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Federal and College Work Study

photoStudent employment is a vital component of both the student experience and the college’s overall staffing model. All college departments are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. As a department, student employment offers a flexible and affordable option to help you meet the needs of the campus, community, and our students.

What is Student Employment?

Student employment at Columbus State is composed of two main classifications:

College Work Study (CWS) – Commonly known as a “regular” student employee. The student must be enrolled at Columbus State in three or more credit hours while pursuing a degree or certificate. CWS positions and wages are funded through the hiring department.

Federal Work Study (FWS) – The student must be enrolled at Columbus State in six or more financial aid-eligible credit hours at all times while pursuing a degree or certificate. FWS positions and subsequent wages are funded through the student’s FWS award, as a part of their financial aid package, and therefore hired at no cost to the department. A limited number of students at Columbus State are awarded FWS each year.

What is the process to hire a student?

If you are interested in hiring a student, your first step is to submit a Requisition Request through Cornerstone. Please note, only staff/administration designated as Hiring Managers may submit Requisition Requests. There are a limited number of position templates pre-loaded in Cornerstone, including Document Management Student Assistant, Student Lab Assistant, Student Office Assistant, and Peer Tutor. To discuss creating positions outside of those descriptions, please contact Amanda Perk ( For step-by-step instructions on requesting and posting positions, see the Cornerstone Guide for Student Employment Hiring Managers.

Positions may be requested at any time of the year, with late summer/early autumn being the peak hiring time. The Student Employment Coordinator will review all incoming requests on a variety of factors including:

  • Is the position appropriate for the Student Employment classification?
  • Is the pay rate commensurate with the duties detailed in the posting?
  • Has enough detail been provided in the description of job duties to accurately represent the position?
  • and if Federal Work Study, is there remaining Federal Work Study funding to potentially support such a position?

If approved, the position is then open and available for applications. Student Employment staff review incoming applications for Student Employment/Federal Work Study eligibility, while the Hiring Manager reviews for position fit and any minimal or preferred qualifications above student employment eligibility. The Hiring Manager decides which applicants to interview and schedules directly with the student. Once you have selected a student for hire, contact Amanda Perk ( to discuss your selection and the next steps of the hiring process.

Managing a Student Worker

The Hiring Manager’s Guide to Student Employment includes detailed information about supervising students, but some of the most important points to keep in mind are:

  • Students may work no more than 8 hours in a day and 20 hours in a week. There is an exception during designated academic breaks (e.g., weeks between semesters) that students may work 30 hours per week.
  • Student eligibility is not guaranteed from term-to-term, as a student’s enrollment level or eligibility for Financial Aid may change.  Students may also lose eligibility during the term.
  • Be sure to have regular conversations about your student employee’s academic plans so you may plan accordingly for the next semester.
  • Notify Student Employment staff as soon as possible when a student employee has resigned or their position is otherwise ended.
  • Student Employment is more than happy to answer any questions you may have. The guidelines around employing students are not always the same as with employing staff, and we recognize the details of a student’s eligibility can sometimes be complex.

Relevant Guides, Forms, and Policies

The documents below will assist you in learning more about posting a position, training and daily supervision of student employees, as well as related policies and procedures.

Hiring Manager's Guide to Student Employment 
Hiring Manager's Guide to Student Employment - This guide provides an overview of student eligibility, scheduling expectations, guidelines for supervising student employees and much more.

Cornerstone Guide
Cornerstone Guide for Student Employment Hiring Managers - This guide provides a step-by-step overview for using the Cornerstone Applicant Tracking system to submit a positions, requisition request, review applications, interview applicants and make an offer of employment.

Designation Change Form
Designation Change Form - This form can be used to move a current student employee from Federal Work Study to a department payroll budget or vice versa.

Campus Policies
Confidentiality Policy 
Equal Opportunity Policy
Nepotism Policy 
Sexual Harassment Policy 
Student Code of Conduct

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