805  Student Employment

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Human Resource Services
Responsible Officer:  Assistant Vice President, Human Resource Services

I.  Purpose

This policy establishes guidelines for student employment at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University).

II.  Applicability

The provisions of this policy apply to the employment of student workers, regardless of the source of funds (Federal, State, or private).

III.  General Information

A.  It is the responsibility of the department or activity chairperson to determine if funds have been budgeted for student help before authorizing the employment of student workers.

B.  Departments may hire students who are relatives to members of the particular unit, but in no case may they be placed in the same line of supervision where one relative supervises the activities, or makes employment decisions, about the other.  See Policy 816 Nepotism.

C.  The selection of student employees to work in University departments paid with departmental funds will be done by the department chairperson or budget head of the particular unit or designee.

D.  The selection and placement of Work Study Students to work in University departments will be coordinated through the Financial Aid Office.

IV.  Summer Employment

Students or prospective students may qualify to work full-time during the summer term, if the job opportunity presents itself.  In order to qualify as a full-time summer worker, assurance must be given of intent to continue or begin enrollment at MTSU during the fall semester.  High school graduates who indicate they plan to enroll in the fall semester are eligible to apply for work opportunities during the summer term. In all cases, students enrolled at MTSU, or those who express intent to enroll, will be given priority for University jobs.

V.  Rate of Pay – Undergraduate Studies

Students employed in University jobs will be paid according to the minimum wage law regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Departments may pay students above the minimum wage.

VI.  Rate of Pay – Graduate Studies

Graduate students paid on an hourly basis will be paid at least the rate of pay of undergraduate students.  Pay for graduate teaching assistants, and other graduate assistants occupying budgeted positions, is based on a rate per semester, academic year, or fiscal year per Policy 225 Appointment of Graduate Assistants.

VII.  Record Keeping Requirements

The Department Head must maintain, per Department of Labor regulations, the following records on each student employee:

Hours worked must be kept by workday, and by workweek, by each student and authorized by the supervisor.  The hours worked will be recorded and authorized by using the Web Time Entry system. The pay period is defined as the 16th of one month to the 15th of the following month. The University’s workweek for Fair Labor Standards purposes is defined as 12:00 a.m. Saturday through 11:59 p.m. the following Friday. See Policy 806 Compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and Employment of Minors

The department or activity chairperson will be responsible for processing a Personnel Event Form (PEF) when a student employee is hired. All entries for payroll must reach Human Resource Services by the due date established.

VIII.  Payday

Student workers will be paid on the last work day of the month, except for the month of December. Payments for December will be made on December 31. If December 31 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, payment will be made on the Friday prior to December 31.

IX.  Overtime Payment

Overtime payment at the rate of one and one-half (1½) times is required for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) during the workweek. 

X.  Students Working in More than One Department

Student workers working in more than one (1) department should notify each department affected. Overtime rates will be paid for hours worked totaling over forty (40) per week and will be charged to the primary department.

XI.  Benefits

Student assignments are considered temporary appointments and are ineligible for benefits. However, if a student employee is working more than thirty (30) hours or more during a 10 (10)-month look back measurement period, the student will be eligible for certain benefits under the Affordable Care Act. 

Forms:  none.

Revisions: none.

Last Reviewed: May 2024.

References: Policies 225 Appointment of Graduate Assistants; 806 Compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and Employment of Minors; 816 Nepotism; Affordable Care Act; Fair Labor Standards Act.