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Working with Student Employees - Free Match

The University of Maine has established a fund, commonly known as “Free-Match,” to be used as the 25% matching share of on-campus employment for Federal Work-Study (FWS) wages. This means that the Free Match program will pay the 25% share of the Federal Work-Study wages, not your department.

For example, if your department is awarded $1,500 in Free Match, you may hire any combination of students whose Federal Work-Study awards total $6,000 (25% of $6,000 = $1,500). After the Free Match funds are used, the department is responsible for the 25% match.

You will be responsible for keeping track of your Free-Match allotment. You will be able to monitor the amount of Free-Match used in MaineStreet Financials. When you access your office budget in Financials you will have a line titled Federal CWS Match with a program code of 57530. As always, it is your department’s responsibility to select the students you wish to be on Free Match. Simply check the Free-Match section on the authorization form. Please remember to put your department account number on the authorization form in the required section as well.

We recommend that employers choose to use the Free Match funds for a select few students that they know will earn the amount throughout the year and do not use the Free Match funds for all students who will deplete the funds in a short period of time.

The Free Match program was designed to assist those departments who do not have other funding resources to hire students. Unfortunately, Auxiliary Departments are not eligible for Free Match funds.

In order to qualify for Free Match, departments must have an E&G account.

Grant accounts may not be used in conjunction with Federal Work-Study which includes the Free Match Program.

For additional information on Free Match, please call our office at (207) 581-1349.


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