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Student Employment Manual

PLEASE NOTE THE STUDENT EMPLOYMENT MANUAL IS UNDER REVISION.  Some student worker employment policies are changing to ensure compliance with the guidelines of the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) and the Affordable Care Act.  

For more information on these student worker employment policy changes, please visit the Division of Human Resources’ ACA website at:

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Student Employee Definition

A. General Student Employment
B. Federal Work Study
C. Student Residence Hall Assistant
D. Graduate Assistantship
E. Summer Session Student Assistant

III. Eligibility for Student Employment

A. Eligibility for General Student Employment
B. Eligibility for Federal Work Study Program
C. International Students
D. Eligibility for Classified Staff Positions
E. Miscellaneous

IV. Policy Guidelines for Student Employment

A. Allowable Work Hours
B. Overtime
C. Concurrent Employment
D. Nepotism
E. Tax Withholding on Student Wages
F. Breaks
G. Absences
H. On-The-Job Injuries
I. Employment Benefits
J. Motor Vehicle Usage
K. Family and Medical Leave

V. Administering Student Employment

A. Social Security Numbers
B. Job Codes and Titles
C. Student Group Definitions
D. Payroll and Timekeeping
E. Pay Rate Increases

VI. Processing Student Employment Paperwork

A. Job Description
B. Job Posting
C. Hiring
D. Rehires
E. Monitoring Earnings/Allocations
F. Termination

VII. Student Employee Grievance Procedure

A. Discrimination
B. Dispute Resolution Policy for Student Employees

VIII. General Employment Practices

A. Interviewing
B. Orientation
C. Employee Problems
D. General Rules of Personal Conduct for Employees
E. Student Responsibilities
F. Performance Evaluation

UA Student Employment Manual
I. Introduction

The contents of this manual are not to be construed as a contract or agreement. The contents are subject to revision without prior notice.

This manual is designed for use by both managers and supervisors who hire and/or supervise students. Answers to various questions concerning policies, procedures, supervisor responsibilities and student responsibilities are provided for the user in this manual.

The University of Arizona (UA) offers several distinct employment opportunities for students, including the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program and General Student Employment (GSE), and Graduate Assistantships. The similarities and differences in policies and procedures for these programs are contained in this manual.

UA attempts to provide appropriate fiscal resources, contingent upon the availability of funds, to establish and maintain positions designated as student employee positions. Under the Student Employee Compensation program, UA employs approximately 6,000 students annually in the general student employment and FWS programs and an estimated 2,447 in Graduate Assistantships. As a component of UA's student financial assistance program, it is the intention of the student employee positions to assist students in meeting their basic financial needs and acquiring valuable work experience. However, the diversity of talents and services derived by the student employees is also beneficial to UA.

UA supports consistent application of student personnel policies and procedures throughout the campus. UA's Student Employee Compensation program applies the principle of "equal pay for equal work" through placement of positions with comparable duties and responsibilities in the same classification and pay range.

It is the responsibility of university administrators, supervisors and managers to determine, in accordance with the policies as outlined herein, the specific student group for student employees based on the job duties performed, and to determine the proper compensation for these student employees within the hiring ranges established for the student group they hold based on internal equity and on education and experience. The placement of a student into a student group is based on the duties performed by the student employee not the educational level of the student at UA.

UA has established a Student Employee Compensation program which classifies student employee positions and designates appropriate policies for hiring, promoting and adjusting the wages of student employees. The Student Employee Compensation program is administered by Human Resources which categorizes student employees in FWS and GSE positions, with comparable duties and responsibilities requiring similar degrees of experience and education in the same pay range group. The pay range shall be related to the classification of the student employee's student group position. Actual pay within the pay range will be related to the work experience, longevity and performance of the incumbents in the position.

The responsibility and authority for administering the Student Employee Compensation program is designated to Human Resources who shall:

  • establish the student classification levels and pay ranges in the program;
  • recommend adjustments in the compensation ranges to university administration when conditions indicate the need;
  • approve rates exceeding the range maximum and equity pay rate requests for student employees, and;
  • interpret policies pertaining to this program.

In the event of extraordinary circumstances, a department may request an exception to policies outlined in the Student Employee Compensation program by submitting such a request in writing with specific facts of justification to Human Resources. Approval must be received by the requesting department prior to an exception to a policy may become effective.

II. Student Employee Definition

Student Employee Definition - A student employee is a part-time employee who is concurrently enrolled at The University of Arizona with the primary goal of achieving a degree. Thus, the employment is interim or temporary in nature and is incidental to the pursuit of an academic program. There is no guarantee of employment implied or otherwise.

Students may not perform any work or subsequently be paid for work performed until all steps in the hiring process have been completed.

In regard to student employment, the supervisor is reminded of the following:

"The University of Arizona is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity, Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Employer" and "is committed to the policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, color, physically disadvantaged, veteran status, and national origin."


Institutional student employment positions are funded by UA through fiscal year allocations made to the departments. These positions are considered General Student Employment (ESE). There are more than 5,000 such positions on campus.


The Federal Work Study (FWS) program is a federal financial aid program offered to students with demonstrated financial need as measured by the U. S. Department of Education. As authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended, the FWS program is partially funded by the federal government with a percentage match funded by the employer (UA, department, or agency). The availability of funds is dependent upon the annual appropriation from Congress and allocation from the U. S. Department of Education, as well as departmental match.

The Title IV regulation 34 CFR 675.1(a) & 675.8(e) states, "The Federal Work Study (FWS) program provides part-time employment of students attending institutions of higher education who need the earnings to help meet their costs of postsecondary education...(In addition) The institution shall award FWS employment, to the maximum extent practicable, that will compliment and reinforce each recipient's educational program or career goals."

Most of the 800+ FWS positions funded are on-campus, however, federal or state agencies, and non-profit or not-for-profit organizations may contract with UA to hire FWS eligible students off campus. Each off-campus agency entering into an agreement with the institution must pay the student from its own funds and submit invoices and time records to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for reimbursement of the federal share as contracted.

  1. FWS Community Service positions are defined as positions offering:

    Services which are identified by an institution of higher education, through formal or informal consultation with local nonprofit, governmental, and community-based organizations, as designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals, or to solve particular problems related to their needs. These services include:

    1. Such fields of health care, child care, including child care services provided on campus that are open and accessible to the community, literacy training, education (including tutorial service), welfare, social services, transportation, housing and neighborhood improvement, public safety, crime prevention and control, recreation, rural development, and community improvement;
    2. Work in service opportunities or youth corps as defined in Section 101 of the National and Community Service Act of 1990, and service in the agencies, institutions and activities designated in Section 124(a) of that Act;
    3. Support to students with disabilities in including students with disabilities who are enrolled at the institution; and
    4. Activities in which a student serves as a mentor for such purposes as: Tutoring; Supporting educational and recreational activities; Counseling, including career counseling."

    These positions may be through on-campus departments or off-campus agencies. To qualify for Community Service status, these services must be open to the general public and not limited to the university population. Contact the Federal Work Study Office for more details at 626-0061.

  2. A waiver of the FWS federal-share requirement, which is up to 75%, has been written for the following tutor programs:
    1. The America Reads Challenge (ARC), which provides FWS tutors to support teachers and help ensure that every American child can read well and independently by the end of the third grade.
    2. The Family Literacy Program, which provides FWS tutors to families with children from infancy through elementary school. this program is based on research that shows that children whose parents work with them on literacy skills during early childhood have a significantly better chance of reading well and independently.
    3. Effective on July 1, 1999, in response to the national need to improve student achievement in mathematics, a mathematics program to tutor children who are in elementary school through the ninth grade has been established.


Student Residence Hall Assistants reside in a University residence hall where they work with other residence hall personnel to promote a socially, culturally and educationally enriching experience for students living in residence halls. This unpaid job receives financial aid to apply to room and board expenses.


Graduate Assistants/Associates are also student employees. For hiring procedures, please refer to the Graduate College Employment Information and Procedures Manual for Graduate Assistantships/Associateships and Supplemental Compensation. Copies of the manual are available through the Graduate College by calling 621-5193.


Summer Session Student Assistants must meet all University of Arizona student employment criteria. They may be employed during either the Summer or Winter school Sessions to assist the instructor of record, who is responsible for all course content. Representative duties include compiling instructional documents, proctoring and grading tests and homework, moderating classroom discussions, and assisting with web-based courses by moderating online discussions. The Office of Summer and Winter Session retains sole authorization to implement this title, and the hourly pay rate as determined by the department offering the class is at least the current federal minimum wage.


Student Advertising Representatives prospect, sell, maintain and service display advertising accounts for the department of AZ Student Media and are paid a base salary plus a productivity-based commission. These unique positions are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

III. Eligibility for Student Employment



A graduate student must be enrolled at UA for three or more units during the Fall and Spring semesters. No enrollment is required during Summer or Winter sessions. Law and medical students must be enrolled as full-time students as defined by their respective colleges. The three classifications of a graduate student are:

(a) Those admitted to a master`s program, (b) Those admitted to a doctoral program, (c) Those admitted as a non-degree graduate student.


An undergraduate student must be enrolled at UA for one or more units during the Fall and Spring semesters. During Summer or Winter sessions, if the student is not currently enrolled for classes at the time of hire, they must have attended the previous semester, been eligible for student employment and be pre-registered for the following semester. Students new to UA or those students ineligible the previous semester must be attending classes at the time of hire in order to be employed in a student position. Student employees must continue to be enrolled for the appropriate number of units in order to be eligible for continuation of employment in a student position. The following table illustrates the eligibility requirements for GSE during the Summer.


enrolled enrolled enrolled eligible
enrolled enrolled not enrolled eligible
not enrolled not enrolled enrolled not eligible
not enrolled enrolled enrolled eligible
not enrolled enrolled not enrolled eligible
enrolled not enrolled enrolled eligible


(a) High school students will not be eligible for student positions, except where special programs have been established.

(b) When a student has graduated and/or will not be returning the following semester, they may only be employed up to their last final exam. When a department is aware that a student is no longer enrolled, then it is the responsibility of the department to terminate the student immediately.

(c) If the individual no longer qualifies for student employment and the department wishes to continue the person as an employee, they may pursue going through the University of Arizona's recruitment process or through an approved temporary agency or if applicable, apply a non-competitive search such as a project specific appointment. The policies are outlined for both recruitment procedures on our web sites at

(d) Students who are enrolled for a minimum of six credit units in an accredited two or four year institution of higher education, or students participating in the Visiting Student Scholar program who are students at an out-of-state or foreign university/college may be hired into a UA student employment position. Departments wishing to hire a non-UA student or Visiting Student Scholar into a UA student employment position should forward new hire forms to Systems Control along with copies of documents verifying the student's enrollment or registration at an accredited institution or a letter from a Visiting Student Scholar program. As of spring semester, 1/15/14, students must be enrolled at the UA in order to be eligible for student employment and maintain enrollment at the UA to remain eligible. 

(e) In monitoring the student payroll paperwork, Human Resources will no longer review HFs to see if students are eligibility to work as a student employee. It is the responsibility of the department to access the Student Information System (SIS) or Personnel Services Operating System (PSOS) screen 18 to check student units.


Eligibility for student employment under the FWS program is determined by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) each year based on the information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The required procedures are summarized as follows:

  1. Generally, a student must apply for financial aid each year before March 1 for the upcoming academic year (Fall and Spring semesters).
  2. Each application is reviewed in accordance with federal and university policies to determine financial need. Eligible students with financial need may be offered FWS awards per UA packaging guidelines. FWS awards, at UA, generally range from $500 -- $2,500 and average approximately $2,000 annually, depending upon the student's aid eligibility.
  3. To be eligible for FWS, students must not owe a refund on a Pell Grant, Supplemental Grant, or the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (formerly the State Student Incentive Grant) received to meet education costs. And, they cannot be in default on any Perkins Student Loan or on any Subsidized or Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.
  4. FWS students must maintain at least half-time enrollment at UA during the Fall and Spring semesters for Undergraduate, a minimum of six units per semester and Graduate, a minimum of five units per semester. (Please note that this differs from General Student Employment).
  5. FWS students must make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree in terms of minimum grade point average, minimum number of units completed, and a maximum time frame for a degree. OSFA monitors the academic progress of all aid applicants. If satisfactory progress has not been maintained, the supervisor will be notified when a student is no longer eligible to work under the FWS program. At that time, the department supervisor may transfer the student to GRE, if separate departmental funding is available.
  6. During the Summer session, if funds are available for a Summer program, FWS students may or may not be enrolled but they must be financially eligible and indicate an intention to return to UA in the Fall semester as at least half-time students, except for those students that intend to graduate in August of that year. OSFA will determine both the availability and eligibility for Summer FWS funds.


International students possessing a Student Visa F-1 or an Exchange Visitor Visa J-1 (with permission of their sponsor) may be employed under general student employment. Students with F-1 and J-1 visas may work anywhere on campus; it is not required that their work be related to their respective courses of study. An international student cannot displace an equally qualified student who is a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident. For more specific information consult the Center for Global Students Programs.

    International students attending UA on an F-1 student visa may be employed on campus up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year and, 40 hours per week, during vacation breaks and Summer in accordance with U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) regulations. Their eligibility for employment is incident to their student status and no formal work authorization is required.
    International students who hold J-1 exchange visitor visas must request work permission from their sponsor for on-campus employment including a teaching or research assistantship. Permission for the on-campus employment of a J-1 student is granted by a responsible officer of the exchange visitor program sponsoring the student. In the majority of cases, a J-1 student will be sponsored by UA. For those students sponsored by UA, work authorization is granted through the Center for Global Student Programs. The Center is located at 915 North Tyndall Avenue, and may be reached by telephone at 621-4627. For those students sponsored through other agencies, the student must submit a request for work authorization directly to their sponsoring agency. The same hourly restrictions on employment that apply to F-1 students apply to J-1 students.
    International students must have a valid Social Security Number (Social Security numbers beginning with 889 are not valid for employment purposes). If the student does not have a valid SSN, he/she may apply for a social security card at the local office of the Social Security Administration, which is located at 3500 East Campbell Avenue. The office may be reached by telephone at 1-800-772-1213. If an international student has been previously issued a social security card which indicates "NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT", it is not necessary for the student to apply for a new social security number. This type of social security card is valid for on-campus positions, but cannot be used for employment off campus.
    International students in both F-1 and J-1 visa categories are required by the INS to be full-time students during the academic year. Undergraduates are required to maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours. Graduate students are required to maintain a minimum of 9 credit hours, with the exception of students holding teaching or research assistantships. International students on an assistantship may carry a minimum of 6 credit hours to maintain their student visa status. International students are not required to attend Summer session.


Classified Staff Positions may provide an employment option for individuals who must be terminated because they no longer meet eligibility requirements for the Student Employee Compensation Program.

  1. UA students may apply for classified staff jobs at the University Services Building, Human Resources Office, and may be considered for positions if they meet the minimum qualifications. They may not, however, be hired for benefit eligible positions unless their names appear on a Candidate Referral List from Human Resources.
  2. UA student employees who have graduated and have not yet completed a research project in conjunction with their academic program, may be placed in a non-competitive selection hire if they meet this criteria. Otherwise the department may hire through an approved agency for temporary employment or may hire through the normal University of Arizona recruitment process.
  3. UA student employees are not eligible for intradepartmental promotion or transfer to classified staff positions, even if the work is the same as the student job.


  1. Students may not perform any work or subsequently be paid for work until all steps in the hiring process have been completed. (See Section VI.C.)
  2. Positions exempted from the "Student Employee Compensation Program" are:

    (a) Academic appointed positions for which duties are primarily teaching or research.
    (b) Positions established under the Conditions of Faculty, Professional or Administrative Services.
    (c) Positions established under the Tri-Universities Human Resources System.
    (d) Graduate assistant/associate positions and supplemental compensation
    (e) Student Resident Hall Assistant

IV. Policy Guidelines for Student Employment


All student employees may work a maximum of 25 hours a week while classes are in session and up to 35 hours a week during vacation periods. International students see Section III. C. for details.

Vacation periods are those times when classes are not in session and Summers for continuing students who are eligible and intend to return to UA the upcoming Fall semester. Students taking ANY units during a Summer session are subject to the 35 hours maximum for that session.


Overtime is defined as work in excess of 40 hours per week. Student employees may work a maximum of 25 hours per week during the academic year, and a maximum of 35 hours during the winter and summer sessions. Student employees in Student Group A, B, C and D titles (see Section V.C.) are non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and may NOT be scheduled to work or be paid overtime. If a student employee inadvertently works over 40 hours in a week, the student employee must be compensated at the rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for cash payment for each hour worked over 40 hours.


  1. A student who holds 1 or more campus jobs must schedule work such that the total number of hours is at or less then 25 hours per week during the academic year, and a maximum of 35 hours during the winter and summer sessions. Hours over 40 reported in a work week will be distributed on a percentage method between positions.
  2. Students may hold a FWS position and a GSE position. The combined total of hours worked cannot exceed 25 hours per week during the academic year, and a maximum of 35 hours during the winter and summer sessions. For students that have more than one FWS position, total earnings may not exceed the FWS award amount for ALL FWS positions. In addition, an original FWS authorization form must be completed for each FWS position. Please call the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid FWS Office, for more details.
  3. Graduate students may, in some cases, hold an assistantship and a student wage position. This position can be either GSE or FWS. Earnings must be processed via a Supplemental Compensation form through the Graduate College. For more details, please refer to the Graduate College Employment Information and Procedures Manual for Graduate Assistantships/Associateships and Supplemental Compensation.


UA's policy for the employment of relatives is the same for student employees as it is for classified staff.

  1. UA policy for the employment of relatives is as follows:

    (a) When one member of the family is responsible for making decisions in personnel matters such as the hire, promotion, retention, or salary of another member of the same family.
    (b) When a family member is responsible for supervising, directing, or evaluating or influencing the evaluation of the work of another member of the same family.
    (c) When other situations may exist which place members of the same family in circumstances of actual or reasonably foreseeable conflict between the interests of UA and the interests of the family members.

  2. Definition of Relatives and Family Members

    For the purpose of this policy the terms, "relative" and "family member" are defined as:

    An individual related to another person or the person's spouse within the third degree. This includes parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, siblings, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, spouses, and close relatives of spouses including step- or in-law relatives.

    NOTE: The Director of Human Resources may determine that other inter-personal relationships between individuals which create a relationship similar to those described in the definition above, may be included under the provisions of this policy if one of the parties has influence over the other as described in section above.


Wages paid to a student employee through the payroll system may be subject to the following withholding taxes: Federal Income Tax, State Income Tax, and FICA Tax (Social Security). The withholding of federal and state taxes is dependent upon the student's biweekly gross income and how the student files their form W-4. A student may seek advice from the Internal Revenue Service regarding how to file their form W-4 by calling the IRS toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040. A student is not automatically exempt from tax withholding based upon their student status.

Withdrawing of FICA tax from student wages is determined by the number of credit hours/units in which the student is enrolled.

During the Regular Semester:
An undergraduate student who is enrolled for at least half-time is exempt from FICA tax withholding.

During Summer Session:
An undergraduate student who is enrolled for at least 3 credit hours each session is exempt from FICA tax withholding.


Student employees may be provided a 15 minute rest period during a continuous four hour work segment. Rest periods are scheduled by the supervisor to maintain efficiency of the work unit. Rest periods must be preceded and followed by work and should not be used to cover a student's late arrival or early departure. Time designated for rest periods cannot be accumulated. Please note that breaks are a privilege, not a right.


A student employee must notify their supervisor as soon as possible, but no later than the beginning of the scheduled work period when he/she is unable to work. In the case of an extended absence, the student should inform their supervisor of the anticipated length of their absence. A student may not be paid for hours that were not actually worked.


Student employees are covered by Workman's Compensation Insurance for on-the-job injuries. Coverage includes medical care and lost time wages when a student employee is unable to work because of a job-related disability.

Job-related accidents and illnesses must be reported immediately to the supervisor. Medical attention, if necessary, is available at the Campus Health Center. After hours and in emergency situations when away from the Tucson metropolitan area, employees should go to the nearest medical facility capable of providing the necessary services.

The Department must complete The University of Arizona Incident Report Form. For further information contact the Department of Risk Management, Worker's Compensation, 1610 North Vine Avenue, telephone 621-3626.


Student employees are not eligible to receive most employment benefits such as, but not limited to: paid vacation, sick leave, holiday leave, life or medical insurance, overtime pay (see Section IV. B.), unemployment insurance, and retirement benefits.


Position classifications of Driver (Group A) and Mail Clerk (Group A) require independent driving of motor vehicles on a regular basis. Student employees hired for these jobs must possess valid driver's (and commercial) licenses. For other positions, though, departments should review duties being performed by student employees regarding the operation of motor vehicles and require that students obtain a commercial license when necessary. When recruiting to fill vacancies, requirements of a valid driver's or commercial license should be clearly stated on the job announcements. In addition to valid licenses, student employees who operate a State Vehicle or personal vehicle for UA business must follow the same procedures as other UA employees. Please refer to FRS Departmental Manual 14.10 and 14.11 for details.

K. Family and Medical Leave

Student employees may be eligible for Family and Medical Leave under certain circumstances. For more information see the University's Family and Medical Leave Act Policy at:

Student employees must make a request for FMLA leave to his or her supervisor following established University FMLA leave procedures. The supervisor will promptly coordinate with the designated leave coordinator to ensure University FMLA procedures and timelines are followed for notifying the student employee of eligibility, certification requirements, and whether the leave will be designated and counted as FMLA leave. 

V. Administering Student Employment


If a student has been using a temporary UA assigned number and has received their permanent social security number, the student should complete a change form for SIS and submit the change to the Registrar's Office, Room 210 in the Administration Building. Permanent social security numbers must be used for payroll purposes.


All positions are assigned to a classification group which is indicated by A, B, C or D. The student groups are identified and described in the next section.

Federal Work Study (FWS) eligible students utilize the same job titles and job groups as other student employees. FWS reporting will be handled by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA). Pay rates received by a student employee on the FWS program shall be consistent with General Student Employment (GSE) under the provisions of the Student Employee Compensation program.


Departments are responsible for assigning positions to appropriate student groups. The correct student group should be the group that best defines the level of duties the student employee will be performing. These duties should be defined on the Hiring Form (HF). 

Student Group Descriptions and Salary Ranges (effective 7/3/2017)

Student Group A
[Note: As of 1/1/2013, Student Group A is no longer available for new hires.]

Jobs in Student Group A are for both undergraduate and graduate students. They require few skills and little or no previous training or work experience. Duties are generally of a routine nature, are closely supervised, and require little decision making. This group also includes jobs that require some previous training, experience, and/or knowledge (six months). Work is performed under general supervision and requires some decision making. Student Group A employees may be allowed to lead other student employees.
120472 $10.00 $11.00
Student Group B
Jobs in Student Group B are for both undergraduate and graduate students. They require few skills and little or no previous training or work experience. Duties are generally of a routine nature, are closely supervised, and require little decision making. This group also includes jobs that require 1-2 years of college or 1-2 years comparable experience, preferably in a specific area of study. Work is performed under general to limited supervision. Duties are varied and can require independent judgment and considerable mechanical or technical abilities.
120473 $10.00 $15.50
Student Group C
Jobs in Student Group C are for appropriately qualified upper level undergraduate students, graduate students or licensed professionals. They require extensive training or experience and advanced knowledge at the upper undergraduate or master's level or three to four years comparable experience. Duties are performed under general direction, require considerable knowledge of a discipline, exercises independent judgment and decision making in the development of new procedures, techniques, systems, or equipment. They may include skills requiring licensing or certification by a state agency. Generally these positions involve supervision of other student employees.
120474 $10.00 $22.50

Student Group D

Jobs in Student Group D are for graduate students who do not hold a Graduate Assistant/Associate position and are assigned to perform similar work. Experience and qualifications parallel comparable Graduate Assistants/Associates.

120475 $11.25 $28.00

Student employees simultaneously holding two or more UA student positions may be classed in more than one student classification group, if warranted by the nature of the duties to be performed. As a result, they may receive different rates of pay for the various jobs performed. All student employees are non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Any further questions related to the FLSA designation of student employee positions should be directed to Human Resources.


A major responsibility of the student employee's supervisor is to ensure that student employee records actual hours worked on the (ETR). The supervisor should become thoroughly familiar with the payroll procedures and deadlines. The payroll period is every two weeks, see 19.71 Payroll Calendar and deadlines at The student must submit a signed time sheet to their supervisor for each payroll period. The supervisor must verify the accuracy of the hours and submit the time sheet to the department's payroll representative. Information to check includes:

  1. Actual hours for the payroll period reported which, under exceptional circumstances, may include overtime for student employees.
  2. Verify total hours. Remember a limitation of 30 hours per week during periods of enrollment and 40 hours per week during vacation and holiday periods.

Payroll information must be reported by a specified deadline, see 19.71 Payroll Calendar and Deadlines at If information is received after the deadline, the student's paycheck may be delayed approximately two weeks. Payday is one week after the payroll period ends. Paychecks are distributed to student employees through their employing departments, if more than one department, then the check is distributed through the home department. The home department is determined by either the employment end date or the greater FTE. If there is any questions as to the home department, contact the Payroll Office.

All wages paid to a student employee by UA, including those earned through the FWS program, are subject to FICA, federal and state income taxes. Questions on exemptions or withholding for taxes may be directed to the Payroll Office.

At the end of the calendar year, each employee receives a Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement), and/or Form 1042S (Foreign Persons U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding). These forms must be distributed by the end of January. If the form(s) have not been received by the 10th of February, the student should contact the Payroll Office.


There are various avenues available to increase a student's pay rate. All are subject to the availability of funds within the department. The student employee may have their pay rate increased by: Probationary increases; Performance/Merit, Longevity (Anniversary), Equity; or Career Progression, Promotion/Reclassification, or Probation.

Review the policies listed for the proper procedures to implement these increases. All increases should use the beginning of a pay period as the effective date and be submitted on a Personnel Action Form (PAF) with the reason for the pay increase noted in the comment section of the form. Forward the completed PAF to Systems Control.


Performance increases of up to 10% for meritorious job performance may be granted by the department with approval of the appropriate dean depending on the availability of funds. Any such performance/merit increases should occur concurrently with faculty and staff salary adjustments. Students will not receive performance increases if faculty and/or staff HAVE NOT received adjustments. The student employee must have completed their probationary period in order to receive a performance increase. Processing of paperwork should be completed within 30 days. When a student is returning from summer break the deadline is September 30.


After one year of continuous employment in a department a student employee may be eligible for up to a 3% increase. For each additional year a student employee is employed in the department, he/she may be eligible for up to a 5% increase. These rate increases are based on a satisfactory or better performance rating and are subject to the availability of funding. The increase should be given when the student returns from summer vacation OR can coincide with the anniversary date of the student employee's hire date. Processing of paperwork should be completed within 30 days of the eligibility date.


Equity increases are pay adjustments to correct discrepancies in wages between student employees or classes of student employees (e.g., minorities, females, males) within the same or similar job titles. This occurs when the differences in wage level are not linked to significant differences in responsibility, education, experience, longevity of service, or job performance.

These adjustments are related only to issues of equity and fairness and are not to be used to adjust salary differences arising from market conditions or to be used in lieu of performance or longevity increases.


A career progression increase may be granted to a student employee if the student assumes more responsible duties within the same student group. A career progression increase may be granted no more than once during the fiscal year and the student employee may be increased up to 10% above their current rate or to the mid-point of the Student Pay Group range. A description of the student's current duties, as well as the more responsible duties and a description of the higher level knowledge and skills now being performed, must accompany the PAF. Forward all the paperwork to Human Resources, University Services Building. Processing of paperwork is done at the time of request.


A promotion is a change in the classification of a student employee to another classification in a higher level student group.

A reclassification occurs when a student employee's position is assigned more responsible duties, which qualifies the student employee for a higher level student group.

When a student employee is promoted or reclassified to a higher level group, his/her rate may be increased to a rate within the new range. The student employee's new pay rate must be, at least, at the minimum of new pay grade range. Promotions and reclassifications should be submitted on a PAF, with the previous and new duties indicated in the comment section. Forward the PAF to Systems Control. Processing of paperwork is done at the time of request.


Student employees newly hired, student employees promoted or reclassified to another student group or students hired by a different department must complete a three month probation period at which time they may be eligible, subject to the availability of funds, for an increase of up to 5%. This is done only if they have performed satisfactorily or better. These increases should be submitted on a PAF and the reason for the pay increase should be noted in the comment section of the form and should be processed at the end of the probationary period. Forward the completed Personnel Action Form (PAF) to Systems Control. Processing of paperwork should be completed within 30 days.

VI. Processing Student Employment Paperwork


Job descriptions for student positions shall be provided by the supervisor. These job descriptions should be included with the Position Control Number Request Form when positions are established by Human Resources. Once the position has been established, a computer generated Position Control Form (PCF) will be sent to the department. The department must then fund the position using the PCF. Refer to the Payroll/Personnel System Departmental Manual and/or contact Employee Services. The Federal Work Study (FWS positions are reviewed by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA).

Written job descriptions should meet the following guidelines:

  1. State the job responsibilities and duties. Since student job responsibilities change frequently, it is advisable to include the phrase, "Other related duties as assigned."
  2. List particular qualifications the job requires. Only those skills or knowledge, which will directly relate to successful performance of the job, should be specified.
  3. Indicate the position's pay rate based on the student groups and pay ranges (see Section V. C.).
  4. Include the number of hours the student employee may work weekly based on the departmental allocation and the student's hourly pay rate. If appropriate, identify the specific hours each day the student is needed on the job.
  5. Indicate if there are multiple openings. It is necessary to submit only one job description form when there are multiple openings for the same position.


GENERAL STUDENT EMPLOYMENT (GSA): Departments may list current GSE positions on Wildcat JobLink, which is administered through Career Services. For more information, departments need to contact Career Services at 621-4606. The web address is and then click on JobLink to view job postings.

FEDERAL WORK STUDY: FWS positions are also listed on JobLink. Departments may post a FWS position by completing an FWS Job Description Form and returning it to the OSFA, Departments may call 626-0061 to have the position closed at any time. Additional publicity of job openings for the GSE and FWS programs may be achieved through advertisements in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, posters around campus, handouts, word of mouth, etc.


"The University of Arizona is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity, Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Employer." Hiring decisions must be made without regard to sex, race, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran status, or non-disqualifying physically disadvantaged conditions. For further information contact the Affirmative Action Office.

Only a student who is eligible for employment may be hired (see Section III for eligibility requirements). When a position is offered and accepted, the hiring department processes a student for payroll as follows:

  1. For FWS eligible students, the employing department must complete the FWS Authorization Form before the student can be paid on the FWS account. Staple the pink copy of the FWS Authorization Form to the Hiring Form (HF) and forward it to Systems Control and then the white copy of the FWS Authorization Form to OSFA.
  2. For all student employees, the employing department must complete the HF, Form I-9 and have the student complete the sign-up packet (W-4, information sheet, and loyalty oath). Students holding a J-1 visa are required to provide written work authorization from their sponsoring agencies. All of this information should be sent directly to Systems Control.
  3. Systems Control enters the hiring information into PSOS and then the HF is sent to Employee Records.

A PAF will be sent to the home department as confirmation that the information has been entered in PSOS.

Forward to Systems Control all non-dollar changes on the turn around PAF. Human Resources will review only corrections to pay rate, exceptions to pay rate policies, career progression increases processed on PAF's.

NOTE: To ensure that a student is paid on time, departments should send hiring paperwork (Employee Form I-9, and the employee sign-up packet) IN ADVANCE OF THE STUDENT'S START WORK DATE. By doing so, nearly all student employees will print on the departmental payroll roster for the appropriate pay period. In all cases, hiring paperwork should be forwarded to Systems Control.


If a student employee is rehired within four months of termination, the student may be rehired at the previously held rate if he/she returns to the same type of duties as performed prior to termination. A PAF should be used to rehire a student and "REHIRE" should be noted in the comment section. If the student is terminated in PSOS, a completed sign-up packet (W-4, information sheet, and loyalty oath) should be attached to the PAF. A new I-9 immigration form may also be required if the current form on file exceeds the three year validity limit as established by the Immigration and Naturalization guidelines.

Employment extensions for student employees should be submitted on a PAF and forwarded to Systems Control.


It is the responsibility of both the supervisor and the student employee to maintain adequate payroll records to ensure that earnings of a student, with a predetermined earnings limitation and the departmental fiscal year allocation for GSE and/or FWS wages, are not exceeded. These records should include a total of student earnings (or departmental expenditures) for each payroll period and the remaining balance.

The student's FWS award (stated on the FWS Authorization Form) is the maximum amount the student may earn during the award period. The award periods are the academic year (Fall & Spring), Fall only, Spring only, and Summer. If the student does not earn the entire amount during the award period, he/she forfeits the remainder. Unused FWS awards may NEVER be carried over from one award period to the next. Questions concerning the FWS award and/or the award period should be directed to the FWS area at 626-0061.

Summer session is considered a separate award period and requires a separate application and funding approval. Students must complete a Summer Aid Application in March prior to the Summer session.


    In order to prevent an over award situation caused by excess FWS earnings, it is the supervisor's responsibility to:

    (a) Schedule work hours so that the student's financial needs and the departmental work needs are met during the award period.
    (b) Alert student when he/she is nearing the maximum earnings limitation.
    (c) Terminate the student's employment when his/her earnings limitation is reached and/or the department's allocation is exhausted. If departmental funding is sufficient to permit the student to maintain employment in the department, submit a (PAF) to remove the student from FWS status and change funding to 100% departmental accounts.


    Students should never be allowed to earn more than their award limit. Students whose reported earnings are equal to or exceed their FWS award limit will be dropped from the payroll roster for that pay period and 100% of the earnings will be paid out of the department's account. The department must change the student to GSE on a PCN so that the student's earnings do not reflect FWS earnings.


    Occasionally a student may receive a revised FWS award. These may be increased because the student declines other aid or has additional educational expenses. Likewise, reductions may occur due to receipt of additional aid or other financial resources. Decisions regarding increases or decreases in earning limitations are made by OSFA based on Federal and UA policy. If a student's FWS earnings limitation is changed, it is the student's responsibility to inform the supervisor of the revised amount; however, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will send a revised FWS Authorization Form to the employing department. It must be completed accordingly.


Student employment is temporary by nature and its length is generally considered to be the duration of the semester or academic year. Employment may "roll over" from one period to another but that decision is the sole prerogative of the employer. If at any time during employment, the student employee's job performance or conduct is unsatisfactory or the employee has exhibited job performance or behavioral problems of a less serious nature, the employee should be advised in writing of the problem. This notice should include the corrective actions to be taken and the consequences, should the corrective actions not be met. This action does not necessarily precede termination.

When the student's FWS allocation are exhausted, he/she must be paid 100% from departmental accounts or terminated.

All University properties such as keys, uniforms and tools must be returned to employer at the end of employment. When a student employee is terminated involuntarily, a pay check must be issued within days. When the termination is voluntary, the pay check will be issued on the regular pay cycle.

To terminate, adjust the "end date" on the Personnel Action Form (PAF)and in the "COMMENTS" section, write "Please terminate". A student employed in multiple departments on campus but who intends to cease employment with only one of the departments, should be terminated only from the corresponding position. In the "COMMENTS" section write "End position" and adjust the end date on the corresponding position.

Termination of a FWS employee is processed in the same manner as for a student in a GSE position. All student employees will be dropped automatically from the time roster and entire payroll system unless they are "rolled over." In order to "roll over" FWS employees, they must have been granted a new FWS award for the upcoming award period. The "roll over" process requires completion of a PAF and a PCF by the employing department.

VII. Student Employee Grievance Procedure


In accordance with the University’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-harassment Policy, available at, grievances involving discrimination, including harassment, should be reported directly to the Office of Institutional Equity.

Optional Conflict Assistance is available through the Ombudsperson Committee. See info at:


Student employees are expected to discuss concerns about their work conditions and/or work expectations first with their immediate supervisor. The supervisor will respond within 7 workdays. If that conversation does not produce a mutually agreed resolution to the concerns, student employees may then discuss those concerns with the next-level supervisor whose decision on the matter is final, and will be delivered within 7 workdays

VIII. General Employment Practices

This section is designed to offer suggestions for sound employment practices. Although these are not set policies, they will help to create a positive work environment, diffuse or avoid problems and promote productive work experiences for employees and their supervisors.


Interested students should contact departments directly to arrange job interviews. Departments should develop selection procedures. These procedures might incorporate the following suggestions:


    Review the job requirements. Evaluate applicants in relation to factors essential to successful performance of the job.


    Present the candidates an accurate description of the job. Invite the students to ask questions about the job requirements.


    Inform the students of the approximate pay rate and estimate of total earnings for the period (One Semester, Academic Year, Summer).


    Ask each candidate the same questions. Take notes during or after the interview on responses made by each applicant for better recall when making the selection.

    Each Federal Work Study (FWS) eligible student should present to the prospective employer his/her FWS Authorization Form. This serves the following purposes: (a) Officially notifies prospective employers of the student's FWS eligibility. (b) Lists the gross wages a student may earn in a FWS position. (c) Notifies the department and the student of the award period.


To ensure that each student gets a positive start on the job, an orientation should be provided. The supervisor should be aware that his/her role is that of a teacher as well as a supervisor. Many students may come with little or no work experience and, therefore, need instruction in how to be effective employees and guidance in establishing good relationships with co-workers. By helping the student establish good work habits, instilling a sense of pride in what the student does, and giving the student confidence in his/her abilities, the supervisor can have an impact beyond the student's employment in their department. Successful employment experiences can be especially valuable to graduating students as they enter the job market.

The orientation may consist of the following:

  • Present an overview of the office functions and organizational structure to the new employee. Describe the goals and activities of the department.
  • Introduce the new student employee to co-workers.
  • Describe the student's specific duties and responsibilities and how they relate to other office activities. If appropriate, the student may observe and/or meet with other staff members for a short time.
  • Discuss expectations of the student's work performance, including quality and quantity standards.
  • Assign a work station. Explain how work assignments will be communicated and where personal belongings may be secured.
  • Agree on a specific work schedule which may then be posted. If there is a delay or absence from this schedule, the student should notify the supervisor.
  • Provide a procedure manual to which the student can refer since it is difficult to remember all of the information given orally.
  • Update the student on any policy or procedure changes or other pertinent information affecting his/her employment.
  • Provide a safety briefing as appropriate.


Occasionally problems arise between student employees and employers. These are best resolved at the departmental level and should be handled as they arise, not after they accumulate.

Supervisors should consider the following in dealing with student employee problems:

  1. Openly discuss job responsibilities employee's expectations as well as employer's expectations. Identify where change or improvement is needed.
  2. Conduct these discussions in a private place to avoid embarrassing circumstances.
  3. Be a good listener and attempt to visualize the situation from the employee's perspective.
  4. Be fair and objective. Use a positive approach with the student and remember that the supervisor's purpose is to educate and change behavior, not to punish.
  5. Establish a specified time period for needed change or improvement and reassess the situation at the end of that period.
  6. If the problem involved the student's performance and the student improves, an evaluation indicating the student's improvement can be a big morale booster. If the student fails to improve, termination may be the only solution.

Students have the right to seek adjustment to any employment related condition which they consider unjust or adverse to their personal welfare. A grievance must be filed no later than five workdays after the incident. Exempted from the grievance procedure are polices of the Board of Regents, rates of pay established by UA for student employees, verbal and written warnings and merit increases.


The following general UA rules governing personal conduct of employees are intended to promote orderly and efficient operation of UA as well as to protect the rights of all of its employees. Any department may establish additional rules for its employees which are considered necessary for effective operation of that unit. Violation of any of these rules shall be considered cause for disciplinary action and may result in discharge. An accumulation of minor infractions as well as a single infraction of a serious nature may result in discharge.

  1. Absence from work without good cause or excessive absenteeism. Absence from work includes tardiness.
  2. Malicious destruction or willful neglect of UA property.
  3. Theft or attempted theft of property from UA, students, visitors, patrons or employees.
  4. Property owned by UA may not be used for the personal purposes of any individual employee. All property, including but not limited to land, buildings, facilities, equipment, supplies, computer software and telephones is to be used solely for UA purposes.
  5. Presentation of false information on employment application, time cards, and other personnel and work-related records.
  6. Failure to comply with safety rules and regulations established by UA. This includes the obligation to promptly report all accidents and injuries incurred.
  7. Refusal to carry out the instructions of supervisors and duties of the job unless such actions constitute unsafe acts.
  8. Other misconduct including, but not limited to, the following:

    (a) Consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages and/or controlled substances without a prescription on UA premises.
    (b) Reporting to work under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled substances without a prescription.
    (c) Use of vulgar and obscene language.
    (d) Threatening other persons and fighting or instigating a fight.
    (e) Verbally abusing, physically attacking or obstructing a supervisor.

  9. Felonious convictions committed by employees when not at work reflect adversely upon UA.


Student employees make an important contribution to the operation of UA. Within their working units they serve as a member of a team and perform needed functions. Thus, acceptance of any student employment position should be considered a sincere commitment. With this commitment supervisors can reasonably expect students to:

  1. Notify the supervisor immediately of any adjustment in a FWS award.
  2. Maintain enrollment and satisfactory academic progress as stated in the UA General Catalog. If the student is on the FWS program, at least half-time enrollment is required.
  3. Report to work promptly and perform assigned duties in a satisfactory manner.
  4. Notify the supervisor as soon as possible of necessary work schedule changes. Projects and examinations sometimes necessitate adjustments.
  5. Follow UA and departmental rules of personal conduct for employees.
  6. Submit correct payroll information to the supervisor by the stated deadlines.
  7. Keep an accurate record of hours worked. Work up to a maximum of 30 hours per week for both FWS students and for regular student employees while classes are in session and up to 40 hours per week during vacation periods and Summer periods of non-enrollment.


Student employees should receive periodic performance reviews from their supervisors. This process may be used to identify the student's strengths and areas for improvement and to reinforce the supervisor's expectations. These evaluations may be informal in nature except in the event that continued substandard performance may lead to termination of employment. At that time a written evaluation shall be completed by the supervisor for documentation of substandard performance.

  • Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, P.O. Box 210066, Tucson, AZ 85721
  • Phone: 520.621.1858
  • Fax: 520.621.9473