Finance & Administration

Undergraduate Student Employment


Undergraduate students are employed in a variety of positions within the university and Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. They are hired into biweekly positions and paid an hourly wage. During the academic year students are limited to 19.9 hours per week of work; during the summer unenrolled students are eligible to work a full 40.0 hours per week.

Several elements to consider when employing undergraduate students:

  • Types of Position - There are a variety of student positions available for employment from courier and general office assistants to Undergraduate Teaching Assistants (UTAs).  The same employment processes are followed regardless of the type of position; however, there is also a policy for use of UTAs within Trinity College.
  • Funding - There are three types of funding for student employment:
    • Federal work-study is awarded to undergraduates as part of their financial aid package.  The Federal work-study program will subsidize 75% of a student's earnings for participating employers.
    • Duke work-study is awarded to those students who are not eligible for federal aid, but do qualify for some institutional aid programs.  Students who receive Duke work-study will have 50% of their earnings subsidized by institutional funds.
    • Non work-study positions are supported 100% by institutional funds.

See also:  Office of Financial Aid Information


1. Determining the position

A position must exist before a person can be hired into the SAP system. See Position Management (pdf) for step by step instructions on how to create a student position. Student positions are express classification positions so once the position exists the next step is hire/transfer the student.  Please note iForms access is required in order to initiate these actions.  If you do not have iForms access please contact your departmental business manager. SAP/iForms rights are authorized through our office by Kurt Avery.

2. Hiring

In order to determine if you are hiring a student or transferring him/her from another department, you must first verify whether the student is already on payroll. Contact Corporate Payroll (684-2642) or Human Resources Information Center (684-5600) with the DUID or SSN (the DUID is preferred). If the student is not already employed elsewhere in the University or Health System select Hire from the iForms page.

New Hires

HR Documents and forms (Click for full listing)

Students should complete:
    •    The I-9 US Employment Eligibility Verification Form
    •    NC-4 Tax Form; W-4 Tax Form;
    •    Direct Deposit Authorization Agreement.

These forms should be delivered to HRIC within 3 days of initiating the hire form.

Note:  Students with Foreign National status should have their I-9 form completed at the International Office.


If it is determined the student is currently on payroll in another department or division you must decide if you are transferring the student or if a secondary position should be established.

Transferring the student means they will no longer be working for their current department – verify this with the student and the current department's payroll representative prior to completing the transfer iForm.

Note: Transfers between departments work more effectively if the transfer dates are at the beginning of a pay period. If transfer dates cannot be at the beginning of the pay period, they must be at the beginning of the second week.

See also:  Biweekly Payroll Schedule

Secondary Positions

Secondary Positions – Use the secondary position form for recording information when employees divide their time among two or more positions in the Duke system. The 19.9 hours per week  limit is the maximum hours for all positions combined. All secondary positions must be authorized by both primary and secondary departments.

Note: Secondary position forms with retroactive effective dates require budgetary approval from our office prior to submitting to the Provost Office or HRIC. Please contact Lisa Daniels @ 684-1859 for assistance.

Instructions for the Secondary Position Form

3. Terminations

Students should be terminated from payroll when they are no longer working for your department and/or have graduated from the university. In general it is not recommended to place students on leave of absence during semester breaks or summer break.
4. Workflow Approval Routing

Student iforms should be initiated by a designated individual(s) in each department other than the departmental business manager. The departmental business manager is responsible for approving these transactions.  When cases arise that the departmental business manager is not able to approve these transactions it is possible for someone in the Office of Finance and Administration to provide backup assistance.  These cases should be infrequent in nature and prior arrangements should be made by contacting Kathy Agusta.