Have a question not answered here?
Contact the Office of Student Financial Services at 781-736-3700.
Frequently Asked Questions for Students
1. What are the benefits to working while in school?
Supplementing education with work experiences helps students:
- experience a professional environment.
- apply theory to the practical world.
- expand career knowledge and assess career interests.
- build leadership, communication and other marketable skills.
- enhance confidence.
2. What is Federal Work-Study (FWS)?
Federal Work-Study is a work program funded by the federal government and Brandeis University. If you are eligible for FWS funds, you will be assigned an allotment in your financial aid package. The current balance of your allotment will be printed on your time sheet each week.
You must reapply for financial aid each year to be considered for FWS. It is important to note that wages earned through FWS will not be included in total income when determining financial aid eligibility for the following year. However, wages earned by all other employment will be included. All wages, however, must be reported as taxable income on your state and federal income tax returns.
3. How do students get Federal Work-Study awards?
Students must apply for financial aid via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and meet federal eligibility requirements each year to receive a work study award. Awards are calculated in the student’s financial aid package by the Office of Student Financial Services.
4. Am I guaranteed a job on campus if I have been awarded Federal Work-Study?
No. Federal Work-Study is not a guarantee of on-campus employment. FWS, however, provides you the opportunity to also explore off-campus employment opportunities with nonprofit organizations as well as with city, state and federal government offices. Federal Work-Study offers a wide range of employment options, but it does not guarantee a job.
5. What is University Employment?
University Employment is a work program funded solely by Brandeis University and is awarded to eligible international students as part of their financial aid package. Although some on-campus employers may only hire Federal Work-Study students, most positions are available to students funded by either employment program.
6. Where are jobs posted?
On- and off-campus employment opportunities are located under Job Opportunities.
7. What forms do I need to complete when I am hired by Brandeis University and have not worked previously for the university?
The following forms are required if you have not worked previously for the university. You may download these forms here or pick them up at the Office of Student Financial Services in Usdan:
- Form I-9 (Federal Employment Eligibility Verification)
- Foreign National Information Form (for International Students)
Please note that the Internal Revenue Service requires the university to verify the Social Security number of all employees. You should be prepared to provide your Social Security card to the Office of Student Financial Services for review if your name or Social Security number is in question at any time.
Refer to the “On-campus Job Registration Procedures” section of the Student Employment Handbook for detailed on-campus job registration procedures.
8. I am an International Student, how do I obtain a Social Security card?
In order to obtain a Social Security card, please do the following:
- Obtain a job offer from an on-campus employer. Your employer will complete an and give this form to you. Bring these forms to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) in Kutz Hall, room 215.
- The ISSO will provide you with information about applying for a Social Security number (SSN). In two business days, the ISSO will provide you with a letter of support that is required for your SSN application.
- Please take the ISSO letter and your visa documents (I-20 or DS-2019, I-94 card, and passport) to the Social Security office in Waltham (zip code 02453).
- Once you receive an SSN, you must complete Form I-9 with the Office of Student Financial Services before you may begin working. You should bring your Social Security card, passport and all visa documents with you to complete Form I-9.
- Please inform the ISSO of your SSN so that they may update your records.
9. Why do I need a passport or social security card for my Form I-9? Why isn’t a picture ID sufficient?
In order to comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act, all students who intend to work on campus will be required to present identification to the Office of Student Financial Services that satisfies the requirements of Form I-9 (Employer Eligibility Verification) prior to beginning employment. Students must show one document from List A or one document from List B and one document from List C. Please refer to the “Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986” section of the Student Employment Handbook for more details. Common documents include:
|List A||List B||List C|
|Unexpired U.S. Passport
||State-issued driver's license or ID card with photo or identifying information
||Original Social Security Card|
|Unexpired foreign passport with I-551 stamp or attached INS Form I-94 indicating unexpired employment authorization
||U.S. Military card||Original Birth Certificate with seal or other certification
|Alien Registration Card with photo
University ID card with photo
|Unexpired INS Employment Authorization document
10. Can I use a photocopied document for my I-9 form?
No. All documents must be original; with the exception of a birth certificate which may be a notarized copy.
11. How do I fill out a W-4 form?
Read the instructions on the form and speak with your parents or a tax advisor for advice about completing a W-4 form or local tax forms. Brandeis University cannot give you tax advice.
12. I am a student. Why are taxes being withheld from my paychecks?
Being a student does not automatically exempt you from paying taxes. Your earnings are subject to both federal and state income taxes. If you work during the summer, you will also have Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from your paychecks. Contact the payroll office, located in Bernstein-Marcus, for questions regarding taxes.
13. I am on Work-Study. Why are taxes being taken out of my paychecks?
Work-study earnings are taxable income. Being on work study does not exempt you from paying taxes.
14. I am an international student. Do I need to pay taxes?
Yes, international students are subject to both state and federal income taxes. However, some students may be eligible to exempt a portion of their earnings from taxes if their country has a tax treaty with the United States. All international students should complete the Foreign National Information Form and submit it to the payroll office to determine eligibility for treaty benefits. Visit the International Students & Scholars Office for basic information.
15. How many hours can I work?
The work week runs from Monday to Sunday. During the academic year, undergraduate students are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week, and no more than eight hours per day. U.S. graduate students may work a maximum of 40 hours per week. Per Federal regulations, international students are not allowed to exceed 20 hours of work per week, regardless of class standing.
During vacation periods, U.S. undergraduate students may work a maximum of 40 hours per week. International students may work 40 hours during winter break and summer break.
Students who fail to comply with this policy will be terminated and lose eligibility to work on-campus. Please see the "Student Employment Policies" section of the Student Employment Handbook for more detailed information on work-week policies.
16. Is there any way I can I work more than 20 hours a week?
U.S. undergraduate students who are in good academic standing and would like to work more than 20 hours per week must contact the Office of Student Financial Services to apply for a waiver of this policy. The student must complete the top section of the Petition to Waive the 20 Hour per Week Work Limit and bring the form to the Office of Student Academic Services to meet with his or her dean to discuss the potential impact of additional work hours on academics.
If authorized, the student must then return to the Office of Student Financial Services with the signed form and meet with his or her financial aid counselor to discuss the potential impact on the student’s financial aid award. The student and his or her supervisor(s) will receive signed copies of the form within one to two weeks. The student may then begin working the additional authorized hours.
17. When will I be paid?
Pay is issued to hourly paid students on Fridays. Provided you and your supervisor have followed all the appropriate procedures, you should receive your first paycheck on the Friday of your second week of work. All pay will be distributed on schedule provided all required documentation, including your time sheets, were submitted on time. Holidays and school vacations may necessitate early time sheet deadlines or delayed delivery of paychecks.
18. Does my paycheck go directly to my student account?
No, paychecks go directly to you by direct deposit to your checking or savings bank account. You will be instructed to sign up for direct deposit once you have been officially hired into the system.
19. What is direct deposit and why is it a good option for students?
Direct deposit, a benefit offered by Brandeis University, is a safe and convenient way to deposit your earnings into your checking or savings account. Whether you are on break, away for a long weekend or sick on pay day, your money is automatically credited to your checking or savings account. Imagine never having to rush to the bank on payday; never worrying about losing or washing your paycheck and never having to stand in line to cash or deposit your check.
20. I found a paycheck that I received four months ago but never cashed. Is there anything I can do?
You must contact the payroll office located in Bernstein-Marcus and ask for additional instructions. Paychecks usually expire within three months of issue. This may cause your check to be rejected by your bank. Again, direct deposit is recommended as it offers convenience and less time being consumed by you or university offices, especially in such cases where extra research and technical steps need to be taken.
21. I have direct deposit but I am changing banks. Do I need to do anything?
Yes. In order to prevent money from being deposited into a closed bank account, you need to immediately update your direct deposit information via BUSS. Please contact the payroll office for additional information.
22. How do students find off-campus Work-Study jobs?
You are responsible for seeking an off-campus work study job at a non-profit agency that is of interest to you. For more information on getting an off-campus job approved, please read the Off Campus Job Registration Procedures section of the Student Employment Handbook.
23. Do I have to work if I have been awarded Federal Work-Study as part of my financial aid package?
No. Federal Work-Study is an opportunity for students to work in order to earn money to pay for college expenses, as well as to gain valuable employment experience. It is one component of an aid package that may be comprised of loan, scholarship/grant or work awards.
A student may choose to decline the work offer. However, you will not necessarily be eligible for additional aid if you decline the Federal Work-Study award.
24. What happens if I do not earn all of my work-study award?
Nothing; you will not be penalized for not earning all of your award. You will, however, forfeit the remainder of the award.
25. Can I still work if I don’t have FWS?
Students who are awarded an FWS or University Employment allotment as part of their financial aid package are given priority for jobs until Oct. 1. If you were not awarded such an allotment, you must wait to seek employment until after this date.
While some departments can hire only students who have Federal Work-Study, many others are able to hire students who do not have FWS. Check the job opportunities page to see the specific requirements for each job posted. You must have a valid Social Security number to seek employment on campus.