Hiring a Student Worker

As of April 13, 2020, there is a University-wide hiring freeze for all new and replacement positions, including student workers, except for grant-funded positions, through June 30, 2021. No hires should be made unless they have been approved through the exception process. Please visit our Exception to the Hiring Freeze Request page (PennKey Required) for details and to submit your request.

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

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

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

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.

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 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.

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.