Work Study and Student Employment
What is Work Study?
Work-study enables you to earn a portion of your financial aid assistance by working part-time, usually on campus. You will work a specified number of hours a week, and will be paid through the college’s payroll department for those hours.
In addition to financial and other benefits, work-study employment may provide you with valuable experience, an introduction to what may become a lifelong career, and networking opportunities that may lead to future employment.
Funding for work-study comes from both the federal and state governments. The Federal Work-Study Program is authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965 and is reauthorized in the Higher Education Act of 1986. The Colorado Work-Study Program was authorized in 1969 by the 47th General Assembly. State Work Study is for students who are Colorado residents.
Red Rocks Community College offers financial assistance from both State and federally funded work-study programs. Your eligibility for these programs is determined by the Office of Financial Aid through a formal application process.
If you are eligible for the work-study program, you may be awarded a fixed dollar amount that represents the maximum you may earn for the semester. Your earnings cannot exceed this amount, unless adjustments are made through the Office of Financial Aid.
Who is Eligible for Work-Study?
To be eligible for work-study, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Be enrolled in at least six credits, in an eligible degree or certificate program.
- Have a high school diploma,GED, or have been successfully homeschooled.
- Be in good standing in accordance with RRCC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
- Be registered with the Selective Service (males only).
- Not be in default of a student loan or owe a repayment on a federal grant at any educational institution.
- Have submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and have been determined to be eligible for either need-based work-study or non-need-based work-study.
How You Can Apply for Work-Study
First complete the FAFSA, available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you apply online, the Office of Financial Aid will begin processing your application approximately 10 days after the electronic application has been submitted. (The paper application process takes quite a bit longer.)
Once the completed application has been received by the Office of Financial Aid, it is then reviewed and you will be notified by mail of any additional forms that may be required.
After your file is complete, it will be evaluated through a process known as "need analysis," which determines your financial need. Financial need is determined by deducting the amount you or your family can be expected to pay from established educational expenses (also known as the Cost of Attendance). You will receive an award letter stating the types and the amounts of financial assistance for which you qualify. If you indicate on the FAFSA that you are interested in work-study, and if you are eligible, a work-study award may be included in your award letter. A student must have applied before the Financial Aid Office runs awarding for the first time that aid year. Within that group of students, Banner will randomly select students for work study offers. For this reason, students who previously had work study may not be reoffered it. In such case, a student would want to inquire about the work-study waitlist.
NOTE: In order to accept work-study funds, you must be offered work study, and be hired for a work-study position. Failure to secure a job by the date written on your referral form (normally Census Day) will result in the cancelation of a work-study offer.
Need-Based Work-Study Eligibility
Need-based work-study requires that you have unmet need once the estimated cost of attendance (COA) and student/family contributions (EFC) are taken into consideration. The Office of Financial Aid will determine whether you are eligible for need-based work-study. On occasion, a Financial Aid Advisor can make an adjustment to the COA and/or EFC which may change your eligibility.
No-Need Work-Study Eligibility
To qualify for no-need-based work-study, you must be a Colorado resident, meet the other general eligibility requirements and have only non-need-based financial aid. No-need work-study policies and procedures are the same as those for need-based work-study awards. Since Banner does not recognize students without financial need, those whose EFCs exceed their Cost of Attendance must be put on the work-study waitlist each year. (Only a percentage of State funding is designated for no-need work-study.)
Amount of the Award
Work-study awards are made according to a standard budget as a portion of the financial aid package.
The amount of the work-study award is determined by several criteria (the total allocation that the school has received from the federal and State governments, your budget and unmet need, and other financial aid you receive). You and your supervisor are responsible for monitoring the original amount of the work-study award, and distributing work hours evenly throughout the semester. It is sometimes possible for the Office of Financial Aid to add to your original award if funds are available.
Work-Study Position Availability
After you have received a work-study award and have picked up a work-study referral form from the Office of Financial Aid, your next stop is Career Connect . If you need assistance with your job search, Student Employment Services (SES) would be the department to contact. SES can assist with tips on interviewing skills, etc. Their phone number is 303.914.6299.
If you are hired, a completed “Hire Packet” must be filed with SES prior to the first day of work.
Off-Campus Work-Study Opportunities
Some off-campus positions provide opportunities to work with various community service agencies. Other employment possibilities involve working with local elementary schools as a reading or math tutor in the America Reads and America Counts programs. If you are interested in employment with such agencies, discuss these options with SES once you receive your referral form from the Office of Financial Aid. Off-campus work-study positions require a signed contract between you and the off-campus agency.
Semester Break Employment and Summer Employment
Semester break and summer employment under the work-study program are subject to the availability of funds. To qualify you must: 1) be enrolled in 6 credits during the current or subsequent semester 2) must be meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy 3) must have enough eligibility remaining on your work-study award. Students are normally limited to working 20 hours per week, with the exception of school breaks, during which a student may work up to 28 hours per week.
Work-Study Pay Scale
You can expect pay that is:
- Competitive with similar employment opportunities within the community college system.
- Determined by SES, based on your job description.
Work Study Pay Schedule
You will be paid every two weeks, as are other hourly employees of RRCC. SES establishes the payroll calendar each semester. Your supervisor should have a copy.
You and your supervisor are responsible for keeping track of the hours you work. You should both keep a record of the actual time worked so there is no disagreement as to the time submitted for each pay period.
You are also responsible for notifying your employer of absences or tardiness. Your work-study job should be treated as a real job. If problems arise, your supervisor will discuss them with you. Failure to regard warning is grounds for termination.
Time sheets are completed online. Instructions for logging in, filing them out, and submitting them may be obtained from SES. You cannot earn more than your original work-study award and under no circumstances can you earn overtime pay. By electronically signing your time sheet, you and your supervisor are verifying the claimed hours throughout that pay period. You will not be paid for doing homework, attending classes, or for hours not worked due to illness or school closure.
Termination of Work-Study Students
A supervisor has the right not to hire you, or may terminate you for just cause. Your supervisor must give you sufficient warning of possible termination well in advance so that there will be no question as to why you were terminated.
Student Responsibilities with Receiving Work-Study Awards
Work-study positions are jobs just like other jobs. You are expected to adhere to the following strong work ethics that are traditional at Red Rocks Community College:
- Be punctual and dependable.
- Call the supervisor when you are not able to be at work.
- Have a positive work attitude.
- Have a professional appearance.
- Contribute to the position.
- Work confidentially (respect the privacy of other students’ records).
- Abide by all established institutional and office policies and procedures.
The college has no obligation to continue your employment if you fail to meet work schedules or live up to expected performance standards.
For questions regarding work study, please contact us.
Any enrolled RRCC student can seek student-hourly employment on campus, regardless of their financial aid eligibility. Students are not required to submit a Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for student hourly funds. For more information on student hourly positions, visit the Student Employment Office.