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2020 Fall End and 2021 Spring Processing Notes

This page provides important news and notes for employers at the time of 2020 Fall end and 2021 Spring processing. We encourage you to read the entire page but you can also select specific sections by clicking the links below. 

This update covers:


Important Dates

December 21 (Mon.) Last day FWS can be used for December graduating students and students that will not be returning for the spring term.
December 21 (Mon.) Last day December 2020 graduating students can work in student positions.
December 31 (Thurs.) Student Wage Scale Increases.
January 4 (Mon.) Last day to extend student position end dates from fall.
January 5 (Tues.) Mass Student End Job Process (see below).
February 8 (Mon.) Spring FWS eligibility starts*.
First day new incoming students can work in student positions.
May 25 (Tues.) Last day academic year FWS can be used.
May 25 (Tues.) Last day May 2021 graduating students can work in student positions.

*Federal Work Study Usage

Students who are graduating December 2020 and students who are not retuning for the Spring 2021 semester cannot earn FWS funds after December 21, 2020.  Any FWS earnings after this date will be charged back to the department 100%.  The last day December 2020 graduating students can work in student employment positions is the last day of final exams on 12/21/2020.

Working Over Winter Break: Students who are awarded Federal Work Study (FWS) for both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 may be able to work remotely and use FWS funds during the intersession.

  • Students need to be enrolled for the Spring 2021 semester.
  • Any FWS earnings during this period will count toward the student's academic year FWS eligibility. This will reduce the amount of FWS funds available during the spring semester. 
  • Students who work over winter break and do not return for the spring term will have any FWS earnings after December 21, 2020 charged back to the department at 100%.
  • Additionally, overtime earnings will not be funded through FWS funds; any overtime accrued will be reversed from the FWS account and charged back to the department at 100%.

Please confirm your ability to hire student employees during the Spring 2021 term with your respective HR rep and unit leadership.  Federal Work Study employment must not displace nor replace regular full-time employees.  Undergraduate students with spring only Federal Work Study (FWS) eligibility will not be able to earn FWS prior to the first day of instruction, regardless of whether the student is engaged remotely or in-person. Undergraduate instruction for the Spring 2021 term begins on February 8, 2021.

  • For Law and Vet students with Federal Work Study eligibility, usage for the spring term will begin on the first day of instruction for their respective programs.

Using FWS on Student Employment Positions: In order to determine if your student employment positions are eligible for Federal Work Study, please review the Eligibility Requirements for Employers, as established by the U.S Department of Education.

Once you have established that the positions are eligible for FWS, two steps must be completed on the position in Workday in order to utilize a student’s Federal Work Study subsidy:

1. The costing allocation must include both a department account and the matching FWS account at a 50/50 split, for all non-community service approved FWS eligible positions.

  • IT.FWSENDW for Endowed positions
  • IT.FWSCONT for Contract positions

2. The appropriate Federal Work Study Job Classification must also be selected.

  • All non-community service FWS eligible positions will use the Regular – (Federal Work Study) job classification

PLEASE NOTE: Although you may have more than one department costing account, the FWS account should equal to 50% unless the position is part of a previously approved community service program.

For assistance completing these steps, please review the Adjusting Federal Work Study job aid for step by step instructions.  This and other relevant job aids relating to student employment can be found on the Workday website, under Student Employment Power Users.

To confirm you have completed both steps correctly, please run the Workday report: Federal Work Study Jobs with Incorrect Setup by Supervisory Organization.  This report will identify student positions that need to be reviewed and updated for the student employee to properly be paid with FWS funds.

Viewing Student Federal Work Study Eligibility 

Federal Work Study (FWS) eligibility for the academic year can be viewed via 3 methods:

1. The Student Hourly Appointments report in Workday.

  • Once you have logged into Workday, select the Student Employment worklet.  Role access is required.
  • Underneath the Student Employment Reports and Actions section, select Student Hourly Appointments.
  • Complete required fields and select OK.

2. The Federal Work Study Eligible but Not Used by Supervisory Organization report in Workday.

  • Once you have logged into Workday, type the report name into the Workday Search bar.  Role access is required.
  • Enter Supervisory Organization and select OK.
  • PLEASE NOTE: this report will only show FWS eligible students with active student positions in your area that are not set up to use FWS funds.

3. The CU SES Eligibility Inquiry page in PeopleSoft.  Appropriate view access is required.  To request access, please submit a Student Data Access request.

  • Once the information on top is filled out and the staff NetID needing access is entered, scroll down to “Student Employment Document” (at the bottom), and select “yes”  for the SE Eligibility Inquiry. 
    • This request will route to be approved by the staff’s department.
    • If a valid Cynergy Confidentiality Agreement Form is not on file, one will need to be completed by the staff gaining access.
  • Once approved, this will allow the staff to view the FWS balances and International Student I-9 expiration dates in PeopleSoft (for paper forms completed prior to 08/01/2019).

PLEASE NOTE: Federal Work Study eligibility will not appear unless the student has actively accepted their FWS award via their Student Center.

Working Remotely

Remote workers must continue to demonstrate professionalism and comply with University policies.  If you will offer remote positions, please be sure to consider and document the following information when employing students to work remotely:

  • Start and end dates for remote work;
  • Best contact number for students during anticipated work hours;
  • Number of hours planned per week;
  • What form and frequency of interaction will occur between the supervisor and the student employee;
  • What work is to be completed; and
  • How productivity and quality of work will be measured.

Off-campus work within the U.S. is permitted for F-1 or J-1 student workers as long as they are paid by Cornell, and the student maintains valid immigration status and is an active Cornell student.

Working remotely outside the United States is generally not permitted. The university has developed a narrow framework of options for engaging qualified international student workers who will remain in their home countries for the fall semester. Please note that some options will require prior approval by the Department Chair or Dean. Employers can find eligibility criteria and employment options in the Undergraduate Student Academic Support and Professional Degree Student Appointments (NetID required) guidelines. Please reach out to Global HR if you have questions or need additional information.

Please also be sure your student employees have their correct address listed in Workday so the student employment position meets all federal/state/local tax and labor laws associated with where the student is physically located while working.  The work address should be listed as the state of New York. If you have any questions regarding tax implications, please contact the Cornell Tax Office.

Mass Student End Job Process

HRIS will automatically run a process that will end any student hourly jobs with an end employment date of 01/05/2021 or prior.  Management Partners and Student Employment Management Partners will have until 01/04/2021 to extend students positions, as needed.  Please review the Student Job Review report in Workday to take any necessary actions.

Student Wage Scale

The New York State minimum wage rate will rise again, effective December 31, 2020, from $11.80 to $12.50.

The Cornell Student Wage Scale will increase accordingly ($0.70 for each level) to remain consistent with the NYS minimum wage increase.

The new student wage scale that will be implemented effective 12/31/2020, will be as follows:

Classification Level Minimum Hiring Wage Maximum Hiring Wage
I $12.50 $14.25
II $12.75 $15.55
III $13.35 $17.10
IV $14.50 $22.25

In coordination with the Workday Team, our office will identify all student employees who are earning a rate of pay less than $12.50 per hour.

For those individuals identified, an increase to their rate of pay will need to be made, in order to meet the increased minimum wage rate – effective dated no later than December 31, 2020. The increase in pay rate will be processed through an automated compensation change transaction, so no action will need to be taken by the employing department.

Reporting Social Security Numbers

Social Security numbers (SSNs) are required for all employees (citizens and noncitizens) working in the United States.  SSNs are used to report a person’s wages to the government for tax purposes and to determine a person’s eligibility for Social Security benefits.  The Cornell Payroll office requires this information in order to process tax documents in compliance with legal requirements for all employees.

When hiring student employees or completing the I-9 Employment Verification Form, please remind these individuals to confirm with the Office of the University Registrar if they need to provide documentation of their Social Security number.

PLEASE NOTE: SSNs are not required on the I-9 Employment Verification Form, nor are they required to begin working.  They are, however, required once the student has begun working.  Please direct international student employes to International Services in the Office of Global Learning for guidance on applying for an SSN.