Frequently Asked Questions

Once you have received a job offer from your hiring supervisor all first time student employees must submit a Student Status Advice and complete hiring paperwork (i-9, W-4, Direct Deposit, and De-4 forms in addition to identification documents required for the I-9) to be processed for their on-campus job before they are allowed to begin working. You will need to submit these forms to Student Employment in the Financial Aid office at F201 in person and then wait to begin working until you have received an email stating you have been approved.

Once you have completed the student section of the Student Status Advice you will be emailed instructions on what are the next steps are regarding what additional hiring documents must be submitted and if you have any questions about the processing steps please go to this link.

*Students who have worked at CalArts previously will have their previous hiring paperwork saved but may be asked to submit updated or re-verified documents.

Students are only allowed to work no more than three on-campus jobs a semester. If working in multiple roles you must let your supervisors know about these other positions when being hired for a new job. Those who are employed in a Federal Work Study position of 5 hours or less per week may be approved for a second or third concurrent Federal Work Study position in another department as long as all hiring supervisors are aware and approve. Requests for concurrent employment must be approved through the Student Employment office.

Yes! International or foreign born students who are enrolled at least part-time in a degree seeking program (undergraduate or graduate) may work on-campus. International students have to apply for an on-campus job first and once hired they will begin the process to obtain a social security card. All students are required to provide proof of their eligibility to work in the US and international students must apply for a social security card prior to working. Download this INSTRUCTION SHEET.

International Students are not allowed to begin working until the required hiring forms are submitted and your position is processed. You must receive a position confirmation approval email before you are allowed to start working.

The difference between FWS and CWS are as follows:

Federal Work-Study (FWS) – Government Funded

The FWS program is considered need-based employment. Before you've been hired, the Student Employment Office will determine if you qualify to FWS funding. In order to be considered, you must:

  • File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be determined to have Financial Need
  • Be enrolled at least part-time (in at least 6 units per semester) in the undergraduate program at Cal Arts
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Not be in default on a student loan
  • Submit all documents required by the Office of Financial Aid pertaining to Verification (if needed)

If awarded FWS, you may earn wages up to the amount listed on your financial aid award. You should not include your Work-Study awarded amount when estimating the balance of your university bill. The bill is due before the semester begins and your Work-Study funds are earned over the course of the semester. The average student award for Federal Work Study ranges from $1500-$3000 and is dependent upon financial need of the student.

Campus Work-Study (CWS) – University Funded

The CWS program is not considered need-based employment. In order to be considered, you must:

  • Be enrolled at least part-time (in at least 6 units per semester) in the undergraduate or graduate program at Cal Arts
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen (including international students)
  • Be achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

During the Fall and Spring Semesters, most students work approximately 10-15 hours, however you are allowed to work a maximum of 25 hours per week. During university breaks (Winter, Spring, & Summer), you are allowed to work a maximum of 40 hours per week. International students are limited to 20 hours per week due to visa limitations.

*If you are working in Federal Work Study position and you earned the max amount of wages listed on your financial aid award for the semester then you may be asked to resign from your role until the next semester unless additional funding is available.

Your work schedule will be coordinated with your supervisor each semester. It will vary based on your academic class schedule. You may not miss classes in order to work unless your class is canceled.

Student wage rates at Cal Arts are set to start at the current California Minimum Wage of $16/hour but you do have the opportunity to earn more depending on the job.           

Your earnings will be paid to you directly in the form of bi-weekly paychecks that are deposited directly to your personal bank account or given as a pay check. You must be authorized to begin working by the Student Employment Office before you can log your hours and receive a paycheck. Student worker timesheets will appear on your hubtime profile a couple days after approval.

Students are typically paid a specific wage for each hour they work and their overall earnings/income gained for each pay period depends on how frequent they work throughout a week.

If you have any questions about your paycheck or direct deposit set up, please contact the Payroll Office their email

Returning students may work over the summer. In order to be eligible for summer employment, all undergraduate and graduate students must be a continuing student at Cal Arts. Incoming undergraduate and graduate students are not eligible for summer employment.  

*As a reminder, students who worked on campus during spring semester and intend to register for fall semester do not need to register for summer to hold a student employment position.

When you are hired for an on-campus position you become a member of a team that depends on you. While individual departments will have different expectations, you should expect to:

  • Be enrolled during the academic year. You must cease working after withdrawing or graduating from school or dropping below part-time status.
  • Set up a work schedule with your supervisor that compliments your class schedule and your supervisor's needs.
  • Earn no more than your FWS award amount each semester.
  • Report to work promptly, ready to begin work.
  • Notify your supervisor as soon as possible and no later than the beginning of the scheduled work shift, when you are unable to work.
  • Consider the employer's needs as well as your own when requesting time off.
  • Work with a cooperative and positive attitude.
  • Refrain from conducting personal business during work hours.
  • Perform your work in a satisfactory manner.
  • Dress appropriately for your work location.
  • Take your job seriously. The experience you gain in your position can be invaluable.
  • Develop and maintain good working habits.
  • Report your hours accurately each day that you work.
  • Discuss problems with your supervisor as they arise. Your employer will be understanding and be interested in working toward a solution. If the problem cannot be resolved, you may contact the Student Employment Office for assistance.
  • Students found to have engaged in gross misconduct (i.e. breach of confidentiality, theft, fraud, etc.) will be terminated and referred to the Dean of Students Office for disciplinary action.

If a student employee works at least 3.5 hours in a day, they are entitled to a rest break (this is paid and not documented on the time card). An employee must be provided a rest break of at least 10 consecutive minutes for every 4 hours worked. 

If an employee works 5 hours in a day, they are entitled to a meal break of at minimum, 30 minutes (This is not paid and should be documented on the time card). The employee and employer can agree to waive this meal period provided they do not work more than 6 hours in the workday. Students MUST be given a 30 minute meal period no later than the start of the fifth hour of work. A second meal period of not less than thirty minutes is required if an employee works more than ten hours per day, except that if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee only if the first meal period was not waived. 

Student workers do qualify to receive sick pay which accumulates each pay cycle and can typically be used for a variety of reasons at the department’s discretion. Student employees will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked to a maximum accrual of 24 hours. Up to 24 hours of that sick leave carries over to the next calendar year. Accrued hours are viewable on HubTime in the Leave Plan Summary.

Incoming students are only eligible to beginning working on campus during the first semester they are officially enrolled for (i.e starts in fall and therefore the first semester they can work on campus is fall)

Students that have graduated in the spring are no longer considered enrolled at the institute following the last day of the spring semester unless continuing onto a grad program in the following fall, therefore they are not able to work as a student worker. They can be hired on as part time staff through HR if their role is needed and the office have a budget for that.

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