• Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is Federal Work-Study?

    Federal Work-Study (FWS) is part of a financial aid award, generated from the submission of the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FWS is an employment program, and you earn the money awarded to you by working in positions at either on-campus or approved off-campus locations.

    As a FWS employee, you receive a paycheck twice a month for the hours worked. Your wages are paid from your FWS award.

    Why should I accept FWS funds?

    Working as a student on campus has many advantages. You can gain valuable experience related to your major, and since you do not have to travel to a distant job site, you save time and money on travel expenses. On-campus jobs also offer flexible work schedules with supervisors who understand how student schedules fluctuate term by term.

    How do I get a FWS award?

    You should complete your FAFSA as soon as possible. Your eligibility for financial aid is determined through “need analysis,” a process performed by the Department of Education and the MHCC Office of Financial Aid (OFA). Once you are notified of your financial aid award, you are invited to email studentemployment@mhcc.edu to verify your FWS eligibility. Please follow through to be awarded FWS for the academic year.

    Do I have to earn all of my FWS each term? And if I don’t earn all of my award, will the remainder be added/rolled over to my next term’s award?

    No. You don’t have to earn all of your award, but that is the max that you may earn. If you do not earn all of your award, it will not be added to your next term’s award amount.

    How do I stay eligible for FWS?

    FWS students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress throughout the year to continue earning FWS. You can click HERE to read this policy. Your FWS employment may be canceled if you fail to complete the number of credits you have agreed to complete. In addition, to continue earning your FWS award every academic year, you must reapply for financial aid every year. Each financial aid application covers Summer through Spring Terms.

    How do I get a FWS job?

    The very first thing you will want to do is contact the Student Employment Office at, studentemployment@mhcc.edu. They will help you determine if you have been awarded FWS and/or how much your award is for each term. If you haven’t been awarded, but are eligible for FWS, they are able to add you to the wait list. The Financial Aid Office will contact you once awarded.

    If you are not eligible for FWS, but would still like to have a position on-campus, you may be able to work as a Student Aide. Student Aides are funded through each individual department, which can vary term-to-term. Student Aides must also be enrolled in at least 6 credits and meet other eligibility requirements. Please contact the Student Employment Office to find out more information.

    You can check-out the Student Employment webpage, for the most up-to-date job listings. At the bottom of each listing you will see contact information. Please note that not every position listed is necessarily available.

    Once you have been offered a position, you will want to contact the Student Employment Office for the Student Employment Orientation and other important information. The orientation is all online and consists of information on how to complete the background check (this is mandatory and free), as well as both a Federal and State W-4, an I-9, and an overview/training of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

    You will need to meet on-campus with someone from the Student Employment Office to complete the I-9. This has to be completed in person by law as your original identifying documents must be physically examined.

    The Student Employment Orientation, background check and all other hiring paperwork must be completed before you may begin working.

    What jobs are available?

    There are a wide variety of jobs on-and off-campus available to both Work-Study and Student Aides. You can see what’s currently listed on the Student Employment webpage. These departments/positions include tutors in various departments and in the Learning Success Center (LSC), science lab aides, various positions in Aquatics (lifeguards, group & individual swim lessons), Athletics (game management, rock wall assistants), the library, Facilities (mailroom, custodial) Fisheries, Public Safety, computer lab aides, Theatre and many more.

    We encourage you to speak with faculty, staff and students on-campus to see if there may be a position in your major area, or other areas of particular interest. Not all positions are listed on the Student Employment webpage. Additionally, if you have an idea of a position you’d like, but don’t see it listed, please contact the Student Employment Office to see if it’s possible to create something new.

    What about an off-campus job?

    Students may work at off-campus sites as FWS and Student Aides only if those job sites have a contract to hire students from MHCC. You can see our off-campus position listings here. Some students may concurrently enroll in a related Cooperative Education or Internship course.

    If you would like to work at a specific organization, but don’t see a listing, please contact the Student Employment Office to see if it may be possible to create one. The hiring process is the same for off-campus as it is for on-campus (see FAQ, ‘How do I get a FWS job?’).

    What about pay?

    Hourly wages are set by each department/supervisor and are determined based on the skill level required, experience within the field, the specialization of the position and other related factors, and are set at the discretion of the supervisor. Increases in pay are based on experience within the area and the value of that experience to the job itself. Pay increases may be requested based on your existing skills and job performance.

    According to the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) all Oregon workers (students or otherwise) must make at least minimum wage, which depends on work location. In the Portland Metro area (which includes parts of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties), the minimum wage is $13.25 as of July 1, 2020. The next minimum wage increase will occur on July 1, 2021 to $14.00.

    If you have any questions about your hourly wage, working conditions, or other related questions, please contact the Student Employment Office at, studentemployment@mhcc.edu.

    What kind of shifts will I work?

    You may work up to, but no more then, 8 hours in a 24-hour period. Overtime is not allowed and there are no exceptions to this policy. Additionally, you may not work during your scheduled class times.

    With supervisor permission, and if you have still have FWS funds available, you may work up to 40 hours between terms/during ‘breaks’, but still may not work more than 8 hours in a day.

    Remember, that you are limited to the amount of your FWS award for each term—you many not go over that amount unless you have received prior approval by your supervisor and the Student Employment Office to be paid by department funds as a Student Aide for the remainder of the term.

    Will I have time to work and go to school?

    Your work schedule will be flexible will, of course, depend on your class schedule. You will work with your supervisor(s) to accommodate your class and study needs. Your classes/school work are the number one priority, and if you find that you need a better school/work balance, please check-in with your supervisor.

    Is FWS taxable?

    Yes, but you may claim "Exempt" on your W2 if you qualify.

    Can I study on the job?

    This is a paid job, the same as any other paid job. Typically, studying during your job is not allowed. However, there may be occasional and/or limited times when your supervisor may allow it.

    Will I be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)?

    In some circumstances, SNAP may be available for students who are FWS eligible. If you need SNAP, contact the Department of Human Services to determine your eligibility.