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Student Employee Handbook


Student Employment Program Purpose & Overview

The purpose of Macalester College’s Student Employment Program is to provide employment opportunities that offer students both financial assistance and professional development.

The Program affords students the opportunity to build skills for career readiness while focusing on coursework in addition to providing a talented workforce for the College.

Macalester employs nearly 1,400 students in over 200 different positions each academic year. Students are able to gain experience in a variety of areas, from facility management to tutoring to office work.

Working On-Campus

Need-Based Student Employment

Students who have a student employment award through Financial Aid are considered need-based. Generally, student employment awards vary depending upon eligibility and year in school. For more information on eligibility for need-based aid, contact Financial Aid.

Award amounts by class year, US and International for academic year 2024-2025:

Class YearUS StudentsInternational Students
1st Year$3,900$4,200
2nd Year$4,000$4,290
3rd Year$4,200$4,480
4th Year$4,400$4,800

Refusing a Student Employment Award

Students have the option of refusing their awards if they so desire. To refuse an award, a letter or email from the student stating their decision to decline the award should be sent to both the Financial Aid and Student Employment offices. A student’s decision not to work on campus one year will not affect eligibility to work on campus the following year.

No-Need Student Employment

The Program is designed for students who need employment to assist in financing college costs. Therefore, students with work-study awards are given the priority on all on-campus positions. Students without an award may apply for open positions. However, hiring of no-need students may be delayed or denied in order to allow for available positions to be filled by students with an award.

When no-need students are approved for on-campus employment, they are given an earning cap corresponding to the table above. No-need students may not work beyond these amounts.

Finding a Job: Returning Students

Returning students are responsible for finding their own jobs on campus. Open positions are posted on the Student Employment jobs website.

Macalester’s online job search process parallels the outside work world by offering students an opportunity to apply for jobs which interest them, and to participate in interviews if requested to do so. Students should only apply for positions in which they actually want to work. The first supervisor to hire a student online will receive the student’s entire work award. Only one hire per student, per academic year is allowed online. Additional hires must be processed on an Award Release Form.

Positions for the following academic year are available online beginning each Spring semester. Most positions are filled by the end of the semester in May. Students who wish to remain in their present positions should reapply and be rehired online each year.

Finding a Job: First Year Students

First Year students who receive a student employment award through Financial Aid will gain access to open positions in May via their student portal. Students are able to search and apply for positions. Students who are offered a position will receive an email outlining the employment details. Students will have an option to accept or decline the position by clicking on the desired box in the email.

Release Policy

The first department to hire a specific student during the academic year receives that student’s full work award. Any changes (job changes or secondary positions) to a student’s work assignment after the initial hire must be done via an Award Release Form. Students may do a full or partial award release. A full release moves all remaining funds to a new position. A partial release moves a specified portion of funds to a new position, allowing a student to work in more than one position simultaneously.

Both supervisors (new and old) and the student must agree to the release. Supervisors are not required to release the student’s award.

Completed Award Release Form must be sent to the Student Employment Office for processing.

Managing Student Employment Awards

Students monitor their awards via 1600grand to ensure they stay within the award amount. The chart below shows the average number of hours per week a student should work in order to earn their entire award over the course of the academic year. This excludes the days of mid-term, Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring Breaks. Students who choose to work during Winter Break will need to reduce the number of hours they work during Fall and/or Spring semester in order not to exceed their total work-study award.

Students should plan to earn half of their work award during Fall semester and the other half during Spring semester. Any unearned award from Fall Semester may be earned during January or Spring Semester. Students may not overwork their award for the year.

Note: All student positions during the academic year, regardless of funding source, are connected to the student’s award.


Award Amount$3,900$4,000$4,200$4,290$4,400$4,480$4,800
Hours/ Week8.

Award Increases

Increases to work-study awards are granted on a limited basis. There are situations that may warrant an increase to an award, such as, financial hardship for a student or special circumstances in a department. When these cases arise, supervisors may submit a Request for Award Increase Form to Student Employment for consideration.

Study Away Student Employment Policy

Students who study away will receive half of the standard award amount. See the above award chart for standard yearly amounts. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Resident Assistant & Language House Program Assistant Policy

Resident Assistants (RA) and Language House Program Assistants (PA) receive a student employment award to cover their room fees. In addition to this award, RA’s and PA’s are able to hold a concurrent student employment position. In these cases, RA’s and PA’s can earn up to $2,200 for the academic year, which equates to roughly 5 hours per week. Because of the degree of leadership and responsibility afforded by this role, the RA and PA position takes precedence over other student employment positions. RA’s and PA’s must consult with their supervisor regarding expectations and balance navigating an additional employment position.

Student employment is designed for students who need employment to assist in financing college costs. Therefore, students with work-study awards are given priority on all on-campus positions. Because RA’s and PA’s already receive financial assistance from the college, hiring of RA’s and PA’s may be delayed or denied in order to allow available positions to be filled by students with a work-study award.

International Student Employment Regulations

Federal regulations allow international students attending Macalester on F-1 visas to work on campus. Exchange students are not permitted to work on campus.

F-1 regulations stipulate that international students are not permitted to work more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. If a student has more than one job (including non-Macalester employment), the total hours for all jobs combined cannot equal more than 20 hours in any given week. This regulation applies to each individual week of the semester, not an average of several weeks. Therefore, an international student cannot work more than 20 hours one week and then work less the next week to balance it. Any week in which the student exceeds a total of 20 hours of work is a violation of their visa regulations.

Any violation of an employment regulation puts an international student’s F-1 student status in jeopardy. Violations could result in future issues with admissibility into the United States. In extreme cases, it could be cause for removal of students. It is very important that both supervisors and international students pay attention to and comply with these regulations. International Student Programs (ISP) can answer any F-1 visa questions for students and supervisors.

When the College is not in session, such as summer break, F-1 regulations do not limit hours international students can work. However, Macalester limits hours for all students to 40 hours per week.

Getting Paid

Required Forms

Form I-9

Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired to work in the United States.

All students working on-campus for the first time must report to the Student Employment Office in 77 Mac and complete their I-9 before the end of their first day of work. It is important that students do not begin working without a valid I-9 on file.

Form W-4

All students should file a W-4 prior to beginning work. Completing a W-4 allows Macalester to withhold the correct federal income tax from your pay.

Student Employee Confidentiality Agreement

While employed at Macalester, students may come into contact with confidential information. All student employees must review and sign the Student Employee Confidentiality Agreement.

Direct Deposit Authorization Form

Direct deposit allows earnings to be automatically sent to the employee’s bank rather than receiving a paper check. It is strongly encouraged that all students complete the Direct Deposit Authorization Form.

Exchange Notice Acknowledgement Receipt

All student employees are given information on health care options in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. Students must sign acknowledging their receipt of the information.

Background Checks & Fingerprinting

Students who work in a capacity that may grant them access to individual dwelling spaces must complete a fingerprint background check per the Kari Koskinen Manager Background Check Act (MN Statutes, sections 299C.67 to 299C.71). For further information, see the Background Check Policy and Procedure.

Tracking Work Hours

Students are paid biweekly according to the biweekly payroll calendar. Students either use a web clock or a time clock to track time. Supervisors will notify students of the method they will utilize to track time worked. All paperwork must be completed before students are able to access the timekeeping system.

Student Webclock

Students will have access to a webclock at, located on the Employment/My Job tab, Time Reporting channel. Students are required to clock in at the beginning of every shift and to clock out at the end of each shift. Students who miss a clock in/out may be able to correct the missed time on their own or may need to contact their supervisor regarding the error. For more information on reporting time worked visit the Payroll website.

Student Timeclock

Students will have access to a timeclock in the building where the student works. Instructions are posted by each timeclock. Student employees with a single job will record time by tapping their Macalester ID at the start and end of each shift. Student employees with more than one job will tap their ID and then select the applicable job at the beginning of the shift. At the end of each shift, the employee will use their Macalester ID to clock out. For more information on reporting time worked visit the Payroll website.

Methods of Payment

Student employees at Macalester have the option of either having their earnings paid directly to them or applied directly to their student account. If you choose to be paid directly, the College strongly encourages you to sign up for direct deposit.

Direct Deposit

With direct deposit, your earnings will be electronically deposited into a checking or savings account of your choice and will be immediately available for use at the start of each pay day. You will receive notification on 1600grand of the amount deposited into your account each pay date. Deposits can be made to any United States bank account. It is not necessary to open an account at a local bank in order to take part in direct deposit. With direct deposit, you never need to make a trip to the bank and wait for the check to clear before you can access your earnings. Also, direct deposit helps you avoid check reissue fees.

Earnings Credited to a Student’s Account

Students may choose to have their earnings applied to their student account to help cover tuition expenses. If selected, the amount credited to the account will be net earnings (after taxes), not gross earnings. Once the tuition bill has been paid in full, any excess funds will be routed back to the student.

In order to have earnings credited to tuition, students must first fill out the Student Employment Check Authorization form and return to the Student Accounts Office in 77 Mac. Without a signed form on file, the College cannot withhold earnings for this purpose.

Student Expectations & Procedures

Responsibilities of Student Employees

  • Attendance
    • Students should be in contact with their supervisor prior to the first day of classes each semester to arrange a work schedule.
    • Report to work on time.
    • Personally contact the supervisor by phone, email or in-person, according to the supervisor’s instructions, in the event of a late arrival or absence from work for any reason.
    • Ask the supervisor ahead of time to revise work schedules or to take time off from work.
  • Professionalism
    • Be courteous to supervisors and co-workers.
    • Dress appropriately. Supervisors will communicate what type of attire is appropriate for the position.
    • Avoid socializing and cell phone use while on the job.
  • Job Requirements
    • Perform the job according to the job description provided by the supervisor.
    • Ask questions when uncertainties arise about what is expected at the job, or how a task should be done.
    • Discuss any work-related problems or questions with the supervisor. If the supervisor cannot resolve a problem, contact Student Employment.

Performance Appraisals

Supervisors formally evaluate students at least once a year. Evaluations develop a better understanding of areas of strength and where improvement is needed for students. Increased skills enable students to become eligible for additional responsibilities and are transferable beyond the Macalester community to future employment opportunities.

Students are evaluated using the following criteria:

Critical Thinking / Problem Solving
Problem solving skills are critical to success in any position. The same skills utilized in the classroom are also applicable to the work environment – analysis of the problem, identification of potential solutions and development of a plan for the best outcome. Critical thinking leads to creative and resourceful solutions to complex and difficult problems.

Appropriate written, oral and non-verbal communication skills are necessary when interacting with customers, supervisors and colleagues. Communication should not only be without error, but also accessible when working with a diverse population.

Professionalism / Work Ethic
Professionalism comprises many attributes: punctuality, dependability, communication, time management, attire, organization, etc. The ability to learn from mistakes and the ability to accept critical feedback are also essential components. A professional combines these traits with strong ethics to cultivate a more positive work experience for the broader community.

Working alongside others and building collaborative relationships leads to success in any project or area. Teamwork should be effective and efficient, valuing diversity in its many forms.

Intercultural Knowledge & Competence
Interacting successfully with people of other cultures or identities requires sensitivity and kindness. Intercultural knowledge and self-awareness should lead to respectful engagement with people and ideas that challenge learned cultural perspectives.

Career Management
Career management encompasses self and position awareness. The ability to identify and translate strengths, skills and experiences to new opportunities is necessary in moving toward goals within the workplace.

Student Employee Disciplinary Procedures

One goal of the Student Employment Program is to provide a work environment that will teach students about the responsibilities and opportunities associated with employment. Supervisors give direction and feedback concerning performance in order to foster professional development and improve any work-related concerns. In cases of unsatisfactory work performance, supervisors may move through the disciplinary procedures outlined below. Examples of such performance concerns include, but are not limited to:

  • Tardiness and unexcused absenteeism
  • Noncompliance or insubordination
  • Inappropriate workplace appearance or clothing
  • Carelessness or lack of attention that results in injury to property, person, or public relations
  • Reluctance or failure to meet job requirements
  • Unsatisfactory completion of job assignments
  • Failure to work with the public or co-workers in a courteous, professional manner
  • Excessive personal distractions (e.g. cell phone usage, friends visiting, internet play, etc.)

Steps of Disciplinary Action

The following are traditional steps of disciplinary action that may be used if the need arises. Depending on the severity of the situation it may be necessary to skip steps:

  1. Verbal Warning. The supervisor will issue a verbal warning explaining the expectation and which specific behavior needs to change to align with the expectation.
  2. Written Warning. If unacceptable performance continues, the student employee will be given a written warning regarding the behavior and desired results.
  3. Termination. If the student continues to perform below acceptable standards, the student may be dismissed from the position.

There may be cases where a student employee’s conduct results in immediate termination. Examples of such situations include, but are not limited to:

  • Using or being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol during your work shift
  • Dishonesty or theft
  • Breaching confidentiality agreements
  • Willful and unauthorized destruction or abuse of property
  • Improper use of a timecard, falsifying hours worked
  • Any act of physical violence
  • Violations of the law

If termination occurs, the student may not work on campus again until the following semester. Additional hours may not be worked at a second job in order to compensate for hours lost at the terminated job. The student is eligible to apply for any vacant positions for the following semester.

Working During Breaks

January Employment

Students may work between the day after Fall semester ends in December and the first day of classes in January on an as-needed basis. Any earnings during the winter break go towards a student’s work-study award for the year. Students and supervisors should work together to determine what amount a student is able to work during the break based on the funds available in the student’s award. Student employees (including international students) are able to work up to, but not over, 40 hours per week during breaks.

Summer Employment

Summer jobs are available to Macalester students and can be viewed on the jobs website beginning in Spring semester. Students are eligible to work on-campus during the summers following each academic year, including the summer after the student graduates. Student employees (including international students) are able to work up to, but not over, 40 hours per week during the summer. Student employees must monitor their work schedules to ensure they do not exceed 40 hours of work during any given week between all on-campus positions. See the Work Break section of the employee handbook for information on breaks during summer employment.

Leaves of Absence

Students may not work while on a Leave of Absence from Macalester. If a student employee is approved for a Leave of Absence through Student Affairs, the student’s position will be closed as of the leave begin date. Departments may hire another student to fill the opening. Students must re-apply for positions upon returning to Macalester. Work-study awards will be half of the full year amount for students who are on leave for a semester during the academic year.

College Policies

Breaks and Lunch Hours

As required by Minnesota law, in each four hours of work employees are allowed adequate time to utilize the nearest convenient restroom. During the academic year, students generally work shorter shifts and should schedule their lunch around the shift whenever possible. Students should contact their supervisor with any concerns.

During the summer, many students work a standard shift of 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Within this 8.5 hour work day, student employees are paid for 7.75 hours. Unpaid lunch periods are 45 minutes in length. Supervisors are also encouraged to provide a 15 minute paid work break in either the morning or afternoon.

Offices that adhere to a summer work schedule may adjust the hours worked in a day accordingly. Student employees may not exceed 40 hours of work a week.

Holidays and School Closings

Macalester College is closed for 9 official holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day.  Students may only be paid for hours actually worked. Students are not eligible for paid holiday breaks or holiday pay rates. Students will not be paid for any work done on closed days unless they have received prior approval from their supervisors.  Likewise, if the College officially closes early and employees are sent home for any reason, students will not receive pay for the work missed but do have the option of making up those hours at a later time with the supervisor’s prior approval.

Study Days

At the end of each semester, students have two or three study days during which no classes are scheduled. While student employees may choose to work during these days, it is not required. Students should contact their supervisor to discuss expectations regarding work on these days.

Earned Sick and Safe Time

Student employees are eligible for sick time at an accrual rate of one hour for each 30 hours paid (.0334 hours per compensated hour). Earned, unused sick time carries over year to year. A maximum of 48 hours of sick time may be accrued per calendar year. Up to 80 hours of sick time may be carried over from year to year. Student employees will not be paid for any unused sick and safe leave that the employee had at the time of separation from their position.

Sick time can be used to recover from physical/mental illness or injury; to seek medical diagnosis, treatment, or preventative care; to care for a family member who is ill or needs medical diagnosis, treatment, or preventative care; to address needs that may arise if the work or a family member is a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking (for the full list see Sick Time – Staff). Supervisors may request a physician’s statement from the employee if they have been out for more than three days or if the supervisor suspects misuse of earned sick and safe time.

Student employees have access to their sick time accruals via TimeClock Plus.

Students with Disabilities

The reasonable accommodation process for student employees is interactive and mirrors the process for all employees at Macalester College. Accommodation requests due to disability, either temporary or long term, requires communication between the student employee, Employee Services, appropriate supervisors, and in some cases, administrators with a limited “need to know” to make reasonable accommodation determinations.

Steps for accommodations are outlined as follows:

  1. The student employee should notify Employee Services or their supervisor of the need for a reasonable accommodation. Supervisors will inform Employee Services of any requests as well. Supervisors may also ask a student employee if a reasonable accommodation is required to complete essential parts of a job.
  2. The student employee provides current disability-related information/documentation related to the diagnosis of disability and any functional limitations that impact assigned job responsibilities. Students who are registered with Disability Services may have appropriate documentation to assist in informing accommodation decisions. However, it is the student employee’s responsibility to provide information to Employee Services. Due to confidentiality, documentation is not automatically shared with Employee Services without a release.
  3. Employee Services will evaluate the request, documentation provided and determine if additional information is needed. In some cases, additional documentation may be required to determine both disability status or functional limitations.
  4. Employee Services and the Supervisor will follow up with the student employee if the accommodation request can be provided or any reasonable alternatives.

Any documentation received by Employee Services will be maintained confidentially. Student employees are not required to disclose the specific nature of disability to their direct supervisor.

If modified tasks or another position cannot be secured within the department, every attempt will be made to help the student find a more conducive place to work.

Worker’s Compensation

Macalester College complies with federal and state OSHA regulations. Students who have an accident or are injured while on the job are covered by Worker’s Compensation. Student employees are expected to comply with all safety laws, rules and regulations. Any unsafe working conditions, equipment or practices should be reported immediately to one’s supervisor. Students are expected to wear any and all required safety gear while on the job. Fire protection and prevention practices must be complied with at all times.

All on-the-job accidents or injuries, no matter how small, must be reported to the student’s supervisor and to Employment Services (X6280) within 24 hours of their occurrence in order for Worker’s Compensation coverage to take effect. Please fill out an Injury/Accident Report Form.

Sexual Violence Prevention and Support

Macalester College prohibits and will not tolerate sexual misconduct of any kind. Please review Macalester’s sexual violence prevention resources and Macalester’s sexual misconduct policy in the Student Handbook. The sexual misconduct policy outlines Macalester College’s community expectations to ensure a campus free from sexual violence, the steps for recourse for those individuals whose rights may have been violated, and the procedures for determining a violation of College policy. The policy discusses “sexual misconduct,” which refers to all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, dating/intimate-partner violence, and domestic violence.

We encourage all members of our community to report all incidents of sexual violence and encourage victims to seek support and care.

Grievance/Appeal Procedures

Macalester College seeks to provide just and equitable treatment of all employees, and to protect their legal rights in matters of employment. Success in attaining and maintaining this goal depends upon the cooperation of all faculty, staff and student employees as well as the availability of an adequate grievance procedure.

The College encourages you to seek informal resolution of any differences and believes most problems can be solved if approached in a spirit of cooperation, trust and openness. However, if a solution cannot be found, you have a right to make a formal appeal. For more information, please see the Student Handbook.

Civic Engagement Center Off-Campus Employment

Off-Campus Student Employment (OCSE) is an opportunity for students to earn their financial aid work-study awards while working at a local nonprofit organization or elementary school. The focus of the program is to encourage students to serve as a bridge between local organizations and Macalester, enabling both to build on the varied resources of the other.

Community organizations receive assistance from a college student approximately 8-10 hours per week. The College pays the student’s entire wage.

For more information on Off-Campus Student Employment, visit the Community Engagement Center’s website.