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 Expectations | Job Descriptions | Requesting New Student Positions | Advertising | Compensation | Payroll Paperwork | Pay Grades and Rates | Time sheet Management | Work Schedule | Disciplinary Procedures | 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, along with 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 Williams students 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, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 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: Students who are not physically on campus during the academic year due to a Leave of Absence (personal or medical), Study Away, or other voluntary or involuntary reason(s) cannot hold student employment positions. Those students who are away from campus for a semester with the Williams-Mystic program may hold student positions on the Williams-Mystic campus while they are attending the program.

Recipients of the Tyng Scholarship, should work with Kate Heekin, Associate Director of Admission, to discuss the possibility of working on campus. Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship or Allison Davis Research Fellowship recipients should work with Clinton Williams, Director 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 not hold an additional job(s) on campus. Please direct any questions about the TA policy to 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 student employment positions, identified as Federal Work Study positions are available only to U.S. citizens on financial aid with a federal work study component. International students may be eligible for certain positions that occur off campus, but that are paid through the college (these typically occur through the Center for Learning in Action). 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 are paid for their work.   The Teaching Assistant program is managed by the Office of Dean of Faculty.  First year students are only eligible to work as TAs in their second semester, with approval from the Office of Dean of Faculty. More information regarding the TA program is available on their website.

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:

  • Student employees may work an average of no more than 10 hours per week, per pay period 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 Expectations: The Office of Financial Aid establishes an expectation for student earnings through campus employment for each academic year. The expectation is generally $2700 for all students.

Students can track their earnings through the Human Resources System under the My Employment menu.  If a student expects to exceed or not meet the earnings expectation, they should contact the Office of Financial Aid to understand the impact either situation may have.

**Please note the campus earning expectation is in effect for the 2021-22 academic year.

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Job Descriptions: Federal regulations mandate that the college maintain 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.  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 and submit 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 positions 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 position 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.  Regardless of the position(s) students are hired to fill or the duration of the job(s), they must be paid through the Payroll office.

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Payroll Paperwork:  Students are required to complete the federal Form I-9 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. Please note that no document reproductions of any kind can be accepted.

Tax Forms – Student Employment Earnings are considered taxable income

There are two tax forms to be completed in the Human Resources System after a student starts 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.

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.

Direct Deposit – now required for college employees, including students

Students are required to be enrolled in Direct Deposit for Payroll, a free service that deposits earnings from Student employment positions directly into any US bank account(s).

Beginning in Fall 2020, the same bank account information used for direct deposit in Accounts Payable will be utilized for  payroll. If you need to enroll or want to review your Accounts Payable direct deposit information, after logging into the use the path Self Service > Campus Finances > Manage My Bank Account > Add Bank Account Details. Student’s will need their bank’s routing number and account number. **If enrolling in Direct Deposit represents a challenge for you, please be in touch with the Student Employment Manager at [email protected]

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Pay Grades and Rates: Student pay grades and rates are designed (i) to foster pay equity 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 reported time 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.

All student hours must be recorded for each date in a pay period that is worked. Hours worked in one pay period may not be reported in a different pay period. If a student makes an error or forgets to report hours, they should be in touch with their supervisor as soon as possible.

Students must:
Log in to the Human Resources System and record their hours for their respective job(s) for the appropriate pay period. This is the path to use once logged into the system:

Self Service > Time Reporting > Report Time > Timesheet or Webclock

Student positions are set up to use either the timesheet option or the webclock option. If you select one, but do not have the ability to enter your time, your position uses the other option.

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 and student employees are expected to work together to establish work schedules.  Schedules may be fixed, variable, or a combination of he two.  Some positions may have special projects or peak periods when they wish to schedule students for concentrated blocks of time. Supervisors and student employees should consider student academic and extracurricular workload, schedules of other jobs that may be held, as well as department needs, when determining work schedules.

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.

Per Massachusetts labor law, any student shift exceeding six (6) hours, must provide a 30 minute, unpaid break. Student employees should punch out during this break.

The academic year includes reading and exam periods and partial weeks at the beginning and end of vacation periods. Therefore, the duration of the academic year, for the purposes of student employment, is approximately 30 weeks.

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.

Student employment practices, including hours limits apply during spring break and winter study.

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Disciplinary Procedures: The college depends on its student employees to be reliable and conscientious.  Repeated negligence such as absenteeism, tardiness, time sheet abuse, or poor job performance will result in warnings or even dismissal. Falsification of time sheets is grounds for immediate dismissal from a position.

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.

Most job related difficulties or misunderstandings can be worked out between individual students and their supervisor. Students and supervisors are encouraged to speak directly with one another about job related issues as a first course of action.  If that conversation proves unsuccessful in modifying the problem, best practice is a second conversation accompanied by 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.  The Student Employment Manager should be made aware of any student employment issues that are likely to result in a student’s dismissal. Supervisors and/or may consult with the Student Employment Manager at any time for support around disciplinary issues and procedures.

Students dismissed for valid and supportable reasons may jeopardize their ability to work on campus for the remainder of the academic year.

Students who have questions, concerns, or other inquiries related to their position and/or supervisor, including any disciplinary actions, should contact the Student Employment Manager at [email protected].  This is a confidential e-mail and will not be shared with your supervisor without your consent or knowledge.

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

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