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5 tips for setting up student employees this fall

Procedures for hiring student employees differ from those of faculty and staff. Be sure you are completing these actions correctly when entering them into HCM.

Please note: These tips are not applicable to CU Colorado Springs.

1. Use the correct job code

When hiring student employees, it is important to use a job code for student employees, so they are categorized correctly in the system.

Appropriate student job codes can be found below: 

Student Workers Job Codes
Job Title
Off-Campus Job Codes
Job Title
4101 Student Asst I 4201 Off-Campus Work Study
4102 Student Asst II 4202 Off-Campus Work Study No WC
4103 Student Asst III    
4104 Student Asst IV    
4105 Student Asst V    
4106 Student Asst VI    
High/Trade School/Other Job Codes
Job Title
Other State Institutions Job Codes
Job Title
4301 High/Trade School/Other 4401 Other State Institutions
4302 CS Off Campus Stdt Intern    
Student Faculty Job Codes
Job Title
1501 Administrative Intern
1502 Grad Assistant
1503 Grad part-time Instructor
1504 Grad Reader
1505 Research Assistant
1506 Teaching Assistant
1507 Undergrad Assistant
1508 Undergrad Non-Teach Asst

Resource: Additional information about student Job Codes can be found in the Benefits Matrix.

Hiring a student with multiple active jobs 

If a student holds multiple positions, ensure each one falls under the proper Job Codes listed above. This ensures benefits, such as exemptions from Social Security and Medicare deductions, are maintained.

Note: These exemptions are waived for students in non-student job codes, such as 1419 (Lecturer). For students in both student and non-student job codes simultaneously, Social security and Medicare may be taken on all earnings, regardless of credit enrollment. 

Student Retirement Policy

Exemptions from Medicare deductions may also be waived under the Student Employee Retirement Plan if students do not meet the following conditions of exemption:

  • Undergraduate student employees are enrolled in fewer than 6 credit hours.
  • Graduate student employees enrolled in fewer than 3 credit hours (unless enrolled in only 1 credit hour to complete a thesis or dissertation after completing all required classroom work).
  • If graduate or undergraduate student employees consistently work 40 hours per week in any given semester, regardless of the number of enrolled credit hours.

Resource: For more information about this policy, see the Student Retirement Factsheet.

2. Enter the correct Pay Group

Pay is issued monthly and biweekly, as classified by the Pay Group. Pay Groups for student employees and student faculty are provided below: 

Pay Group
STU Student Workers (BW) Biweekly
STG Student Faculty (BW) Biweekly
STM Student Faculty (MON) Monthly

Resource: Consult the Common Earnings Codes and Their Pay Groups job aid for more information about Pay Groups.

3. Verify and update students’ information

Regardless of whether a student is a current student employee or a new hire, make sure the system is updated with their valid Social Security Number, bank account number and address.

4. Hiring international students?

International student employees must meet with CU’s International Tax team to determine and document their U.S. tax status. Appointments can be booked here.

5. Submit timesheets on time

After setting student employees up in HCM, avoid problems for the student and university by making sure they receive their pay on time.

It is the supervisor’s responsibility to ensure timely processing and collection of timesheets. Start by encouraging your team to submit their timesheets on time. Important payroll dates can be found on the payroll calendar.

Resources and additional help

Ready to start hiring? Use the Hiring an Employee step-by-step guide to begin.

If you have additional questions regarding hiring student employees, please contact the HCM Help Desk at 303-860-4200, option 2, or

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