The Student Employment Office (SEO) has prepared this handbook to provide you with a general overview of the student employment process, including the work component of the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS). The information should be helpful to students just beginning their employment search as well as to current students and potential employers.
Students work for a variety of reasons. Some need their earnings to meet the basic costs of an RIT education, while others want their earnings for social activities. Still others recognize that skills and work habits gained on the job will benefit them when they seek full-time employment, and simply enjoy the camaraderie of work groups.
Each year, more than 8,000 RIT students are employed through the SEO, a division of the Institute's Cooperative Education and Career Services Department. The SEO is responsible for administrating all aspects of student part-time and summer employment, including the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS), and for developing, implementing, and monitoring the Institute's policies and procedures for student employment.
The SEO is here to aid you in your job search, to ensure that you are properly compensated for your work, and to mediate any problems or concerns arising from your employment.
If you are looking for a part-time job to help pay for your expenses while at RIT, or if you want to gain valuable work experience while attending classes, this guide will tell you what you need to know about getting a job on or off the RIT campus.
Phone: (585) 475-2631
Fax: (585) 475-5588
TTY: (585) 475-2837
Senior Associate Director
Student Employment Assistant
Student Employment Assistant
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program is a federally funded program administered by RIT to promote access to employment. This program assists students who demonstrate financial need as defined by the Federal Government. The Financial Aid Office selects on the basis of financial need as many participants for this program as funding allows.
Earnings during the academic year vary and are dependent upon maximum earnings level and the number of hours actually worked. Each student is paid bi-weekly by check or direct deposit for the number of hours worked. FWS earnings are considered income, and subject state and federal taxes. Please refer to the Tax Guidelines section for more information.
Financial need is defined as the difference between the total cost of a student's educational expenses and the amount of money the student and his or her parents are expected to contribute to those costs. To be eligible to receive a FWS award, a student must meet the following criteria:
Students are expected to apply FWS earnings toward educational expenses at RIT. FWS earnings are not automatically applied toward tuition. FWS awards that are not used cannot be carried over to the next academic year. Any money that is not earned from the award is considered unrecoverable. The amount unearned is not credited toward your tuition bill. Students who have reached their award limits are advised to go to the Financial Aid Office to inquire as to whether their award can be increased. FWS is not automatically renewed. Students must reapply by the deadline of April 1st of each year.
The SEO is responsible for the employment component of the FWS program. It is our policy to assist as many
FWS students as possible to find employment. However, it is the student's responsibility to complete
the job search, application, and interview process with the employers and then to obtain the Student
Employment Eligibility Card from the Student Employment Office. Students who are persistent in seeking
employment, regardless of the job, will be certain to find work on-campus. If you are having difficulty
finding employment, you are strongly advised to schedule an appointment with an SEO staff member as soon
as possible. They will do whatever they can to assist you in seeking part-time employment.
All employment procedures, including how to find job, wages, and payment procedures are identical for students with or without FWS awards.
All employment procedures, including how to find a job, wages and payment procedures are identical for students with or without FWS awards.
For on-campus student employment, you are required to obtain a Student Employment Eligibility Card from the Student Employment Office. To do so, you must first have an offer of employment and bring the Student Employment Verification Form to the Student Employment Office which your supervisor has completed for you. You must also be a full-time matriculated RIT student, AND be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours for the quarter(s) you wish to work. You will be required to complete the government mandated I-9 Form to prove your employment eligibility by submitting appropriate documentation to the SEO staff. Required I-9 Form documentation
The SEO also functions as a brokerage service for RIT students seeking off-campus employment. To apply for off-campus jobs you must first check the Off-Campus Job Postings located on the SEO website. Directions for application are found on each job listing. It is the student's responsibility to contact the employer to schedule an interview. The employer will make the hiring decision. If at any time you encounter problems with an off-campus employer, you are advised to contact the SEO immediately at 585-475-2631.
If you are an International student, please refer to the section on Employment Eligibility for International Students.
To be eligible for on-campus employment and before a Student Employment Eligibility Card can be obtained, international students must first:
International students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during academic quarters, and up to
40 hours per week during breaks and approved vacation quarters. Due to the nature of the International
Student Program, International Students are entitled to one vacation quarter per academic year, upon
approval by the International Student Services Office (ISSO). During the approved vacation quarter,
International students amy work up to 25 hours per week during the academic quarter and up to 40 hours
per week during break periods.
International students seeking employment who DO NOT already have a Social Security Card must have a job or job offer BEFORE he or she can apply for a Social Security number. International students must follow the procedures listed below:
F1 and J1 Visa Status:
International students are responsible for keeping their status up-to-date. Students must notify the SEO whenever their I-20 (for F1 Visas) or DS-2019 (for J1 Visas) are updated. Students with expired status are not eligible to work. Thirty days prior to a student's I-20 or DS-2019 status expiration date, the student's employers will receive an e-mail alert advising them that a student's status is about to expire. At the end of the 30 days, if the student has not updated his/her visa records in the SEO, the student will be terminated from employment.
There are certain criteria that must be met in order for the International students to be eligible to work off-campus. For more information, contact the International Student Services Office.
International students are eligible for 12 months of optional practical training (OPT). OPT provides an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge with practical work. Such employment may take place at any location in the United States. For more information, contact the International Student Services Office.
Students do not necessarily need to start employment when they come on-campus. During the academic year, students may choose, for example, to begin work in January rather than September. However, there are a number of factors to consider before deferring employment. First, students may not be able to work in certain departments that may initiate most of their hiring in the Fall Quarter. In addition, starting later in the year may not allow students with FWS awards to reach the maximum earnings level of their award amount.
When students will work is dependent upon choice of jobs and willingness/ability to work during the summer. Students may work part-time during the academic year and full-time during June, July and August. During summer sessions, however, all students are employed through institutional funding. Students may also be able to work full-time when classes are not in session during break periods throughout the academic year.
Once you are registered full-time status for the quarter you wish to begin to work, you may start your job search.
Job listings are posted on the SEO website. All information on how to apply can be found on each listing. Students
are also encouraged to go directly to employing departments, such as any Dining Services venue, to inquire about
job availability. Some employers may set-up a specific time for students to come to their department to apply for
employment. Keep checking the SEO website for any notices of these events.
If at any time you encounter problems finding on-campus employment, please feel free to contact the SEO.
The SEO also sponsors an annual job fair that is traditionally held before classes begin for the fall quarter.
More than twenty on-campus employers will be present to take applications and/or hire students on the spot. It's a great opportunity to look for on-campus employment. Additional details regarding any future Job Fairs will be forthcoming on the SEO website.
If at any time you encounter problems finding on-campus employment, please feel free to contact the SEO.
On-Campus student jobs are classified according to the skills and experience required, going from Level 2 to Level 5, with Level 5 being the highest.
The average student works 8 to 12 hours a week. While classes are in session, students may work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week, if the job permits. When classes are not in session, students may be able to work up to 40 hours per week. The number of hours per week and actual hours to be worked will be determined by the employer. Most on-campus employers will work around the student's class schedule.
The hourly rate is based upon the level of your job as it falls within the job classification system. Each level is assigned a starting wage and two merit levels. Merit increases are based solely on performance and are granted by the student's supervisor. Merit increases can be implemented anytime throughout the year. In addition, employers have the option to pay students in approved Level 5 positions wages that may exceed those provided in the wage table.
Students are paid bi-weekly by check or direct deposit. Paychecks are distributed at the work site every other Friday and cover the hours worked for the previous two weeks. Students are paid on an hourly basis.
Direct deposit of wages is highly recommended for student workers. Forms can be obtained from the SEO or Payroll websites or by stopping by the Payroll or Student Employment Offices. Students taking advantage of the direct deposit option can view their paystubs online. For access, students must logon to http://finweb.rit.edu/controller/payroll/, and follow the directions provided.
Earnings, including FWS earnings, are subject to all federal, state and local income taxes. All students must file a
for tax purposes when they begin to work at RIT. If you are a nonresident alien (NRA) student, you may be subject to
special withholding requirements; please do not submit these forms and contact Keithaleen Jones in the Payroll Department -
*In the event that you do not submit either form, tax withholding will occur
at the single with zero exemptions level (does not include NRA).
Students are not eligible to claim "exempt" on the Form W-4 unless all of the following apply:
Students are not eligible to claim "exempt" on the IT-2104 unless the following conditions are met:
Full-time, matriculated students are exempt from paying Social Security Tax (FICA) if they meet the following criteria:
Students who are registered for less than six credit hours or are paid by RIT, but working at an off-campus location, will have FICA taxes deducted from their paychecks at a rate of 6.2% with RIT paying the matching share. Therefore, it is extremely important that the employer indicate on the SEO Hire Form if the student is working off-campus.
Foreign students with a valid I-20 or DS-2019 are exempt from this policy.
Co-op employment is a mandatory component of many RIT degree programs. It is essential that on-campus co-op employment meet the criteria of program validity inherent in the Institute's commitment to quality experiential learning.
It is RIT policy and practice that all on-campus co-op students be hired according to the following procedure:
The SEO will no longer publish the annual Co-op Wage Schedule. Employers may use their own discretion when assigning co-op wages. For assistance, employers may contact the Co-op Office at 475-2301 to request a copy of their most recent Co-op Wage Survey.
Unlike regular student employees, on-campus co-op students are also eligible for holiday pay for all Institute holidays falling within a given co-op employment quarter. They are also eligible for sick pay on the ratio of two days per quarter worked. Sick day benefits are cumulative to a maximum of six paid sick days. On-campus co-op students are not eligible for Unemployment Insurance Benefits. On-campus co-op employees are exempt from FICA withholding as long as they are registered for co-op.
Graduate Assistant information may be found at http://finweb.rit.edu/controller/graduate/.
RIT student employees are covered by New York State's Workers' Compensation if injuries are incurred while on the job. If students are unable to continue to work due to an illness or an injury sustained other than in the course of employment, the student will be eligible for New York State statutory disability benefits. In either case, contact your supervisor immediately for instructions. Students are not eligible for sick pay, holiday pay, or unemployment insurance benefits. However, if required to work on an Institute Holiday, students will be paid time-and-a-half for hours worked.
Student employees are representatives of RIT and are expected to act in a manner consistent with the mission and goals of RIT and their department of employment. RIT student employees are expected to be punctual, reliable, dress appropriately and perform work in a satisfactory manner. Students are also expected to comply with all federal, state and local laws while working for the Institute on or off its property. Working under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances is not permitted. Theft of tangible items or computer time, or misuse of telephones (i.e. unauthorized long distance personal calls), equipment or facilities available to students during their work hours is grounds for immediate dismissal and possible prosecution. As student employees are paid for actual hours worked, any student found adding unauthorized work hours will be immediately terminated from employment and may face criminal charges.
Students should make a serious attempt to resolve any on the job problems with supervisors or peers. If the problem cannot be resolved at this level, then an appointment should be made with a staff member of Student Employment. Student Employment will in turn, contact the supervisor or peer in a final attempt to resolve the problem informally. If informal attempts to resolve the problem are unsatisfactory, a formal grievance procedure is available. Additional information can be found at University Resources for Discussing and/or Reporting Concerns about Unethical Conduct, Harassment, or Discrimination.
Students, who have completed the employment eligibility process and have worked for an on-campus employer for three weeks or more without receiving a paycheck, should check with their supervisor as soon as the first expected paycheck is not received. Often times the problem can be rectified immediately and arrangements can be made for the student to receive partial payment of wages owed. If the supervisor cannot assist the student with the problem, then the student is advised to contact the Student Employment Office.
Remember, the benefits of working extend far beyond the obvious financial ones. Getting a job and working to the best of your ability will provide valuable learning experience not otherwise available. Your job may or may not be career related, but you will have opportunities for growth and success!