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Employment Guidelines

concerning "students as employees" and "employees as students"

The following policy statements are intended to clarify the Department of Human Resources' position with respect to certain "student vs employee" issues. The policies evolved from several general premises:

  • A person is either "primarily a student" or "primarily an employee," and it makes sense to keep "student-primacy" status separate and distinct from "employee-primacy" status.
  • A person may not be on both the student payroll and the non-student payroll simultaneously.
  • We want to avoid situations where two students are doing essentially the same work (e.g., department receptionist), but one is paid a "student job" rate while working next to another student hired through the Temp Pool who is receiving a higher rate.
  • We do not want to compete against ourselves in seeking to fill positions.
  • We do not want to be paying for benefits for our own students.

Undergraduate Students

Q. May undergraduate day school students be hired into regular employee positions?
A. No.

Q. May employees work in student jobs?
A. No.

Graduate Students

Q. May a full-time graduate student be hired into:

  1. a full-time benefits-eligible position?
  2. a part-time benefits-eligible position?
  3. a non-benefits-eligible position (including the Temp Pool)?

A. Generally, a full-time graduate student will be deemed "primarily a student" and will not be eligible for hire into a regular employee position, whether part-time or full-time, and whether benefits-eligible or not.

Exception: A graduate student with appropriate credentials could be hired into a temporary, non-benefits-eligible position (e.g., Temp Pool) during the summer period, provided the person is not in a student position simultaneously.

Q. May a graduate student enrolled for 6 credits or less be hired into:

  1. a full-time benefits-eligible position?
  2. a part-time benefits-eligible position?
  3. a non-benefits-eligible position (including the Temp Pool)?

A. A graduate student taking courses totalling six credits or less, who is classified by his/her school as a part-time student, may be considered for a part-time or a full-time regular (non-student) position, whether benefits-eligible or not. (Note: A student enrolled for more than six credits may only be hired into a non-student employee position if prior approval is obtained from the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.)

Once hired into a regular position, the person will be considered "primarily an employee" and will be entitled to whatever benefits or services inure to an employee, but will not be entitled to those intended only for graduate students.

A PhD candidate who has completed all course work and is enrolled only in "Doctoral Continuation" so as to remain registered while working on his/her dissertation will be eligible for hire into a regular position, whether benefits-eligible or not. ("Doctoral Continuation" is a fee-based, non-credit status to which Tuition Remission does not apply.)

Student Status vs. Employee Status

Q. What determines whether a person is "primarily a student" or "primarily an employee"?
A. A person who is initially hired into a regular employee position is "primarily an employee" who may later register for undergraduate or graduate courses. Normally, an employee will take courses on a part-time student basis. However, even if the employee takes a number of credits that might constitute a "full-time" load as defined by the particular school (e.g., three 4-credit courses in Advancing Studies), he/she will still be considered "primarily an employee."

A person who is initially enrolled as a full-time student is, obviously, "primarily a student" and will remain so, since full-time students are not eligible to work in regular employee positions.

Someone who is initially enrolled as a part-time graduate student is "primarily a student." However, if a part-time graduate student is hired into a regular employee position, he/she will then be considered "primarily an employee," as stated above.

Q. Can a person ever be on both the student payroll and the non-student payroll simultaneously?
A. Whether a person is "primarily a student" or "primarily an employee," no one may be employed on both the student payroll and the (non-student) employee payroll simultaneously.

Note: It has been stated that a student who is awarded federal financial aid (e.g., Work/Study funds) cannot be denied it. Therefore, a part-time graduate student who has been, or intends to be, hired into a regular employee position would have to forego that position if he/she intends to accept a student job.

Course Load Guidelines

Undergraduate Program in the College of Advancing Studies

An employee is not restricted by HR policies in the number of evening courses that he/she may take. For tuition remission purposes, the maximum number of evening courses per semester is normally three. A full-time employee may receive tuition remission for a fourth course if the extra course is approved by the Dean of the College of Advancing Studies.

A part-time employee normally will not be eligible for tuition remission for a fourth course; any exception must be approved by the Benefits Director. (Employees who work an evening shift, and thus are precluded from taking evening courses, are eligible to take up to three day courses per semester.)

Graduate Courses

The tuition remission policy applies to six credits per semester (normally two courses). If an employee occasionally wants to take a third course, no HR approval is required (unless additional tuition remission is being requested on an exception basis). However, the employee should consult with his/her department head in order to alleviate any concerns about the impact the additional course load may have on the employee's job performance.

Before an employee may enroll in a fourth graduate course (or for more than nine graduate credits), he/she must receive approval from his/her department head and from the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.