Frequently Asked Questions – Student Employee

First-Time Student Workers:

  • All student employees must enroll in direct deposit. *

Federal regulations prohibit requiring students to receive Title IV funds via Direct Deposit, however it is strongly suggested for all students to utilize direct deposit if they are paid through Payroll.

Work-Study Student Workers:

  • Work-study students returning to jobs will require a PAF changing the earnings code for their salary from RG2 to FWS. If the salary is changing, that also needs to be identified on the PAF.

Additional Information:

  • With the Fall 2015 semester, departments will complete Personal Action Forms (PAFs) online through the Human Resources new Electronic Personal Action Form System (ePAF).
  • The job code for regular students (RG2) is 90001; work-study students (FWS) is 90003.
  • Texas Pay Day Law requires that the university pay students for time worked on the next regularly scheduled pay cycle. Timely submission of all documents will keep the university in compliance with this law.
  • Departments are encouraged to run the Active Student Job report to see what students are considered active employees in their respective department. This report will also show if the student employee has enrolled in direct deposit. Students no longer working in your department should be terminated through the ePAF system.
  • Departments are asked to run their Expense Distribution Report each month and review the paycheck data to determine if there are any overpayments or underpayments.
  • Flow Chart for Work Activity by Students:

Prepared by Brian Farrington, Attorney At Law
January, 2004

1. Does student get course credit for work activity?
Yes – Not an employee
No – Go to step 2

2. Is participation in the work activity a degree requirement?
Yes – Not an employee
No – Go to step 3

3. Is work activity performed by graduate student actively working toward an advanced degree who performs research under supervision of faculty member under a grant or contract, not paid wages but either given or not given a stipend?
Yes – Not an employee
No – Go to step 4

4. Does the work primarily involve teaching, tutoring or otherwise imparting knowledge (e.g. teaching assistant)?
Yes – Worker may be an employee, but is exempt from minimum wage, overtime, and recording work hours. No minimum salary required. (May be required to withhold taxes, social security.
No – Go to step 5

5. Does the work require professional level knowledge (i.e. at least a bachelor’s degree) in a science or other learned profession (e.g. law, medicine, engineering, accounting) such as research assistant?
Yes – Exempt from minimum wage, overtime, recording hours if salary is at least $455 per week (if at least 80%) of time is spent in professional activities).  Also must withhold taxes and social security.
No – Go to step 6

6. Is work activity part of a traditionally recognized extra curricular activity?
Yes – Not an employee (but consult with HR if very highly paid)
No – Go to step 7

7. Does the work activity require a high level of creativity, innovation, imagination and talent, such as a musical performer, but not in a traditional extra curricular activity?
A. Done on a casual basis (e.g. musical performance for university Chancellor’s reception)?
Yes – Not an employee
No – Go to step 7B
B. Done on a regular basis (e.g. performing regularly in student café)
Yes – Employee, but exempt as artistic professional from minimum wage, overtime, recording hours, if paid salary of $455 per week or fee basis such that fee amount divided by hours spent in performance multiplied by 40.
No – Go to step 8

8. Is the work activity part of an activity primarily intended to enhance the educational experience of the student (e.g. student leaders at Frog Camp)?
A. Student is not paid or is paid only enough to reimburse expenses or enough for subsistence.
Yes – Not an employee
No – Go to 8B

B. Student is paid significantly more than expense reimbursement of subsistence.
Yes – Consult with HR
No – Go to step 9

9. Is the work activity of consequential economic benefit to the university? (i.e. would an employee have to do it if a student did not?)
Yes – Worker is employee, record hours, pay at least minimum wage, pay overtime, and withhold taxes and social security.
No – Consult with HR

Student Activity Verification Form

Student Confidentiality Agreement