Best Practices for Employers

The Best Practices webpage is designed for student employers as a tool for success. It outlines the current best practices for student employment, and gets regularly updated. If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out to the Student Employment Office at:

Students are responsible for finding their own jobs, so you may be approached about vacancies in your department. To ensure that all students are aware of available jobs, departments are asked to post all positions on Workday. The posting should be as detailed as needed and will be listed through Workday.

All new vacancies should be posted for at least a week before a “permanent” hire is made. This procedure is aimed at fair treatment of all students – especially those with financial need that must be met by student employment assigned as part of their financial aid awards. It is based on a recommendation of the Faculty Committee on Admission and Financial Aid.


Student Hiring Specialty Course 

The Office of Student Employment recorded the  training sessions designed for supervisors that reviews the process for creating a student job requisition and hiring a student employee.

Visit the Workday Training website and navigate to the Quick Resource Videos.

A Note on Workday

Moving student employment to Workday is an exciting transition which will create lots of functionality and transparency. Supervisors will be able to request postings of positions online and will be able to track and hire students seamlessly. As with anything new, even the most user-friendly tools, we must learn how to use them and adjust to new practices. 

The Quick Reference Guides in Workday offer hiring supervisors and students plenty of resources to make this transition. 

What you need to know now:

  • It is the responsibility of the staff / faculty members who supervise students to hire and then to approve the students’ hours in Workday. ADCs have access to job posting and some hiring in Workday, but all hours must be reviewed and authorized by the supervisor overseeing their work.

The first step in hiring a student employee is to Start a Job Requisition QRG, this is how you create a student job (requisition) and get it posted in Workday.  The Hiring Student Workers QRG explains the process of reviewing student applications, interviewing and ultimately hiring a student employee.

Workday marks a new era for student employment and it has been a transformational project for our team. We are confident that it will bring many advantages for everyone. Our collective willingness to learn this new system will be accomplished together and we thank you in advance for your partnership.

Jose Infante

Student Employment Manager

No Employment Eligibility For Students Residing Outside The U.S.


Important Changes

As of the Fall 2020 semester, student employment authorization will be limited to on-campus and remote work for enrolled students who are residing in the United States.

Due to the laws governing local employment and tax responsibility, any Amherst student who is residing outside the United States, including those who are studying remotely, is unable to work for the college. International students who are studying remotely, but who are still living in the United States, may still work for Amherst.

Priority for Work-Study Students

To ensure that students who need to earn money for college costs are able to do so, hiring for all student employee positions is restricted to students with Federal Work-Study (or other need-based student employment) during the first two weeks of each semester. If a position remains vacant after that time, it becomes open to all applicants, although students on financial aid should be given priority if candidates are equal in all other respects. The following exceptions are made:

  • Positions that have a history of remaining vacant.
  • Positions that have special requirements (e.g., specific training) or that must be filled in the first two weeks of the academic year. The student’s Employment Authorization Form (see below) indicates eligibility for Work-Study or other need-based student employment.

Required documents Before a Student Can Begin Work

I-9 Form

Every student who works on campus MUST complete an I-9 Form in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The student must also provide appropriate forms of identification to prove their eligibility to be employed in the United States. The procedures mandated in the law apply to all employees, regardless of their citizenship status. In general, a student needs to complete an I-9 Form only once, before first being employed by the College. I-9 forms must be completed within 3 business days of their hire and before they can begin to work. I-9 Forms are completed in Workday as part of the onboarding process.

W-4 & M-4 Forms

All students who work on campus must file both a Federal W-4 and a Massachusetts M-4 “Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate,” within Workday to insure proper withholding of federal or state tax.

Employment Procedures

This content is under development. Further information to be added.

Types of positions

Hourly positions are the standard and based on routine and on-going work, often with a scheduled shift, predictable hours or tasks that can be anticipated and planned in advance. This form of compensation is used when the work primarily benefits the employer. Federal work-study funds must be paid with documentation of hourly work. Hourly tracking gives the most accurate documentation in measuring the effort and time involved to accomplish the task.

One-time pay is used for contract work for a set duration. These can be episodic and may be non-recurring. Musical performances during events are an example.

Student Employment will determine the type of pay used for positions.

New or Additional Appointment

Start Date: Please use the the first day of work. Note that student employees will not show in Workday as a "team member" until the first day of work has passed.

End Date: All jobs must have an end date. That can be the end of the semester or the end of the academic year. Please review staff members regularly to make sure this date is accurate and current.

Hourly Rate: The minimum wage for student workers at Amherst College is $15.25 per hour starting on 4/1/2022. (Massachusetts minimum wage is at $15.00 per hour, effective January 1, 2022.)

  • Change of Hourly Wage Rate: Request a compensation change in Workday.
  • Separation: Please update the status in Workday when a position ends or student is no longer eligible to work.

Please note the biweekly student payroll closing dates and approve hours in a timely manner. If hours worked are not approved on time, the student employee’s paycheck will be delayed.

Payment of Hours Worked & Sick Time

Time Sheets

To be paid, a student must clock in and out their hours worked each week in Workday. Hours must be reviewed and authorized by the student’s supervisor. Approved hours are processed by Student Payroll/Controller’s Office on a biweekly basis. The due dates for submission are listed on the Student Payroll Schedule. Time submitted after noon time on the due date will result in a two-week delay in the issuance of a paycheck. Contact Rachel Robinson, Student Payroll Senior Bookkeeper in the Controller's Office with questions about the process.

Sick Time

On July 1, 2015 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts established a sick time law which impacts part-time employees, including student employees who work during non-academic periods (summer). For additional information, please refer to the College’s Sick Time policy

Earnings Authorization

All students who receive need-based financial aid are assigned an authorized earnings amount, usually $1,800 in need-based student employment, although the amount may vary according to a student’s financial situation, other financial aid, or his or her choices regarding student loans. The average number of hours recommended for student employment is 6 to 7 hours a week. Employment during non-academic periods (Fall, Thanksgiving, and Spring recesses and Interterm) should not exceed 40 hours a week. International students, due to Visa restrictions, can NOT work more than 20 hours per week during the school year, with the exception of the non-academic periods, where they can work full-time.

When Students Exceed Their Authorized Level: If a student earns more than the authorized level, he or she should contact the Office of Financial Aid so that we may determine whether the earnings authorization can be increased. Students may continue working beyond the authorized level. Earnings in excess of the authorized level, however, must be reported as “non-need-based” earnings in financial aid applications for the following academic year. In most cases a modest amount of earnings in excess of the authorized level will not affect the subsequent year’s financial aid. Larger amounts, however, may result in an expected “student income contribution” that is greater than the amount usually expected from a student’s non-need-based earnings (currently $1,000 to $2,200 – typically derived from summer employment).

Employer Expectations

If students accept a job on campus, in most cases they are making a commitment to work for at least a full semester. The following is expected of all student employees.

  • Work the hours that the student has committed himself or herself to work.
  • Arrive at work on time, and performing at the highest level of their ability.
  • Dress appropriately for the job location. Individual departments may have a dress code for health or safety reasons or in situations where they are highly visible to the community. Please review any specific dress requirements with the student.
  • Refrain from conducting their own business on the job. This includes initiating/receiving personal phone calls, checking personal e-mail or browsing the internet.
  • Act in a professional manner concerning confidentiality of the College and student records. Student employees may be required to sign a statement of confidentiality during the hiring process in some departments.
  • Exercise responsible, ethical behavior when using the College's computing facilities.
  • Accurately report the hours worked on a bi-weekly time sheet, and submit the hours in a timely fashion to the supervisor. Students are paid on an hours-worked basis. Holidays, sick days, meal time and travel time may not be counted as hours worked.
  • If the student is unable to work, notifying the supervisor as early as possible to allow for alternate arrangements to be made. Make sure the student is aware of the department's procedures.
  • Take an unpaid half-hour break if working six or more consecutive hours.
  • When an employee who is scheduled to work three or more hours reports for duty at the time set by the employer, and that student is not provided with the expected hours of work, the employee, according to labor laws, "shall be paid for at least three hours on such day at no less than the basic minimum wage."
  • Be a reliable worker even during mid-term and final exam periods. Since the exam schedule is known in advance, we ask that you confer with your student workers to adjust work schedules as necessary during exam periods. Of course, a student’s first obligation is that of being a student. Any work schedule should allow a student enough time for classes, study, extracurricular activities, and relaxation. However, once you and a student worker have agreed to a suitable schedule, you should expect the student to fulfill his or her work commitment, as you would with any other employee of the College.