This visual map will help you determine what steps to take when you've decided to hire a student employee. There are different paths to hiring based on the vacant position and student's work history at the Institute.
Use these letter templates to welcome your new student employee to your department and offer hiring next steps. We've provided one for students paid biweekly (hourly), and one for students paid monthly. These are for new hires and previous affiliates who need to go through the onboarding process.
Use these letter templates to welcome your transfer and/or rehire student employee to your department. The letters include hiring next steps. We've provided one for students paid biweekly (hourly), and one for students paid monthly.
Click to view samples of the Equifax emails sent to students during the onboarding process. This may help you assist your student in locating the messages so they can proceed through the hiring process.
Template for Foreign National students who are in need of a Social Security Number. This template should be used by the hiring department as a letter of support. It MUST be printed on department letterhead.
After my student employee graduates, how much longer can they continue to work?
According to the IRS, a graduating student can only stay in a student employee position (student pay group) until the end of the pay period that includes their graduation. Therefore, for a monthly employee who graduates on December 12, the last day of work would be Dec. 31; for a graduating hourly student employee, the final work day would be December 12 (the last day of the bi-weekly pay period.) If you want a graduating student to work beyond those dates, they would need to be hired as a Tech Temp or other staff position.
Can my hourly student employee continue to work over the winter break?
Students in Student Assistant positions can continue to work and submit hours between December 12 and January 11 as long as they are enrolled students in both Fall and Spring semesters and have the approval of their Manager. However, Federal Work Study students (although usually hired for the entire academic year) should only work until December 12, 2020, and then may resume working during the week of January 11, 2021.
How much should I pay my Student Assistant?
Federal minimum wage (in 2020) is $7.25/hour. However, the starting salary for most Student Assistant positions at Georgia Tech is in the range of $8 to $9/hour. The current median pay for Student Assistants is $10/hour and the average Student Assistant pay is between $11-$12/hour. Job duties should drive compensation; a detailed position description is particularly important if the pay is at above average levels.
Can I give my Student Assistant a raise?
Yes. There are currently no USG policies or restrictions on Student Employee pay increases. However, each unit should apply fair and consistent guidelines that apply equally to all of their student employees in similar roles. Generally, increases should be in the range of $.25 to $1 per hour increments. If a student’s job duties change and their responsibilities increase (for example, they are training or supervising other student employees), their pay increase may be greater. Best Practice: due to the burden the high transaction volume places on Position Management, do not routinely give increases each semester; instead, space them out to once per year, or every two semesters. Example: One common practice is to increase Student Assistant’s pay with an additional 50 cent per hour raise after completing two successful semesters working for the same department.
Can I hire my student as a GRA/GTA concurrently?
No, you cannot hire a student as a GRA/GTA concurrently because it will overcalculate tuition remission. However, you may hire a student concurrently as a GA (i.e. GRA/GA or GTA/GA)
Can I hire my student for the entire academic year or must I hire them one semeseter at a time?
If there is a good chance your student will work for both semesters, you may proceed with hiring them for the entire year rather than each term individually. However, should your student stop working for your department at any time, please terminate them immediately in OneUSG Connect. They will not be able to be hired by another department until their employment is terminated for your department.
My student is taking a full course load. Can they work more than 20 hours?
No, students taking a half-time+ course load are limited to 20 hours/week because their primary purpose is being a student. If your student is taking a reduced course load (less than half-time), they can work 40 hours. However, their pay code will need to be updated to 03C because they will no longer be eligible for student tax exemptions.
What is the earliest my newly enrolled student can be working for the semester under a student paygroup?
The first day that a newly enrolled student can work in a student paygroup is the first day of the pay period that includes the start of classes. For monthly student employees, that will be the 1st day of the month. For bi-weekly student employees, you will need to check the payroll calendar to see when the pay period begins that includes the start date of classes.
My student is taking a reduced course load this semester, which means they are no longer eligible for student tax exemptions and now must pay FICA and GDCP taxes. What is FICA and GDCP?
FICA ("Federal Insurance Contributions Act") refers to payroll taxes withheld from salaries that fund the U.S. Social Security and Medicare programs. If the student is required to pay FICA taxes, the Medicare contribution is identified as “Fed MED/EE” and the Social Security contribution is identified as “Fed OASDI/EE” on their GT paycheck. The Medicare contribution is 1.45% of their taxable income and the student employee’s share of the Social Security payroll tax is currently 6.2% of their taxable income.
GDCP (Georgia Defined Contribution Plan) is 7.5% of gross salary and can be reimbursed by the state after the employee leaves 03C pay group (either by going back to 03T or terminating employment).
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Student Employee Types
These students are considered Student Assistants. They can perform many jobs within your office such as clerical support, web development, etc.
These employees can be categorized as:
Graduate Research Assitants (GRAs)
Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)
Graduate Assistants (GAs)
GRAs and GTAs are typically hired by the graduate schools to perform assistantships that are related with the student’s degree. Graduate Assistants and Student Assistants can be hired to perform tasks within your department such as clerical support, web development, etc. More information regarding appointment of and approvals for hiring GRAs, GTAs and GAs can be obtained through the Graduate Studies Office and the Office of Academic Affairs. Student Assistants
Federal Work Study (FWS)
These positions are federal financial aid awards that allow students to earn money for educational expenses while also gaining valuable work experience. Note that FWS students cannot be employed in multiple jobs while in a FWS position.
Students will need to be assigned a non-FWS category if:
They were offered a FWS award and declined it
All of the award funding for academic year has been received
Award period has ended
For additional information on how to apply for an award or obtain a FWS position on campus, visit the FWS website.
Students with a F-1 or J-1 visa are eligible to work anywhere on campus as student employees. They will need to maintain a full course load and can work no more than 20 hours per week during the term. For more information, contact Global HR.