- Who is eligible for employment?
USF students who are authorized to work in the United States and meeting a minimum of half-time enrollment by the semester's Census date are eligible for employment. A half-time undergraduate student is enrolled in at least six (6) units per semester; a half-time graduate student is enrolled in at least three (3) units per semester; a half-time law student is enrolled in at least four (4) units per semester. Continuing students are not required to be enrolled during the summer semester to work on campus.
If a student withdraws, takes a Leave of Absence (LOA), or drops below half-time enrollment after Census, they will lose employment eligibility.
- What types of employment are available?
Two types of employment are available at USF: Federal Work-Study (FWS) and non-need-based student employment (non-FWS). The first type of employment is a form of financial aid. That is, if a student applied for financial aid and has high financial need, then a FWS award may be part of the student financial aid offer. The second type of employment is employment not related to a need-based work award.
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education. In most cases, department budgets are responsible only for a portion of the students' gross earnings/benefits up to the amount awarded as financial aid. Non-need-based student employment is funded by the hiring department. There is no differential pay rate, number of work hours, or benefits between FWS and non-FWS employment. There is a difference, however, in the priority that should be granted to students who are seeking employment.
When hiring managers have two or more equally qualified candidates for a position, priority consideration for the position is granted in the following way: (1) to the FWS student, (2) to the student without a need-based work award.
Although financial aid applicants must report student employment earnings on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), earnings from a FWS position may be reported as need-based earnings so as not to count against the calculation of need for financial aid the following year.
- What is a Federal Work-Study Award?
A FWS award is a Federal Student Aid program that supports student employment for college students. Direct support is provided in the form of a financial subsidy to the hiring department. Currently, the FWS program at USF subsidizes 75% of the wages a work-study student earns in an on-campus FWS position, leaving the hiring department responsible for financing only 25% + fringe expenses. The total amount a student may earn with a work-study award is determined by the USF Financial Aid Office.
Under the FWS program, student gross earnings are limited to the amount awarded in their Financial Aid Award Letter. If the award is earned in-full before the end of the academic year, either the hiring department must agree to the job's conversion into a non-Work-Study position or the worker must be terminated.
If a department hires a student with a FWS award, we recommend the supervisor work with the student at the beginning of the year to project when the full award will be earned and to discuss what to expect when the award is exhausted. If the hiring department does not have funds to convert the job to a non-Work-Study position, the student may request an increase in the award amount by sending a written appeal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Eligibility for an award increase depends on the student's remaining financial need as well as available funding; therefore, not all requests may be granted.
- How many hours may students work each week?
On the average, most students work between 12-20 hours per week. While classes are in session, USF student employment policy limits student employee schedules to a maximum of:
25 hours per week for domestic/permanent resident students.
20 hours per week for international students.
During the summer session and breaks, all student schedules are limited to a maximum of 35 hours per week. Please note that students are also limited to 7.5 hours in a single day. The workweek runs from Monday 12:00 a.m. to Sunday 11:59 p.m.
These limits pertain to any on-campus job, or any combination of on-campus jobs. Supervisors should be aware if their student works multiple on-campus jobs to ensure that hours limitations are not exceeded.
- What are the start/end dates for students to work up to 35 hours/week?
Breaks during which students may work an extended schedule of 35 hours are defined as:
- Winter Intersession: The first Monday following the last day of the fall exam period to the Sunday prior to the first day of spring classes;
- Spring break: Monday and through Sunday;
- Summer break: The first Monday following the last day of the spring exam period to the Sunday prior to first day of fall classes;
- Since the exact dates of the start and end of each semester and break vary by academic program, please refer to the academic calendar to determine when your student employee may work extended hours.
- Is student employment limited to the academic year?
Students with a need-based work award (a FWS award) may only earn funds under the need-based program during the academic year (fall through spring). However, the hiring department may choose to allow the student to continue working through the summer break under a non-need-based work classification. Likewise, if the student earns the total amount of the work award prior to the end of the spring semester, the hiring department may convert the employment type to non-need-based (see our Change Job guide for more information).
- Is a student job guaranteed to be renewed?
There is no guarantee of continued employment. Continued employment is contingent upon many factors, such as departmental budgets and satisfactory performance. Student assignments typically terminate at the end of the academic year (mid-May). You are encouraged to discuss the possibility of continued employment into the summer and/or the next academic year with your employee as soon as possible during the academic year. If at any time you determine that a student's performance is not satisfactory, the student may be released from employment. However, we strongly encourage supervisors to work closely to rehabilitate an employee with unsatisfactory work performance. Keep in mind that many students depend on on-campus employment to meet their educational expenses.
- Can a student have more than one job?
Yes, through non-work study employment. That is, a student may only have one Federal Work-Study position but may hold a 2nd position that is paid through non-Work-Study. The University recommends, however, that students limit their employment to one position that meets their needs. Keep in mind that while classes are in session, students may only work up to a maximum of 25 hours per week (domestic students) or 20 hours per week (international students) for all jobs combined.
- How do I post a job?
With the implementation of USFWorks, you must create a Job Requisition to post a job to the job board. Instructions are found here. If you do not yet have a supervisory organization in USFWorks, contact the Office of Student Employment to be enrolled in the mandatory training course.
- How do I determine a pay rate?
Student pay rates are established by the hiring department. The Student Employment Office has established wage guidelines for on-campus hiring departments based on the duties and qualifications of the position. The department should use these guidelines to determine where the position fits within the student salary schedule. Generally, positions which require more technical and specialized skills, specific work experience, or greater levels of responsibility should be compensated at higher rates of pay.
- What is a Form I-9?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9 is a standard Human Resources form. It is a legal document that verifies an employee's identity and employment eligibility.
Like all employees, students are required to complete the I-9 Form prior to employment at USF. In order to complete a Form I-9, the student must present documents that verify identity to the Student Employment Office as part of their onboarding.
The list of acceptable documents as well as detailed information and instructions are available on the Form I-9. Note that in most cases, a student only needs to complete the I-9 document one time. International students may be required to resubmit expired work authorization documents. If a student leaves USF and later returns to the university, a new I-9 form will be required prior to starting a new assignment.
- Are there additional steps for international students?
Although not a requirement for employment, employees must provide USF with a Social Security number (SSN) for wage reporting to the IRS. If a student employee with a job offer does not already have a U.S. Social Security number, the student must enter a temporary SSN (000-00-0000) into the Government IDs task during USFWorks onboarding, then apply for a SSN. The student then has 45 days to apply for and provide a valid SSN to the Student Employment Office. If you hire a student on an F-1 or J-1 visa who needs to request a SSN, you will need to complete an "Employment Confirmation Letter." Please note that the letter template must be printed on USF department letterhead. The student will then submit the form to the International Student and Scholar Services office (ISSS) for a second signature. The signed letter can then be presented by the student to the Social Security Office along with valid identification documents to request an SSN. More information about the SSN request process is available on the ISSS website. Our International Student Employee Checklist can help our students navigate the hire process.
- What expectations are reasonable to ask of student employees?
Although we ask supervisors to be mindful of a student's primary role of student at the University, accepting a position also involves a commitment as an employee. At minimum, you should expect your student employees to:
- Report to work promptly
- Notify the supervisor as soon as possible when the student will be late or unable to work
- Refrain from conducting personal business on the job
- Report accurately all hours worked
- Perform tasks to the best of one's ability
- Dress appropriately for the job location
- Regard the job equally as one would regard an off-campus, non-student position
- Student employment is more than merely earning money to offset educational expenses. The work experience students gain can be invaluable both academically and upon graduation.
- My student employee no longer has the option to submit a timesheet for a continuing job. What does this mean?
To maintain accurate student headcount and employment records, the Office of Student Employment processes the automatic termination of all inactive student jobs. That is, Student Employment terminates jobs for which the student has not recorded hours or been compensated for 8 or more weeks. If your student's job was inactive for that time period, they were likely terminated. Please proceed with the rehire process if you wish to employ the student further.
Graduating students lose student employment eligibility on the final day of their academic program and are similarly automatically terminated. Supervisors must ensure that graduating students record all worked hours appropriately by midnight on the last day of their academic program
All Federal Work-Study (FWS) jobs for students who are not working during the summer (under non-Work-Study) and who are not returning to the FWS job in the fall term are automatically terminated at the end of May of each academic year. In May, the Office of of Student Employment will collect confirmation of returning/continuing FWS student jobs in order to automatically convert these roles to non-Work-Study. If you did not provide confirmation of your FWS student's continuance or resumption, they were likely terminated. You can initiate the rehire process in USFWorks, listing a non-Work-Study job, without issue.
- When are students paid?
Students are paid semi-monthly. Pay days are normally on the 7th and 22nd of the month. Should the pay day fall on a Saturday, pay will be issued the previous Friday. Should the pay day fall on a Sunday, pay will be issued the following Monday. See the payroll calendar for a current list of pay dates.
- Are taxes withheld from student earnings?
All student employment earnings are considered taxable by the IRS. By default, a portion of a student's earnings will be withheld from each paycheck and sent to the IRS as income tax. Students can adjust the amount withheld from their paychecks by changing their withholding elections in USFWorks. Other taxes, such as Medicare and Social Security taxes are generally assessed when students are enrolled less than full time, including summer and winter intersession. Please note that these are only guidelines, as tax law is complicated. If a student has questions regarding the taxability of earnings, the student should consult with a certified tax professional.
- Do student employees earn sick leave?
Yes, eligible students can receive paid sick leave. The San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance allows student employees working within San Francisco County to accrue 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 72 hours. Paid sick leave begins to accrue upon the student's first day of work. Sick leave is reported on the student's timesheet for review and approval, when taken. Assuming the student has accrued enough time to do so, the student may request sick pay for up to the full scheduled work shift missed but no further. Students may not report more sick hours than they have available.
If a student is unable to report to work for 3 or more days you may require a doctor's note to verify the necessity of the absence.
Additional notes regarding paid sick leave within the City and County of San Francisco:
- Employers must provide paid sick leave for part-time employees, including all student employees.
- Employees may use paid leave for their own medical needs and to care for family members.
- Employees with no spouse or partner may use the leave to care for a "designated person."
- What are the laws regarding breaks and meal times?
In the State of California, employers are required to give each employee at least ten (10) minutes paid break for each four (4) hours worked. While 10 minutes is the state required minimum, USF grants a standard 15-minute break for each four (4) hours worked. If an employee works 3 ½ hours or less, it is not required that a break be given. If an employee works for a period of more than five (5) hours, the employer must provide an unpaid, off-duty meal period of at least thirty (30) minutes. When a work period of not more than six (6) hours will complete the day's work, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and the employee. At USF, if an employee will work a full 7.5 hour work day, the meal break must be taken before the start of the 6th hour of the shift, and a 2nd 15-minute break must be given.
- How can I address a need for improved employee performance?
Because on-campus employment may be a student’s first work experience, supervisors may encounter situations in which a student employee’s work performance must improve. At times, it may be challenging balancing the department’s needs while remembering a student employee’s primary role at the University is academic. The Student Employment office offers the following tips for addressing work performance:
- Provide clear instructions and expectations of the position. This may include taking plenty of time to train the employee on a new skill or office procedure, identifying the amount of time a specific project is expected to take to complete, and reminding the employee to ask questions. At the time of hire, we encourage a review of department policies, such as dress code, requesting time off, and protocol for calling in sick or providing notice of delayed arrival to a shift.
- Clearly explain and outline the structure of your department. Give student employees an overview of each staff member’s role and take time to make face-to-face introductions. Inform the employee who to approach with employment questions or concerns.
- Assume the best of intentions and provide the employee a chance to be heard. Because student employees are working on top of maintaining a full-time class schedule, balancing school and work may take a few weeks for a student to master. Additionally, many student employees may be living away from home for the first time and therefore navigating new challenges, such as living with a roommate. When addressing poor work performance, work with the student to consider outside factors that may be affecting performance, and try to accommodate those needs as appropriate, such as a reduced work schedule. Attempt to identify performance issues that can be resolved with additional training. Finally, approach the conversation as a learning experience and prepare to mentor the employee.Supervisor best practices training is available through USF Human Resources. More information and guidance on this topic may be found online. For an excellent example, see the tips from the University of Colorado - Boulder.
- What steps are required to end a student's employment if/when necessary?
If changes in class schedule, academic pressures, or volume of work in the department make a work commitment impossible, and the student feels it is necessary to terminate employment, the student is asked to provide a minimum two-week notice along with the reason for the termination. However, since students are not under contract, they may discontinue employment at any time. When a student's employment is terminated for any reason, the appropriate business process should be completed in Workday immediately. See our Termination / End Additional Job guide for instructions and more information.
- Do I need to evaluate a student’s employment performance?
While not required, supervisors are strongly encouraged to complete an evaluation for each student employee before the end of the spring semester. A performance evaluation is a great opportunity to provide formal feedback to your employees. Additionally, the evaluation is a great time to discuss the student returning to work for your department during the summer and/or the following academic year.
Completed performance evaluations should be submitted to the Office of Student Employment in person or via email.
- What are some ideas to recognize the contributions of my student employees?
You should celebrate the accomplishments of your student employees in a similar fashion as you do any part-time staff in your office. Below are some ideas of how you might recognize your student employees:
- Regular praise and thank you for hard work. Positive feedback is especially important to young employees who may feel unsure if their work is meeting expectations.
- Include student employees in department staff meetings when their schedules permit.
- Celebrate birthdays, graduations, and the completion the academic year.
- Recognize your student employees during National Student Employment Week, the 2nd full week of April.
- Please note that any gifts to the student employee must be in adherence with the Non-cash Gifts, Awards, and Incentives policy.
- How can I aid in the professional development of my student employee?
As an academic institution, an emphasis on learning is encouraged both in the classroom and in a student employment position. As a supervisor, you have the opportunity to foster professional development in your student employees that will provide benefits years after graduation. Some ideas for professional development include extensive training on all aspects of student duties, participation in staff meetings, and solicitation of student feedback on office procedures. Additional, students may partake in CIT trainings. It is appropriate to allow a student employee to attend trainings on the clock if the training is related to his or her job duties.
- What other resources are available to help students look for a job?
The Student employment job board lists on-campus student positions as well as off-campus positions with agencies contracted to sponsor Federal Work-Study (FWS) student employees. Off-campus, non-FWS jobs (i.e., organizations that directly employ the student) are listed on the DonsCareers job board managed by the Career Services Center.
Several resources are available on campus to support students as they prepare to apply and interview for a job. The Career Services Center offers assistance in and resources for developing a resume and practicing interview skills. Their website offers an abundance of online resources aimed at college students. The Writing Center offers writing consultations for students who want to identify errors or brainstorm improvements on their resume/cover letters.
If you have additional questions that were not addressed above, please feel free to contact the Student Employment Office at email@example.com or (415) 422-6770.