Student Employee Definitions

A Student Employee is a part-time employee who is currently enrolled in at least a half-time credit load at Georgia Tech with the primary goal of achieving a degree. A Student Employee is considered a temporary employee and is not eligible for benefits. If an undergraduate student is enrolled for 6 credit hours they will be exempt from FICA. If a graduate student is enrolled for 4 credit hours, they will be exempt from FICA. The student FICA exception will not apply to students who are not enrolled in classes during school breaks of more than 5 weeks (including summer breaks of more than 5 weeks). If a student employee does not meet the enrollment hours requirement, they will automatically be enrolled in the Georgia Defined Contribution Plan (GDCP) for temporary employees and subject to a 7.5% deduction and the 1.45% Medicare portion of FICA. There is no employer matching contribution for GDCP; however, there is a matching 1.45% employer Medicare contribution. It is allowable that Georgia Tech hire enrolled students within the University System of Georgia.

There are three categories in which a student can be classified: Graduate, Undergraduate, and CO-OP. They are explained below.


Graduate student employees can be categorized as:

  • Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)
  • Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)
  • Graduate Assistants

GRAs and GTAs are typically hired by the graduate schools to perform assistantships that are related with the student's degree. Graduate Assistants can be hired to perform tasks within your department such as clerical support, web development, etc.

More information regarding appointment of and approvals for hiring GRAs, GTAs and GSAs can be obtained through the Graduate Studies Office and the Office of Academic Affairs.


Undergraduate students are considered Student Assistants. They can perform many jobs within your office such as clerical support, web development, etc.


CO-OP students are those students who are currently in a CO-OP work semester. For more information regarding the CO-OP program, contact the Undergraduate CO-OP and Graduate CO-OP Office. There are special tax withholding rules that apply to CO-OP students (see section on "Tax Withholding on Student Employees").

Find Student Opportunities

Browse the websites below for job opportunities:


Techworks provides the ability for all Georgia Tech employees – faculty, staff and student employees – to view their HR data online. With just the click of a mouse, employees have convenient and secure access to their personal, payroll, and benefits information.  For example, employees can use the system to: 

  • View and update personal contact information (e.g., name, address, phone, emergency contacts)
  • View current and past earnings statements
  • View compensation history
  • View information about the benefits in which they are enrolled
  • View and update direct deposit amounts and account information
  • Change federal tax withholding


General Student Employment
A Georgia Tech student that is enrolled in at least half-time credit hours (6 credits for undergraduates and 4 credits for graduates) is eligible for employment on campus. Other students within the University System of Georgia may be hired as students. Funding for these positions is allocated every fiscal year within each department. Departments pay 100% of the student's salary unless the student has been approved for a Federal Work-Study Award.

Federal Work-Study 
The Federal Work-Study program is a federally funded financial aid program offered to students that have demonstrated a financial need. If a student qualifies for the Federal Work-Study program, a department can hire the student as a FWS Student Assistant.

The FWS will pay 75% of the student's salary up to the allocated award and the department pays the remainder. For more information regarding the Federal Work-Study program, contact the Financial Aid Office.

International Students 
International students that have an F-1 or J-1 Student visa are eligible to work anywhere on campus as a student employee (graduate or undergraduate). The following conditions must be met:

  • F-1 and J-1 students must maintain a full course load of study.The international student can work no more than 20 hours per week during the term and up to 40 hours per week during vacation/holiday periods provided that she/he is enrolled in the next term of study.

For more information regarding the F-1 and J-1 visa status, contact Global HR.


Allowable Work Hours 
Generally, during an enrolled semester or summer, students should work no more than 20 hours per week or 50% time. International students holding either an F-1 or a J-1 visa CANNOT work more than 20 hours per week, or 50% time.

The Graduate Studies Office has published the workload hours for Graduate Students. For more information, contact the Graduate Studies Office.

Tax Withholding on Student Wages 
All employees (including students) must complete a W-4 Form for Federal Withholding and a G-4 Form for State Withholding. Federal and State taxes are taken out of checks according to the withholding specified on these forms.

Students are exempt from FICA withholdings. International students may be exempt from Federal Taxes if she/he is from a country that has a tax treaty with the United States. For more information regarding Tax Treaties, go to the Non-US Citizen Employment Information.

For more specific information regarding tax withholding, contact the IRS or the Georgia Department of Revenue.

Paycheck Information

Once the department has prepared a PSF to hire a student and a student has completed paperwork in the Office of Human Resources, the student will be processed in the HR/Payroll system and is ready to be paid. There are two primary methods for which a student can be paid, depending upon the compensation frequency assigned to the student.

An hourly paid student must submit Time Documents to the work department for each pay period. Without a Time Document, these students will not be paid. For more information regarding completion of Time Documents, contact the Payroll Department.

Students paid on a monthly basis are considered salaried employees. There is no need to submit Time Documents for these students.

It is highly encouraged for students to fill out a direct deposit form and turn it in to the payroll department or to go online and set up direct deposit through TechWorks. How to set up direct deposit on TechWorks:

  1. Log in to TechWorks. If you have not set up an account, contact OIT at 404-894-7173 to activate the account.
  2. Click on "Payroll and Compensation"
  3. Click on "Direct Deposit"
  4. Making sure your pop-up blocker is turned off, click on "verify identity" and log-in again.
  5. Fill out account information accurately.

If the student opts out of direct deposit, paychecks are mailed to the student's Home Address - if the home address changes, it must be updated through TechWorks. Advices are distributed to the Home Department. The Home Department is the department primarily responsible for administrative functions of the student. For graduate students, the Home Department is the student's department of major study. Each department has its own method for advice distribution - be sure to communicate with your students how/when they are to receive their advice.

Note: For more information on when advices are distributed, visit the Payroll page.