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Business and Financial Affairs

Student Pay Procedures

3-50-430 Student Pay Procedures

Procedures related to payments to CWU students

  1. Hourly wages:
    Students are normally paid on an hourly wage basis at nothing less than minimum wage and their hours are documented on time sheets which are submitted each pay period to positively report their hours on the usual reporting day. See the Student Employment website at for weekly hour limits. Students must be paid overtime pay for hours exceeding 40 per week. Please note that students cannot be paid an arbitrary lump sum for an indeterminate number of hours, and they must be paid for all hours worked.
  2. Internships for Academic Credit and Hourly Wages
    It is sometimes possible for an advanced student to work with his or her department and Career Services to arrange an internship which provides for both academic credit and hourly wages (which must be paid at nothing less than the minimum wage rate). It is also possible for some internship hours to be paid and some worked for credit only. An internship Learning Agreement form, which is available from the Career Services Office, must be completed by the deadline for each academic quarter and approved by the Career Services Office. The Learning Agreement form must specify which hours, if any, will be paid. A student's TOTAL time must be documented.
  3. Salaries:

    Salaries are fixed amounts of compensation which are normally paid at regular intervals for services rendered. Salaries ARE NOT NORMALLY PAID to CWU students except in very rare circumstances. If a department needs to pay students on a salary basis, the department needs to use the following procedure:

    a. Submit to the Student Employment Office a detailed job description, which specifies the actual duties, daily work schedule, hours worked per week, monetary value of deductions for room and board, and a copy of a proposed contract which reflects an hourly rate of at least the current minimum wage.

    b. Include a letter of explanation of why you need to pay them on salary rather than on an hourly basis.

    c. Explain the process you will use to confirm that the hours each week were, in fact, worked, and to indicate exceptions to the fixed work week on a time sheet.

    d. Explain how any night-time hours during which they would be sleeping are treated, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

    e. Salaried student employees are still subject to hourly minimum wage requirements and must receive overtime pay if hours worked exceed 40 per week, unless there is a bona fide reason why they should be exempt from overtime, which relates to a position considered executive, administrative, or professional.

    A Student Employment representative will review these materials in conjunction with Human Resources to arrive at a decision. Departments should submit their requests at least one month before students are supposed to start working to allow sufficient lead time for any necessary follow-up and the research and decision-making process to take place. If sufficient lead time is not provided, the student employees will be paid hourly.
  4. Stipends* (undergraduate students):

    A stipend is a fixed or regular allowance or benefit payment that is not considered employment compensation, and is not a payroll-related employer benefit contribution. It is a payment that is made to a person who is qualified or has registered to attend or participate in a program. The recipient is not required to perform a service, but may be required to attend or participate in a program.

    Examples of payments classified as stipends are: allowances for lodging and meals while participating in program activities; cost of living differentials; and grants to participants in specifically-defined programs.

    Stipends are normally paid to CWU students when they participate in grant programs which have spending authority for stipends. Stipends are paid through Accounts Payable, not through Payroll. Stipends CANNOT be used in lieu of wages, because people receiving stipends are not considered employees, but rather participants and the payments are not taxed as wages.NOTE: Stipends are included in financial aid calculations as a resource for the current aid year and may displace other financial aid awards. Stipends must be reported to the Financial Aid Office.
  5. Graduate Student Assistants

    Only graduate students in master's degree programs may be contracted as graduate assistants upon the recommendation of their major departments and upon approval through the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. Graduate students holding such appointments render important service to the University while at the same time they gain valuable experience in teaching, research, or related activities. Graduate Assistants receive salaried compensation (normally called graduate assistant stipends) for their services. The Office of Graduate Studies and Research prepares a Graduate Assistant Personnel Action Form (GASPAF) for each contracted student and the Student Employment Office enters the data into the payroll system.

    Graduate student employees who hold normal student employment hourly-wage positions (not assistantships) are hired through the Student Employment Office.
  6. Volunteers

    Students (and other individuals) may volunteer to perform certain tasks only for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons, without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation for services rendered. Per the FLSA, employees may not volunteer hours to any department if the duties are similar to duties they perform for pay anywhere else on campus and they may not volunteer for work performed for which employees normally get paid . Volunteer Forms (contact the Payroll Office) must be completed BEFORE students begin their volunteer work, and the forms must be forwarded to the Payroll Office. It is mandatory for the volunteer´s department to document the volunteer´s hours on a time sheet and report them on a monthly basis to the Payroll Office so that L&I (workers´ compensation) insurance premiums can be paid properly. Time sheets must be retained for audit for three calendar years and must show volunteers´ names, Social Security Numbers, and dates and hours of volunteer service.
  7. Honoraria - See Purchasing´s website.

Revised 12/01/06