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Hourly Student Employees

Chapter 4720
Issued March 1, 2000 Revised September 30, 2003, May 3, 2004, May 14, 2004, July 27, 2006, October 30, 2007, June 8, 2008, June 15, 2009, March 19, 2010 and November 20, 2013

Table of Contents

.010 General
.015 Statutes, Regulations, and Policies
.020 Eligibility
.025 Recruitment Procedures
.030 Reduced Enrollment Fees
.040 FICA (Social Security Status)
.050 Entitlements
.060 Work Week and Pay Period
.070 Maximum Hours of Work
.080 Wage Rates
.090 Change in Wage Rates
.100 Appointment
.105 Completing the Hourly Student Employee Data Sheet
.110 Paychecks/Direct Deposits
.120 Federal College Work Study Program (CWSP)
.130 Performance Reviews
.140 Disciplinary Actions and Dismissal
.150 Employment Verifications and References
.160 Questions
Related Content
.300 Hourly Student Data Sheet (PER-40)
.310 W-4 Form (Employee's Withholding Allowances Certificate)
.320 I-9 Form (Employment Eligibility Verification)
.330 Substance Abuse Policy Affirmation Form
.340 Intellectual Property Agreement
.350 Student Employee Performance Review Form
.360 K-4 Form (Kansas Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate)

.010 General

Hourly student employees include both undergraduate and graduate students who are employed on an hourly basis. Their appointment and payroll procedures are different, and need to be distinguished from those on graduate student appointments as a Graduate Assistant, Graduate Research Assistant or Graduate Teaching Assistant.

Hourly student employees also include the students employed under the Federal College Work Study Program (CWSP). Please note that there are some special limitations and procedures for the CWSP hourly student employees set forth in some of the following paragraphs.

.015 Statutes, Regulations, and Policies

The following is a listing of statutes, regulations and policies relevant to this chapter:

Internal Revenue Service Regulations

Fair Labor Standards Act

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA)

Federal Work Study Program

Kansas State University Intellectual Property Policy

Instructions for Completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form

PPM Chapter 3090 Retention of Records

PPM Chapter 4220, Hours of Work, Overtime and Compensatory Time

PPM Chapter 4810, Retirement Plans, Policies and Procedures

PPM Chapter 4820, Insurance Programs

Kansas State University Student Handbook

.020 Eligibility

To be eligible for employment as an hourly student employee, a person must be at least 16 years old (at least 18 years old for employment in the Division of Facilities).

Student employees must be enrolled at K-State in no fewer than six credit hours during the fall or spring semester. For employment during the summer (from start of summer semester registration through the day before the fall semester begins) the person must: 1) have been enrolled in no fewer than 6 hours in the past spring semester or 2) be pre-enrolled in the upcoming fall semester in no fewer than 6 hours or 3) be enrolled in the summer semester for any number of credit hours or 4) be admitted to study in the upcoming fall semester. Students with an F1 or J1 visa may only be employed during the summer semester if 1) they have been enrolled in no fewer than six credit hours in the previous spring semester or 2) are enrolled in any number of hours in the summer semester. The exact beginning and ending dates of each semester and how these dates relate to student employment are routinely published by Human Resources and are available at Payroll Dates.

Students who were not enrolled for the previous fall semester and who enroll for the spring semester may begin work effective the first day of the pay period in which the spring semester begins.

In addition to the above enrollment requirements, CWSP hourly student employees are subject to the eligibility requirements and limitations of the Federal College Work Study Program as determined by the Student Financial Assistance Office. Thus under no circumstances may departments allow anyone to work under CWSP without prior approval from the Student Financial Assistance Office. Access the following web page for additional information on CWSP: Federal College Work Study.

"Career, professional" employees are not eligible for employment as hourly student employees. This includes those whose primary duty consists of the performance of services requiring knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning, whose work requires the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment in its performance, and whose work is predominantly intellectual and varied in character. In addition, employees who must be licensed by a governmental entity to perform a certain function (with the exception of a valid driver's license) has the status of a career employee and thus not eligible for employment as an hourly student worker. An alternate employment relationship must be utilized such as a temporary or term appointment in the unclassified service (see PPM Chapter 4650 Unclassified Employee Personnel Actions) or a temporary appointment in the university support staff service (see PPM Chapter 4460 University Support Staff Employee Personnel Actions.)

Special regulations and guidelines are in effect for employment of Non-Resident Aliens, see Non-Resident Alien Employment Guidelines for additional information.

Non-University Student Employment:

Under unusual circumstance, a department may hire a high school student age 16 or older or a student enrolled at another college or university as a temporary unclassified non-university hourly student employee. When attempting to fill a vacant student position, the department should make every effort to hire a student enrolled at K-State. When a K-State student is not available, primarily because the duties are performed in a geographic location outside of the Manhattan or Salina area, the department may hire a non-university student. During the school year, this must be a person who is currently enrolled in high school or in a post- secondary program. During the summer months, the person must have been enrolled in the previous spring semester. This non-university student appointment falls under the same guidelines as any other temporary unclassified appointment (see PPM Chapter 4650 Unclassified Employee Personnel Actions.)

.025 Recruitment Procedures

Kansas State University is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. The University actively seeks diversity among its employees. Federal and state legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, disability, and veteran status.

For each student position (or group of positions that are essentially alike) develop a job title and brief description stating the duties to be performed. List any necessary or preferred qualifications. Include the phrase "Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer." All student positions should be advertised. All students should be given an equal opportunity to apply. Publicize student jobs by one or more methods: Listing vacancy with Career and Employment Services; posting on appropriate campus bulletin boards; listing in departmental newsletters and appropriate forms of communication with students; advertising in the Kansas State Collegian.

Make a selection on the basis of your evaluation of the applicant's abilities to perform the duties specified in the job description. Every effort should be made to recruit and hire students of color.

Brief recruitment and selection records of student employees should be kept in the employer's office and retained for four years. See PPM Chapter 3090 Retention of Records.

.030 Reduced Enrollment Fees

Hourly student employees are excluded from the definition of "employee" when determining eligibility for resident tuition and are ineligible for any other staff fee reductions.

.040 FICA (Social Security Status)

According to Internal Revenue Service regulations, hourly student employees are exempt from the payment of social security and medicare taxes (commonly referred to as FICA) during the academic year under the conditions described below.

  1. The hourly student must be enrolled in at least six undergraduate and/or graduate semester hours at K-State during a fall or spring semester or three undergraduate or graduate credit hours during the summer semester and regularly attending classes.
  2. The student's appointment must be incidental to his/her course of study. The tax exemption will not apply if the appointment is considered to be an individual's primary activity at the University. Therefore, at no time will a student qualify for the exemption if the student works more than 30 hours per week.
  3. Non-university student employees are always subject to social security and medicare taxes.


If a student does not meet these criteria, then 7.65% of their gross payment must be withheld for social security and medicare taxes, and the University must pay an additional 7.65%. Non-resident alien student employees with F-1 or J-1 visas are usually exempt from social security and medicare taxes.

.050 Entitlements

Hourly student employees are eligible to participate in the State of Kansas Deferred Compensation Plan. Hourly student employees are covered by Worker's Compensation. Refer to PPM Chapter 4820, Insurance Programs, for additional information.

Student employees are excluded from Unemployment Compensation coverage when enrolled in at least six hours of course work during the fall or spring semester or three hours during the summer semester. Non-resident alien students employed holding F-1 or J-1 visas are usually excluded from this coverage. Non-university students are normally included. Those students employed by an affiliated corporation (non-State of Kansas position) are not excluded from Unemployment Compensation coverage.

.060 Work Week and Pay Period

The work week for hourly student employees begins at 12:01 a.m. Sunday and ends at 12:00 midnight Saturday. The pay period for hourly student employees begins at 12:01 a.m. Sunday and ends at 12:00 midnight on the second following Saturday. The normal pay date is then on Friday, two weeks after the end of the pay period. Hourly student employees must record hours worked on a Kansas State University Time and Leave Document. This document must be completed and signed by the student in ink, approved by the supervisor and retained in the student's personnel file at the end of each pay period. Time documents must be retained by the department for at least five years. If changes have been made to the time document, the employees must initial the changes even if they make the changes. The supervisor must also initial the changes.

.070 Maximum Hours of Work

To be exempt from FICA (see .040 Social Security) all students, except for F-1 or J-1 visa holders, are limited during the academic year to 30 hours of work during calendar weeks when classes or final exams are in session three full days or more and to 40 hours during all other weeks. According to immigration regulations, students who hold an F-1 or J-1 visa are limited during the academic year, excluding student recesses, to 20 hours of work per week. During the summer semester all students (including F-1 & J-1 students) are limited to 30 hours per week while enrolled in four or more credit hours and to 40 hours during other weeks. When employed in more than one department concurrently, the sum of hours worked in all departments may not exceed these maximums.

Since students are primarily at K-State to receive an education, working students in excess of 40 hours is prohibited. However, if a student does work more than 40 hours during any week, the person must be paid overtime at 1.5 times the hourly wage for all hours over 40. Students are not eligible to earn compensatory time. See PPM Chapter 4220, Hours of Work, Overtime and Compensatory Time, for additional information.

.080 Wage Rates

The Kansas State University minimum wage rate for hourly student employees is $7.25 per hour, effective June 14, 2009. There is no maximum wage rate. Students are not eligible for shift differential or other premium pay.

Appointing departments are responsible for maintaining consistency and equity in pay rates. The hourly rate for a student position should be based on factors such as:

  • The range and complexity of duties;
  • The knowledge and skill requirements;
  • Equity, including salary relationships with other student employees within the department;
  • Longevity, merit, and recruitment difficulty.

.090 Change in Wage Rates

Departments may change the student's hourly rate of pay by updating the pay rate in the Human Resources Information System (HRIS). It is recommended that changes in hourly rates of pay are to be effective only at the beginning of a pay period.

.100 Appointment

Hourly student employees are appointed by submitting to the Division of Human Resources (HR) a completed Hourly Student Data Sheet (PER-40). Attach to the PER-40 a signed K-4 Form, Kansas Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, W-4 Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate (only if the student is claiming anything other than Single and 0 allowances because HRIS automatically establishes the tax data in this manner or if the student does not update the W-4 via employee self service or if the student is a non-resident for tax purposes,) , I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form, a State of Kansas Substance Abuse Policy Affirmation form and an Intellectual Property Agreement form. In addition, an On-Campus Work Permit is required for non- resident alien students (obtained through the International Student & Scholar Services). Departments send the original forms, signed by the department head and the student employee, to the Division of Human Resources, file a copy in the department's personnel file and give a copy to the employee.

PER-40 forms are normally due in HR by the first Friday of the pay period in which the appointment falls. Late Student Appointments will be paid on a supplemental payroll or in the following pay period, thus delaying the initial check.

Hourly student employees remain active in HRIS until terminated by the department or until such time as the person no longer meets the eligibility for employment as an hourly student employee and is terminated by Human Resources.

Non-University Hourly Student Employees are appointed by submission of an Appointment Form (PER-38), as a temporary unclassified employee instead of an Hourly Student Data Sheet (PER-40).

.105 Completing the Hourly Student Employee Data Sheet

Detailed instructions on completing the Hourly Student Employee Data Sheet (PER-40) may be found at Hourly Student Data Sheet (PER-40).

.110 Paychecks/Direct Deposits

Student employees are encouraged to have their pay direct deposited to one or more financial institutions of their choice. Direct deposit pay advices will be available electronically through Employee Self Service in HRIS a week prior to payday. Students who do not elect to have their payroll directly deposited to a checking or savings account or do not submit their direct deposit information in a timely manner, will be provided with a Skylight paycard. 

.120 Federal College Work Study Program (CWSP)

The regular Federal College Work Study Program (CWSP) is a federally subsidized program to promote part-time employment of financially eligible students. The financial aid program is administered by the Student Financial Assistance Office. The program provides federal funds up to a maximum of 75% of the CWSP hourly student wages. Most hourly student positions at the university are eligible to be filled by a student with CWSP eligibility, and funded accordingly. Students employed by the Leadership Studies & Programs under the Academic Mentoring program are eligible for 100% funding under CWSP. Students must not be in the regular CWSP and the Academic Mentoring CWSP at the same time. If this occurs, the Academic Mentoring program will take precedence. Non-Resident Alien student employees are not eligible for CWSP. Because of the federal funds and regulations, special procedures are needed for CWSP hourly student employees as set forth in the following paragraphs.

Eligibility for CWSP is determined by the Student Financial Assistance Office.

Departments employ and place eligible students on the CWSP payroll by submitting an original Hourly Student Data Sheet (PER-40) to the Division of Human Resources. The CWSP section on the PER-40 must be completed.

Departments pay CWSP matching (the 25%) from any account available to the department for student payroll. Departments employing CWSP students provide an amount equal to 20% of their total payroll (Federal CWSP plus matching) to partially cover administrative expenses. CWSP administrative expenses are normally charged to the same account as CWSP matching. CWSP Administrative Expense charges relating to federally sponsored projects are reflected in the departmental SRO projects. If no SRO projects exist, the charges are posted to General Fees projects, certain appropriated projects, or in special situations to another Restricted Fee project.

The Division of Financial Services automatically charges the CWSP administrative expense to the employing department's designated account.

.130 Performance Reviews

Upon employment, student hourly employees should be advised of the unit's performance review process. The performance review process serves to provide feedback to the student on the strengths and weaknesses of job performance in relation to employer expectations. Each unit is encouraged to develop a formal evaluation system which may also be used for determination of pay increases. A sample Student Employee Performance Review form is available for your use.

.140 Disciplinary Actions and Dismissal

Disciplinary action for student hourly employees may include verbal counseling, written warnings, or termination of employment. Student hourly employees may be dismissed at any time, with or without cause or notice. For example, a student hourly employee may be dismissed for such things as lack of funds, lack of work, change in organizational needs, failure to meet minimum enrollment requirements, non-performance or insufficient performance of duties, or other behavior detrimental to the department. However, all employees should be given opportunities to correct work deficiencies. When feasible, notify the student hourly employee at least two weeks in advance of the dismissal.

.150 Employment Verifications and References

Release of information regarding employment is detailed in PPM Chapter 4010 Employment Verifications and References. In addition, any release of information for student employees must be in compliance with the requirements of FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended) and the Student Records Policy. See the FERPA Guidelines for Faculty and Staff for additional information.

.160 Questions

Questions on recruitment of student hourly employees should be referred to Career and Employment Services, (785) 532-6506. Questions regarding CWSP regulations and eligibility should be referred to the Student Financial Assistance Office, (785) 532-6420. Questions about hourly student employees' appointment and payroll procedures should be referred to the Human Resources at (785) 532-6277 or hr@ksu.edu.