Skip to main content

Student Employment Policies and Procedures

Non Work-Study workers are undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in courses at WCU, who have been hired by a campus department, and who are not compensated with federal funds. Any work achieved by Non Work-Study students primarily benefits the university.

All Non Work-Study positions must be posted on the Talent Management website for a minimum of three working days to allow any interested students to apply. Each Non Work-Study worker who is employed and paid from Non Work-Study funds must first apply to a posting in Talent Management, complete the onboarding process, and meet with Human Resources & Payroll before starting work. Any student who performs services that overall constitute an employee-employer relationship and are for the primary benefit of the university must be paid in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and North Carolina Wage and Hour Act. Students who perform these services for a department should not be considered volunteers, nor should they be paid through scholarship, stipend or as an independent contractor. Working without approval or “off the clock” is prohibited. In all hiring procedures for non-federal work-study students, Human Resources & Payroll will act in compliance with Equal Employment, Americans With Disabilities Act and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Direct deposit of all wages into a bank or financial institution (USA) is a condition of employment.

A Non Work-Study student worker must be enrolled for classes for a current or upcoming term according to minimum registered credit hours (See table below). Students will immediately become ineligible to work as Non Work-Study workers if they drop below the required number of credit hours. In addition, students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA to work on campus. Employing departments may choose to increase the required GPA as necessary. Any exception to the eligibility criteria must be approved by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies. 

Academic Term Undergraduate Minimum Registered Hours Graduate Minimum Registered Hours
Fall 6 5
Spring 6 5
Summer 3, or 0 if enrolled in fall term at above hours 3, or 0 if enrolled in fall term at above hours

A hiring proposal through Talent Management must be completed for every Non Work-Study student for each school year or summer employment period. Departments may not allow a student to work until the supervisor has received an email indicating the student is authorized to work. Please note, it is unlawful and in violation of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986/1990 to allow a student to begin work without having completed the Federal I-9 form and can result in a fine of up to $1,500 per incident if federally audited. This includes any student receiving monetary compensation for any job or project, including students receiving an Educational Stipend. Departments who are frequently in violation of this procedure will be notified and will run the risk of losing departmental student workers. 

Academic Term Maximum Hours Allowed Per Week (includes all hours worked by Work Study and Non Work-Study and Graduate Assistantship Students at the same time Exceptions
Fall and Spring semesters 25 Students other than international students on F-1 or J-1 Visas may work up to 25 hours per week without special permission. Departments who need to work a student more than 25 hours during times when classes are in session may fill out an Exemption Request Form, which will be evaluated by Human Resources & Payroll. Approval will be granted based on the student's previous work hour record and the nature and justification for temporarily working the additional hours. During semester breaks and times classes are not in session, students may work up to 40 hours per week with no special approval required.

25, if taking summer courses

40, if not taking summer courses

SPECIAL NOTE: Students may never exceed 25 hours when classes are in session and the student employee is enrolled in classes. Supervisors should take special care to ensure that students who have multiple jobs do not exceed the maximum limit of work hours. If the 40 hour limit is exceeded, the last department that hired the student will be responsible for obtaining approval and identifying funds to pay the student overtime in accordance with University Policy #60. May work up to 40 hours during semester breaks and holidays if he/she is not taking summer classes but is registered for classes in the upcoming semester.

If a student is enrolled for the upcoming fall semester at the above minimum number of hours, they can work throughout the summer even if they are not enrolled for any summer classes. If a student works during the summer but is not enrolled in summer classes, they are subject to FICA taxes. Students enrolled for a minimum of three hours of summer session classes but not enrolled in fall classes can work up through the time they are enrolled for the summer period. For example, if a student is enrolled for a three-hour class that begins June 1 and ends July 1, then work is permitted up through July 1. After July 1, the student would no longer be eligible to work unless they again become an enrolled student. A student may not work through Non-Work Study funding upon graduation from Western Carolina University. The student's last day of work may not be after the date of commencement. A student who is not registered for a summer session but is pre-registered for classes in the fall is eligible to work full-time (40 hours) during the summer term.

Please Note: If a student drops below the minimum number of required registered hours or graduates before termination forms have been filed, the student will be subject to FICA tax for the hours completed after they became ineligible to work.

Each student worker must be paid at least the federal minimum wage rate. Justification for paying students more than $1 above minimum wage must be written on the hourly hiring form for Non Work-Study employment. A student’s pay is established via a hiring proposal in Talent Management and processed through Human Resources & Payroll.  All hiring proposals must include a start and end date.  

Timesheets are due every other week as noted by the bi-weekly payroll schedule. Students who fail to submit three timesheets in one semester will be terminated from their position.

All job descriptions are subject to review by Human Resources & Payroll. Determinations regarding whether the work to be performed by the student is subject to FLSA regulations will be made based on the specific job description and duties rather than job title. Students who perform services that are closely tied to the institution’s educational program and are designed to enhance the overall educational experience may be considered for an Educational Stipend. Students who perform work that has limited educational value and does not directly relate to the institution’s educational/instructional program should be regarded as employees and are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and North Carolina Wage and Hour Act regulations.

A student worker who is no longer actively working should be separated from the payroll via an Hourly Change Formor Educational Stipend Change Form.  When a student worker separates from employment, the supervisor is responsible for submitting the appropriate form.  Students may not be re-hired for the same position after being terminated in the same semester.

Departmental records are subject to audit by the University's Internal Auditor and by external auditors. The hours submitted on the student's timesheet must reflect the actual hours worked on the dates indicated. Timesheets that misrepresent actual time worked expose the University to serious penalties under state and federal law. Such misrepresentation, either by the student or supervisor, is strictly prohibited.

Questions regarding this policy should be referred to Human Resources & Payroll (828.227.7218).

Office of Web Services