Lovett Hall at sunset

Supervisor Resources FAQs

Federal Work Study and Rice Work employment is coordinated through the Office of Financial Aid. The following FAQs may be of help if you are considering hiring student workers. 



1) How do I post a job and view applicant profiles?

Supervisors are strongly encouraged to use the Rice Job Board to post student jobs and view applicant profiles. To register as a supervisor, please go to the Rice Job Board at and click on “Supervisors” on the left side of the page. Follow the instructions that appear.

Supervisors may advertise jobs through traditional ways – word of mouth, bulletin boards, or campus listserves – but using the Rice Job Board helps students to do job searches at one easy location. The Rice Job Board also gives supervisors the advantage of a larger pool of applicants to their job postings.


2) How do I determine our student worker's rate of pay?

Rice does not publish a standard wage rate chart for student workers. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State and local governments.

  • All student workers MUST be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. 
  • Wage rates should be based on the student’s skill level and work performed. 
    • If a student’s skill level depends on his or her academic advancement, you may pay a student on that basis.
      • For example, a junior or third-year lab student may be paid a higher rate than a sophomore or second-year lab student.  
  • In most cases, students should be paid a comparable wage to non-student employees performing comparable work. 
  • It is not acceptable to base the wage rate on financial need, federal work-study award amount or on any other factor not related to the student’s skills or job description. 
  • Student workers may be offered a pay increase or a raise based on exceptional performance, seniority or any other lawful reason as determined by the supervisor. 

If you would like to see what other departments are paying, go to the Rice Job Board and browse jobs by logging in as an applicant.


3) How do I hire a student?

Students may use the Rice Job Board to view and apply for jobs whether the jobs are funded through Rice Work or Federal Work Study (FWS). Registered supervisors may view and hire applicants for posted positions. A hired student will need to print out a Student Personnel Action Form (SPAF) from his or her ESTHER account. You must complete, sign, and return the SPAF form to the Office of Financial Aid-MS 12.

Students being hired for the first time must also submit a completed Form I-9 and Form W-4 with their SPAF. Please keep copies for your own records. Students may not begin work or be paid until the Form I-9 is completed. For more details on what is required to complete the I-9 Form, please click here.

Caution: Students should self-report to you that they are recipients of Federal Work Study. Please ask the student to show you the printed financial aid award page from ESTHER that verifies the Federal Work Study award. Rice does not award any FWS during the summer semester


4) What forms do I need to fill out?

The Rice Job Board allows you to post your job positions and view applicants; however, you must complete and send the following forms to the Office of Financial Aid to complete the hiring process. 

Take great care when hiring International Students. F-1 and J-1 students can jeopardize their authorization to attend school in the United States if they work even one day without proper authorization. Please refer to the Employment Resources web page of the Office of International Students & Scholars for additional information.


5) How does Federal Work Study work?

Federal Work Study is a part-time employment program for students who have demonstrated financial need according to eligibility criteria set forth by the federal government. Students are limited to earning the dollar amount shown on their award letter.

Through Federal Work Study, 75 percent of the students' wages are paid with a federal grant, and 25 percent are paid by the department that employs them.  The Office of Financial Aid pays any fringe.

  • Work-study awards are awarded to students, not departments, based on financial eligibility. Each year, Rice University receives a fixed amount of work-study funds for its students.
  • Seventy-five percent of the students' wages are paid for with a federal grant, and 25 percent are paid by the department that employs them. The Office of Financial Aid pays any fringe.
  • Work-study awards are need-based awards. If a student has no unmet financial need (as defined by Rice), the student will not qualify for a work-study award. Students must have a work-study award offer from the Office of Financial Aid in order to be employed using work-study funds.
  • There is a limit to the amount of work-study funds students can earn. This amount is listed on their financial aid award letters.
  • The Student Personnel Action (PA) Form also indicates a student's total award offer. If the student has been previously employed during the same academic year, the student will have less funding available. When hiring students, please inquire about their prior or current work history at Rice during that academic year.
  • The Office of Financial Aid will receive a monthly update from the Accounting Office listing the amount of work-study funds earned by students. If the report shows that a student has less than $300 in work-study eligibility left, our office will notify the sponsoring department.
  • If a student earns more than his or her work-study award, the sponsoring department will be charged the overage.
  • Work-study award offers are cancelled by November 1 if students have not become employed. If a student wishes to seek employment after November 1 and a department desires to pay him or her using work-study funds, the student should contact the Office of Financial to discuss whether funds are still available.


6) What is the Rice Work Program and how does it work?

The Rice Work Program is an institutional employment program sponsored by various departments to provide on-campus employment opportunities to Rice students. Students need not be financial aid recipients to be employed through this program.

In order to be eligible for employment through the Rice Work Program during the fall and spring terms, students must be enrolled at least half-time in for-credit courses at Rice University. (Half-time is defined as 6 credit hours for undergraduates and 5 hours for graduate students.)

During the summer, students must meet one of the following criteria to qualify for employment:

  • be a current student who is registered for the upcoming fall term, OR
  • be an entering student in the upcoming fall term who has accepted an offer of admission in writing, OR
  • be a student who is enrolled in for-credit coursework at Rice during the June/July summer session.

To hire a student, the sponsoring department should ask the student to complete a Student Personnel Action Form and submit the form to the Office of Financial Aid for initial processing. PA forms are available to students online through ESTHER. Students who have difficulty logging into ESTHER should contact the Office of the Registrar.

The Payroll Office may request additional employment forms from a student. All students in the Rice Work Program are subject to federal employment rules and regulations. Furthermore, students employed through Rice Work are not eligible for benefits eligible. For questions related to the payroll process, including timesheet deadlines and pay dates, please contact the Payroll Office.


7) Can I hire students to work during the summer?

Students may work through Rice Work during the summer. During the summer, students must be registered for the upcoming fall term, OR be an entering student who has accepted an offer of admission for the upcoming fall term, OR be enrolled in credit coursework at Rice during the June/July summer session.


8) What about department prizes and end-of-year awards?

The Office of Financial Aid must process any student awards and prizes through our office. All scholarships, awards and prizes will be applied towards students' accounts. In order to provide a student with a prize or end-of-year award during graduation or an award ceremony, please provide our office with individual check requests including the student's name and ID number and allow a maximum of 10 days for processing. Once we process the request, we will forward it to the Cashier's Office, which will generate the check. In the event that a student is not actively registered during that term, the Office of Financial Aid will approve the check request to be processed by Payment Solutions. Please see the web pages of the Controller's office for more information.


9) May International Students apply for my jobs?

F-1 or J-1 students may work on campus, but they must obtain the appropriate work authorization before starting to work. If a student works even one day before or after the authorization, he or she must leave the U.S. or face deportation. Please see the web pages of the Office of International Students & Scholars for more information. The Office of Financial Aid does not advise supervisors on this topic. Please contact the OISS at (713) 348-6095.