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Supervisors of UK student employees play an essential role in the overall student experience. University SuperVision is also required for individuals that supervise students at UK. 

Employment gives students the opportunity to earn an income, learn new skills, develop professional connections and gain new responsibilities during college. To help ensure our undergraduate student employees are successful in their roles, UK HR Student Employment is dedicated to providing our supervisors with resources to assist them as leaders. The following resources aim to keep UK supervisors regularly informed on policies, processes, events and opportunities.

  • Federal Work-Study is granted to students based on need determined by their completed FAFSA forms. Through the Federal Work-Study program, departments are responsible for only 17% of the student's Federal Work-Study determined payrate. If your department is interested in learning more about how to utilize Federal Work-Study in your department, please email
  • Departments can also establish a student wage line and hire students through the Direct User (DU) position type in IES, our online employment system. With any individual hired using a Direct User position type, the department is responsible for getting the individual into the system for payroll, approving time and completing any additional system actions such as separations. To find out if your department has a student wage line or to learn more about how to use Direct User position types to hire student employees, you should speak directly with your department’s business officer.
  • Although STEPS is not typically used to hire student employees, some departments who do not have a student wage line or need to hire quickly use STEPS to fill their student positions.

Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study is granted to students based on need determined by their completed FAFSA forms. These opportunities allow students to build skills for their resume and enjoy being part of an expanded, supportive community within their assigned departments.

Federal Work-Study can provide qualified students with income and financial security through work experience. These opportunities allow students to build skills for their resume and an expanded, supportive community within their assigned departments.

Departments hiring Federal Work-Study students can engage directly in student success and alignment with the university's mission. Federal Work-Study can also provide departments with staffing solutions and potential budget savings.

Through the Federal Work-Study Program, departments are responsible for 17% of student wages. If your department is interested in learning more about how to utilize Federal Work-Study in your department, please email

Posting a student position

First, consider when you need the student employee to start. Be sure to give yourself ample time to conduct interviews and properly commit to the process.  

The beginning of the fall and spring semesters typically yield more applicants searching for jobs. Over the summer and holiday breaks, the number of applicants tends to be lower.

In addition to posting your position on the UK Jobs website, you can use additional methods to advertise your opportunity to students.

  • Sign up to participate in the Part-Time Jobs Fair! HR Student Employment and Stuckert Career Center co-host this event each fall and spring.
  • Use your department’s social media accounts or listservs.
  • Ask other departments or professors to share the position if their area relates to the position.
  • Post your position on Handshake through the Stuckert Career Center. Any UK position posted on Handshake must refer students to the UK Jobs website to apply.

If you are hiring a large number of students:

  • Run an ad in the Kentucky Kernel or Wildcat Rundown.
  • Submit digital signage to advertise your position in residence halls and other campus buildings.
  • Host tabling events around campus to promote your opportunities.
  • Place yard signs around campus.

Establishing pay rate and schedule

Student position pay rates do not follow a formal approval process through HR Compensation. We encourage you to evaluate the appropriate pay based on job duties, department budget and pay of similar positions. All pay rates must meet Kentucky’s minimum wage requirement.

Student employee hours depend on a department’s budget and departmental policies. When setting a schedule for student positions, we recommend having students work about 20 hours per week. This allows students time to concentrate on their academic needs. Each student employee’s needs are different, and students may want to work additional hours. While UK does not have a formal policy on the number of hours student employees may work, some regulations limit the number of hours in specific situations:

  • Federal Work-Study students can work up to 29 hours per week and are not eligible for overtime. The amount of funding allocated per student also impacts the total number of hours Federal Work-Study students can work per semester.  
  • International students must follow visa requirements. F-1 and J-1 visa regulations state students can work up to 20 hours per week during academic periods and up to 40 hours per week during academic breaks.
  • Official assistantship or fellowship positions, such as graduate assistants, teaching assistants, etc., are not expected to exceed 20 hours per week unless an official work overload form is submitted and approved through the Graduate School. With approval, students can work up to 28 hours per week.  
  • Students in a student/non-work study position that do not fall into one of the above categories are able to work more than 20 hours per week but should not exceed 40 hours per week unless the department is able to pay overtime.
  • Students who work more than one position should ensure they do not work more than 40 combined hours per week.


Managing your student employee

When managing students, it is important to understand they are a student first and an employee second. This means you will want to provide additional support and flexibility, especially around their academic commitments.

There are no grade requirements to be employed as a student employee for most students. However, students must remain in good academic standing and enrolled at the university. If a student is suspended for reasons including academics, they are no longer enrolled in classes and therefore cannot be employed as a student employee.

Teaching assistants and resident assistants must maintain satisfactory progress. That includes maintaining a minimum 3.0 grade point average as well as other measures which may be established by departmental policy with approval from the Graduate Council.  

If your student employee decides to leave a position, they are recommended to provide at least a two-week notice before resigning from a position. Student employees should contact their immediate supervisor for any department-required notice. STEPS employees are required to give at least five days notice.  

Failure to provide required notice can result in being ineligible for any future position at UK. With students, we want to provide them the resources to be successful, so please communicate this requirement with your student employees.

If a student is not enrolling in a graduate program after graduation, they are not able to continue to work in a student position. However, they can continue to work if your department switches them to a STEPS temporary position. This switch should take place prior to the start of the pay period after graduation.


Professional development for students

Student employment opportunities provide the chance to gain real-world professional experience while contributing to the success of our university.

Supervisors of students should have a plan for professional development as with other staff positions. We want to equip our students for the next step in their careers.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers offers information on the importance of career readiness. This includes competencies you can read more about and how you can help prepare your student employees for success.

UK also offers additional resources:

Wildcat Works
UK Grow
Another important part of student employee development is regular evaluation. Use these guides in your discussions with your student employee:

Sample student performance evaluation
Sample interview guide
Sample exit interview guide

Part-time job fair

The Part-Time Job Fair, hosted by HR Student Employment and the Stuckert Career Center, is a great way for campus departments looking to fill their student positions to market and recruit student employees.

If you are interested in registering for the Part-Time Job Fair, email to learn more about when the next one is happening.

Show your support for student employees

We encourage all areas that employ students to show how much you value and appreciate them.

HR Employment

Our HR Employment team is here to guide you through the hiring process.

Contact our office

Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
(859) 257-9555, option 2
112 Scovell Hall