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Student Employment

Student Eligibility/Max Work Hours

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.

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


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). If a student works more than 516 hours, CWU must 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 is 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. 

Beginning Fall Quarter 2016, regular student employees, those not receiving work study funds, may work 20 hours per week.  This change significantly affects a student’s eligibility for some federal and state financial assistance.  It was a change requested by students for students.

Work study students are still limited to 19 hours per week per federal work study guidelines.

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.

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