Student Employment

Student Eligibility/Max Work Hours

At a Glance

  • The following will step you through a series of questions to find out if a student is eligible to work and how many hours the student will be allowed to work.

To Whom Does This Apply

  • Supervisors of student employees

Please choose which term you wish to check your eligibility for:

Spring Quarter Monthly Schedule

Fall Quarter Monthly Schedule

If a person is not eligible to work as a student employee, it may still be possible to work as a temporary hourly employee. Check with Student Employment for more information.

Per WAC 251-04-035, student employees are exempt from Washington State civil service classification if they work 516 hours or less in any six consecutive months (excluding academic breaks such as summer term). The 516 hour limitation over six months equates to an average of 19 hours per week. If students work more hours, CWU would be forced to utilize one of two options: a) create a civil service position with benefits; or, b) lay off the employee for a the remainder of the employment year, until a new "temporary pool" of hours was available.

Public higher education institutions are permitted to use a Student FICA exception if a student qualifies for the exception from the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax. Among the conditions to use the FICA exception is the requirement that student employees are not career employees. Evidence that demonstrates a student employee is not a career employee includes part time employment at less than 20 hours per week.

The 19-hour per week employment policy is consistent with the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) (formerly the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB)) regulation that requires State Work Study students to work no more than 19 hours per week. CWU choses to treat all student employees the same in order to avoid "outing" those who qualify for work study.

Research indicates that students working between 10 and 20 hours per week perform at least as well academically as students who do not work. Students who work more than 20 hours per week do not perform as well academically.