Compensation, Taxes, & Work-Study

To learn more about your work-study package or the work-study program, see The Financial Aid Office’s Frequently Asked Questions, or email

  • How much do students get paid through an on-campus job? How often do students get paid?

    Campus jobs currently pay at least the Connecticut minimum wage of  $15.69 per hour.

    Jobs that require specific skills, training, or certifications may pay more. Student employees may also qualify for yearly raises in positions they hold for multiple years. All compensation details are included in the position’s Handshake job posting.

    All hourly campus jobs pay students on a weekly basis on Fridays, for work conducted on the Monday – Sunday of the week prior. Students are paid via direct deposit.

    Programs that compensate students on a stipend basis are responsible for sharing compensation details at the time of collecting applications.

  • Do positions for student employees need to disclose wages? For positions that use a pay scale, how do the classification levels of different wages work?

    The Connecticut Department of Labor’s salary range disclosure laws apply to campus jobs. Compensation must be publicly listed on Handshake job postings for prospective student employees.

    If employers use a pay scale for student employees doing the same job, the employer must list the position levels and corresponding hourly rates, as well as indicate at which level the position will start, on the Handshake job posting. Classification levels must be based on years of experience within that position, rather than class year. For example, a first-year student and a sophomore who started a position at the same time should be paid the same wage.

    An example of this job classification pay scale may look like this:
    Entry-Level – $15.69/hour
    Returning Students – Additional $0.50/hour per year worked

  • Can campus employers hire an unpaid volunteer for a position that is typically paid?

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibits employers from hiring unpaid volunteers for paid positions. If the position has the same job description and responsibilities, the employer is prohibited from hiring one paid student and one unpaid volunteer for the same position. The standard is that if the department is paying students, it cannot have unpaid volunteers, even if those unpaid volunteers are receiving course credit. This applies to both on-campus and local employers.

    If federal work-study funds run out for a student in a paid service position, and the department cannot continue to pay them, they cannot continue the position as a volunteer.

  • For student employees receiving course credit, how does compensation work?

    For campus jobs that offer course credit, the student employee’s rate of pay should be the same as it would be if academic credit were not received. Academic credit is not justification for lower pay or no pay. The student employee may not be paid for academic instruction in a classroom, lab, or other setting that replaces the professor’s instruction. Tutoring and supplemental instruction are allowed.

  • Do student employees pay taxes on their campus employment wages?
    Money that students earn via campus employment is taxable income. This includes work-study-eligible students. Your status as a full-time student does not exempt you from federal income taxes (IRS). These federal taxes are deducted from your direct deposit weekly.For more information about filing your tax return (either as a dependent or single), go to the IRS website or contact a tax advisor.Undergraduate students, and most graduate students, are exempt from paying Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes, as long as they are enrolled in classes at least half-time. During break periods that last more than 5 weeks, the FICA exemption does NOT apply.
  • Do student employees qualify for benefits?

    Student employees are considered part-time employees and are prohibited from working over 20 hours per week during the school year, so they do not qualify for benefits.

  • Does a student need to be a financial aid recipient or work-study eligible in order to hold an on-campus job?

    Students who are not eligible for work-study or financial aid are still able to take on-campus jobs. While campus employers can express preference for work-study eligibility in their applications, students are free to apply for any open position, regardless of whether they meet these preferences.

  • If a student is work-study eligible, how does employment and compensation work?

    Positions are not assigned or guaranteed to work-study eligible students— rather, we provide students with tools and guidance to find opportunities that are a fit for their skills, interests, and availability.

    Once hired, students who qualify for federal or institutional work-study will be paid directly for their hours worked. Students will not be paid for any unearned portion of their work-study allotment, nor will they be expected to pay back any unearned portion

  • Why is there no job placement program for campus employment at Wesleyan?

    The Campus Employment team does not place student employees in specific positions because we believe that process would remove students’ agency to decide which job works best for them – including individual preferences like office culture, skill-building opportunities, career interests, and work schedule. Rather than obligating students to take specific positions that may restrict their autonomy, students can view and access all available jobs via Handshake and determine which positions best fit their interests and schedules. Additionally, applying for and interviewing for campus jobs exposes students to the real-life processes of job searches, and prepares them for applying to summer internships as well as preparing them for their professional lives post-graduation.

    Overall, a job search can be as unique as the individual pursuing the role. We welcome you to book an advising appointment for personalized, one-on-one guidance on how to find your best fit. We are also open to feedback about the implementation of a campus job placement program, with the knowledge that campus employment can shift and grow alongside student voices.

  • When is the work-study program in effect? Do remaining work-study balances roll over?

    The work-study program is in effect during the Fall and Spring semesters only. Students who work on-campus during the Winter break dip into their Spring work-study allotment.

    Work-study is allotted on a per-semester basis. Any remaining balances do not roll over into the following semester or year.

  • Are work-study-eligible students required to work? Is there a penalty for students who do not use their full work-study allotment?

    Students with work-study eligibility are not required to work. There is no penalty for students who do not use their full work-study allotment. Additionally, it is uncommon for work-study students at Wesleyan to reach their maximum allotment. Students are not expected to pay back any unearned portion.

  • How can work-study students monitor their balance as the semester progresses?

    Students can view their work-study award balance on Workforce Time, Wesleyan’s timekeeping platform. Students can also confirm their work-study award balance with the Financial Aid Office (

Last Updated 3/22/2024