Types of Student Positions

Graduate Assistantships are uniquely administered and are not addressed on this page. For information about Graduate Assistantships, visit the Graduate School web site.

All PSU student jobs are hourly positions, which are overtime-eligible and require the submission of monthly time sheets authorized by the supervisors, and processed through PSU's Human Resources department.

Information on the following types of student employee positions are addressed in this guide:

  • Regular Wage: Paid for in full by department funds. These positions are made available based upon the department's needs and budget.
  • Work Study: Funded primarily through Federal Work Study awards received by the student and administered through the Office of Financial Aid. Generally, the federal subsidy for these positions is approximately 90% of wages. Hiring departments may elect to hire only work study students as a way of limiting the cost of hiring student employees, however because of the small number of students that have been awarded Work Study funds, it may limit the pool of student job candidates. See "Federal Work Study Program" below for more information.
  • International: A subset of Regular Wage jobs. Eligibility determined by visa status. See International Students page for more details.

Combination Hourly Student Employee & Graduate Assistant - There are occasional situations where students may hold Graduate Assistant (GA) positions earning tuition remission and a stipend, and also work in a PSU Regular Wage position on an hourly basis. GAs must adhere to the terms of their appointment, including approximate number of hours per week. For example, a .49 FTE should work no more than 20 hours per week.

Students and their supervisors must be mindful of the rules governing Graduate Assistants as well as the rules for hourly student employees. It is critical that students working in this combination status understand that all hours worked are cumulative and count toward their maximum hours as Graduate Assistants and hourly student employees. Talk with your GAs about any other employment at PSU to avoid breaking the .49 FTE rule.

Federal Work Study Program

PSU encourages all units on campus to employ students as part of the staffing mix in their work groups. In addition to the positive impact of working on campus for the students, there are many benefits for the departments including a considerable cost savings when hiring students who are awarded Federal Work Study.

Federal rules and regulations regarding the Federal Work Study Program can be complex and may change from year to year. Supervisors should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships if any questions arise. Please visit the Financial Aid website for more information regarding Federal Work Study Program.

Although the subsidy ratio is subject to some change from year to year, on average Work Study covers 90% of the cost of qualified student wages.

University departments employing Work Study Students must adhere to all employment laws, in addition to the rules governing this Federal program. The Federal Work Study Program (FWSP) does not authorize or pay for overtime, so if the FWSP employee works over 40 hours in one week, overtime will be charged 100 percent to the department.

It is strongly recommended that departments and students carefully monitor the distribution of the Work Study funds over the course of the academic year in order to avoid surprises regarding budget overages.

Here are some details about the Work Study Program and the procedural steps for students:

FAFSA forms: To receive Work Study funds, students must first complete the FAFSA application and qualify according to federal guidelines. The amount of financial aid is based upon a student’s Estimated Family Contribution and cost of attendance budget. More information on the Federal Work Study program is available from Portland State's Financial Aid department.

Certificate of Eligibility: Students awarded Work Study must present a Certificate of Eligibility, available in the Office of Student Financial Aid, to their employer.

Overtime not Covered: The Federal Work Study Program (FWSP) does not authorize or pay for overtime, so if the FWSP employee works over 40 hours in one week, overtime will be charged 100 percent to the department.

Multiple jobs: Students may hold multiple jobs on campus. It is the responsibility of the student employee to monitor the limit. However, it is advisable that supervisors talk with the student employee about the combined schedules and accumulating work hours.

Off-Campus Work-Study: Often there are positions available with government and community service agencies that have signed contracts with PSU to provide Work Study employment for PSU students. Students working in these specific off campus positions are considered PSU student employees. These positions are also listed through the office of Advising & Career Services. Please visit the Portland State University Handshake website for off-campus work experiences.

Summer Term Work Study: Summer is considered the first term of the financial aid year. Students may be eligible to use their Federal Work Study Award during the summer. Visit Financial Aid's Federal Work Study page for more information.

Advising & Career Services Web Site Listing: Work Study jobs are listed in the Handshake section of the Advising & Career Services web site. Supervisors should post open positions through this online listing.