All students are eligible to work on campus regardless of financial need. Those who qualify for need-based aid can choose to work on campus or with the America Reads program in the Fargo-Moorhead area. America Reads is one of the off-campus programs that requires federal work-study. Students cannot work more than 20 hours per week through the work-study program.
When you are hired in a work-study position, your employer will complete a work certification process to verify your eligibility for the program. You may not begin working until this process has been completed with Human Resources. All student employees must complete an I-9 form on or before the first day of work. An I-9 must be completed before you start working. Students must also complete a W-4 form. You can obtain these forms from your employer or Human Resources.
Starting wage is $9.50 (in 2017-18) per hour. Some employers such as Dining Services and Facilities Management generally begin at $1 more per hour. During the academic year, no Social Security and Medicare tax (7.65 percent) are withheld from on-campus employment earnings. This is equivalent to making $10.22 per hour at an off-campus employer. You are paid every two weeks for the hours worked.
In most cases, you are not limited to the amount of earnings listed on your award letter. If you are employed on campus and are not working for America Reads, you may earn as much as you choose; however, you will be capped at 20 hours per week.
All earnings are taxable and must be included on both federal and state returns. However, when filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you are instructed to enter your adjusted gross income on one line and on a separate line indicate the amount of those earnings that were work-study earnings. This provision was created to help keep your student contribution for subsequent academic years at a lower figure.