A woman explaining tasks to a student employee at a computer.

Hiring Student Employees

Student employment is a learning experience that complements a student’s academic and career goals. The student employee will benefit from the additional financial resources and gain valuable work experience. The University of Las Vegas, Nevada will benefit by meeting staffing needs to perform day-to-day operations.


Student Eligibility

Regular Student Eligibility

To apply for employment, a student must:

  • Be admitted as a regular degree seeking student
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. National, a U.S. permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen with an I-94 arrival/departure record with an approved designation
  • Be enrolled in at least one (1) credit for the fall or spring terms
  • Undergraduate students must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Law students must maintain at least a 2.3 cumulative GPA

Work-Study Student Eligibility

A student is awarded a work-study allocation as a part of their financial aid package. The allocation determines the maximum number of hours the student may work during the semester. The work-study awards are earned on a semester-by-semester basis and pay for 100% of the student’s wages.

For work-study eligibility, a student must:

  • Be admitted as a regular degree seeking student
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. National, a U.S. permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen with an I-94 arrival/departure record with an approved designation
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree objective as determined by the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office SAP policy
  • All financial aid recipients must meet minimum GPA requirements, credit hour requirements and graduate within a reasonable time frame as discussed within the SAP policy.
  • Not owe a repayment on any federal aid program, be in default on any Title IV loans received at any institution of higher education, or have a UNLV payment hold on record
  • Enrolled in at least 1 credit for the Fall or Spring terms
  • Undergraduate students must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Law students must maintain at least a 2.3 cumulative GPA

More information is available on the Financial Aid & Scholarships federal work study website.

International Student Eligibility

International students may work as a regular student employee.

Before hiring an International student employee:

  • Offer letter on University letterhead (fillable template)
  • Take letter to International Student and Scholar Services, set up appointment with SSA
  • Receipt of Social Security Card application (2-4 weeks) 
  • Upon receiving SSN student is eligible to work on campus 
    • Student must update the Registrar’s Office

In order to apply for employment, a student must:

J-1 Visa Students F-1 Visa Students
Hold valid student status from UNLV Hold valid student status from UNLV
Have a valid Form DS-2019 issued by UNLV Have a valid Form I-20 issued by UNLV
Be enrolled for 12 undergraduate credits per semester* Be enrolled for 12 undergraduate credits per semester*
Be enrolled for 9 graduate credits per semester or 6 with a graduate assistantship (GA)* Be enrolled in 9 graduate credits per semester or 6 with a graduate assistantship (GA)*

*Exceptions will need to have prior authorization from International Student and Scholar Services

Eligibility for Term Breaks

Students may work over term breaks (summer, spring, and winter) within certain parameters.

Summer Term

Students must be degree-seeking, previously enrolled for the spring term and either:

  • Enrolled in at least one credit hour for the summer term
  • Enrolled for the fall term by May 31.

If students are not enrolled in the fall term by May 31 or taking summer courses, they may be changed to temporary hourly employees until they regain student status.

Winter Break

Students may work over winter break if they are degree seeking and enrolled in the spring term.

  • Enrolled in at least one credit hour for the spring term
  • Enrolled for the spring term by December 31.

If students are not enrolled in the spring term by December 31, they may be changed to temporary hourly employees until they regain student status.

Spring Break

Students may work over spring break if they are degree seeking and enrolled in the spring term.

International Students
  • To qualify for employment during summer, winter, and spring break, they must maintain status and remain enrolled for the subsequent semester.
Graduating students are eligible to continue working with the following limitations:
Graduating Term Continuation of work limited to:
Fall December 31
Spring May 31
Summer End of month (based on when degree requirements are met)

Loss of Student Eligibility

Individuals may lose student employment eligibility in the following circumstances:

  • They are no longer degree seeking
  • Their graduation month ended
  • They withdraw from the university
  • Their GPA and/or credits fall below the minimum requirement for employment

When a individual loses student eligibility, departments may:

Temporary hourly employees must not work more than 1,039 hours in a fiscal year that runs from July 1 - June 30:

  • It is university procedure to terminate a temporary hourly employee once he or she reaches 1,000 hours worked, unless there are exceptional circumstances
  • The employing department, school, or unit is responsible for monitoring the total hours worked to remain in compliance with both the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) laws and regulations
  • The employing department, school, or unit must stop scheduling a temporary hourly employee once they reach 1,000 hours

Process a job change in Workday (student to temporary hourly):

  • This Workday job aid is available to help with the “hire” business process.

Employment Guidelines

Student employment exists to support students in the pursuit of an academic degree. In order to ensure success, both in the classroom and on the job, balance is the key. Too many work hours may place a student's academic success at risk. Work with your student to allow ample time for classes and coursework. No work should be scheduled during student class time.

Limitations on student employment hours apply regardless of the number of student jobs a student has or the number of semester credits for which they are enrolled (i.e., enrolled in one class or full-time).

The following chart represents maximums for all hourly jobs combined:

Student Employment Type Per Day Maximum Per Week Maximum Term Breaks & Summer Maximum
Student Hourly, Part-Time Only 8 20 40
Student Hourly, Work-Study Only* 8 20 40
International Students 8 20 40

Ensure students take required breaks in accordance with state law:

  • Rest period/s (paid):
    • One 10-minute rest period if the employee works at least 3 1/2 continuous hours and less than seven (7) continuous hours.
    • Two 10-minute rest periods if the employee works at least seven (7) continuous hours or more.
    • Rest periods are not tracked in Workday.
  • Meal period (unpaid):
    • A minimum of a 30-minute uninterrupted meal period, for a continuous eight (8) hours of work.
    • Lunch breaks must be taken by clocking out of Workday, and clocking back in once the break is complete.

The nepotism policy applies to all employees.

Work-Study students:

  • Any time worked beyond the work-study allocation for the semester will be charged to the departmental, school, or unit operating budget.

FICA Exemption Rules

To apply Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) exemption rules appropriately, student employees may only work a certain amount of hours per week. Students taking the minimum number of credits for the term may be considered eligible for FICA exemption.

FICA Exemption Rules
Term Daily Weekly Minimum Number of Credits required Minimum Number of Credits required for FICA exemption
Fall or Spring Term ≤ 8 ≤ 20 1 6 undergraduate /3 graduate
Summer Term ≤ 8 ≤ 40 1 1
Winter or Spring Break ≤ 8 ≤ 40 1 6 undergraduate /3 graduate
(based on fall or spring Term)

If a student has multiple NSHE jobs, then the combination of hours worked in each job (including non-work study) may not exceed the maximum hours per work week listed above

If a student accepts another appointment in a job category (such as letter of appointment) aside from student employment or graduate assistantship, they will lose their student employee status and FICA will be deducted from their earnings.

Letter of Employment (LOA) Status for Students

A student employee may not replace or fill a permanent staff position. However, a student may also be employed as a letter of appointment (LOA) provided the work meets the definition of professional staff according to NSHE Code provisions.

LOA status voids the FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) exemption for student employee work so paycheck deductions may apply. Hours worked as an LOA counts towards eligibility for health insurance provided under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Student employees should not qualify for the Affordable Care Act if the UNLV work schedule guidelines are followed.

However, if a student employee works 30 hours per week or an average of 130 hours per month during the measurement period (July 1 – April 30), then medical benefits must be offered.

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines state that anybody working 30 hours a week or more needs to be offered medical benefits
    • UNLV faces IRS penalties for non-compliance with ACA guidelines
  • PEBP guidelines indicate that employees working 80 hours a month (20 per week) are eligible for medical benefits

The department, school, or unit will bear the costs for health insurance for the subsequent stability period and may raise fringe rates in the future.

  • Work-study student hours do not count toward the measurement period
  • F-1 and J-1 international students are generally exempt from the ACA

Student Compensation

The student employment classification and compensation system establishes consistent hiring and pay practices for all student employees at the university. This system fulfils the university’s obligation as an equal opportunity employer.

Compensation and fringe benefit costs incurred for regular student employees are charged to the departmental, school, or unit’s operating budget.

Student Employment Classification System
Job Level Hourly Wage Range
Student Level I $9 - $15
Student Level II $10.25 - $18.00
Student Level III $12.25 - $25

Each department should determine the student pay level by reviewing the following factors:

  • Prior related work experience
  • History of work experience in the department
  • Range and complexity of duties
  • Knowledge and skills required
  • Equity, including the salary relationships with other student employees within the department


Student Level I

Student employees at this level will receive training, clear guidelines, and be provided with procedures as necessary. They are closely supervised to ensure work is accurate and complete.

  • Prior work experience: None
  • Complexity of duties: Ranges from simple in nature to slightly complex and no minimum experience is required
  • Example duties: filing, answering phones, sorting and routing mail, copying, laboratory cleaning, stocking shelves, data entry, cashiering, basic computer skills, and light physical effort or laborious physical work

Student Level II

Student employees at this level are able to prioritize work, use initiative, and make decisions regarding work assignments. Their work duties may be specialized or technical, requiring diversified skills.

  • Prior work experience: 1 - 2 semesters of previous experience, course work, or training
  • Complexity of duties: Somewhat to moderately complex
  • Example duties: Desktop publishing, routine hardware / software maintenance, editorial assistance, technical assistance, laboratory work involving research and testing, research work involving collection and interpretation of data, higher level administrative tasks, and training

Student Level III

Student employees at this level are able to use analysis, independent judgement and knowledge of the principles, practices, and concepts of a professional field. This level may require advanced customer service and normally involves work that is closely related to the student’s academic program and requires specialized skills.

  • Prior work experience: Transferable skills from previous employment or training
  • Complexity of duties: Specialized or technical, requiring considerable internal / external knowledge.
  • Example duties: Report compilation, highly technical programming, grant writing, program / project coordinating, engineering methodologies, database development, web development, highly technical laboratory, or research work

Time Entry & Payroll

Student employees are paid on an hourly basis and must record all time worked each day. Time must be approved by a supervisor, and submitted through Workday before payroll deadline dates.

  • Students are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit in Workday
  • Students not using direct deposit will receive their first paycheck by mail to the address on file.
    • After the first check, employees will be issued a bank card for future payments
    • The bank card will be mailed in a nondescript envelope by the bank
    • An employee may switch from the bank card to direct deposit at any time by completing the direct deposit information in Workday
  • Students are paid semi-monthly, on the 10th and 25th
    • If the 10th or the 25th of each month falls on a weekend or a holiday, payroll will be ready the Friday before the weekend or the last working day before a holiday.
    • Visit the university payroll website or contact the department directly at (702) 895-3825 for payroll questions
  • Hours are not allowed to be deferred into future payment periods.
    • If a student has only worked five (5) minutes for the pay period, the student must still be compensated
    • Federal employment regulations require students to be paid for all time worked during the current payment period
  • Student employee wages are subject to federal / state taxes and must be reported
  • Paper timesheets may be used if a student does not have access to a computer or smartphone
    • Department timekeepers or managers for the student still need to submit hours in Workday in compliance with payroll cutoff dates
    • Keep copies of any paper timesheets and employment records for seven (7) years
      • RebelDocs is available to help departments digitize these records

Report payroll information accurately and in a timely manner.

Special note: If you have a student employee that is also a Graduate Assistant, retroactive pay can not be processed. Therefore, an on demand payment will need to be requested for any time worked not submitted during the current pay period.

The following Workday resources are available to assist students with time entry:

The following resources are available to assist supervisors with managing time:

Student Lifecycle

Student employees are part-time hourly employees enrolled at the university for the primary purpose of achieving a degree. It teaches valuable skills such as applying to jobs, interviewing, onboarding, training, supervision, teamwork, achieving goals, and eventually offboarding.

Hiring Students

To hire a student:

  • Create an accurate job description in a simple format listing responsibilities, hours, job duration, pay and any other important details
  • Post positions through Career Services on UNLV’s Handshake
    • You may also manage job postings when positions become open, closed, or need to be updated
  • Screen applicants using a systematic approach based on the qualifications required to be able to accomplish the job
    • Be aware of unconscious bias, and keep focused on evaluating the students’ ability to perform the job using the job description as the foundation for your criteria
  • Interview student employees after providing equal employment opportunity

Prior to offering employment:

  • Ensure there is sufficient funding available to pay the student employee’s compensation, whether it is a portion of the compensation along with work study aid or the entire portion for regular student employees
  • Conduct any necessary reference and/or background checks
  • Verify that the student meets the minimum semester credits and cumulative GPA requirements to be eligible for student employment
    • The work study coordinator from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships completes the verification for work-study student employees
    • The department, school, or unit is responsible for the verification for regular student employees

Onboarding Students

Enter student employees using the hire business process into Workday one week before their start date using their personal email address. When the hire is approved, the Office of Information Technology will set up Workday access within 48 hours and email the student employee their login information.

No later than the first day of work, the employee must complete the following:

  • Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9
  • Federal tax withholding form
  • Employee data forms

Process all hires in Workday:

Process an additional job in Workday (student is adding another job):

  • This Workday job aid is available to help with the “add job” business process

During the student’s first week of work:

  • Inform the student employee of their employee rights and responsibilities
  • Ensure awareness of all university employment policies (e.g., workplace safety policy, policy against discrimination and sexual harassment, alcohol and drug-free workplace policy, etc.)
  • Ensure student has access to REBELearn and completes all mandatory training:
    • Preventing Harassment and Discrimination
    • General Workplace Safety
    • Understanding Public Records
  • Provide departmental orientation (office operations, reporting and supervisor structure, training, departmental student handbook, work rules, etc.)
    • Encourage students to ask questions
  • Discuss work expectations
    • Assign specific duties, set and clarify expectations as needed, explain what results are expected, what resources are available, what happens if they don’t perform, and how you’ll help them improve
  • Confirm the student’s work schedule
  • Explain to the student how to report time worked and who must be contacted if the student is unable to report for work
  • Ensure the student understands they must meet UNLV’s minimum enrollment requirements to remain eligible for the position

Mentoring Students

Supervisors should help student employees improve through regular, proactive, and direct communication:

  • Offer opportunities to improve through on-the-job training and ongoing feedback on their job performance
  • Guide students to connect how work relates to their academic or career goals
  • Identify transferable, translatable skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, informational literacy, ethical decision making, self-awareness, etc.

Offboarding Students

Student employees are employed at-will and may be terminated at any time without cause or notice for lawful reasons.

The following factors may cause student positions to be terminated before their expected end dates:

  • Work-study employees reach the limit of their award
    • To continue employment, the position may be extended with the department assuming full responsibility for the student’s wages
  • A student withdraws from the university
    • To continue employment, the position may change to temporary hourly
  • A student requests termination from one or more jobs
  • Other reasons (inadequate job performance, budget constraints, etc.)

Process all terminations in Workday:

  • This Workday job aid is available to help with the “termination” business process
  • For Work Study student employees, please notify the Office of Financial Aid and scholarships work-study coordinator

Process end job in Workday (ending one job and keeping another):

  • This Workday job aid is available to help with the “end job” business process

Tips for Managing Students

In many instances, supervisors at UNLV will serve as a student’s first contact with the working world, developing that student’s perception of an effective work environment and a sense of job fulfillment. Supervisors provide the training, guidance, and instruction that student employees need to be successful.

Keep the following tips in mind when managing student employees:

  • Expect and prepare for regular turnover. Most students will be at the university for two - four years, which means they might work for you for just one semester, or their entire academic career
    • Have departing students train new student employees if possible
  • Allow for flexible schedules
    • A student’s primary focus should be their studies
    • Try to support flexible schedules so students can work shifts around their classes
    • Plan for lower workloads / productivity periods around midterms, final exams, and breaks, and increased hours and project activities during the summer months when students may work more hours
  • Students are going through more than average life changes, significant identity development; career, personal and academic life decisions; and everything from homesickness to finding an apartment to a family crisis may pose a challenge
    • You will be most effective if you familiarize yourself with available campus resources, and encourage your student staff to seek those as needed.
  • Provide opportunities for students to do meaningful work. Students want to make a difference
  • Offer support and constructive feedback, and they will bring their best
  • Create a workplace that has room for fun and social interaction. This will make them likely to learn more and be more productive, while also enjoying working for you!