University Workforce Operations-Student Employment

Campus Address
120 USB
Mailing Address

120 University Services Building
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
United States

See this section for information about policies and procedures related to on-campus student employment, including:

Important dates to remember - 2023 - 2024 (pdf)

Information about policies and procedures

Students are limited to working 20 hours per week during the academic year per State of Iowa law. Students are allowed to work 40 hours per week during Thanksgiving break, winter break, spring break, and summer.

Students who work over 40 hours per week will be paid overtime but, per federal regulation, Work-Study cannot cover overtime wages. Although these are the hours limitations by law, the Work-Study dollar eligibility of the student will determine the number of hours a Work-Study student can work per week and may limit the work hours below the maximums listed.

For example, if the student’s Work-Study award is $1,750 per semester and the pay is $8.20/hour, the student can only work 10 hours per week during the 22-week fall period, which includes winter break, and 12 hours per week during the spring period before the Work-Study award would be earned.

See hours per week limitations for additional information regarding the employment of international students and students paid through salary or residence hall assistant positions.

Students who meet half-time enrollment requirements (fall and spring semesters: 6 hours undergraduate or 5 hours graduate; summer: 3 hours undergraduate and graduate) are exempt from Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) withholding. Students who are not enrolled at the half-time level will be assessed FICA (7.65 percent withheld from the student's earnings and 7.65 percent charged to the employing department) on all hours worked during that biweekly pay period.

See student FICA information for additional details or contact Payroll at 319-335-2381 with FICA questions. 

Every two weeks, according to the biweekly payroll schedule, students must enter work hours online and submit the hours electronically to the employer for approval.

Find additional information on biweekly employee time records, biweekly payroll calendars, and Online Time Reporting Instructions (pdf).

Note that hours for a new position, or in the event of late appointment paperwork, hours must be entered by the student in order to generate an electronic time record.

The following factors may cause student positions to be terminated before their expected end dates.

  • Work-Study limit reached
  • Change in enrollment
  • Voluntary termination
  • Termination for other reasons

For additional information around the situations listed above, please visit the termination of employment before end date page.

All student hourly employees (both part-time and Work-Study) working at on- or off-campus sites are considered University of Iowa employees and are covered under the University's Worker's Compensation Policy

When faced with a workers' compensation situation, the most important thing to know is where the employee must seek treatment in order to receive coverage. For all work injuries/accidents, employees—including student employees—must receive medical care from the following treatment location:

  • UI Occupational Health, 3 Lions Drive in North Liberty (off Highway 965), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 319-665-2111

Employees in the Iowa City area should use the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics Emergency Room for emergencies and/or treatment during non-clinic hours.

Do not send students to Student Health or they will be charged for treatment.

The University of Iowa Policy Manual outlines the University’s policy on Conflict of Interest in Employment (Nepotism).

Excerpts listed below from the Policy Manual Part III, Human Resources, Chapter 8, Section 1 outline this policy with reference to the fact that no person shall make decisions related to the hiring, retention, promotion, salary, or employment responsibilities of a student related to himself or herself by blood or marriage.

It does not apply, however, in cases where an employee for whom a supervisor makes decisions or recommendations related to employment is compensated in the amount of $1,800 or less in any fiscal year (Section 7).

NOTE: The description above provides only a summary and does not constitute the policy. See the Policy Manual for additional details.

University Human Resources maintains records (e.g., appointments, changes of status, terminations, time records) for all student employees. The Office of Student Financial Aid maintains records regarding eligibility of Work-Study employees.

Employers are required to maintain records for student employees for five years after termination of the student appointment.

The University of Iowa provides guidance on record retention requirements.

If hours for a new part-time hourly or Work-Study appointment are not entered in the university's time-reporting system before the end of the first biweekly period, an electronic time record will not be created for the first biweekly period of employment.

If this occurs, work hours need to be entered on a paper time record and mailed to the University Workforce Operations at 120 University Services Building (USB). Employers must select the appropriate biweekly form—i.e., part-time employee time record or Work-Study employee time record—and enter the work hours. The begin and end dates of the pay period and the dates of the work listed must correspond to the biweekly pay period dates.