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Hiring a Student Worker

Recruitment of work-study and student worker jobs occurs in Workday. In addition to payroll activities, hiring managers are able to use Workday to post work-study and non-work-study positions to a student-specific career site, accept online applications from the active student population, and extend offers and student offer letters. Students will search and apply for positions from this career site, all within Workday.

See the following information below:

  • Hiring a Federal Work-Study Student.
  • Hiring a Non-Work Study Student.
  • Hiring an International Student Worker.
  • After Hiring a Student Worker.
    • Re-Hires and New Hires.
    • Hiring a Student in Workday.
    • Graduate Students with a Monthly Job and Student Worker Job.
    • Additional paperwork is required for International Students.

Federal Work-Study Student

A federal work-study student is a student who is approved for a federal work-study award. The federal work-study program is a federally subsidized work program, which provides employment opportunity to undergraduate and graduate students. The program pays a portion of the student’s pay wage, which provides a discount to the hiring department.

To hire a federal work study student, inform your business administrator to have job approved

Non-Work Study Student Worker

A student worker is any undergraduate or graduate student not receiving federal or university work assistance. The employing department pays 100% of the student’s wages.

To hire a student worker, contact your business administrator to discuss your intentions to hire a student worker and determine hourly pay rate.

International Student Worker

An international student worker is a foreign student who is approved for an international work-study award. The international work-study program is a University subsidized work program, which provides employment opportunity to eligible international undergraduate students. The program pays a portion of the students pay rate, which provides a discount to the hiring department.

To hire an international work study student, inform business administrator to have job approved

Penn Global also provides additional information on hiring international students and scholars. Feel free to contact Penn Global, if you have further questions or need clarification on hiring procedure for foreign workers.

After Hiring a Student Worker

Once a student worker has been hired

All offers of employment must be confirmed in writing using a standard format. The offer letter is generated in Workday with limited edits available. An offer letter should be sent to both new hires and rehires. Applicants accepting offers must sign a statement at the bottom of the offer letter, indicating acceptance and understanding of the conditions of the offer. A copy of the signed offer letter will be retained in the staff member’s official Human Resources personnel file and should also be forwarded to the payroll administrator via email or intramural mail. An offer letter is required for a student to complete the onboarding process at Onboard@Penn.


Inquire if the student has worked for the University within the last two years. If the student has worked for the university within the last two years, have the student complete an Employee Information Form and forward it to the department’s Payroll Administrator.

New Hires

If the student has not worked for the university, have the student complete the following information and send the original forms and a signed offer letter or Student Employment Form for work study students to the department’s Payroll Administrator. Each new hire will also need to complete the onboarding and I-9 process. For more information on completing the in-person portion of Onboarding for new hires, see Onboarding and I-9 process.

Hiring a Student in Workday

This tip sheet provides the step-by-step instructions for hiring a student after their records have been loaded into Workday from the student system. Social Security numbers and dates of birth will not be converted, so it will need to be entered into Workday manually when a student is hired.

A Job Requisition is required to create the position in Workday into which the student will be hired. Refer to the Create Student Job Requisition tip sheet for guidance. If you are hiring a student with an existing job at Penn, initiating Hire Student will automatically trigger the Add Job process. If you are hiring a graduate student who has a fellowship role as a student worker, they must be hired as a research assistant.

Hiring a student who does not have an existing job at Penn includes the following steps, each of which are described in the Staffing Event: Hire Student tip sheet:

  • Initiate Hire
  • Propose Compensation Hire
  • Assign Costing Allocations
  • Change Organization Assignments
  • Edit IDs
  • Edit Personal Information
  • Onboarding Setup

Review the Student Worker Structure in Workday for supplemental guidance on processing Student Workers in Workday, including positions, employee type, compensation, and payroll.

Graduate Students with a Monthly Job and Student Worker Job

If a student has a monthly job (i.e., grad students with a TA role), but is hired for an additional student worker job, they must be paid by way of the Graduate Student Worker Monthly One Time Payment in Workday. For these roles, an offer letter and the standard hiring steps outside of Workday still need to be completed. A template for the offer letter is available here. In addition, the One Time Payment is issued on the student’s primary role, and must have a time sheet attached. A template for the timesheet is available here.

Additional paperwork required for International Student

If the new hire is a non-work-study student worker, inform your payroll administrator of the new hire by e-mail and include the following information:

  1. Name of hire
  2. The individual who reviews the Social Security card should complete and submit a “Verification of Social Security Card”.
  3. Start date and End date of position
  4. Hourly Rate
  5. Type of hire (Federal Student Worker, Student Worker, or Temp)
  6. If new hire is new to the university or has worked for the university previously.