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Office of Financial Aid

Work Study FAQs

What is Federal Work-Study?
Work-study is awarded through the Student Employment Office based on financial need.  Financial need is based on information you or your family supplies on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The Federal Work-Study program provides jobs for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. 

Students must be eligible for federal financial aid and be registered for 12 credits for the Fall/Spring semester.

How do I qualify for Work-Study?
Students who demonstrate financial need are awarded FWS funds on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Even if you qualify for work-study, you may not receive it. MSU receives a limited amount of funds from the Federal Government and when all the money has been awarded, no more funds are available for the year.  You can increase your chances by submitting your FASFA by the priority deadline.

How do I know if I have been awarded Work-Study?
You will receive a letter from the Financial Aid Office listing your entire financial aid package. Your financial aid package is also displayed on line through your Websis account. Work-study may or may not be part of that package. You can also check your Websis account.  If you did not receive work-study as part of your package, you can contact the Student Employment Office and ask if you qualify for the federal Work-study program.

How do I find a Work-Study job?
The Student Employment Office prepares a job listing each academic year. Once you have identified a few places where you would like to work, apply for a job in that department. The student must have an employment application and resume when going to their interview.

Students unable to find employment for the fall semester will have their applications held until the spring semester for employment consideration. There are limited jobs available: therefore, job placement is not guaranteed.

Can I study while on the job?
No, It is not the intention of the program to provide "study time" while on the job. 

How many work-study jobs do I have to choose from?
The earlier you start your search, the more choices you will have. There are usually a minimum of two to three students per department. Larger departments, they usually have more students.

Keep in mind, FWS funds on a first-come, first-served basis until jobs are filled AND NO JOB IS GUARANTEED.

What kind of work-study jobs are available?
A wide variety of jobs are available.  Office assistant jobs are the most prevalent but other jobs such as Departmental Aide, Computer Lab Assistant, Research Assistant, Sweet Shoppe Clerk, Fiscal Account Clerk, and Supply Clerk are just a few of the choices.  In addition, Tutorial programs and community service jobs are available.

When and how do I get paid?
Payday is bi-weekly based on the number of hours submitted on the web timesheet.  The pay periods and paydays are outlined in the Pay schedule.  Your payroll checks will be mailed to you with the address that you use on your W-4 form. Direct deposit is highly recommended by the Office of Student Employment.

Can work-study funds be applied to my tuition?
No, student's funds will not be applied to your cost of attendance to the university. Your Federal Work Study earnings should be budgeted wisely throughout the year to meet expenses related to your education.

General Student Employment

What are the Work Study Pay Rates?
Pay Rates range from $ 8.25 to $10.00 (Undergraduate students), Tutorial and Community Service Programs have a slightly higher pay rate.

How many hours a week can I work?
Students may not work more than twenty (20) hours per week during the academic year and a maximum of forty (40) a week during the summer session.

 Where do I pick up my paycheck?
Work Study does not distribute checks in person. For students residing on-campus payroll checks are issued on Wednesday of the following week between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. located in Montebello Complex 1st floor. Cashiers Window.

I didn't get paid, who do I see?
For lost/stolen/misplaced payroll checks, the Student Employment Office should be notified immediately. You will have to make arrangements to place a stop payment on the check. Advance payment is not given once a stop payment has been issued. After five to seven business days, a new payroll check will be issued to the student. Even if the lost/stolen/misplaced check is found, it cannot be cashed.

I didn't do my timesheet, what should I do?

You can submit a Paper Timesheet to the Office of Student Employment that will not be paid until the next pay period.

My paycheck is incorrect, who do I see?
If there is a problem with your paycheck you are encouraged to report the Student Employment Office for further assistance.

How do I update my address?
Keep your mailing information updated through the Office of Student Employment. You can also visit the Maryland Central Payroll Website.

Can a student employee open an account with the State Employee Credit Union?

What is student FICA?

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a F.I.C.A exemption for all students enrolled in school; but periods (i.e. Summer, Holidays, & Semester Break) F.I.C.A deduction will apply. For further information you can visit IRS.Gov.

What is the I-9?
The I-9 is employment eligibility verification.  or not.  To implement this, employers are required to complete Employment Eligibility Verification Forms (I-9) for all employeesNo one is allowed to begin work without an I-9 on file.

What documents do I need to show for the I-9?
Typically, in addition to a photo ID, (Driver's License or Student ID) the employee's social security card.  If no social security card is readily available, an original or certified copy of a birth certificate is acceptable.  A U.S. issued passport is acceptable for both the photo ID and verification that the employee is authorized to work in the US.




•   U.S. Passport

•  Certificate of U.S Citizenship

•  Certificate of Naturalization alien


• State Driver's license or Morgan Bear      Necessity Card

• U.S. Military Card

•  Social Security Card

•  Birth Certificate

•  INS employment /Authorization


Do I have to have an I-9 for every campus job I have?
No.  Only one (1) is required.

Can I have a copy of my social security, birth certificate, or passport sent to me?
Copies are accepted.

Can I have my documents faxed?
Yes, if you don't have access to those documents you are welcome to have them faxed to the Office of Student Employment at (443) 885-8531. Please keep in mind we still do not take fax copies of the Student Employment Application.

How do I apply for a replacement social security card?
Simply go to the Social Security Office with your ID to apply for a duplicate card.  The local address is:

TOWSON, MD 21204


Hours of operation: 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM, Monday - Friday.

International Student  

How does and international student go about getting employment?
Before you begin looking for a job, go by the International Programs Center and be sure that you are legally allowed to work in the United States.  Regulations governing employment for international students are different for J-1 students and F-1 students.  All students are encouraged to utilize the resources of the Student Employment Office. International students will only qualify for Campus Employment or Contractual positions.