Student workers have no limit of hours permitted to work

SMELANDA JEAN-BAPTISTE, Staff Writer—A common perception on campus is that students can only work an average of 10 hours a week, which varies depending on your student status, such as whether you are a domestic or international student, or receive federal work study. However, Alexis Hanscel, Benefits and Payroll specialist, contends that there is no set limit, regardless of a student’s status.

“There used to be a limit that students could not work more than 10 hours per week and that was to keep your focus on your academics, which is still a top priority. But we do understand that certain students have federal work study, they have needs outside of just being here to learn.”

There is, however, a designated amount of hours that students are allocated to work per academic year. Elizabeth Taylor, Senior Assistant Director of Financial Aid, affirms that students can regulate their weekly work hours how they like, but they cannot exceed the yearly limit, which is 300 hours for domestic students and 600 hours for international students. This is where the misconception of the 10 and 20 hour work limit comes in.
“It’s not necessarily 10 hours a week, it’s 300 hours a year,” Taylor summarizes.

Taylor is tasked with monitoring student employment to determine where students are at for their yearly eligibility. Students who are approaching their limit early in the academic year are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Reasons for overworking often vary, such as going abroad in the spring, or graduating early. One’s financial status, a student’s grades, department budgets, and more are all taken into account in the review, which will determine whether the student can continue working.

The news on student hours is beneficial to those like Isaac Andrews 21’, who works on-campus at the costume shop and as a peer safety monitor. He, like many others, was not aware of the change on weekly hours.

“It’s a good thing. It makes students more independent and those who need it can benefit from it the most. It’s a big step for adulting.”

Despite the lack of a weekly limit, Hancel says that it is still typical to see an average of 10 hours per week on the timesheets she approves.

Of course, employers are able to regulate the amount of hours their student employees can work. Departments are encouraged to seek out student workers for jobs before reaching outside of Denison.

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