Student Employment

If student employees are unable to resolve an employment action directly with their supervisor, they can contact the University of Alaska Human Resources department for assistance. Student employees can also utilize the UA Confidential Hotline to submit a complaint anonymously. For disputes related to student employment, refer to Regents’ Policy and University Regulation Chapter 09.05.

Regents' Policy & University Regulation

(Note: This Handbook is not the official publication of Regents' Policy & University Regulation. Policies and regulations may be updated from time to time. To see the current versions, please visit the Board of Regents website.)

Chapter 09.05 - Employment of Students

P09.05.010. General Statement: Employment of Students. 

A.  The University of Alaska will provide opportunities appropriate for employment of its students. 

B.  Students will be accorded fair and equal opportunity to enter into and continue in university employment on the basis of eligibility, qualifications and performance. 

C.  Employment opportunities specifically made available for students are intended to supplement other sources of a student’s financial support and promote academic and career development. 

D.  All student employment positions have potential to serve as learning opportunities. Supervisors are encouraged to: (1) develop learning outcomes for all student employee positions, (2) engage student employees in developmental conversations about the learning outcomes, and (3) periodically review the position responsibilities and employee performance to ensure learning outcomes remain appropriate and achievable. 

E.   The chancellor of each university after conferring with student government, will establish rules and procedures which encourage the creation of opportunities for student employment and which recruit, screen, select and employ students to appropriate positions. 

F.   Student positions such as fellowships, graduate assistantships, internships, resident firefighters, campus security officers, or employment directly related to a program of study may require other pay type or terms and conditions not covered by this policy.


P09.05.020. Terms and Conditions of Student Employment.

A.  Student employment status will be defined as nonexempt, temporary employment that is non-continuous and variable as necessitated by both department requirements and student academic schedules. 

B.  Student employment has been designated as at-will employment. Because of the at-will nature of student employment, the student employee or the university may terminate employment at any time for any reason or no reason. Notice of termination initiated by either the student or the university must be made in writing. A student may appeal a decision to terminate to the director of the regional human resources office. This review and determination is the university’s final decision and is the exclusive remedy. Where applicable, the notification of final decision will also state that further redress of a final decision may be had only by filing an appeal with the Superior Court of Alaska in accordance with Alaska Appellate Rule 602(a)(2) within thirty (30) days from the date of the final decision.

C.  To be eligible for employment as a student assistant, an applicant must:

1.  be enrolled in the university system with a minimum of six credit hours in the current semester of employment; or 

2.  have been enrolled the preceding semester for six or more credit hours and demonstrate plans to enroll for six or more credit hours in the next semester for employment between semesters; and

3.  have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) or approval from the chancellor or the chancellor’s designee.

D.  Students enrolled in non-traditional programs of study will be considered eligible for employment as a student assistant with the approval of the senior student services officer. 

E.   Individual campuses may implement more stringent eligibility requirements than those set out in C-D of this section. Regional human resources offices will make information regarding eligibility criteria available to students, faculty, and staff. 

F.   Because employment must not interfere with class attendance, a student will not be eligible for employment as a student assistant when the defined hours of work would interfere with the student’s academic schedule unless revised hours of work can be accommodated by the hiring department.


P09.05.022. Limitations to Student Employment.

A person employed in a student assistant job may not simultaneously hold a regular, term or temporary position with the university.


P09.05.024. Recruitment, Screening, Selection, and Placement

The recruitment, screening, selection, and placement procedures for employment of students are generally defined in regents’ policy and university regulation on recruiting and staffing of personnel. However, in order to accommodate academic requirements, administrative efficiency, or other reasons identified in writing by the hiring authority or university, the regional human resources office or affirmative action officer may approve specific processes if they are in compliance with appropriate state and federal law.


P09.05.026. Compensation.

A.  The salary schedule for employment of student assistants will be designed to compensate for skill level, responsibility, and experience requirements. It will take into consideration such things as the level of supervision required and the non-monetary benefits provided: flexibility to accommodate academic schedules, on-the-job-training, the promotion of academic and career development, the position’s eligibility to students only, and the advantages of working in the university community.

B.  The salary schedule and criteria for placement and movement will be set forth in university regulation.


P09.05.028. Exemptions from Deductions Required by the Internal Revenue Service.

To be considered exempt from Social Security and Medicare tax, student employees must meet enrollment requirements stipulated by the Internal Revenue Service. The regional human resources offices will maintain, and make available, information regarding student taxation.


P09.05.030. Hours of Employment.

Student employment will normally not exceed 20 hours per week during a semester or 40 hours per week between semesters or during summer sessions. Regular and reoccurring exceptions to this schedule must be made in writing and approved in advance by the chancellor or his/her designee. Notification of approved exceptions must be sent to the regional human resources office. International students in the U.S. immigration status F-1 or J-1 are restricted to no more than 20 hours of employment per week during a semester in accordance with U.S. immigration regulations.


P09.05.032. Employment Files.

Employment-related files will not be included in a student's educational record, except for that portion of the employment experience that pertains to academic performance.


R09.05.020. Terms and Conditions of Student Employment

  1. Job Classification for student assistant employment and appropriate wage level assignments are made by the regional human resources office in consultation with the hiring authority. The nature of the need for temporary support and the non-monetary benefits will be identified by the hiring authority. Jobs will be defined in writing using a job form approved by the regional human resources office. 
  2. Student assistant positions will be assigned at one of three grade levels based on the following criteria:
    1. Student Assistant A

      Works under direct supervision. Duties generally are routine in nature and decision-making is limited (e.g., may make routine decisions about assigned work in absence of immediate supervision.) May require some previous training, experience and/or knowledge. Examples of typical work include: general office work (e.g., reception, record maintenance, word processing, computer data entry); general laboratory support (e.g., organizing lab supplies, animal care, setting up equipment, maintaining simple records of experiments/projects.) 
    2. Student Assistant B

      Works under general or intermittent supervision. Duties are varied and require some independent judgment. Decision-making may be required in the minor revision of standard judgment. Typically requires previous training and experience (e.g., one year). Some college or comparable experience may be necessary. May require mechanical or technical ability/knowledge. Examples of typical work include: coordinating activities for a function or project; advance office/administrative duties; maintaining computer equipment; basic computer programming; assisting a skilled crafts or tradesperson. 
    3. Student Assistant C

      Works under general direction. Duties require considerable knowledge and skills. Exercises independent judgment and decision-making in developing new procedures or techniques. May involve supervision of other student employees. Examples of typical work include: performing complex computer programming, network operations or troubleshooting; advance technical computer maintenance; research, writing or assisting in writing technical reports; assisting in complex technical aspects of complex projects. May be responsible for a facility, building, activity, or program. May coordinate the use of equipment, building space, or programs.


R09.05.026. Compensation.

The student assistant salary schedule contains multiple steps for each grade level.

  1. Initial hire rate into a new or different position, will be at the minimum rate in the assigned grade level. Exceptions may be considered only in cases of documented marketplace necessity, or exceptional qualifications. Requests for exceptional step placement must be made, in writing, to the regional human resources director, showing documented reasons for the exception. 
  2. Salary step progression occurs annually through continued satisfactory performance by the student in the same assigned student grade level. Two semesters of active satisfactory performance within a twelve-month period will warrant a one step increase on their anniversary date. Employment for at least twelve weeks during the summer will be equivalent to one semester. 
  3. Requests for approval of additional step movement will be considered under exceptional circumstances or for extraordinary performance. Requests must be made, in writing, to the regional human resources director, showing justification for salary adjustment. Student salary schedules are available at