Student Employment Guidelines

Academic Year Guidelines

FERPA | Authorization Requirements | Hiring | Full-Time Job Policy | Teaching Assistants| Returning Students | Special Circumstances | International Students | Hiring Priority | Earnings Limits | Job Descriptions | Requesting New Student Positions | Advertising | Compensation | Payroll Paperwork | Pay Grades and Rates | Timesheet Management | Work Schedule | Warnings, Terminations and Appeals Procedures | Absenteeism | Contact

There are important limitations on accessing and sharing student information placed on us by federal legislation and college policy. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, often referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment, provides considerable protection to our students and their records and legal sanctions against the College if we do not comply. Therefore, it is necessary to understand your responsibilities before being provided access to student information.

Under FERPA, information is divided into two categories: directory and non-directory. The law covers the educational records of living persons who are attending, or who have attended, the College so the following procedures and policies cover both students and living alumni/ae.

Unless the student or alumnus/a specifies otherwise to the Registrar, the College may, but is not required to, release what it defines as directory information without the prior consent of the individual. Except under specific circumstances stipulated in the legislation, e.g. in response to a lawful subpoena or an emergency, the College may not release non-directory information without the prior consent of the student or alumnus/a.

Williams defines the following as directory information: name; permanent and College addresses; campus electronic mail address; permanent and campus telephone numbers; date and place of birth; country of citizenship; major field, extra-curricular activities; height and weight of members of athletic teams; dates of attendance; degrees, honors and awards; other schools attended. Although this information is defined as directory or “public” under the law, we do not release it indiscriminately. We do not, for instance, provide directories to outside agencies who wish to prepare mailing lists or otherwise solicit our students. We would ask that you also follow this procedure. Please direct inquiries for information from off-campus to the Office of the Registrar.

In general, faculty and staff have access to personally identifiable non-directory information about students as long as they have a legitimate educational interest in the data, or a “need to know.”  Legitimate interests might include hiring a student during the academic year; seeking information to assist in writing a letter of recommendation; or gathering information to update department or program records.

Releasing personally identifiable non-directory information to others without prior permission from the student or alumnus/a is illegal. You cannot, for instance, provide information about students, even to parents, unless the student or alumnus/a has given you prior written permission to share the data. This includes the student’s enrollment information, all financial aid information, and work history.

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Authorization Requirements: No department, program, office, or student organization may employ a Williams student without the approval from the Provost’s Office.  A manager’s budget must be approved for student employment by his/her superior and the Provost’s Office.

Any employee or student leader who will oversee Williams student workers must complete training and paperwork with the Student Employment Manager.  Student employment is regulated by the same organizations as regular staff (i.e., U.S. Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Justice, as well as state regulators), in addition to the U.S. Department of Education if the employee is receiving need-based campus employment aid.  It is imperative that supervisors understand their roles and legal obligations.  The training provides instruction on (i) governmental and institutional student employment policy and procedure and (ii) the Human Resources System Manager Self Service module.  Supervisors must sign an agreement upon completion of their training that will give them access to the module.

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Hiring | First-Year and Transfer Student Job Policy: Hiring priority is determined by Financial Aid. Supervisors are responsible for communicating with and screening applicants and then hiring them in the Human Resources System through the Manager Self Service menu. Supervisors are not permitted to hire low hiring priority first-year students until the end of the drop/add period in mid-September. After that time, all students who complete the proper eligibility paperwork may be hired.

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Returning Students: Returning students are defined as all rising or current sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  These students are expected to secure their own jobs, but they may seek assistance from the Student Employment Manager, if necessary.

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Special Circumstances: Recipients of the Tyng Scholarship, should work with Kate Heekin, Associate Director of Admission, to discuss the possibility of working on campus. Mellon-Mays Fellowship or Williams Undergraduate Research Fellowship recipients should work with Molly Magavern, Coordinator of Special Academic Programs, if they are interested in working on campus.

Students receiving financial aid and working as Junior Advisors (JAs) may choose to receive a full work-study grant, a half work-study grant, or no grant.  Only those receiving a half-grant or no grant can work in paid positions on campus. Please direct any questions about the grant policy to Marlene Sandstrom, Dean of the College.

Students working as full-time Teaching Assistants (TAs) may only work an additional job on campus with the approval of Janine Burt, Student Employment Manager.

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International Students: International students (non-resident aliens) may not work off campus unless they have applied for and received work authorization from the United States government. (An F-1 visa does not give work authorization). Off-campus work-study positions are available only to U.S. citizens on financial aid with a federal work-study component. Note that international students may be eligible for certain positions that occur off campus, but that are paid through the college. Please visit International Student Services for more information.

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Teaching Assistants:  A Teaching Assistant (TA) is a student who assists a professor with instructional responsibilities.  TAs can be hired on a full time, 3/4 time, 1/2 time, or 1/4 time basis. At Williams, both undergraduates and graduate students are eligible to be TAs; and they receive a stipend for their work.  The Teaching Assistant program is managed by the Office of Dean of Faculty.  More information regarding the TA program is available on their website.

In most cases, full-time TAs are not permitted to work a concurrent job on campus, since the combined hours  would exceed the full-time job policy.

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Full-Time Job Policy:

  • Full-time for first-year students is defined as an average of no more than 8 hours per week of work during the academic year.
  • Full-time for returning students is defined as an average of no more than 10 hours per week of work during the academic year.

The College generally limits students to one full-time job to safeguard study time and encourage active involvement in extracurricular activities.  The equivalent of a full-time job may be made up of multiple part-time jobs. Supervisors must not employ students who have already committed to one full-time job or multiple part-time jobs that equate to one full-time job.

Please note:  ALL hours that a student works, regardless of the position(s) held, contribute to their total hours worked.

Example: A returning student works as a 1/2 time TA for 5 hours per week and an additional 5 hours per week with Dining Services for a total of 10 hours per week.  That student may not also work as a Peer Tutor without exceeding the 10 hours per week limit.

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Hiring Priority:  Most students receiving financial aid are expected to earn a portion of their educational expenses with a campus job offered to them as part of their financial aid package. Therefore, any student who receives a “need-based job”  must be given priority in hiring.

Graduate Art History students are generally employed by the Art Department in positions related to their education.  CDE students receive the least priority and may only be hired with prior approval of the Director of the CDE and Student Employment Manager.

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Campus Earnings Limits: The College caps the earnings of all students to protect job equity and accessibility, as well as keep academics and extracurricular activities the primary focus of the student body and to comply with federal law surrounding financial aid award distribution.  The Provost’s Office determines limits on an annual basis, however, individual limits are subject to change for various reasons.

Monitoring earnings is a joint responsibility shared by the student, the supervisor, and the Office of Financial Aid (regardless of the student’s financial aid status). However, the student is primarily responsible for adhering to his or her limit.

Students can track their earnings through the Human Resources System under the My Employment menu.  If a student over earns or expects to over earn, he or she should contact the Office of Financial Aid as early as possible to request an increase.  If an increase cannot be given, then the student must reduce his or her hours or resign from their position(s).

Campus employers are greatly impacted by student workers reaching their earning limits early. Utilizing the Manager Self-Service menu, supervisors can monitor earnings of current employees and verify if other positions are held by potential employees.

General questions regarding earning limits may be directed to the Student Employment Manager. Requests for increases should be directed to the Financial Aid office.

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Job Descriptions: Federal regulations mandate that the college maintains up-to-date student job descriptions.  Campus employers should annually review their active student positions (a list is available for authorized users on Human Resources System Manager Self Service > Student Positions).  A Student Employment Position Request Form must be submitted to the Student Employment Manager, for any position that needs to be updated, terminated, or created as new.

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Requesting New Student Positions:  Each position is individually created based on department needs and with approval of the Student Employment Manager and Human Resources (HR).  Students are not allowed to work in an unauthorized student position for any campus department, office, or student organization.

Procedures to request a new student position:
1.    Complete the Student Employment Position Request Form
2.    The Student Employment Manager and HR will assign a pay grade to the new position and create a position in the Human Resources System.

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Advertising:  Standard labor practice recommends the College post all available jobs in a central location.  Handshake, the Career Center job posting platform, is considered the main advertising location for student positions and should be used accordingly.  Campus employers may also use other platforms to direct students to postings on Handshake, such as department websites, SwitchboardDaily Messages, WSO.

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Compensation: All student jobs are paid through the college’s Payroll office.  Students may not be paid by voucher through the Accounts Payable office unless they are approved by the Student Employment Manager to be independent contractors.

A student job refers to any position filled by a student, utilized by a Williams office, department, program, or student organization, and compensated by Williams College.  A job’s duration may last one academic year, one semester, one month, or one hour.  Whether students are hired to host parties, sell tickets, hang-up publicity posters, research, create websites, or monitor entrances, they must be paid through the Payroll office.

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Payroll Paperwork:  Students are required to complete the federal Form I9 before they begin working. This form must be completed in person, and may be done so, in The Office of Human Resources, at any time prior to employment . Only certain, original, unexpired identification documents are acceptable; see the last page of the Form I9 for a list of acceptable documents.

There are two additional tax forms to be completed in the Human Resources System after a student started in a position. The first is the Form W4, used to determine how much federal income tax should be withheld from each paycheck. The second is the M4, used to determine how much Massachusetts state income tax should be withheld from each paycheck. Once a student has been hired, they will receive an email with instructions on where to complete these two tax forms.

Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to sign up for Direct Deposit, a free service that deposits money directly into any US bank account(s). This can be done at the same time as the W4 and M4 tax forms, or any other time after they begin working.

Social Security and Medicare tax (F.I.C.A.) is not withheld from student earnings during the academic year.  F.I.C.A. taxes must be withheld from any summer employment on campus. This also includes any work paid by the College, but that may be taking place off campus.

Check out the Guidelines for Faculty/Staff and Students: I-9, W-4 and M-4 Forms.  If you need to file a tax return or have additional questions please visit Taxable Income for Students external IRS link.

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Pay Grades and Rates: Student pay grades and rates are designed (i) to foster pay equities between jobs and (ii) to encourage job retention.  The Student Employment Manager monitors grades and rates for each student position.  Hiring departments, programs, offices, and student organizations are not authorized to determine pay rates and must abide by the Williams College Pay Grade and Rate Schedule.  Pay grades and rates apply to all Williams-affiliated positions, including off-campus Federal Work Study positions.

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Time sheet Management:  Students and supervisors are responsible for completing, reviewing, and submitting time records according to the Williams Student Pay Schedule, which must be publicly posted in each employer work space.  Supervisors must approve submitted time sheets in the Human Resources System by the published deadlines to ensure that students are paid according to the pay period in which they worked.  No wage advances or special checks may be issued and students are not allowed to purposefully accumulate and submit time sheets for multiple pay periods at one time.

Students must:
Log in to the Human Resources System and record their hours for their respective job(s) for the appropriate pay period. Under the Time Management menu of Self Service, the Webclock option is the preferred method of time entry for student employment positions. In some instances, the students may also use the Time sheets option to record their time in and out of a specific position. Here are instructions on how to enter time. 

Supervisors must:
Review the student time sheets for accuracy, edit as necessary, and approve them in the Human Resources System in accordance with the published schedule. You may find an instruction guide for approving time on the Using Faculty & Staff Self Service page.

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Work Schedules:  Supervisors are expected to establish work schedules with student employees.  A schedule of set hours by semester is the most satisfactory arrangement for most jobs.  In some cases, it may not be possible to schedule hours for an entire semester.  Some supervisors may have special projects or peak periods when they wish to schedule students for concentrated blocks of time. Supervisors must consider student employees’ academic and extracurricular workload when determining work schedules. As an alternative, students may be scheduled on a weekly or monthly basis.

Student employees should inform their supervisor of any known conflicts in their schedules that may prevent them from working.  Per federal regulations, students are not permitted to work during times they are scheduled to attend class. Therefore, supervisors are encouraged to obtain a copy of their employees’ class schedules for reference when scheduling.  For part-time jobs, students and supervisors should also consider the work schedules of other jobs that may be held.

The academic year includes reading and exam periods and partial weeks at the beginning and end of vacation periods. Therefore, the duration of a job is approximately 30 weeks. Supervisors should schedule first-year students a maximum of 8 hours per week for one job or multiple part-time jobs.  Returning  students may be scheduled a maximum of 10 hours per week for one job or multiple part-time jobs.  Financial aid students who cannot meet their earnings expectation within their full-time job may be able to hold a second job with approval from the Office of Financial Aid.

Reading and examination periods are considered part of the academic year. Although students are expected to work during these periods, supervisors may offer flexibility with student schedules, if necessary, so that each student will have adequate opportunity to prepare for examinations.

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Warnings, Terminations, and Appeals Procedures: The college depends on its student employees to be reliable and conscientious.  Repeated negligence such as absenteeism, tardiness, time sheet abuse, or lack of job performance will result in warnings or even dismissal.

Most job related difficulties or misunderstandings can be worked out between the individual student and the supervisor.  Generally, a conversation between the student employee and the supervisor should be the first course of action.  If that conversation or subsequent conversations proves unsuccessful in modifying the problem, the supervisor must send the student employee a written warning. The Student Employment Manager should be consulted in drafting this notice.  If a written warning proves unsuccessful, the supervisor has grounds for dismissing the student.  Supervisors may consult with the Student Employment Manager at any time for support around student disciplinary procedures.

Students are encouraged to speak with their supervisor first with regard to job related issues. However, they may also seek support from the Student Employment Manager at any time.

Students dismissed for valid and supportable reasons may not be allowed to work on campus for the remainder of the academic year.

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Absenteeism:  If illness or some other unavoidable circumstance prevents attendance at work, the student employee must notify the supervisor as soon as possible.  It is the student employee’s responsibility to find an approved substitute if the supervisor has supplied a list of names for that purpose.  Continued absenteeism is cause for disciplinary action or dismissal.

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Questions about these procedures or related matters should be directed to:

[email protected]
HR office: 413-597-2681