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Additional Employment

Additional employment for graduate assistants – the “100-hour rule”

WVU’s policy on graduate assistantships states that graduate students may not hold more than the total equivalent of one assistantship (20 hours per week). Assignments that exceed an average of 20 hours per week compromise the ability of students to participate in their graduate programs as full-time students, degrade the quality of the students’ scholarly experience, and prevent the timely completion of their degree requirements.

On rare occasions, graduate students may be hired as hourly workers in addition to their assistantship assignment. To protect these students’ academic standing, the “100-hour rule” is applied for student workers who have assistantships. This policy states that any student who has a regular graduate assistantship may not be employed for more than 100 hours per academic term beyond the assistantship by the home unit or by another unit without the permission of the Office of Graduate Education and Life. The 100-hour rule allows units to hire a graduate student who has an assistantship for incidental hourly work without seeking permission prior to hiring the student. Please be aware, however, that F-1 or J-1 visa holders are restricted to working 20 hours per week when classes are in session and may only work additional hours during breaks.

The EBO placing a graduate student on an hourly assignment should ascertain whether that student is already on an assistantship assignment and should clarify that the student will work no more than 100 hours beyond the assistantship for the semester. A violation of the 100-hour rule may cause the hiring unit to lose its privileges to employ graduate students who are on assistantships.

If a unit wishes to hire a graduate hourly worker for more than 100 hours beyond their assistantship during a regular semester, permission must be sought from the student’s home academic unit and the Office of Graduate Education and Life. In this case, the hiring unit should write a memo describing the student’s duties, why it is critical to hire this person, and how the assignment will reinforce the student’s academic program. The memo should be forwarded to the student’s academic unit for approval and subsequently forwarded to the Office of Graduate Education and Life for final approval.

Students that are enrolled half time or less are permitted to work up to 40 hours per week during the summer term. This change impacts taxes for students enrolled less than half time. As such, business officers and hiring supervisors should provide the “Student Worker Withholding Guidelines” to summer student employees. The updated policy and withholding guidelines are available at the link above. Please note: there were no changes to the 20 hours limitation for fall and spring semesters.