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Financial Aid and Scholarships

Payroll Procedures

The amount of money that employers pay a work-study student cannot exceed their financial aid award amount. That's why it's important for employers to determine the right salary and to follow the procedures necessary to make sure that your student employees are paid on time through the university system.

On-Campus Employers

The University of South Carolina Payroll Department requires all Federal Work-Study students working on campus to submit online time cards. Paper time cards are no longer accepted by payroll. Students can access their time card form on HCM PeopleSoft.

Time cards for students working on campus must be approved by the student's supervisor, who in turn forwards the time card electronically to payroll. Time cards are due to payroll each Monday morning for hours worked the preceding week.

Off-Campus Employers

Off-campus student employees are not required to enter hours worked on the HCM PeopleSoft system. Each agency will submit:

  • a weekly timesheet that lists daily hours worked for each employee
  • a Federal Work-Study Students Time Transmittal Form listing employees with total hours worked

Timesheets and transmittal forms must be signed by an authorized representative and forwarded to payroll via fax (803-777-8080) by noon on the Tuesday following each week ending date. Original time transmittal forms should then be mailed to:

USC Student Payroll
1600 Hampton Street
Columbia, SC 29208

*Note: Please contact the USC Payroll Office if additional blank timesheets or transmittal forms are needed.


Payment Dates
Work-study students, like all USC employees, are paid on the 15th and the last day of each month. Students are paid for actual hours worked, not for estimated hours; therefore, students who begin work around the first of the month will not receive a check on the 15th. Instead, payment for work performed by mid-month will be available at the end of the month. View the pay dates

Direct Deposit
Students are required to enroll in direct deposit of their paychecks. For more information, please review direct deposit instructions demonstrating the direct deposit enrollment process.

How Much Should You Pay
Students can be paid anywhere between $7.25 and $15.00 per hour. In determining an appropriate rate, employers should consider:

  • how much persons with those same skills are paid in the local area for doing the same type of job
  • the skills needed to perform the job
  • rates the employer would normally pay similar non-FWS employees
  • any applicable federal, state or local laws that require a specific wage rate

Any request for hourly rates which exceed the maximum rate allowed must be accompanied by a written request which justifies the higher pay rate. Wage increases should be provided when you determine that the student has performed a job satisfactorily over a reasonable period of time.

Pay Rates
The Federal Work-Study Program is a form of financial aid. As a recipient of this aid, work-study students may not earn more than their total award amount from their position. In addition, many students depend on work-study employment to meet weekly college expenses. Therefore, it is important that you, as an employer, carefully coordinate the yearly work schedule with the student to ensure you both understand how many hours the student can work and when the award runs out.

Use the chart below to determine how many hours per week students can work so as not to exceed their award. 

Award Amount Number of Hours at $7.25/hr Number of Hours at $8.00/hr Number of Hours at $9.00/hr
$1500 6.75  6.25  5.50
$1600 7.25 6.50 5.75
$1700 7.75 7.00 6.25
$1800 8.25 7.50 6.50
$1900 8.75 7.75 7.00
$2000 9.00 8.25 7.25
$2100 9.50 8.75 7.75
$2300 10.50 9.50 8.50
$2500 11.50 10.25 9.25
$3000 13.75 12.50 11.00
$3500 16.00 14.50 12.75
$4000 18.25 16.50 14.75
$4500 20.00 18.75 16.50
$5000 20.00 20.00 18.50

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

An I-9 Form (Employment Eligibility Verification) must be completed for each student employed on or after July 1, 1987. Completion of I-9 Forms is ALWAYS the responsibility of the department or agency. The Payroll Department will retain I-9's for all student workers. The following procedure outlines the process by which employers must verify employment eligibility for student employees. The procedure will satisfy the requirements placed on student employers by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986:

  • On-campus employers complete the hiring process on the Web.
  • On-campus employers should send the completed I-9 Form directly to Payroll.
  • The Payroll Department will maintain the I-9 Forms for record-keeping purposes. It is suggested that employers maintain photocopies of the I-9 Form and the required documentation in their internal files.

Get a blank I-9' through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services »

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