Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is there a cutoff for getting an on-campus student job?
A. There is no "deadline" to participate - SMU student positions will be advertised throughout the year, and you can apply at any time. The Federal Work Study program is a fall/spring only program - students can utilize their FWS award at any time during the academic year.

Q. Who determines my hourly wages, and my schedule?
A. Each department determines the hourly wage for a student position and the schedule that student will work (with reasonable accommodations for a student's class schedule).
All jobs on campus pay at least minimum wage ($7.25 per hr) and the wages do vary based on responsibility and skills required. (For example, front desk positions requiring limited skill and interaction would likely start at $7.25, while lifeguarding positions requiring certification would start at a higher wage).

Q. Does Federal Work Study mean that my supervisor has to let me study at work?
A. "Work Study" refers to a program that creates job opportunities for students so that they can Work and pay for some expenses while they Study (attend college). Some supervisors may allow a limited amount of studying during slow work hours, but this should not be expected. Please check directly with your supervisor regarding expectations.

Q. When does my Federal Work Study award disburse to my Student Account?
A. It doesn't! Federal Work Study is earned as hourly wages, and is paid directly to you (the student) as a biweekly paycheck.

Q. I'm an international student - is the process different for me?
A. The basic process is the same. International students can utilize Handshake and all departmental links to apply for on-campus jobs (please note, you are not eligible for Federal Work Study jobs if you are at SMU on an F1 or J1 visa). There will be additional New Hire paperwork to complete, but this will be provided to you by your hiring supervisor.

Q. My friend tutors at an elementary school and gets paid for it - can I do that too?
A. Possibly! There are several work study opportunities off-campus. FIRST check in with the Student Employment Office (, Blanton 119) to make sure you are eligible for Federal Work Study. If you are eligible, we will provide all of the necessary paperwork and details.