Information for New Departments

The Federal Work Study Program (FWSP) is an employment program funded by the federal government and the university. Financially eligible students are placed in part-time jobs and paid a wage for hours worked.  FWSP funds are not credited to students’ term bills. Students who work through the FWSP will have the opportunity to earn funds to help offset educational costs and also gain valuable job skills.  In addition to on-campus jobs in over 200 university departments, FWSP-eligible students have the opportunity to work in approved community service jobs both on and off-campus.

All Rutgers University departments who have an established FWSP account and have current, approved Job Description Forms (JDFs) can employ students through the FWSP.

In addition to the information below, video tutorials are also available at

I have received my FWSP ID and registered in the FWSP Online. What’s next?…

Register in the FWSP Online
  • Visit
  • Click the blue “login with NetID” button and enter your NetID and password
  • Choose preparer from the access level drop down list
  • Enter either your 6-digit FWSP ID in the department name field OR begin typing the name of your department
  • Click submit and then log out
  • Please allow 24-48 hours for the SEO to approve your registration before attempting to log in again
Create your Job Description Forms (JDF)

Once your registration has been approved:

  • Visit
  • Click the blue “login with NetID” button and enter your NetID and password
  • Click Job Description Form on the top menu
  • Click Create a New Job – This will bring you to the online form that you must complete to submit a job

Some important sections to pay special attention to:

  • You will be able to choose from a list of designated approvers who have registered for your department. If you do not see your approver listed, you must either instruct your approver to register before you continue creating your JDF, or choose a different approver from the list.
  • When filling out a JDF, be sure to complete the location information, including campus, for your department. This information is very important for job placements.
  • All JDFs require that the Job Title be selected from the drop down menu. These job titles are prepopulated and each title has a designated pay rate as assigned by the SEO. If you do not see the title you had in mind, please choose the one that most closely matches the job. The SEO staff reviews each and every job to make sure the ranges associated with the job titles chosen are accurate based on the job description.
  • You should include all necessary details for your job in the Job Description field. Job descriptions must describe job responsibilities.
  • The Special Skills/Conditions section is perhaps the most important section on the JDF. This section gives you the opportunity to check-off all required and preferred skills for the job. The system will complete a matching process which uses this list to find students who indicate on their applications that they have these particular skills. If you do not see a specific skill that you require, please try to find one that is similar.
  • If you absolutely cannot find anything that relates to a specific skill you need, please type that skill in the Other Skills section (please note: the system does not auto match to this section. However, we will look to addappropriate skills from this section for the following application period.)
  • For Student Supervisor Information, be sure to provide all contact information for the person directly responsible for supervising the FWSP student employees in your department. This is the contact information that will be sent to the students who are assigned to that particular JDF. If you want someone other than the supervisor to be the person who the students contact upon initial assignment, you must complete the Contact Information section. Unless the contact information section is completed, the students will receive the supervisor information.
Identify the approver for your account
 As mentioned above, before you can submit a JDF, your approver must be registered. In addition, before a student can be placed in a FWSP job that you have submitted, your JDF needs to be approved by the approver that you chose from the drop down list on the JDF. The approver would typically be the departmental Dean, Chairperson, Director or a Manager, but may be someone else that the department has deemed capable of the task.

To register, an approver should follow these instructions:

  • Visit
  • Click the blue “login with NetID” button and enter your NetID and password
  • Choose approver from the access level drop down
  • Enter either your 6-digit FWSP ID in the department name field or begin typing the name of your department
  • Click submit and then log out
  • Please allow 24-48 hours for the SEO to approve your registration before attempting to log in again.

All JDFs require approval by the designated department approver. It is your responsibility to notify your approver that you have submitted a JDF. Please note that no JDFs will be accepted or processed without approval from your departmental approver.

The approver should review the JDF carefully, to ensure that information on the JDF is correct. If there are corrections to be made, the approver must notify the preparer to fix the JDF before approving it.

Understand the FWSP job placement process

FWSP-eligible students will receive a link to an electronic job application via their financial aid award letter. The job application asks for students’ work history, skills*, interests, campus preferences, job preferences, etc.

*Students will complete the same skills/conditions check list that you completed on your JDF to indicate which skills they believe they possess.  Once again, the system will complete a matching process using this list.

Students do not see the JDFs that departments create. JDFs are  used by the SEO staff to match students to appropriate jobs. Students are placed in jobs using the information provided on both the JDFs and the job applications, so please be honest and thorough when creating your JDFs.  Students will now be matched to a specific JDF, rather than just to a department account. However, if you have different types of jobs, you can assess students’ skills, experience, etc., to determine which specific job they are best suited for.  Please just make sure you notify the SEO if you would like to switch any students to different JDFs so we can update the system accordingly.

Placements begin in June and continue through the beginning of the fall semester. Departments will be notified via the FWSP Supervisor Email List when they can view the students who have been assigned to them for the academic year. Student contact information will be available.  While students are instructed to contact their supervisor or designated contact person, we strongly suggest that departments reach out to their students once the list is available.

The semester is starting soon. How can I prepare?…

Develop office policies for your FWSP student employees

We strongly recommend that you have detailed policies in place for your FWSP students. Many students have never held a job before, and may not be savvy in workplace behavior, protocol, and policies. Make those policies clear, to save yourself trouble later on when your student employees do things you would never expect someone to do in the workplace. Policies should always be given to students in writing.

If you do not have policies in place, it is hard to justify reprimanding or even terminating a student employee for doing things you would just assume they know not to do. Some examples of areas that policies may be necessary in are:

  • general workplace behavior
  • attendance
  • dress code
  • proper use of office equipment/technology
  • communication

Based on the wide variety of jobs offered through the FWSP, the SEO cannot set policies for you.  Departments are responsible for setting their own policies that meet their needs and expectations for their employees. However, for your reference, here are some sample policies you can use as a guide to help you develop your own departmental policies with regard to FWSP employees.

It is highly recommended that you have all students sign a Statement of Confidentiality, especially those who may be working with, or come in contact with, sensitive material. You can use the statement provided or create your own based on your needs.

Contact your FWSP student employees

When placements are complete, the SEO will send a notification via the supervisor email list. Please do not attempt to view your newly assigned students until you receive this notification.

To view your placements:

  • Visit
  • Click the blue “login with NetID” button and enter your NetID and password
  • Click Students on the top menu
  • Click View Assignment – this will bring you to a list of students who have been assigned
  • In addition to viewing the list online, you can also download it to excel by clicking the Export to CSV icon, which is located in the top right corner of the assignment list.

It is strongly recommended that you email or call students to introduce yourself and the department, rather than waiting for students to contact you. Click on each student’s name to view their contact information.

At this point, you may want to briefly explain the duties of the FWSP job and set their first day of work. Some students may not be able to work immediately, especially if they are just starting at the university. Please be understanding if they ask for a week or two to get adjusted to the university before they begin working.

I have reached out to my student employees. What else do I need to know?

Program Start and End Dates

Unless otherwise announced, the program always starts on the first day of class each semester and ends on the last day of finals each semester. We will always send reminders of start and end dates on the supervisor listserv, but you can also consult the academic calendar for exact dates at any time. Typically, students cannot be paid with FWSP funds over winter, spring, or summer break. However, you can pay students out of your own departmental funds if you need them to work during breaks (and they are agreeable to doing so).

Scheduling tips

First and foremost, make sure that you actually set a work schedule for each student.  Allowing them to come and go as they please is not recommended and often does not work out well.

When setting work schedules, ask students for their class schedule, rather than just asking for their availability. You will find that it’s much easier to create your schedules this way. Keep in mind that students can still add and drop courses during the first few weeks of the semester, so please be understanding if you need to revise your student’s work schedule after they start.

While students can work up to 20 hours per week, often this is not feasible. Not only do students have academic and other types of responsibilities, but if they work that many hours, they will go through their FWSP award very quickly. We recommend that you start with a realistic number of hours and increase them if the student feels they can handle more after they have become a bit more acclimated with the job, their course load, campus, extracurricular activities, etc.

On the other hand, please keep in mind that students must meet a minimum earnings requirement each year in order to be considered for FWSP edibility in the following academic year, so if they are not scheduled for enough hours, their eligibility may be impacted. The minimum earnings requirement is $700 over the course of the academic year, unless otherwise announced. There is no per semester requirement.

Students are usually given a $2,000 FWSP award to be used for the entire academic year. Again, there is no per semester requirement. The amount of funding that they have left over at the end of the fall semester, will be the amount that they can earn for the spring semester. Unfortunately, in most years, we are unable to offer increases to students’ FWSP awards if they run out early. Departments are responsible for keeping track of students’ earnings to ensure that they do not end up in a situation where they may exceed their award amount. If they do, the amount in excess of the FWSP award must be reallocated back to a department account. Please keep all of this in mind when scheduling students.

Information about reporting "no shows"

If you have made several attempts to contact any students who have been assigned to you and you do not receive a response, you may mark them as a “no-show”.  You will be notified via the supervisor email list when the time has come to begin considering students to be no-shows, usually around the third week of the semester.

To mark a student as a “no-show”:

  • Visit
  • Click the blue “login with NetID” button and enter your NetID and password
  • Click Students on the top menu
  • Click View Assignment
  • Locate the student and click View Details
  • Click the No-Show button
  • Click Update Status

If you mark a student as a no-show, you must contact the SEO to ask for a replacement student if you need one. We do not just automatically assign a new student.

What to do if a student is unable to work for you

If you have made contact with a student, but it appears as if they will not be able to work for you due to extenuating circumstances, you may send them back to our office to request reassignment. Examples of reasons why they can be “sent back to SEO” are:

  • They do not have availability that suits the needs of your department (i.e. the student is only available on nights and weekends, but your office hours are Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm)
  • They live on, or take the majority of their classes on, a campus that is far from your location (i.e. the student is on Cook and your office is located on Busch. It may take a very long time for them to travel. However, if they are up for it, there is no rule saying they cannot do it.)
  • They do not have the required skills or experience needed for the position.
  • This is meant for highly skilled positions, such as Computer Support Techs, Graphic Artists, Research Assistants, etc., not office/clerical work.
  • There is an issue of safety based on the requirements of the job (i.e. the student does not have the temperament to work with children or the general public, does not have CPR certification, etc.)

We will send a message on the supervisor email list when we begin allowing students to be sent back to SEO. Much like no-shows, students can typically be sent back around the third week of the semester.

To mark a student as “Sent Back to SEO”:

  • Visit
  • Click the blue “login with NetID” button and enter your NetID and password
  • Click Students on the top menu
  • Click View Assignment
  • Locate the student and click View Details
  • Click the Sent back to SEO button
  • Click Update Status

At that time, you must also contact the SEO if you need a replacement for that student. We do not automatically assign a new student.

***Important*** You must instruct the student to come to the SEO in person to request a reassignment.  We need to speak with the student and have them fill out a job change request form. Requests for reassignment will not be accepted via phone, email, or from a supervisor on a student’s behalf. Students must come to the SEO in person!

Please keep in mind if you identify that a student must be sent back, you should take the above steps as soon as possible after receiving the notification that we are allowing students to be sent back.  If you wait too long, there likely will not be any jobs available for that student, which is certainly not ideal.

***Important*** Remember that students can only be sent back for extenuating circumstances. Once they start working for you, you cannot send them back because they are not working out as well as you thought they would. In that case, you must follow our termination protocol which will be explained in the My student employee is not working out so well… section.

How to request additional students

If you have any students assigned to you that had to be sent back or were no-shows, or if you still have gaps in coverage that you need covered, you will be notified via the supervisor email list when the time has come for you to email your request for replacement student employees (if we still have additional students looking for jobs). You will not submit your requests for replacements through the FWSP online. We will provide you with the email address that you should contact in the supervisor message. Please remember that we do not automatically place new students to replace those that are not working for you. You must let us know that you need replacements.

My students are ready to work. What steps do I take to get them started?

Understand your payroll responsibilities

Departments are responsible for all payroll responsibilities for their FWSP student employees.** This should be handled by the person who normally handles payroll responsibilities for the department. Responsibilities will include:

  • Creating a new hire template in PeopleSoft
  • Completing the student’s I-9s (if they do not already have one on file with the university)
  • Setting up their commitment accounting

We strongly recommend setting up charging instructions, rather than using combination codes, to ensure that students are paid correctly.

The SEO does NOT have access to your students’ records in payroll. In addition, the SEO staff are not experts in the payroll system. Any questions with regard to the payroll system, charging instructions, I-9s, etc., should be directed to Payroll Services.

It is important that students are paid out of your assigned FWSP account, which can be found on your web assignment page, as well as on the students’ EAFs. Incorrectly paying students from your departmental account may result in the loss of FWSP eligibility for your students and will also impact your department’s budget.

It is the responsibility of supervisors, not the SEO, to keep track of students’ FWSP earnings. A helpful tool is the FWS Employees Paid by Dept report located in PeopleSoft. (This report is not administered by the SEO. For questions about the report or access issues, please contact Payroll Services.)

It is also helpful to keep students’ award amounts (typically $2,000), in mind when setting their schedules. For example, if you have a student that is paid $13.80 per hour, and you are having them work 10 hours a week, they will be more than halfway through their award by the end of the fall semester. We cannot ever guarantee that we will be able to increase students’ FWSP awards, so be mindful of their earnings (and potential earnings) when planning their schedule.

Develop an orientation, training sessions, and supervision style


We do not regulate how each department supervises their student employees, but we can offer a guide that may assist you in developing your own programs.

Many incoming students have never worked before. This may be their first ever job, which means you are their first supervisor! You will play a major role in helping your student employees grow into successful and productive workers.

After you have already made initial contact with your students and have scheduled their first day of work, but before they are expected to being training for their job, you should have an orientation to introduce them to your department.

During an orientation, you should go over:

  • The type of work the department does.
  • What the student’s role will be.
  • Onboard students in the payroll system, if you have not already done so.
  • Policies – both office policies and specific student employee policies (such as general workplace behavior, attendance, dress code, proper use of office equipment/technology, communication, etc.).
    • Your policies should be in writing and you should have the student sign off that they received them. Keep the original signed copy in their file and make them a copy for their personal reference.
  • Hierarchy – establish the chain of command, as it relates to the student.
  • Office/building layout – establish any guidelines on where the student may or may not go.
  • Introductions to other office staff members.
  • What to do and what NOT to do – although some things may seem like common sense, you should go over acceptable and unacceptable workplace behavior.

Even though you may want to get the student off and running right away, we recommend that you hold off on training them for their job until their orientation is complete. It can be a lot to absorb, and you run the risk of them not retaining very important information. Some students may even feel intimidated by the volume of information being thrown at them and may not come back!


Once students have completed orientation, they should begin training for their jobs. On-the-job training is very important. Each department should have their own training methods, depending on the type of work the department does and what the student will be responsible for. For example, you may have to train students on how to properly answer the telephone, transfer a call, or take a message. Some departments may have specific systems that students will be working with. Others may require safety training. The bottom line is, you can train students any way that you would like, but it is important that they receive a foundation to be able to be successful in their jobs, both for them and for you!

Your FWSP student employees are considered employees of your department and the university. Therefore, they should complete any training modules, certifications, acknowledgments, etc., that are required by your department and/or the university, just as any other employee of your department would.

Once you have seasoned student employees, you may want them to train your new student employees.  We recommend creating Student Manager positions and promoting your returning students when they are ready and deserving. They can then help train new students, which takes some work off your plate!  Also, we have found that students respond well to guidance from other students.  However, it is very important that a supervisor monitors all training and progress. Training should not be the sole responsibility of another student.

When it comes to how you supervise students, you can develop any type of management style that makes you the most comfortable as a supervisor. It is very important though that you set boundaries as a supervisor and that you are firm with your expectations. It is also important that you treat all students fairly and are consistent in your approach to supervision.


Supervisors are responsible for all discipline, including warnings (verbal and written), when a student violates a departmental policy (which again, is why it is so important that you have policies in place).  The SEO is not involved in the day-to-day supervision and discipline of students, until termination becomes a possibility. At that time you must follow the termination protocol, which will be explained in the My student employee is not working out so well… section.

My student employee is exceptional…

Speak to your student about returning for the following academic year

If you have a good working relationship with your student employees, and keep them busy with meaningful work, you will have students who will want to come back to work for you year after year.

In the spring of each year, current FWSP students receive a brief survey asking if they want to return to their current jobs. If they indicate they do not want to return, they will be able to fill out a job application after they receive their financial aid Award Letter for the following year and will be placed in a new job.

In order for continuing students to renew back into the FWSP, they need to meet certain renewal criteria:

  • Students must file their FAFSA each year by the Rutgers priority deadline, January 15.
  • Students must earn at least $700 of their FWSP award in the prior academic year.
  • Students must still be need-eligible, as determined by FAFSA.
  • Students must meet all other financial aid deadlines and submit requested documents in a timely manner.

As their supervisor, you should remind them to complete their FAFSA on time and be mindful that they are working enough to earn them the $700 by the end of the year.

It is great experience for both the department and the student if they decide to continue with their department from year to year. It saves the department time on training, since the student will return with a lot of the information they need to begin working again immediately. In addition, if you have responsible students who have been with you for a few years, they can help you train any new students you want to hire.

Give the student a promotion by creating a higher level position

There are many ways to entice your student employees to want to return to work for you. Unfortunately, we cannot give students raises based on merit or length of service. However, you may want to consider “promoting” your returning student employees, by creating a higher level job, such as a Student Manager position. This will give them a sense of accomplishment and help them build a stronger bond with your department. This will also be good for them to include on their resume. And for the department, you can entrust more independent responsibilities to them, which will ease your own workload. All promotions must be approved by the SEO, and recorded appropriately in our system. All new JDFs must be submitted in the FWSP online database.

Nominate your student for Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY)

Another way to reward an extraordinary student employee is by nominating them for the Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) award. Winners are chosen through a committee review and the top three winners will receive a monetary prize. The first prize winner can go on to compete on the state, regional and even the national levels! We will send information about SEOTY each year in December/January so be on the lookout if you have outstanding students who you would like to recognize! 

The SEOTY program was designed to recognize those students who really stand out amongst the rest.  Therefore, we ask that you do not use this as a platform to recognize all of your student employees, but rather to nominate those who make unique contributions to the workplace, go above and beyond, and consistently exceed expectations.

My student employee is not working out so well…

Student has stopped coming to work and is not responding to you

If a student resigns or stops showing up for work, you do not have to go through the formal termination protocol. If the student has been a no-show for several shifts, and you have tried several times to reach the student with no response, you can mark the student as resigned.

To mark a student as “Resigned”:

  • Visit
  • Click the blue “login with NetID” button and enter your NetID and password
  • Click Students on the top menu
  • Click View Assignment
  • Locate the student and click View Details
  • Click the Resigned button
  • Click Update Status
Student's behavior and work ethic are not meeting your expectations

Sometimes part of managing student employees is disciplining them. We ask that you are patient with students and work with them to correct behaviors rather than just jumping to terminate a student’s employment. You may be surprised at the changes that can occur with your help and guidance. Minor issues, such as tardiness and poor work ethic, can often be corrected through counseling.

I have worked very hard to counsel my student and give clear expectations, but the behavior has not improved


Unfortunately, sometimes even after working with a student, they may fail to show improvement and continue to repeatedly disobey policies. At that point, you may be left with no option other than to explore termination. Because FWSP students are paid with federal funds, we must have a protocol in place for terminations. While we understand and respect that departments have their own termination procedures, for FWSP students you must follow our termination protocol, which is always available on our website. All termination requests must be submitted through the FWSP Online System and approved by the SEO before you have any discussion with the student!

Do Not Assign List

If you have worked with a student all the way through to the end of the year and aren’t satisfied with their progress, you do not have to go through the formal termination protocol. You can add the student to your department’s do not assign list. This will to block the student from being assigned to you again for the following academic year, even if they indicate that they want to work with you again. However, you are required to have a discussion with the student so they understand that they will not be asked to return to their job and why. This should be a learning experience for the student so they hopefully do not make the same mistakes at their next job. The SEO is not responsible for notifying students that they will not be asked to return. If students contact the SEO asking why, they will be directed to contact you for more information.  

Please remember that the DO NOT ASSIGN LIST can only be used if the student completes the entire year of work with you. If you feel the need to end a student’s employment before the end of the year, you must follow the termination protocol.

To add a student to your department’s Do Not Assign List:

  • Visit
  • Click the blue “login with NetID” button and enter your NetID and password
  • Click Students on the top menu
  • Click “Do Not Assign” List
  • Click Add new record
  • Enter the student’s Rutgers ID number (the student’s name will auto-populate after completion)
  • If you are registered for more than on FWSP ID, choose the FWSP ID that the student is assigned to from the department drop down list
  • Click insert
I believe my student has violated a university policy

If you believe that a student has violated university policy, please contact your campus SEO via email, right away to discuss the proper way to handle a possible termination. The SEO staff will also work with you to determine whether or not the offense requires you to submit the incident to student conduct. An example of this would be a student falsifying their time sheet.