Updated March 16, 2020
Q1. What is the difference between student workers and workstudy students?
Student employees are funded by three different sources, Federal Workstudy, State Workstudy, and Metropolitan State operating budgets.
- Federal and State Workstudy: Federal and State Workstudy students must be eligible based on the FAFSA results and show need. The funding sources pays 75% of the earnings and Metro pays 25%. The funds are limited and students need to be making satisfactory progress as well as show need.
- Student Workers: Supervisors can also hire student workers and pay them out of their department student worker budget without the restriction of need. International students are always student workers if they work on campus.
Nonetheless, all students who work on campus are considered student employees only differing in how they are paid.
Q2. Can student employees work on campus during the extended COVID-19 break?
The federal regulation (and corresponding state rule) only prohibits workstudy students from working during a time when they should have been in class. If classes are postponed and the university is open, students may work on campus. Supervisors should make a notation using the extended break as a reason to override the prohibition against working during class time.
The number of hours a student employee may work during a break period is restricted only by Metropolitan State University Procedure 512: Student Employment, which restricts the number of hours to 25 hours per week.
Federal and State funded workstudy students have a limited amount of earnings before they are out of funding. The limit varies by student and by the total amount of the grant given to the university by the funding sources.
Q3. Can students work remotely?
Student employees may never work unsupervised. To date, there has been no relaxation of this requirement by either the federal or state entities. If the university is open, students may work on-campus under supervision of a Metropolitan State University employee. They can be assigned other duties for other departments, however. They cannot replace a regular university employee but may assist them in performing their duties.
Q4. What happens to student employees if the university shuts down completely?
Federal workstudy students may be paid for hours they had been scheduled to work when the university was open for regular business but couldn’t because the university closed completely. This provision is at the discretion of the university but only in the event that the university closes completely. To date, the Federal authority has not provided additional or more flexible guidance on this provision.
We have also not received additional guidance or flexibility regarding the State-funded workstudy program. This program is governed by State legislation and would require legislative action to modify the rules of the program.
The university is committed to supporting students and will do whatever we can to support our student employees. If the guidance or program requirements should change, this document will be updated and information will be communicated to supervisors.