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As a supervisor, it is your responsibility to notify the appropriate hiring representative of your intent to hire a student employee. Your hiring representative will likely request certain information from you to assist in hiring the student employee. The requested information and the means by which you provide information will vary across Schools and units, so it is a good idea to check with your hiring representative about what they will need to in advance. The following sections provide an overview of things to consider when preparing to hire a student.

All student employees MUST complete a Form I-9 within three days of the date of hire. Failing to comply with employment eligibility verification procedures can jeopardize a student employee’s paycheck or employment. Review the Supervisor Checklist for more information.

There are two primary types of positions that students can hold. Please note that position type refers to the classification of the job, not the job title. Visit Job Classification for more information.

  • SHRA Positions: These positions are paid hourly and typically include jobs such as administrative support, residential assistants, recreation assistants, etc.
  • EHRA Positions: These positions are paid monthly and typically include jobs such as graduate research assistants and graduate teaching assistants.

Any student is eligible to work if they are enrolled full- or part-time in a degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate program – which includes Master’s, Ph.D., and Professional programs.

International students are permitted to work on-campus as part of their immigration status. There are different types of work authorizations depending on the purpose of employment and the student’s immigration status. Visit the International Student Employment Guide for more information.

It is important to ensure that sufficient budget and funding is available to support a student employee. Your hiring representative may request the chartfield string or costcode for the account through which the student employee’s salary will be provided.


All students employees regardless of type, are limited to 1.0 FTE (full-time). The following considerations should also be kept in mind when determining a student employee’s FTE:

  • The Graduate School recommends that graduate students work no more than 20 hours per week.
  • International student employees may not be able to work more than 20 hours per week during the semester as a condition of their immigration status. Visit ISSS for more information.
  • Student employees holding work-study positions may not work more than 0.5 FTE or 20 hours per week in that position. Visit the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid for more information.

All students must be paid at least the state minimum wage. If you are hiring a graduate student as a research or teaching assistant, visit The Graduate School for more on minimum stipend requirements.

With the exception of some graduate research and teaching assistants, student employees are not eligible for employment-based benefits, which include vacation and sick leave, medical, dental, and other types of insurance.

Any employer that meets Federal Work-Study requirements is eligible to become a part of the Work-Study Program. Supervisors in the Work-Study Program must be a part of UNC or a community partner who has been approved by the Office of Scholarships & Student Aid. To become part of the program supervisors must:

  1. Complete annual training on program regulations, rules, and logistics
  2. Complete annual training on the operation of the JobX system for job posting, application review, and hiring
  3. Complete an annual quiz over the first two items
  4. Participate in an annual site visit (community partners only)
  5. Complete an employment agreement contract (community partners only)
  6. New supervisors are also required to complete a registration form attesting to the completion of all required items prior to gaining access to the JobX system

Visit the UNC Work-Study Prospective Supervisors Home Page to learn more about the program.

Visit the International Student Employment Guide for more information.