Hiring Student Employees

Congratulations on choosing to positively impact a student! While the primary motivator for your student to find a job could be financial reasons, as a supervisor you will be making a huge impact in their educational achievement. Most students spend 12-15 hours a week with all of their professors combined, and they spend that same amount of time with you in their job! With that in perspective, hiring a student worker also means that you have the opportunity to actively prepare and develop that student for their future career.

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Student Employment Encourages all GVSU Departments to post any part-time job positions on Handshake. Handshake is an ideal way for Grand Valley students to search for on campus employment with ease. Recently accepted first-year students can utilize Handshake to find an on campus job before beginning their first year as a Laker soon after they register for orientation. Similarly, we encourage on campus departments to post job openings early (mid-summer) so that students and supervisors can plan their schedule for Fall semester.

Supervisors should read through the Supervisor Handbook to obtain valuable information regarding policies, procedures, and common practice for student employment.

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Equal Opportunity Employment

All on-campus departments can post positions for Grand Valley students (undergraduates and graduates) within Student Employment's Handshake system.

Departments are strongly encouraged to post their positions through Handshake. According to the policies set forth by the Grand Valley Board of Trustees, all personnel are responsible for "the enthusiastic application of all laws and regulations concerning fair employment practices, equal opportunity, etc., to all matters with respect to recruitment, appointment, assignment, and promotion of university's personnel. Matters of affirmative action are outlined in the "Affirmative Action Program" maintained in the affirmative action office."  You can view additional policies approved by the University's Board of Trustees and President's Cabinet at www.gvsu.edu/policies.  

In order to be in compliance with the Grand Valley policy and Federal law, all students must receive fair employment practices and opportunity in regards to recruitment, appointment, and assignment which can occur if all open positions for student employees are posted through Handshake. 

Types of student employees

Options and advantages

What is the difference between "Federal Work-Study" and "Non-Work-Study"? Nothing different from the applicant pool, but a difference to your budget. 

  • Federal Work-Study is a federal program that subsidizes the employers part of the cost of paying student employees. The department will only be responsible for paying 25% of the student's wage, and the Federal Work Study funds will pay the remaining 75%. This can allow more student workers to be hired or reduce your current budget. Students qualify by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrating financial need. 
  • Non-Work-Study is a Grand Valley student employee position in which the department will be responsible for 100% of the student's wage. 


Policies and Standard Practices

  • Students may work as a student employee as long as they are enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits. Enrollment is actively monitored and enrollment below minimum will result in termination as a student employee.
  • Students may work more than one job at a time.
  • Students are not eligible for paid sick, vacation, or personal time.
  • Students cannot work more than 25 hours per week while classes are in session.
  • Students can work up to 40 hours per week when classes are not in session.
  • If a student has accepted a Federal Work Study award, ALL positions will be Federal Work Study positions until the student has exhausted their Federal Work Study award.
  • Students can work up to 40 hours per week during the Spring/Summer as long as they plan to return during the subsequent fall semester.

Policies and Standard Practices for International Students

  • Students who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents should check with the Padnos International Center prior to seeking employment.
  • Students are legally limited to working no more than 20 hours per week while enrolled during the academic year.
  • Students can work up to 40 hours per week during the Spring/Summer as long as they plan to return during the subsequent fall semester. 
Office Goal

The goal of Student Employment is to provide a centralized source of employment information and opportunities for Grand Valley State University students. We are providing an opportunity for practical work experience as a means of financial assistance while at Grand Valley.

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We'd love to speak with you. Feel free to call our office at (616) 331-3238 or email us at [email protected].

Page last modified April 18, 2022