The Community Work-Study (CWS) Program engages community partners and students in meaningful work experiences that not only help partners reach their organizational goals but also help students learn and develop through community-based, real-world experiences. Approved nonprofit and government agencies can hire students and only pay 25% of their wages.
If your organization is interested in becoming a CWS employer, please complete our community partner intake form to let us know of your interest. Eligible organizations are 501(c)(3) nonprofits or government agencies with the capacity and desire to employ students in community-focused, meaningful work opportunities. Applications are accepted annually.
Find out how your organization can employ CWS students as interns at your agency. If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The section below contains different forms and procedures to support you in your work with our students.
Frequently asked questions
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program provides an opportunity for part-time employment for students with financial need, allowing students to earn money to help pay for educational expenses. The program encourages community service and work related to students’ programs of study. FWS positions can be on campus or off campus at approved nonprofit and government agencies.
The Community Work-Study (CWS) Program provides opportunities for students to earn their Federal Work-Study Program awards by working in approved nonprofit or government agencies. The goal of CWS is to meet the staffing needs of the agencies while providing students with opportunities that include both satisfactory pay and educationally meaningful experiences without displacing or replacing employees in existing staff positions.
Contact the IUPUI Center for Service and Learning at 317-278-3402 or email@example.com for more information. As a government or nonprofit agency, you may be considered for eligibility as a Community Work-Study employer. Several documents must be completed, signed, and submitted for review by Indiana University’s compliance officer. Should your agency be eligible to seek approval, completion of the review takes approximately two to three weeks after receiving required documentation from the agency.
If your organization is approved as a Community Work-Study employer, your organization will be assigned an Indiana University account number. You will also receive a letter and information (via email) from the IUPUI Center for Service and Learning regarding your account number, recruitment, and hiring work-study-eligible students.
Staff at the approved Community Work-Study agency are responsible for recruiting, selecting, training, and supporting student employees. The Center for Service and Learning will provide you with detailed information on how to recruit IUPUI work-study students. Students should be trained and supported in accordance with your agency’s standard practices for employees. Students in CWS positions must be supervised on-site by a paid agency staff member. Students may not do any work-study work from home.
Community Work-Study employers are responsible for 25% of the student’s wages; the remaining 75% portion will be paid with federal funds. Each time you hire a student, you will receive an invoice via email from Indiana University for 25% of the student's Federal Work-Study award limit. Student work-study award limits vary and will be stated on their Federal Work-Study authorization form, which the student will receive electronically. For example, if a student’s Federal Work-Study award limit is $3,000, you will be invoiced $750; the payment will go into your Indiana University account. Each time a student is paid, a withdrawal will be made from your Indiana University account to cover your portion of the student’s wages for that pay period. Any unused amount in your account will be refunded upon request or will remain as a credit in your account.
Yes. We want to ensure that students have a variety of positions from which to choose while also allowing more agencies to hire IUPUI students. The following applies to the number of students an agency may hire:
1. Agencies may employ up to, but no more than, eight work-study students at one time. (Should a student terminate from the position, the agency may hire a new student to replace that terminated student.)
2. Agencies must provide one paid supervisor per five students.
Should you feel that your agency could benefit from more students than the above requirements allow, you may submit an appeal letter for review. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding content for this appeal letter.
Hourly pay rates are determined by the Community Work-Study agency. Per federal and Indiana University regulations, students must receive at least $10.15 per hour. Pay must be commensurate with that of other employees who are doing the same work, but do not have work-study awards. A pay rate should always be determined by the value of the job, not by the size of the work-study award. Please contact email@example.com if you want to discuss pay rate further.
Students may earn as much of their work-study award amount as specified on the Federal Work-Study authorization form. Gross pay is used in calculating how much the student has earned. For example, if a student has an award of $3,000 and has a pay rate of $10.15 per hour, the student may work a total of 295 hours over the course of the Federal Work-Study eligibility period to earn his or her entire work-study award. If a student earns in excess of his or her work-study award amount, the CWS employer will be responsible for 100% of the student’s wages beyond the award amount, and the student will be immediately terminated from the CWS position.
The number of hours a student may work partially depends on the amount of the student’s Federal Work-Study award, your needs, and the student’s preference and schedule. Most students work 10–12 hours per week, and that range is highly recommended so that students are able to effectively balance work and school obligations. Students may work during IUPUI holidays and during the winter break between fall and spring semesters if they are returning to IUPUI immediately afterward. However, it is important to continue tracking your student’s earnings during those breaks to ensure they are not earning their award too quickly. If you feel that working over a break would lead them to earn their award too quickly, you can suggest they do not work during those times. It is important to note that the Federal Work-Study eligibility periods are listed on the annual program roles and responsibilities. There is an academic year period (mid-August through mid-May) and summer period (mid-May through mid-August). Academic year awards may not be used during summer and vice versa. Any unearned money is forfeited by the student.
Students record hours worked by logging into IU’s online Kuali Time System via a computer or other internet-enabled device at your agency. You, as the employer, will also go online and approve each student’s timesheet at the end of a pay period. Paychecks are issued by the IUPUI payroll office. If the student has not signed up for direct deposit, the student will receive a university-issued Visa debit card, and the paycheck will be deposited onto that card. Once your agency is approved, you will receive a tutorial on the TIME system.
Students can provide verification of their work-study award by printing a copy of their financial aid package from One.IU.
Federal Work-Study awards are based on the student’s submission of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and a determination of financial need. For entering freshmen, Federal Work-Study awards are based on students' indication on the FAFSA of interest in Federal Work-Study and eligibility for the federal Pell Grant program. For continuing students, Federal Work-Study awards are based on submission of the FAFSA, financial need, and students' use of their Federal Work-Study awards during the preceding award year. In addition, students may contact the Office of Student Financial Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request consideration for a Federal Work-Study award based on a determination of eligibility and availability of the campus’s Federal Work-Study funding. Undergraduates must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours each semester (4 credit hours each semester for graduate students) to maintain Federal Work-Study eligibility during the academic year (fall and spring). To be considered for a Federal Work-Study award during the summer, students must be enrolled in at least one class at IUPUI.
Resources for current Community Work-Study Program employers