Important Information: Please review Cornell's Coronavirus FAQ for information specific to the impact of COVID-19 across the University. The FAQ will be updated as information changes or becomes available.

Please be mindful of phishing attempts regarding CARES Act Funding and Student Employment opportunities. To verify phishing attempts, please reference the Cornell IT Security Phish Bowl. Cornell employers will not send electronic payroll checks by email and will not ask students to make gift card purchases on their behalf.

2020 Summer End and 2020-2021 Academic Year Processing Notes

This page provides important news and notes for employers at the time of 2020 Summer end and 2020-2021 academic year 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

August 12 (Wed.) Last day summer 2020 graduating students can work in hourly student positions.
August 26 (Wed.) Summer employment term ends.
Summer FWS eligibility ends. 
August 27 (Thurs.)  Academic year employment term starts for non-FWS positions.
August 31/September 1 (Mon./Tues.)  Mass change processing blackout (see below).
September 2 (Wed.) Academic year FWS eligibility starts*.
First day new incoming students can work in student positions.
December 16 (Wed.) Last day fall 2020 FWS can be used.
December 21 (Mon.) Last day December 2020 graduating students can work in student positions
December 31 (Thurs.) Student Wage Scale Increases.


Mass Change Process

It is that time of year again – the switch between academic year and summer FWS eligibility is approaching.  This procedure resets the Federal Work Study (FWS) indicators on active student jobs by removing the FWS control account, resetting the costing allocation to 100% department funds, and removing the FWS job classification for all positions, with an effective date of 08/26/2020.

The processing blackout dates will be Monday, August 31st and Tuesday, September 1st.

  • Please hold all FWS job processing during these dates – this includes new hires and changes to existing jobs.
  • Normal processing for FWS jobs can resume on Wednesday, September 2nd.
  • Non-FWS new hires and changes can be processed at any time, as the mass change process ignores non-FWS positions.

*Academic Year Federal Work Study Usage

Please note the shift in which the academic year Federal Work Study (FWS) utilization can begin.  Please also confirm your ability to hire student employees during the fall 2020 term with your respective HR rep and unit leadership.  FWS employment must not displace nor replace regular full-time employees.

Students will not be able to earn Federal Work Study (FWS) prior to the payroll period that includes the first day of instruction, regardless of whether the student is engaged remotely or in-person. Instruction for the Fall 2020 term begins on September 2, 2020.

Once an eligible student is hired into Workday, two steps must be completed 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.

  • 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

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

If you need assistance adding the appropriate FWS indicators to eligible student positions, 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.

Please note: 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%.

Viewing Federal Work Study Eligibility 

Federal Work Study (FWS) eligibility for the academic year can be viewed via 2 methods:

1. 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).

2. 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.

Please note: Federal Work Study eligibility will not appear unless the student has actively accepted their FWS award via their Student Center.  Instructions on how to accept/decline FWS awards can be found on the Financial Aid website.

Working Remotely

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.

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.

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.

Student Wage Scale

Unless otherwise suspended by New York State, the minimum wage rate is expected to 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