Procedure 512: Student Employment

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University Procedure #512

Section  1.     Purpose

This procedure is established to describe the process and documentation necessary for hiring, changing the rate of pay or pay level, and separating a student employee.

Section 2.      Authority

This procedure is established in accordance with the Minnesota State Board of Trustees policy 4.5 - Student Employees and PELRA.

Section 3.      Effective Date

This procedure is effective January 1, 2018, and remains in effect until modified or revoked.

Section 4.     Responsibility

The responsibility for implementation of this procedure is assigned to the offices of Student Payroll, Financial Aid, Human Resources, and International Student Services. All supervisors of student employees must follow this procedure.

Section 5.     Objective

Student employment at Metropolitan State University is meant to assist in the performance of functions necessary to the operation of the university, to provide financial assistance to students for the purpose of obtaining a university education, and to enrich the academic training and experience of students to better prepare them for future employment.

It is the expectation of the University that work-study funds will be used prior to general fund dollars being expended for student employment.

Section 6.  Student Employment Types 

  1. Work Study:  A type of financial aid which is primarily need-based for which a student must be employed in a position identified for this purpose.  Work study employment must conform to the applicable federal and/or state work study program regulations which address source of funds for the position, placement on payroll and other terms and conditions of employment.

Students must meet the University’s satisfactory academic progress standards to be eligible.

  1. Student Help:  A category of employment for students enrolled in any Minnesota State institution.  Individual departments may set aside funds in their annual budget to employ students in this category, and the students must maintain their work eligibility through satisfactory academic progress and minimum enrollment requirements.
  1. Graduate Assistants:  A form of employment for graduate students enrolled at a Minnesota State University. Positions are funded through institutional funds and available on a limited basis to students who are admitted to a bona fide graduate degree program at the university.  For specific requirements and hiring procedures regarding these positions, please refer to University Procedure #513.

Section 7.      Eligibility and Work Hour Limitations

Student employment is available for currently enrolled students making satisfactory academic progress. The student's enrollment status determines the maximum hours of work allowed, a minimum enrollment of six (6) undergraduate credits or four (4) graduate credits is required unless during a student's final semester they need fewer than the minimum credits listed above to graduate. Audit classes do not count towards enrollment credits for work purposes.

Minnesota State employees may be eligible to be both a student employee and a Minnesota State employee as long as the combined assignments do not exceed forty (40) hours during a work week, and the student work hour limitations shown below are not exceeded.

If student is employed for two or more positions, the combined hours for all positions may not exceed the maximum allowable hours described below.

Enrollment in summer courses is not required if the student was enrolled in the required minimum credits for work eligibility in the spring semester prior and is registered for the upcoming fall semester.

Work may not be scheduled or performed during class hours in accordance with the student's enrollment schedule.

If a student adds, drops, or withdraws from classes, they are required to report this change in enrollment credits immediately to their supervisor and the Student Payroll Office as this may change the maximum number of hours the student is allowed to work per week.

Hours Eligible to Work Per Week

Student Enrollment

Fall/Spring Semesters

Summer/Semester  Breaks

6-1 1 undergraduate credits

Up to 14 hours

Up to 25 hours

12+ undergraduate credits

Up to 20 hours

Up to 25 hours

4-7 graduate credits

Up to 14 hours

Up to 25 hours

8+ graduate credits

Up to 20 hours

Up to 25 hours

Section 8.     Implementation

The student employee selection process will be open and fair. All on-campus student positions will be posted on the Metropolitan State University Career Opportunities website. No student may be appointed or start employment until the appropriate documentation has been received in the student payroll office, and authorization has been sent to the student and supervisor.

NOTE:  Required Hiring Documents and Forms are available on Metropolitan State University Portal.

  1. Hiring
    1. The supervisor determines the need for a student employee and the duties to be performed.  The supervisor sends a job posting, including a short description of duties, to Human Resources at
    1. The HR office approves the posting, posts the job, and notifies supervisor of approved level.
    1. In addition to posting the job, the supervisor may place a notice in University publications or otherwise recruit applicants.  After the posting end date, the supervisor interviews applicants and makes a tentative offer pending approval from the Financial Aid Office, the International Student Services Office, or the cost center director. To obtain approval, the Student Worker Authorization Form (SWAF) form and other required documentation in hard copy is forwarded to the financial aid office, the cost center director, and/or the International Student Services office when hiring international students.
    1. The approved/signed documents are sent to the Student Payroll office and are reviewed for completeness and appropriate budget authority prior to the student being authorized to start work.  International students must obtain a Social Security card prior to beginning employment.
    1. Students may only begin employment once the student and supervisor have received the official authorization from Student Payroll.
  1. Change to Student Employee Pay Level
    1. Student employment positions may change, requiring added duties and/or different skill levels over time. If a currently filled student employment position changes, the supervisor sends written rationale for the change in the position and an updated posting form to HR for review at
    1. The HR office reviews the description and notifies supervisor of approval or disapproval.
    1. If approved, supervisor completes a SWAF indicating new rate and level for the incumbent in the position, and obtains the necessary budgetary signatures and returns the SWAF to the Student Payroll Office.

Section 9.      Student Employee Pay Level System

The University's pay level system provides hiring supervisors with guidelines to use in establishing the rate of pay for specific types of work and assures student employees are paid fairly and consistently across the University.  The tasks and skills delineated for each level are illustrative of various types of positions. Supervisors who are unable to determine what level the position is or who have a position that is not covered by these levels should contact the HR office for assistance.

The University annually establishes pay rates for each level. Pay rates for the upcoming fiscal year will be determined and posted by June 1st each year.

Level A

Incumbents perform general tasks such as: Routine typing, opening mail, entering data on prescribed forms, message and/or package delivery, word processing , general data entry, filing, photocopying , collating and assembling materials, answering phones; routine grounds keeping activities, running errands, setting up rooms, routine custodial duties.

Incumbents need skills such as:  Knowledge of business English, spelling, grammar.  Skill in typing or data entry. Ability to compute and tabulate using basic mathematics.  Ability to understand and carry out oral and written instructions. Ability to file and retrieve records.  Basic knowledge of tools and equipment used in audio-visual, custodial or grounds keeping work.  Basic ability to use personal computers.

Hourly rate:                $9.65 starting wage

                                    $9.75 after 1000 hours worked at this level

Level B

Incumbents perform general tasks which require independent thought, advanced clerical, laboratory or communications such as:  Advanced clerical or laboratory support work requiring knowledge sufficient to: conduct office or field research work of a complex nature ;  perform difficult tests on a variety of materials or substances in laboratories ; set up or clean up laboratory experiments as directed. Academic computer center support including explaining and assisting users with software, maintaining printers, monitoring computer center user log-in process, inventorying equipment and supplies. One-on-one peer tutoring in remedial or entry level subject matter. Completing maintenance activities requiring specialized skills and knowledge of unit operations.

Incumbents need skills such as:  Those listed under Level A plus paraprofessional level knowledge of and ability to explain unit procedures.  Considerable knowledge and experience using tools and equipment in performing required work.  Knowledge of laboratory procedures sufficient to provide paraprofessional research support and to set up and clean up for lab classes with little or no supervision.  Knowledge of principles and practices of office management to provide lead-worker direction to other students.  Ability to assist faculty, staff and students with research and other projects; to maintain computer files and documentation, and to perform equipment maintenance.

Hourly rate:                $9.85 starting wage

                                    $9.95 after 1000 hours worked at this level

Level C

Incumbents perform general tasks such as: Responsible for advanced levels of technical or paraprofessional assistance and support; schedule and provide direction to other student employees.  Serve as a paid intern where the internship requires special expertise and knowledge in the discipline area. Provide advanced level peer tutoring or conduct tutorial workshops requiring in-depth knowledge of a subject or discipline.

Incumbents need skills such as:  Comprehensive understanding and working knowledge of the computer center's software packages; ability to oversee laboratories or the student computer labs in the absence of staff; ability to provide leadership to others, ability to explain subject matter at advanced levels; ability to enforce standards and regulations, and to react quickly in emergency situations.

Hourly rate:                $10.50 starting wage

                                    $10.90 after 1000 hours worked at this level

Level D

This level is only available for Graduate Assistants as defined by Procedure 513:

Hourly rate:                $14.00 starting wage

                                    $14.50 after 1000 hours worked at this level

Level E

This level is only available for Graduate Student Workers

General Tasks:  In addition to an advanced level of technical or paraprofessional assistance, this level may also assist a faculty member with classroom preparation/duties and/or provide assistance within the Center for Online Learning to assist faculty with course websites and development of learning objects and interactive media for online courses.

Required Skills:  Must have a Bachelor’s Degree and be enrolled in a Graduate Program at Metropolitan State University.  Skill level must be in the area of the assigned duties.

Hourly rate:                $14.00 starting wage

                                    $14.50 after 1000 hours worked at this level

Level F

General Tasks:  Works for external clients through a special contract arrangement with the University on application development, web development, quality assurance, security testing and other technical duties as qualified.  Duties typically include writing application code in one or more programming languages, developing database queries and reports, conducting automated and manual tests of application features and security, and interacting on a regular basis with client representatives under the supervision of an experience IT project manager.  Employer-provided training is often a component of these positions.  The position may also be used for an academic internship at the option of the student and if approved by a supervising faculty member.

Required Skills:  Qualified students are most often pursuing a degree in computer science, computer forensics, information systems, information systems management, mathematics, business or other related fields.  Many positions have specific skill requirements.   Students who are pursuing these majors and have acquired technical skills in other ways may also be considered.  Students must be endorsed by the external client prior to hiring.

Hourly Rate:  Varies depending on client contract terms.  Incremental increases may be included in those agreements and based on performance measures.  Internships are paid as Level C.

Section  10.  Review

This procedure shall be subject to review on an annual basis prior to June 1st each year.

Section  11.  Approval

Issued on January 8, 2018.


President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur, JD


Posted Date 1-8-18