Section 600: Student Affairs

Effective: October 1, 1993
Revised: January 2020
Review Date: January 2022
Responsible Party: Director of Human Resources


This policy affects any student who has completed registration at Montana State University Northern for the current semester and is enrolled for at least 6 credits.

Departments must complete a campus job announcement for all positions and post the positions in CareerExpress, Northern's student career management program. The announcement will include: job title, approximate hours of work required each week, the wage and immediate supervisor's name. The Career Center is available to assist with this process.

The supervisor must interview and hire the student as well as handle disciplinary actions with the guidance of the Director of Human Resources.

The supervisor must return the "Student Employment Certification" or "College Work-Study Certification" card and the student must return all necessary employment paperwork to Human Resources before payroll can be set up. Student workers cannot start work until Human Resources has approved their new hire documentation, including the I-9 paperwork. Human Resources provides Business Services with payroll information for the new hires. New hires and/or wage rate changes may not be processed if they are not received by Business Services at least seven days prior to the end of the payroll period.

Student workload limitations. The student may not work more than 20 hours per week (except cooperative education and stipend positions) during Fall and Spring Semesters when classes, in which he/she is enrolled, are in session. If a scheduled vacation period falls within his/her period of eligibility, and is one week or longer in duration, a student may work up to 40 hours per week. Because of the limited number of jobs available and the increasing number of qualified student employee applicants, it is strongly recommended that no student be employed in more than one position. If for some reason a student is employed in two jobs, her/his total work time may not exceed 20 hours per week.

During Summer Semester, a student may work up to 40 hours per week, but if they are not enrolled for at least 6 credits, they will be classified as a temporary employee until they change their credit load the following semester.

Wage rates. All wage rates must meet or exceed state minimum wage/hourly and be consistent and comply with the guidelines and policies in place as directed by the Director of Human Resources. If an error is made concerning student hourly wages, and does not comply with these guidelines, the student will be given a six month grace period during which time they will receive the original salary. After six months, the student's hourly wage will be amended to meet the guidelines.

If the supervisor wishes to increase a student's wage rate, a Student Employee Wage Rate Request must be received and approved by the Director of Human Resources.

Student employees are covered under Worker's Compensation but are not eligible for benefits such as vacation pay, sick leave pay, employer health insurance, retirement contributions, or unemployment compensation.

Time sheets are to be completed electronically at the end of the payroll period by the student employee and approved by the supervisor. Record total hours worked during the month to the nearest 1/4 hour.

All student payroll checks will be available to the student at the Business Office on MSU-Northern's established payday. Students have the option for electronic deposit of their payroll checks. To initiate electronic deposit, students must complete a form available in Business Services or Human Resources.

Hiring non-students in a student position. In the event an office cannot be staffed with students the following procedure must be followed:

  • The position must be advertised for ten days with the Career Center to ensure access to the position for Montana State University-Northern students.
  • If no students are available or if schedules are not compatible, an office may hire a non-student, but they must be over the age of 16. However; the position will remain classified as a student position. Paperwork for non-students is handled by Human Resources.
  • The individual hired may remain in the position until the beginning of the next semester. At that time the position must be reopened for ten days. If Montana State University-Northern students apply, they will be given priority in hiring decisions.
  • For summer employment, non-students may not be hired prior to the last day of Spring Semester.