How to Hire Student Employees

Hourly, FWSP, Regular Stipend | Graduate Assistantships

Student Employees are required to follow the other PSU policies and procedures and be aware of the Student Employee Rights and Responsibilities. Along with this, PSU is committed to maintain a drug free work place and you should review the Drug Free Work Place Policy with your student employee.

Also, be aware that student employment records are confidential and are covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Hourly and Federal Work Study Program (FWSP)

1. Job Posting & Interviewing

Student positions need to be posted on the Career Center web site. If you have any questions about how to post student jobs contact the Career Center at 503.725.4613.

There are resources under the Recruit and Hire forms section such as Behavioral Interview Questions and Position Description development assistance. The Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) website has Technical Assistance with regards to Pre-Employment Questions (Interview Questions) that meet the requirements of the law.

2. Select your employee

Hourly Student Employees: You will need to submit a EPAF (Electronic Personnel Action Form) to officially hire a FWSP or hourly student and ensure they are paid on time.  EPAF instructions are available in the EPAF User Guide. Click here for information on Student Wages.

Tips for web time entry approvers and proxies.

Verifying Enrollment: To qualify for student employment a student must be registered for PSU courses at half time or greater for three of the four terms per year. If a FWSP student would like to have a term off other than Summer they must get permission from the Director of FA. For undergraduates that means 6 credits per term; for graduates that means 5 credits per term. Check that the person you would like to hire meets the minimum requirements for enrollment in Banner or GQL Warehouse:

  • In Banner use the form SFAREGQ. Input the four digit year followed by 01 for Winter term, 02 for Spring term, 03 for Summer term or 04 for Fall term. For example: 200902 would be Spring term 2009.
  •  In the GQL Warehouse there is a query to check enrollment.

If you are hiring for a FWSP position, check that the prospective employee has a Certificate of Eligibility verifying their financial aid award. Be aware that this document has an expiration date, usually 31 October of each academic year, and that the award may no longer be available after this date. Federal regulations require that position descriptions be prepared and filed annually with FA for each job that FWSP students fill.

You are responsible for monitoring the FWSP student hours. Any amount earned by the student that exceeds the award amount will be charged to the employing department. The FWSP never authorizes overtime pay. Use the form RJASEAR in Banner to verify the student award balance on a monthly basis prior to signing the time sheet.

If the perspective employee is an international student then you will need to verify that they are authorized to work on campus. The student will have a letter of authorization from the Office of International Affairs if they are allowed to work on campus. Federal law restricts international employees in the United States on an F-1 visa from working more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. During the annual vacation term and when school is not is session, these students may work full time. The annual vacation term is generally summer and an international student is considered to be 'on vacation' if enrolled in less than 9 credits.

3.  Charging Student Wages to Sponsored Projects (grants)

Student wages can be charged to sponsored projects if allowable, allocable and reasonable on the project.  Students working on grants should be hired using the EPAF system, the same as all other student hires.
To assign sponsored projects indexes to student timesheets:
(A) The employee enters and submits their hours worked on the electronic time sheet.
(B) The approver approves the time sheet electronically and then prints a copy of the approved time sheet, writes the sponsored project index(es) and associated hours on the printed timesheet, and forwards it to Research and Strategic Partnerships for documentation of student effort on the project(s).                                               
(C) Research and Strategic Partnerships forwards the printed timesheet to Human Resources who assigns the sponsored project index(es) to the hours in the Banner HRIS system.
To ensure that the sponsored projects are charged for the work performed, these printed timesheets should be submitted to RSP within 4 working days of the electronic submission.  If the paper form is not processed, charges for the student wages will post to the departmental index associated with the student position.  If this occurs, a Cost Transfer Documentation Form must be completed and processed.  See: link to cost transfer page of RSP site (

4. On the First Day of Work

Ensure that all employees complete the New Employee Paperwork with the Office of Human Resources. This must be done on or before the first day of work for payroll and to be in compliance with Federal and State law. Upon completing the paperwork, the student will be given the small green "HRC" sticker to verify that have met both employment eligibility and identity verification. Make sure they know what documents and identification they will need to bring with them to HR.

To check that the new hire has done all the required paper work you can either call the HR Student Payroll Processor at 503.725.5091 or In BANNER use the form PEAEMPL or PHZSNAP to see if the person has been set up as an employee in the system.

Graduate Assistantships

1. Preparation

In advance of recruiting for a graduate assistant, the department should meet with the dean's office to determine the number of graduate assistant positions available for hire within funding availability for that term/year.

It is also important to draft a Position Description so that you can find the appropriate candidate to meet your needs.

2. Recruitment

HR does not generally post available Graduate Assistantships and we recommend that students contact the individual department or professor if they are interested. Information on available Assistantships may also be advertised through departmental newsletters. Additionally, Graduate Studies and Research will post GA positions postings, salary schedule, terms of agreement and other information on their web pages.

Graduate Assistants are required to be full-time students and complete a minimum of 9 graduate credits per term with the exception of summer. It is a department's responsibility to verify enrollment of GAs.  Instructions for verifying enrollment are in Step 2 of Hourly and Student Stipend Workers above.

3. Offer Letters and Assistantship Requirements

After you have interviewed and selected a candidate, draft a Graduate Assistant Offer Letter. The policy for routing offer letters differs by College or School; check with your department or your school's Dean's Office to find out their process (i.e., Department, Employee, Dean's Office or Department, Dean's Office, Employee).

For most positions the fully signed offer letter should be sent to Human Resources. However, if it is a Grant Related position the letter must be sent to Research Accounting.

Attach a copy of the current graduate terms of agreement to the Offer Letter and make sure the selected Graduate Assistant understands these terms. The terms may change each year so we recommend getting an updated copy. The terms of agreement as well as information on the current stipend rates, tuition policy and more can be found on the Graduate Studies and Research website.

Talk with your GAs about any other employment at PSU to avoid breaking the .49 FTE rule: GAs are not allowed to exceed .49 FTE as a PSU employee in any term. This means that if they are working an assistantship that is less than .49 FTE they can only supplement with further hourly work up to that amount. Employment outside of PSU does not fall within this rule.

4. After Offer Acceptance

On or before their first day, ensure that the GA has completed the New Employee Paperwork with the Office of Human Resources. This must be done on or before the first day of work for payroll and to be in compliance with Federal and State law. Make sure they know what documents and identification they will need to bring with them to HR. GAs are paid monthly based on their FTE equivalency and are not required to fill out a time sheet.

Also, please make sure your GAs attend the GA Orientation offered in the Fall by the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) even if they start their GA appointment in the Winter, Spring or Summer prior to the orientation. The CAE also offers additional resources for GA development.