then, click on the human resources link under Workflow, open the time record for each employee, and approve work hours. If the password has expired, go to the HawkID Guide to change the password.  If employers experience difficulty changing the password or have forgotten the password and know their UI Employee ID, they may call the ITS Help Desk, 384-4357, for assistance. Employee ID’s can be found on the biweekly time record reminder emails that Student Employment sends to employers and students.  They may also contact Student Employment for assistance.

If the employer approves the on-line time record AFTER the Payroll cut-off date listed on the Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule, the employer should let the student know that they will not be paid on the normal payment date. The student can either be paid on the next payment date or they can go to the Payroll Office for a payroll advance.


Paper Copy of the Biweekly Employee Work-Study Time Record

Often the Work-Study appointment is not entered in the payroll system in time for an electronic time record to be created for the first biweekly pay period of employment. For instance, the student is hired after the first day of the biweekly pay period or the employment appointment is created after the first day of the biweekly pay period. If this occurs, the work hours need to be entered on a paper time record (PDF) and mailed to the Payroll Office at 120-30 University Services Building.

  • The begin and end dates of the pay period and the dates of the work listed must correspond to the biweekly pay period dates.
  • Employers need to indicate the student name, student UI ID and pay rate along with the Master File Key (MFK) for the employee to be paid. The Payroll and Accounting Master File Key (MFK) listed below is the same for all off-campus Work-Study employers except for the following which must be selected by the employer (The information can also be found on the approved off-campus work-study appointment form.):
    • Inst Account:
      • 5945-Federal Work-Study
      • 5943-Federal Community Service
      • 5944-Federal Reading Tutor
    • Dept Account--The Dept Account that designates the individual off-campus employer is listed on the employer's prior billing statement and can be found in the drop down box for employing departments/agencies on the Off-Campus Work-Study Appointment Request Form (Microsoft Word document).

If the employer, on behalf of the student, submits a paper time record to the Payroll Office AFTER the Payroll cut-off date listed on the Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule, the employer should let the student know that they will not be paid on the normal payment date. The student can either be paid on the next payment date or they can go to the Payroll Office for a payroll advance.

Work Hour Limitations

Students are limited to working 20 hours per week during the academic year per State of Iowa Law. Students are allowed to work 40 hours per week during Thanksgiving break, winter break, spring break and summer. Students who work over 40 hours per week will be paid overtime but per Federal regulation, Work-Study cannot cover overtime wages. Although these are the hour limitations by law, the Work-Study dollar eligibility of the student employee will determine the number of hours the student can work per week and may limit the work hours below the maximums listed.  For example, if the student’s Work-Study award is $1,250 per semester and the pay is $8.00/hour, the student can only work 10 hours per week during the 22-week fall period, which includes winter break, and 12 hours per week during the spring period before the Work Study award would be earned.


Paying the Employer Portion of the Student Wage

Students are paid by UI Payroll every two weeks for 100% of the approved work hours.  Employers are billed every month for their portion of the wage (50% for non-community service and 60% for community service up to $9.00/hr). The bill is created by University Grant Accounting and mailed to the employer. Checks for the employer portion of the students' wage should be mailed to University Grant Accounting, B5 Jessup Hall. Questions regarding monthly bills should be directed to Student Employment (Cindy Seyfer: 335-1460, or Grant Accounting (Jodi Kennedy: 335-0249, To better assist in researching the issue, please provide the student name, UI ID and pay period or billing period in question. This research can take up to a week.


Employee Evaluation and Pay Raises

Evaluation is an ongoing process that can be implemented on a daily basis. It lets the employer offer both praise and precise and constructive criticism to the employee. This feedback, given in a timely fashion, often motivates the employee and improves job performance. Evaluations are not required, but are encouraged based on the positive results realized in job performance and employee growth and development. The evaluation form (Microsoft Word document) used by the Office of Student Financial Aid to evaluate its departmental student hourly employees can be adapted and used by off-campus agencies.

Employers can choose to provide raises at the beginning of a hiring period, i.e. summer or academic year or can provide a raise during an employment period. If the raise is provided after the Off-Campus Work-Study Appointment has been finalized through the University Payroll Office, a Rate of Pay Increase Form (Microsoft Word document) must be submitted by the employer to Student Employment. The raise must be effective with the beginning date of a biweekly pay period.


Student Employee of the Year

This recognition process is sponsored each year as a way to celebrate the achievements of student hourly employees. Please view additional information regarding the guidelines for this recognition process held in conjunction with National Student Employment Week. 


Termination of Employment Before the End Date of the Appointment

The Bi-weekly Student Work-Study Appointment Form has an auto-generated end date and will end (terminate) on the preset ending date listed on the appointment. Appointments will be terminated by Student Employment if the student withdraws from the University, drops below half-time enrollment (undergraduate: 6 hours a semester and summer session; graduate: 5 hours a semester or 3 hours summer session) or earns the Work-Study eligibility.

The student may request termination of employment.

The employer may terminate the student appointment due to the student leaving the position, inadequate job performance, budget constraints, etc. by emailing the Termination Request Form (Microsoft Word document) to Student Employment.

  • When termination is due to a student leaving the position, the employer should complete the Termination Request Form only if it is AT LEAST one week prior to the preset ending date on the appointment form.
  • When termination is necessary due to inadequate employee performance, it should be the end result of a series of progressive penalties. When discipline becomes necessary, a fair and well-publicized policy of progressive penalties might include the following:
    1. simple oral warning;
    2. written warning noted in student's file;or
    3. termination.

There may be cases when immediate termination without progressive discipline is appropriate, but this is limited to cases of severe misbehavior, such as physical or verbal abuse, theft, or the falsification of work hours.

Work-Study employees have a right to know their supervisor's expectations for job performance and whether or not their performance is substandard. They should be given an opportunity to improve their performance. Students have a right to use the UI Student Employee Grievance Procedure for a difference, complaint, or dispute regarding the interpretation or application of established policies and/or procedures governing the terms of employment, working conditions, hours of work, or compensation. Off-campus agencies agree, through participating in and receiving the benefits of the Work-Study program, to abide by the grievance decision of the University.

Students have the right to seek the advice of staff in the Office of the Ombudsperson for employment concerns such as perceived unfair working conditions, inappropriate discipline, or termination procedures.


Handling Work-Related Injuries of Work-Study Employees

All student hourly employees (both part-time and Work-Study) whether working on or off-campus sites are considered to be University of Iowa employees and, as such, are covered under the University's Worker's Compensation Policy. When faced with a workers' compensation situation, the most important thing to know is where the employee must seek treatment in order to receive coverage.  For all work injuries/accidents, employees must receive medical care from the following treatment location:

  • UI HealthWorks (3 Lions Drive in North Liberty - off HWY 965), M-F 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (319) 356-3335

Employees in the Iowa City area should use The University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics Emergency Room for emergencies and/or treatment during non-clinic hours.

Do not send students to Student Health or they will be charged for treatment.