University Employers of Part-Time Hourly and Work-Study Employees


This page is dedicated to University employers who wish to hire employees through one of the three programs outlined below.

  • Biweekly continuous/part-time hourly (academic year) - The employer pays 100% of the student's wages. The appointment continues until either it is terminated by the department or the student no longer registers for University classes.
  • Work-Study (academic year and summer) - The employer pays 50% of the student's wages (40% if the job is designated as a community service position) up to $9.00 per hour. The Work-Study program pays the remaining 50%/60% until the student has earned the amount of the Work-Study award. The portion of the wage above $9.00 per hour is paid 100% by the employer. The appointment is for a specific time frame and must be renewed after each period. Students must reapply for Work-Study for each employment period.
  • Summer (not Work-Study) – The employer pays 100% of the wages. During the summer hire exclusion period (late April through late September), employers may hire students who were enrolled at a college/university or high school during the prior spring session or are enrolled for the summer session. The exact dates of the summer hire exclusion are established each year according to the Biweekly Payroll Schedule. Individuals who have been employed by the University through emergency or temporary appointments in the previous 60 days may not be employed under this program.

Links to sections below:


Establishing Rate of Pay

The employer determines the hourly rate of pay based on job duties and qualifications and the current job market.  A review of the most recent Part-Time Hourly (PDF) and Work-Study (PDF) Wage Surveys may be helpful in establishing the rate of pay. The rate of pay must be equivalent to that of a non-Work-Study student employee. The student's experience and background for the particular job should be used as criteria in setting the exact hourly wage. Iowa minimum wage is $7.25 effective January 1, 2008. Currently, the Work-Study program covers 50% of the wage (60% if the position meets community service guidelines) up to $9.00 per hour.  The portion of the wage greater than $9.00 per hour receives no reimbursement. Employers pay 100% of the wage for student part-time hourly employees.


Posting Jobs on Jobnet

Jobnet is the University’s on-line advertisement system for posting student jobs.  All job qualifications must be in accordance with the University of Iowa Non-Discrimination Statement. Select Advertise, View, and Update Listings to post a job. Job opportunities advertised on Jobnet must be part-time (20 hours per week or less) and paid by the hour. Exception: Jobs that are full-time for the summer only will be posted during the summer posting period.

Jobnet is updated daily, Monday-Friday with new jobs being reviewed and posted within two business days. Jobs are posted for one month. Employers should call 335-1460 or email to remove the job if it is filled before the month.  Employers can request that the job continue to be posted if it is not filled within the month. Currently the Jobnet Vacancy Form does not provide a space for the employer's email address. You may want to include your email address in the duties or qualifications area of the form. By providing your email address, you will allow both students and the Student Employment staff quick access to your email address.


Employment of Relatives

The University of Iowa Operations Manual outlines the University’s policy on Conflict of Interest in Employment (Nepotism). Excerpts listed below from the Operations Manual Part III, Human Resources, Chapter 8, Section 1 outline this policy with reference to the fact that no person shall make decisions related to the hiring, retention, promotion, salary, or employment responsibilities of a student related to himself or herself by blood or marriage. It does not apply, however, in cases where the individual over whom the other individual has responsibilities to make decisions or recommendations related to employment is compensated in the amount of $1800 or less in any fiscal year. (Section 7). Contact Sue Buckley, Vice President for Human Resources, 335-3558 for further information or for procedural guidance if a conflict of interest has been identified. NOTE: The description above provides only a summary and does not constitute the policy.


Student Job Fair

Beyond advertising on Jobnet, employers are invited to attend the annual Student Job Fair.  This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the job opportunity and find the right student employee.


Interviewing Work-Study Student Employees

When interviewing a UI student, employers should ask the student to bring a copy of the award letter outlining the dollar eligibility of the Work-Study award. Students have access to their award letter via ISIS, by clicking on Student Records/Financial Aid/Award Notification.  This dollar eligibility can be important in finalizing a hiring decision.  For example, an award of $1,000 may not be sufficient to meet the needs of the department based on the rate of pay, hours of work needed per week, and weeks of employment needed in the year.


Work-Study Award/Eligibility

The student's Work-Study award/eligibility represents the maximum amount that can be earned without any revisions to the award and is based on the student's financial need. Students must apply for financial aid each year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), supplying all required documents (Iowa Verification Form, student and, if applicable, parent federal tax returns), and requesting Work-Study on the Iowa Verification Form. In addition, there is a separate summer application. In order to be awarded and utilize the Work-Study award, a student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), not have a University bill from a prior session and be registered for at least half-time hours (academic year: six hours undergraduate or five hours graduate per semester; summer: six hours undergraduate or three hours graduate).

This dollar eligibility is not the amount of Work-Study reimbursement that can be received, but is the total dollar amount of the student's earnings potential.

                         Total Work-Study dollar eligibility = Work-Study reimbursement + employer portion

Semester Work-Study award amounts range from $500 to $1,750 for returning students and from $500 to $1,250 for incoming freshman and transfer students.

Summer Work-Study award amounts are determined each year based on funding availability.


Students are encouraged to email if it is possible to earn more than the original award based on hourly pay and work schedule. The Work-Study award can be used to determine weekly work hours. The Employment Dates web page provides information on the number of weeks covered by the Work-Study award or eligibility.

Work hours per week = Work-Study eligibility ÷ Pay Rate ÷ planned work weeks in academic year or summer

An email is sent to the employer when the student is nearing the Work-Study eligibility dollar limit. Once the student has earned his/her Work-Study eligibility, the student is terminated from the Work-Study Program.

Employers can utilize the Work-Study eligibility to determine the weekly work hours. The Employment Dates section provides information on the number of weeks covered by the Work-Study award or eligibility.

                  eligibility divided by pay rate divided by planned work weeks in year = work hours per week

An email is sent to the employer when the student is nearing the Work-Study eligibility dollar limit. Once the student has earned his/her Work-Study eligibility, the student is terminated from the Work-Study Program.

The Work-Study eligibility may decrease if the student receives additional scholarships or grants, requests a reduction in Work-Study for an increase in loans, or chooses to accept another Work-Study job. The eligibility may increase if Work-Study funds are available and the student has remaining financial need and can earn beyond the original award based on pay rate and work schedule.  Employers are sent emails if the Work-Study eligibility is adjusted.


Hiring Student Employees

Once hired, the student and their University employer will need to complete the following:

  • Bi-Weekly Student Appointment Form - via Employee Self Service and the HR Transaction System the employer creates one of the following appointment options:
                      Biweekly Student Continuous
                      Biweekly Student Work-Study
                      Biweekly Student Summer
  • Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) - This form must be completed electronically via Employee Self Service and I-9 Express found on the External Links tab. This form must be done by the student and the employer within three days of the job start date. The employer must examine evidence of the student's identity and employment eligibility. Generally, students use either a driver’s license or University ID card AND a social security card or original birth certificate. A U.S. Passport is also acceptable. The Payroll web site provides a list of acceptable I-9 documents (PDF).  
  • Form W-4 – (completed by the student on ISIS)
  • Authorization for Direct Deposit – (completed by the student on ISIS)

Select ISIS and Human Resources Self Service Access for Students for additional information regarding the completion of these forms by students.

Select Terms & Conditions of Employment (PDF) for additional information on the rights and responsibilities of student hourly employees.


Entering Work Hours On-Line by the Student Employee

Every two weeks, according to the biweekly payroll schedule, students must enter work hours on-line and submit the hours electronically to the employer for approval. Additional information on this process is available to the student via the On-Line Time Reporting web page. The Biweekly Payroll Schedule is found on the University Payroll web site.


Paper Copy of the Biweekly Employee Time Record

If the part-time hourly or Work-Study appointment is not entered in the Payroll system before the end of the biweekly period, an electronic time record will not be created for the first biweekly period of employment. If this occurs, the work hours need to be entered on a paper time record and mailed to the Payroll Office at 120-30 University Services Building (USB). Employers must select the appropriate biweekly form, i.e., part-time employee time record (PDF) or Work-Study employee time record (PDF) and enter the work hours. The begin and end dates of the pay period and the dates of the work listed must correspond to the biweekly pay period dates


Work Hour Limitations

Students are limited to working 20 hours per week during the academic year per State of Iowa Law. Students are allowed to work 40 hours per week during Thanksgiving break, winter break, spring break and summer. Students who work over 40 hours per week will be paid overtime but, per Federal regulation, Work-Study cannot cover overtime wages. Although these are the hours limitations by law, the Work-Study dollar eligibility of the student will determine the number of hours a Work-Study student can work per week and may limit the work hours below the maximums listed. For example, if the student’s Work-Study award is $1,750 per semester and the pay is $8.00/hour, the student can only work 10 hours per week during the 22-week fall period, which includes winter break, and 12 hours per week during the spring period before the Work Study award would be earned. Select hours per week limitations for additional information regarding the employment of international students and students paid through salary or residence hall assistant positions.


FICA Exemption

Students who meet half-time enrollment requirements (academic year: 6 hours undergraduate or 5 hours graduate; summer: 3 hours undergraduate and graduate) are exempt from FICA withholding. Students who are not enrolled at the half-time level will be assessed FICA (7.65% withheld from the student's earnings and 7.65% charged to the employing department) on all hours worked during that biweekly pay period.

Questions concerning FICA withholding should be directed to University Payroll at 120-30 University Services Building, 319-335-2381. In addition, information concerning FICA taxes is available from the University Payroll’s web site under Student FICA Information.


Paying the Employer Portion of the Student Wage

Students are paid by UI Payroll every two weeks for 100% of the approved work hours.  These wages are charged to the departmental MFK. The Work-Study program reimburses the departmental MFK for 50% of the wage up to $9.00 per hour or 60% for community service positions. Questions regarding Work-Study reimbursement should be directed to Student Employment. To better assist in researching the issue, please provide the student name, UI ID, and pay period or billing period in question. This research can take up to a week.


Employee Evaluation and Pay Raises

Evaluation is an ongoing process that can be implemented on a daily basis. It lets the employer offer both praise and precise and constructive criticism to the employee. This feedback, given in a timely fashion, often motivates the employee and improves job performance. Evaluations are not required but are encouraged based on the positive results realized in job performance and employee growth and development. The evaluation form (Microsoft Word document) used by the Office of Student Financial Aid to evaluate its departmental student hourly employees can be adapted and used by University employers if the department does not have an evaluation form.

Employers can choose to provide raises at the beginning of a hiring period for Biweekly Continuous or Work-Study (i.e. summer or academic year) or can provide a raise during an employment period. If the raise is provided after the appointment has been finalized through the University Payroll Office, a Change of Status Form must be submitted by the employer via Self Service and the HR Transaction system. The raise should be effective with the beginning date of a biweekly pay period.


Student Employee of the Year

This recognition process is sponsored each year as a way to celebrate the achievements of student hourly employees. Please view additional information regarding the guidelines for this recognition process held in conjunction with National Student Employment Week. 


Termination of Employment Before the End Date of the Appointment


Student Employment will alert the employer when the Work-Study eligibility is earned and the employer may choose to continue employing the student and receiving no reimbursement of the wage or the employer can terminate the appointment.

It is not necessary to terminate a Work-Study appointment since the appointment automatically has an end date unless the student is leaving the job at least one month prior to the end of the appointment.

Biweekly continuous appointments will be terminated by Student Employment if the student withdraws from the University.

Biweekly Work-Study appointments will be terminated by Student Employment if the student withdraws from the University or drops below half-time enrollment (academic year: 6 hours undergraduate or 5 hours graduate; summer: 3 hours undergraduate and graduate) or earns the Work-Study eligibility.

The student may request termination of employment.

The employer may terminate the student appointment due to inadequate job performance, budget constraints, etc. using the Termination Report option available through Self Service and the HR Transaction system. When termination is necessary due to inadequate employee performance, it should be the end result of a series of progressive penalties. When discipline becomes necessary, a fair and well-publicized policy of progressive penalties might include the following:

  1. simple oral warning;
  2. written warning noted in student's file;or
  3. termination.

There may be cases when immediate termination without progressive discipline is appropriate, but this is limited to cases of severe misbehavior, such as physical or verbal abuse, theft, or the falsification of work hours.

Student employees have a right to know their supervisor's expectations for job performance and whether or not their performance is substandard. They should be given an opportunity to improve their performance. Students have a right to use the UI Student Employee Grievance Procedure for a difference, complaint, or dispute regarding the interpretation or application of established policies and/or procedures governing the terms of employment, working conditions, hours of work, or compensation.

Students have the right to seek the advice of staff in the Office of the Ombudsperson for employment concerns such as perceived unfair working conditions, inappropriate discipline, or termination procedures.


Handling Work-Related Injuries of Student Employees

All student hourly employees (both part-time and Work-Study) whether working on or off-campus sites are considered to be University of Iowa employees and, as such, are covered under the University's Worker's Compensation Policy. When faced with a workers' compensation situation, the most important thing to know is where the employee must seek treatment in order to receive coverage. For all work injuries/accidents, employees must receive medical care from the following treatment location:

  • UI HealthWorks (3 Lions Drive in North Liberty - off HWY 965), M-F 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (319) 665-2111

Employees in the Iowa City area should use The University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics Emergency Room for emergencies and/or treatment during non-clinic hours.

Do not send students to Student Health or they will be charged for treatment.


Retention of Student Employment Records

The University Payroll Office maintains records (i.e., Appointment, Change of Status, Termination, Time Records) for all student hourly employees.  The Office of Student Financial Aid maintains records regarding the eligibility of Work-Study employees.

As a general guideline, employers should maintain records for student hourly employees for the current year and three previous years.

The University of Iowa's Records Management Program (RMP) provides information on record retention requirements. (Information on Payroll Records is found under the Human Resources heading.)