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Supervisor Handbook-FWS

Introduction  |  Securing Federal Work Study Positions  |  Pay Rates  |  Requirements of the Federal Work Study Program  |  Falsification of time worked  |  Important Facts About the Federal Work Study Program  |  How FWS Students Are Paid  |  Notice of Eligibility  |  Address Changes  |  Employee Background Checks  |  Transferring FWS Assignments  |  Terminations  |  Student Employee Disciplinary Action and Grievance  |  Employee Training Checklist  | Work Duties Additional Questions


A Guide to Policies and Procedures for the College Work Study Program

Published by

The Office of Student Financial Aid Services
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC 29425

The Medical University of South Carolina does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, handicap, veteran status, or marital status in the administration of admission policies, educational policies, financial aid, employment, or any other University activity. The Medical University of South Carolina hires only United States citizens or resident aliens legally authorized to work. Evidence of citizenship or legal eligibility to work must be demonstrated.


The Federal Work Study Program is a unique form of financial assistance which is made available to qualified students. The program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to meet their cost of education while enrolled at the Medical University of South Carolina. Federal Work Study is a part of the total financial aid package and is not intended to be the sole source of assistance.

The Federal Government establishes eligibility criteria and allocates an annual budget which is used to fund the student's FWS earnings. The Medical University of South Carolina provides the balance of the funds. The program is governed by policies and procedures representative of both funding agencies.

This handbook is designed to provide supervisors of Federal Work Study employees with the policies and procedures of the Federal Work Study Program. It has been compiled to answer questions which are often asked by supervisors and to stress important procedures in regards to employing Federal Work Study students. Although the information contained herein is in effect at the time of publication, future changes in policies may become necessary. When such changes occur, all active student FWS employees and their supervisors will be notified in writing.


Based on federal guidelines, the Office of Student Financial Aid Services determines the amount of an individual student's financial need. A certain percentage of this financial need may be met by awarding the student Federal Work Study. The Office of Student Financial Aid Services also acts as the coordinating agent between student employees, work supervisors, and administrative offices of the Medical University.


Once a student is determined that they are eligible for FWS and given an award, they will have to find a work assignment on campus. Your work assignment or position is placed in the Job Placement Book, a book of all available FWS work assignments and positions on campus. The FWS student then contacts those employers / work assignments of their interest. The Office of Financial Aid Services does not guarantee that you will have a student placed in your work assignment or position.

If you have a Federal Work Study position for the current academic year, it will automatically be placed in the next Job Placement book (unless otherwise specified). If you have not hired Federal Work Study students in the past and wish to do so, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid Services. In order to be a Federal Work Study supervisor you must attend the mandatory supervisor's workshop.


The work study program's rate of pay is $10.50 per hour.


As a Federal Work Study (FWS) Supervisor, you have certain responsibilities to the University and to the student. A supervisor who employs a FWS student is expected to

  1. Complete a Federal Work Study Position Request Form which describes the position duties and responsibilities, the qualifications for employment, the academic and/or career benefits of the position, and the approximate number of employment hours per week. In addition, a detailed MUSC Position Description for Non-FTE employees and a description of the Physical Requirements of the position must be completed. If additional positions are needed or job duties change, please contact the FWS Coordinator to update information in the Job Placement Book.
  2. Assure that the FWS position is in accordance with the following Federal Regulations:
    Employment will compliment and reinforce a student's educational program.

    Work for academic credit is not eligible as a Federal Work Study position. Contact the Coordinator of Federal Work Study in the Office of Student Financial Aid Services if you have any questions about positions that may involve any type of academic credit, including internships, practicums, or clinics

  3. Position must not be in violation of any state, federal, or local labor laws.
  4. Positions must not displace regular workers.
  5. Any student employed under FWS must be paid for all hours worked. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, prohibits employers (including schools) from accepting voluntary services from any paid employee.
  6. Students will be paid for actual time worked on the job, excluding meal periods/breaks.
  7. Interview all students expressing an interest in vacancies regarding the position, describing job responsibilities, supervisor's expectations, and qualifications for employment. You may not create a job with the intention of hiring one, specific student.
  8. Complete the FWS Employee/Supervisor Contract with the student employee you wish to hire. The student returns it to the Office of Student Financial Aid Services to complete the additional paperwork necessary to begin employment.
  9. Develop a work schedule with the student which starts no earlier than the effective date of employment, as determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid Services. Work schedules may not conflict with a student's academic responsibilities. We do encourage you to establish a weekly schedule. Students may not work during class time.
  10. Provide adequate instructions, training and necessary working conditions for performance of the student's duties. Inform the student about their work performance through verbal and written communications and evaluations.
  11. Assure that the student works in an environment consistent with the University's values.
  12. Comply with Federal Regulations regarding payment of wages.
  13. Ensure that time cards are submitted as work is performed. Kronos hours detail reports are to be submitted bi-weekly.
  14. Ensure that the student is paid for the actual time on the job. No student may work unless they are submitting those hours on their timecard, nor may any student volunteer their services.
    NOTE: No student is permitted to work in excess of eight (8) hours per day nor in excess of twenty (20) hours per week, unless authorized by the Office of Student Financial Aid. No student may be paid for lunch or break periods. Any time card that exceeds the above limits, will be returned to the supervisor for correction.
  15. *The availability of funds will dictate the work policy for holidays and summer breaks.
  16. Ensure that the times and dates that the student entered in on the Kronos system by the student are accurate and complete by reviewing the Time Detail Reports before signing them. It is the student’s responsibility to print enter their time worked on the system, print out the Time Detail Report and to get those reports signed by their supervisor. It is also the student’s responsibility to submit the signed Time Detail Reports to the Office of Financial Aid Services by the appropriate deadline.
    The Time Detail Reports are due on the Monday after the biweekly pay period end by 10:00 am, unless otherwise notified at one of the drop off points. In some instances, payroll deadlines may vary in the event of a holiday. The Office of Financial Aid services will notify the student and supervisor of any timecard deadline changes via e-mail. Failure to meet the stated deadlines may cause the student not to get paid in a timely manner. It is suggested that the FWS supervisor select an alternate person designated to sign the FWS student’s Time Detail Report on the supervisor’s behalf , should they be absent or unavailable.
  17. Termination of employment (separation) may occur for any of the following reasons:
  18. Federal Work Study eligibility is exhausted (supervisor and student are notified by financial aid office);
  • End of award year (listed on FWS Employee/Supervisor Contract);
  • Student has not worked for a period of two months;
  • Initiated by supervisor or student.
  • Falsification of time worked.
  • Constant/habitual failure to report time worked into Kronos system by stated deadlines.
  • Failure to follow University HRM guidelines of employee conduct. The policies on Disciplinary Action/Terminations of the University may be reviewed at:

    NOTE: The Coordinator of Federal Work Study in the Office of Student Financial Aid Services must be notified by the supervisor if a student is separating from a FWS position. Separation papers are filed by the Office of Student Financial Aid Services. Failure to notify our office of the last date of employment may cause errors or delays in the student’s pay.

    FWS Students away on rotation must notify the FWS Coordinator the dates that they are away and will return to their FWS position. Failure to communicate this information may result in termination or work in a non-authorized period of which the student will not be paid.


Departments are not required to contribute funds. The matching institutional dollars (to the federal allocation) are paid from general funds by the Controller's Office. Students will need to have approval to work by the Deans of their respective colleges and by the Office of Student Financial Aid Services. CHP students must receive their approval signature from the Division Director of their respective program. The student’s academic progress will also determine continued eligibility for the FWS program. If the student does not have their Dean’s approval to participate in FWS due to academic reasons, they cannot be hired under the FWS program. Students must go through the financial aid application process to be eligible for the Federal Work Study Program. Students who have not applied for financial aid must do so to determine eligibility. This can be a four to six week process.

Students are not to begin working until authorized by the Office of Student Financial Aid Services. A student must complete standard MUSC employee paperwork, through the Office of Student Financial Aid Services, before working. When this paperwork has been properly completed and returned to the Office of Financial Aid Services, the supervisor will be notified of the effective date. The student will be given two copies of their FWS contract with an effective date indicated (a student copy and a supervisor’s copy). Students will not be paid with Federal Work Study Funds for hours reported prior to the effective date. (The hiring supervisor would be responsible for paying these hours.)

Students must be enrolled at least half time to be eligible for the FWS program during the regular semester. Should a student drop to less than half time enrollment, the student most must stop working. Students may be allowed to work during periods of non-enrollment ( i.e. holiday and summer breaks). However, prior approval from the FWS coordinator must be obtained.

The University requires all employees to attend OSHA training and have a physical prior to employment. There are no exceptions. All FWS employees are required to complete these as a condition of employment. HIPPA training is not required by the University as a condition of employment for the Federal Work Study program. However, supervisors may require students to complete this training as their own departmental hiring requirement. The supervisor would be responsible for providing this training to the student.

Students are not allowed to work beyond their eligibility. Eligibility is the dollar amount of their College Work Study Award. The amount of FWS money shown on their financial aid award letter and contract is the amount of money that the student may expect to earn during the academic year as a result of work performed and the hours necessary to perform such work.

Students and supervisors must contact the Office of Financial Aid Services prior to accepting FWS employment if they are working (or plan to work) in another department at MUSC. Coordination between FWS and the other employing department on campus must be made to ensure that the student is not in an overtime situation. Approval or Disapproval for Dual Employment is granted through the University Human Resources office. Paperwork from both departments is required to be submitted for consideration by Human Resources. Federal Regulations stipulate that the FWS program cannot pay students overtime.

Hours worked from all departments are calculated into the MUSC payroll system and thus the students must not exceed 40 hours per week between all departments at MUSC. It is imperative that students already employed at MUSC or considering dual employment, contact the FWS Coordinator to discuss these matters. Failure to communicate dual employment information to the Office of Financial Aid Services may place the student in a situation of where they will not be paid for FWS hours worked.

In the event that a FWS employee works in a non-authorized period (before effective date, beyond eligibility or other periods specified by the Office of Student Financial Aid Services) the supervisor agrees that funds to pay the student will be withdrawn from the supervisor's departmental funds. This agreement is part of the Federal Work Study Employee/ Supervisor Contract. In the event that Kronos time reports for the current operating year are not turned in before pay period ending June 30th (closing of the fiscal year), the hiring supervisor would be responsible for paying these hours. The Office of Financial Aid Services will send out a reminder notice to supervisors regarding this issue.



  1. Student applies for financial aid through the Office of Student Financial Aid Services and requests FWS award.
  2. Student receives award letter offering FWS as part of financial aid package.
  3. Student notifies financial aid office of award acceptance and meets with FWS Coordinator.
  4. Student receives packet including: job placement book, FWS Employee Handbook, and FWS Employee paperwork packet and checklist, which itemizes steps to complete prior to beginning work.


  1. Supervisor attends a mandatory FWS meeting where policies and procedures are discussed.
  2. Supervisor files Job Description form.
  3. Supervisor receives confirmation of FWS position including job number, position grade, and pay categories.

Student and Supervisor

  1. Student contacts supervisor for interview.
  2. Student is hired. Student and supervisor complete the FWS Employee/Supervisor Contract
  3. Student schedules an appointment with the FWS Coordinator after all employee paperwork is completed.
  4. Student and supervisor receive their copy of the FWS Employee/Supervisor Contract. The contract indicates the first day that the student is eligible to begin working.
  5. Student performs duties as stated in the job description form filed by the supervisor with the Office of Student Financial Aid Services and works hours mutually agreed upon with the supervisor. Hours Detail Reports are completed and submitted BI-WEEKLY.
  6. Supervisor is notified mid-academic year of the student's remaining FWS eligibility.
  7. Separation of a FWS employee occurs - the Office of Student Financial Aid Services files a separation notice with Human Resources.


FWS Students will be required to submit all hours and times worked on a biweekly basis via the Internet at Time worked by definition of Human Resources Policy number 9, excludes meal periods and breaks and is meant to be actual time “on the job”. Falsification of time worked is subject to disciplinary action as outlined in Human Resources Disciplinary Action Policy number 45. The Human Resources Policies may be found at:

Students are paid bi-weekly. The pay date schedule is provided to the student in their employment packet. It is also available at Pay days generally fall every other Wednesday. The pay period corresponding to the pay dates will have ended approximately 10 days prior to the pay date. Each pay period always ends on a Saturday.

Time worked must be submitted through the web site and confirmed by the last day of the pay period at 12:00 midnight by the student. They may make changes to their timesheet anytime during the biweekly pay period. If they fail to submit your hours or corrections in by the last day of the pay period by 12:00 midnight, the website will not allow them to go back and report hours on the website for that period. (Review the Late Submissions information section of this handout for instructions.)

FWS Students are also required to print a copy of the Time Detail Report. This is found in the Reports section of the STAR website. FWS students must sign and have their supervisor sign the Time Detail Report. (There is no specific signature line on the Time Detail Report, so the supervisor may sign anywhere on the front of the report)

All Time Detail Reports must be turned in by the Monday after the end of the pay period worked by 10:00 am, unless otherwise notified to one of the drop off points. The drop off points are: The MUSC Library or the MUSC Office of Financial Aid Services. You may also submit Hours Detail Reports by the above stated deadline via fax to 792-2060.

The University Payroll deadlines may vary due to holidays and inclement weather conditions. Students and Supervisors will be notified when deadlines change via email notices. The current pay periods can be found at

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their time worked is entered into the website correctly and that their Time Detail Report is properly signed and returned to the Office of Financial Aid Services by the appropriate deadlines. Failure to meet the stated deadlines may cause the student not to get paid in a timely manner. Students/supervisors who wish to check the status of submitted time sheet entries may contact the Office of Financial Aid Services at 792-2536. Constant/habitual failure of the student to report their time worked per the University Payroll schedule is in violation of Human Resources Policy on Time and Attendance Number 29 and is subject to disciplinary action of the employee.

Students who work for both the MUSC Authority and FWS will need to submit paper time cards with the same deadlines stated above. Timecards need to be completed in blue or black ink only and the times should be submitted in decimal format (rounded to the nearest tenth). Time cards require both the student and supervisor’s signatures and the times and dates worked. It is also the student’s responsibility to ensure that the timecards are completed correctly and are signed. Incorrect timecards submitted may cause a delay in pay. Due to fiscal year end requirements, all timecards that are not turned in prior to June 30th of the fiscal year, will not be paid through FWS funds and will become a responsibility of the supervising department to be paid.

Late Kronos submissions or corrections policies and procedures are outlined in the FWS Kronos Guide. Late submissions or corrections may cause a delay in the student’s pay.

Paychecks are picked up from the Student Accounting Office, 3rd floor, Harper Student Center. It is the Student Accounting Office’s policy that the student must show their MUSC student id before picking up a check. FWS employees must participate in Direct Deposit per University Payroll guidelines. Forms are provided in the student’s employment packets. Forms for the student to change Direct Deposit bank information are available online or in the Office of Financial Aid Services.

Direct Deposit takes approximately 2 pay periods to take effect. Paychecks would have to be picked up from Student Accounting in the interim processing time. Pay check stubs are available online only.


Students who have falsified the hours and times worked on the Kronos system are subject to termination. Supervisors must submit supporting documentation to the Office of Financial Aid Services.


Notices of Eligibility are sent periodically to advise the student of their estimated remaining eligibility for Federal Work Study. When a student comes within $500 of exceeding their award allocation, they are sent a letter advising them to plan accordingly so that they will not exceed their FWS awards allocation.


Students will need to communicate address changes to Human Resources or the FWS coordinator directly. Address changes in the student information system will only update within the academic departments on campus. This does not change the information with Human Resources. It is important that the student’s address is current to receive pay check information and w-2 forms.


FWS students who work other jobs within the University in addition to their FWS ( dual employment) may be required to submit time worked in a different manner than the Kronos system. This will be determined by the Payroll office and information will be provided to the student and supervisor when the student is hired. The procedures are also outlined in the FWS Kronos Manual.

FWS employees may work more than one work study job provided that the total hours per week in the work study jobs do not exceed 20 hours and that the rates of pay are comparable. Rates of pay are determined by the work that you do. Pay rates in these cases are determined on an individual basis by the Office of Financial Aid Services. Contact the FWS Coordinator at 792-2536 if you are considering this option.


Certain FWS Positions involving work of a sensitive nature or working with children may require a criminal background check. The FWS coordinator will provide the forms to the student authorizing the background check to be performed by Human Resources.


Students who decide to transfer to another work study assignment must give their current supervisor and the FWS coordinator proper 2 week notice in writing. The student must complete their 2 week notice before they may begin another assignment. Students may not transfer in the middle of a pay period. In such instances, the student must notify the supervisor and the Office of Financial Aid Services in writing. Failing to give proper 2 weeks notice may jeopardize your future employment within the University. Students will need to make an appointment with the FWS Coordinator to obtain assistance in finding another job. The student’s pay rate will not automatically be transferred from one FWS assignment to another.


It is important that if a student decides to leave the FWS program, that they notify the supervisor (you) and the FWS coordinator of the last date of employment at least 2 weeks in advance. Failure to notify our office of the last date of employment may cause errors in the student’s pay as well as jeopardize their future employment with the University.

Students who do not work for a period of 2 months will automatically be terminated from the FWS payroll. Students in programs that require them to be on out of town rotations should notify our office of their rotation dates to prevent premature termination from the FWS payroll. FWS students are classified as temporary employees of the University. They are subject to follow the University Human Resources guidelines for employment.

A FWS student may be terminated for any of the reasons listed above in the section outlined Requirements of Work Study Program Item 10 or for failure to follow University HRM guidelines. The policies on Disciplinary Action/Terminations of the University may be reviewed at:


FWS students and supervisors are encouraged to discuss any work-related problems together before beginning disciplinary action or a formal grievance. Most work-related problems should be able to be resolved “in-house”. The FWS coordinator is available to assist both employees and supervisors in resolving conflicts within the workplace.

Please follow the steps as outlined before contacting the FWS coordinator for assistance.

  1. Discuss the problem with the student/employer. Communicate the nature of the problem verbally . The supervisor/student should try to reach a solution together. If necessary, supervisors should review the office policies of work flow, etiquette, etc. Supervisors should provide additional training if needed. Students should ask questions if they are unclear on how to proceed with workflow, have questions on office policy and what is appropriate in the workplace. This will help alleviate any misunderstandings from both parties.
  2. If the problem persists, the supervisor should issue a written warning to the student detailing the problem. Inform the FWS coordinator of the situation and the corrective action steps that you have taken thus far. Written documentation may be required.
  3. A verbal consultation between the student and FWS supervisor may need to take place at this point. The student is always given the opportunity to discuss counseling with the FWS coordinator concerning the problem.
  4. If the problem still continues, the supervisor may request that the student be dismissed from the work study assignment.


Here are some basic topics that need to be covered in the training of your new Federal Work Study staff member. You may add or adjust other topics to help meet the needs of your particular office/work assignment.

Tour of office/workstation

  • Bathrooms
  • Mail room
  • Location of where Coats/purses/bookbags can be kept
  • Supply closet ( pens, paper,etc)
  • Copier/fax machine (location and how to use)
  • Introduction to Employees, Faculty and other offices within the area/division


  • How to log on
  • How to use programs/software for the work assignments you will give
  • Office usage policies (checking email, doing homework, etc)

Office Etiquette

  • Dress code
  • Opening and Closing of Office
  • Work schedule
  • Daily work duties
  • Visitors policy (can friends call or stop by to chat briefly)
  • Time sheet signatures


  • Office telephone greeting
  • How calls are transferred
  • Office phone directory (important/frequently called numbers)
  • Taking messages
  • Proper telephone etiquette
  • Personal use of office phones

Work Duties

Federal Work Study students cannot:

  • Be hired to displace regular workers or reduce existing service contracts.
  • Be hired to perform work duties normally performed by someone under employment contract. (Replacement is viewed as displacement.)
  • Be hired for construction, operation and maintenance of any part of a facility used for religious worship or sectarian instruction.
  • Solicit, accept, or permit the solicitation of any fee, contribution, or gift as a condition of employment.
  • Volunteer their services without pay. ( Federal Work Studies must be paid for all work performed)
  • Be paid for receiving instruction in a classroom, laboratory, or other academic setting.
  • Be paid for work which involves any partisan or nonpartisan political activity or is as­sociated with a faction in an election for public or party office; lobbying, or takes into account political support or affiliation.
  • Work off-campus.
  • Work with blood or bodily fluids without specific disclosure on the position request form.
  • Provide direct patient care. They may assist with patient-related activities (with proper supervision and training) such as :
    • Follow-up with clinic appointments.
    • Clerical duties related to inventory, ordering supplies, copying and distributing correspondence
    • Updating and maintaining filing and recording systems
    • Fabricating and modifying positioning equipment or adaptive devices
    • Preparing fine-motor worksheets
    • Searching the internet for support agencies and information.
    • Complete tasks for research support including literature searches, data entry and internet searches.
    • Creating dentures, trim-cast models, etc.
    • Collecting data for research studies (with appropriate IRB training, etc.).


If you have additional questions and concerns, please contact Ms. Michele Curry at 792-2536.


Last Published with Edits:September 3, 2015 2:59 PM
Last Comprehensive Review:September 2015

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