Parents & Families

Dear Williams Families,

Over half of Williams students are working on campus at any given time in academic departments, the library, dining services, athletics, theater, and more. We are committed to providing students with these opportunities beyond their primary focus on academics, extracurricular activities, and other leadership-building experiences.

Some students arrive at Williams with plenty of work experience under their belts. For others, a campus job may be their first shot at employment. Some students want to jump in with both feet, while others want to adjust to college life first and begin working later. No matter the circumstances, here’s how you can help your student get off to a smooth start if and when they do decide to work on campus.

  • Every student must complete the I-9 form for employment eligibility before they can be hired into a position or begin working. The federal government requires this form for both U.S. and international students.
  • The I-9 form itself is very simple, but where it can get tricky is making sure students have the required, original identification documents to show us. We get that it might be easier to send your student thousands of miles away to go to Williams than it is to entrust them with their Social Security Card or their passport! However, they need to have original documents with them to complete the I-9 form and be eligible to work on campus.
  • Here are the only identification documents we can accept. A super-quick summary: a document from Column A = all set; no need to provide anything else. If your student doesn’t happen to have anything from Column A, we just need to see one document from Column B and one from Column C.
  • We can’t stress enough that we need to see original documents! No reproductions of any kind can be accepted. This includes photocopies, faxes, scanned copies, and smart phone pictures. One more quick thing: all documents must be current (no expired documents can be accepted).

This stuff isn’t fun or exciting, but it is necessary. To make it as painless as possible, it will help to make a plan with your student, in advance, about how these documents will be handled. Are you accompanying your student when they first arrive on campus? Are you visiting them for the weekend? In either case, you can bring the documents yourself and take them right back home if you like. If your student is arriving on their own or they want to begin working before you plan to pay a visit, you can send documents to your student. This might make you a little uneasy, so we recommend using an overnight service like FedEx or Express Mail through the U.S. Postal Service.

What else before your student begins student employment at Williams? You may want to consider talking with your student about how to complete their tax forms (W-4 for federal and M-4 for Massachusetts), as student employment earnings are considered taxable income. Another tool to help get things started is the handy FAQs below, especially for parents and families.

We are always happy to field student employment questions, so don’t hesitate to be in touch. Specific questions about your student’s financial aid award should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid.


Janine Burt

Student Employment Manager


Who can work at Williams? Nearly all students are allowed to work after they have completed the required payroll forms (form I-9 is the BIG one). Please contact us if you are unsure.

How do students find jobs?  A great place to start is logging on to Handshake, our online job posting system. New students gain access to this password protected site in late July/early August. After arriving on campus, they may hear of other opportunities through faculty members, staff, or their peers.

What forms must be filled out before a student can work? Every employee of the college (students included!) MUST complete the I-9 form first and then the W-4 and M-4 forms (both for tax purposes). We strongly encourage that the I-9 be completed at the Resource Fair on Move-In Day , but anytime during the year in the Human Resources Office is OK too…as long as it’s before they start working!

 How does Financial Aid affect employment? Williams gives student employment priority to students who receive Financial Aid. Your student’s Financial Aid Award Description in the Work/Study category will say Williams Financial Aid Recipient – Federal Work Study OR Campus Employment. Check with Financial Aid if you have questions.

Is there a limit to what students can earn? The amount awarded for student employment earnings (see Financial Aid Award Description) is the amount a student is expected to earn during each academic year. As determined by Financial Aid, students have an earning expectation of $2700 for the year.

What if my student doesn’t earn their entire student employment award? The balance will have to be made up with an additional student and/or parent contribution, using other resources. If this is a concern, please talk with Financial Aid.

How do students monitor their earnings, and what happens if they exceed their award? Students can monitor their earnings in the Human Resources System. This is the same system students use to log their work hours and complete tax forms. If students are getting close to the limit, we encourage them to talk with Financial Aid about their situation.

When do students get paid? Students are paid every other week, on Fridays. They are strongly encouraged to enroll in direct deposit. Otherwise, paper checks will be delivered to their student address. Direct deposit is a FREE service and students can set it up themselves in the Human Resources System.

Where can my student get help if he/she has questions?  Students can get support from the Student Employment Manager in a few different ways: in person (at the Human Resources Office), by phone x4568 on campus, or by email [email protected].