Montana State University

Work Study Information for Students

INFORMATION for STUDENTS

Student job search log in: MyCatCareers.com

How do I find a job?

The Office of Financial Aid Services does not secure employment for you.  The Office of Financial Aid Services maintains the Work Study aspect of Career Services' job search database, where you can search for Work Study jobs.

If you have an eligible Work Study award, you will or have received an e-mail with a username and password to log in to MyCatCareers.com - the job search site listed above. If you have accepted your Work Study award, and registered for classes, and have not received an e-mail containing username and password information, please contact the Work Study desk at 994-3432.

Once logged in to MyCatCareers.com make sure to select Work Study in the Position Type field in order to view Work Study jobs.

What forms do I need to fill out in order to start employment?

You will be mailed a Certificate of Work Study Eligibility just before the start of the semester.  This Certificate identifies you as an eligible Work Study recipient.  The Certificate should be shown to each employer with whom you interview.  If you accept a Work Study job, the Certificate must be completely filled out by you and your employer and returned to the Office of Financial Aid Services prior to your first day of work.  If you have not been employed by MSU before, you will need to fill out an I-9 Form and a W-4 form.  Your employer should have these available. 

IMPORTANT - All eligible Work Study recipients who have not returned their Certificate of Work Study Eligibility to the Office of Financial Aid Services by the expiration date (noted on the Certificate) are at risk of losing their Work Study award.  Reinstatement of the award will be dependent upon the availability of funds at that time.

How much may I earn?

You may not earn more than the authorized amount indicated on your Certificate.  Once this amount has been earned, you are no longer eligible to be employed under the Work Study program even if your period of eligibility has not expired.  If you have earned your maximum Work Study award before the period of eligibility expires, your employer, at his/her discretion may choose to change your employment status from Work Study to Student Hourly. Any unearned balance in the fall may be carried forward to the spring. If on the last day of eligibility for the year, you have not earned your authorized award the remaining balance is forfeited.  If you worked in the fall and are not returning in the spring, you can only earn the amount indicated for the fall term.

How many hours can I work?

You must be registered for six or more credits for each semester in which you are employed as a Work Study. You may not work more than twenty hours per week during any week in which you are enrolled and attending classes.  The number of hours you work will depend on your class schedule and the needs of your employer. If you are employed in more that one Work Study position, you cannot work more that a combined twenty hours per week total. 

What is my wage and how am I paid?

Wages are a matter of agreement between you and your employer, not to be lower than minimum wage.  You will be paid under “an hour’s pay for an hour’s work” agreement.  Students are paid on the 11th of the month for hours worked from the 1st - 31st of the previous month. All employees are encouraged to establish direct deposit. If such arrangements have not been made, Human Resources will mail the paycheck to the student on or after the 11th of the month.   If the 11th falls on a weekend or holiday, your check will be mailed the 1st working day prior to the 11th. 

What are my obligations?

You must be enrolled for 6 or more credit hours each semester. You must communicate with your employer(s) if you are working more than one position so that each employer can coordinate scheduling and ensure that you do not earn more than you are eligible between the two positions. Furthermore, you are expected to conduct yourself in a professional manner and to deliver a full measure of work for the time you are employed.  Your employer will expect the same regular, punctual and efficient performance that is expected of their regular full-time employees.  If your employer determines that you have not met your obligations, you will be terminated and continuation in the Work Study program may be jeopardized.

What if I accepted the Work Study award and cannot work in the fall semester?

If you find that you did not have time to work or could not find a compatible employment arrangement, please let us know before the expiration date on your Certificate of Eligibility. You can submit a written request to the Office of Financial Aid Services prior to the expiration date on the Certificate of Work Study Eligibility. If your Work Study award gets canceled because the Certificate of Eligibility expired, the award will be canceled for both fall and spring semesters. Reinstatement of the award will be dependent upon availability of funding at the time the request is made.

What if I did not get a Work Study award and want to work?

There are many on campus and off campus employers in the Gallatin Valley that hire MSU students that do not have a Work Study award. Career Services maintains MyCatCareers.com, a large database that any student can register with to search for non-Work Study jobs. In addition, there are departments and colleges that are able to hire students that do not have Work Study awards. If you are interested in working for a particular office or department, feel free to contact them directly.

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