Campus Employment

Changes in student employment requirements effective January 1, 2014

Student employment is meant to be ancillary to a student’s primary activity as an enrolled student pursuing a course of study at WMU.  A number of federal regulations require more systematic tracking of hours worked for student employees (Fair Labor Standards Act, IRS taxation and the Affordable Care Act).

Beginning January 1, 2014, student employee maximum allowable work hours will be reduced to align with these regulations. Student employment provides students with a chance to learn skills, and earn extra income; the net effect of this change may lead to more campus job opportunities for students. See Student Employment Eligibility Requirements below to clarify the changes based on student employee type. Questions can be directed to Brenda Case-Parris or me at 387-2745.

Departments are responsible to monitor their own student employee hours.  A Student Employment Eligibility Form is recommended for each student employee.  The form asks the student to identify all campus jobs held, the department(s), and the supervisor(s).  Additional PeopleSoft reporting options are being investigated to help supervisors track student hours worked, further information will be communicated once those options have been determined.   

WMU Student Employment Eligibility Requirements

Undergraduate Student

Time of Year Hours Allowed to Work* Hours During Breaks FICA EXEMPT Work-Study Eligible Minimum Credit Hours Required to be Considered Enrolled  
 Fall and Spring semesters  25 per week/50 per pay period  25  Yes  Yes  6  
 Summer I and Summer II (from start date to end date of academic sessions)  Less than 40 hours per week  25  Yes  No  3  

International Undergraduate Student***

Time of Year Hours Allowed to Work* Hours During Breaks FICA EXEMPT Work-Study Eligible Minimum Credit Hours Required to be Considered Enrolled  
 Fall and Spring semesters  20 hours per week  25  Yes  No  6  
  Summer I and Summer II (from start date to end date of academic sessions)  Less than 40 hours per week  25  Yes  No  3  

Graduate Student (without assistantship)

Time of Year Hours Allowed to Work* Hours During Breaks FICA EXEMPT Work-Study Eligible Minimum Credit Hours Required to be Considered Enrolled  
  Fall and Spring semesters  25 per week/50 per pay period  25  Yes  Yes  3  
   Summer I and Summer II (from start date to end date of academic sessions)   Less than 40 hours per week  25  Yes  No  2  

International Graduate Student***(without assistantship)

Time of Year Hours Allowed to Work* Hours During Breaks FICA EXEMPT Work-Study Eligible Minimum Credit Hours Required to be Considered Enrolled  
  Fall and Spring semesters  20 hours per week  25  Yes  No  3  
   Summer I and Summer II (from start date to end date of academic sessions)  Less than 40 hours per week  25  Yes  No  2  

Graduate Assistant

Time of Year Hours Allowed to Work* Hours During Breaks FICA EXEMPT Work-Study Eligible Minimum Credit Hours Required to be Considered Enrolled  
  Fall and Spring semesters  Up to 20 as a student employee (including the GA position). May also work in a staff position.  25  Yes****  No  6**  
   Summer I and Summer II (from start date to end date of academic sessions)  Up to 20 as a student employee  25  Yes  No  2  

International Graduate Assistant

Time of Year Hours Allowed to Work* Hours During Breaks FICA EXEMPT Work-Study Eligible Minimum Credit Hours Required to be Considered Enrolled  
  Fall and Spring semesters  20 hours per week  25  Yes No  6**  
   Summer I and Summer II (from start date to end date of academic sessions)  Up to 20 as a student employee (including the GA position)  25  Yes  No  2  

Non-Enrolled Students

Less than 40 hours per week in summer I and II sessions if the student was enrolled in the immediate past spring semester or is eligible to enroll in the upcoming fall semester. If graduated, must be accepted in a WMU degree program in the upcoming fall semester. Considered temporary employees; employing department and student pay FICA (7.65% each).

*All jobs combined
**Graduate College requirements: http://www.wmich.edu/grad/currentstudents/policies.html
***International Student requirements: http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students/resources/working
****Graduate Assistant positions are FICA exempt, unless the student also has a staff position.  Then FICA applies to both.

In order to be and remain eligible for student employment at Western Michigan University, a student must be:

1.    Enrolled, in good standing, at least half-time throughout the semester(s) and/or session(s) of employment. Students are exempt from the 7.65% FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxation.

  • Half-time undergraduate: 6 hours fall or spring, 3 hours summer I or II
  • Half-time graduate: 3 hours fall or spring, 2 hours summer I or II
  • Students enrolled below half-time will pay FICA taxes, as will the employing department.

2.    Working no more than 25 hours a week/50 in a pay period for all WMU employment positions in fall and spring semesters, during breaks and periods of non-enrollment. Working less than 40 hours a week/80 per pay period during summer I and/or summer II sessions.

  • Departments needing assistance requiring more than these limits must work with Human Resources to ensure compliance with the law and University requirements. 
  • The maximum number of hours worked is computed based upon ALL of the WMU employment positions a student has.
  • Any time a student employee works more than 30 hours a week (enrolled or not) all their hours will be subject to FICA taxation.
  • Student jobs in an American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) staffed operation, are no more than 20 hours per week, in accordance with the regulations set forth in article 1.1.3 of the 2009-2012 AFSCME / WMU Agreement.

 3.    Possessing U.S. employment eligibility documentation (i.e. social security number or similar).

  • An international student may work when under-enrolled (less than half-time) if authorized for a reduced course load by International Admissions and Services.
  • International students work authorization ends upon transfer-out, SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) termination, or completion of studies.
  • Due to immigration regulations, international students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during mandatory enrollment periods.

For more information call 387-2745.

WMU Student Employment Eligibility Form

  • Complete the WMU Student Employment Eligibility Form for every hire.
  • Make a copy for the student and department.