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Division of Human Resources

Getting Started

Congratulations.  Now that you are on the path to becoming a student employee of USC, there are a few things that you need to do before your first day of work.

To help you get off to a great start as a student employee at USC, here’s an overview of the student hire process.


Onboarding refers to the process through which you are hired as a USC employee and learn how to perform the duties and responsibilities of your new job.  While each department has a unique onboarding process, all new student employees must complete certain required forms.

Receiving a student job offer may be verbal or in writing depending on the department's process. However, once you are hired into the HR/Payroll system, a system-generated email confirmation including the specifics of the start date, pay rate, hours per week, supervisor, and other pertinent information are sent to your USC email address. Be on the lookout for it and complete all required tasks!

Most students do not require a background screening unless they fall into certain categories:

  • handling money,
  • working with minors,
  • involved with direct patient care, or
  • have key access.

If a background screening is required, you will receive an email from HireRight that will direct you to complete online forms.

The background invitation must be completed within 5 business days or the invitation will expire, and your department will be notified.

To ensure there is no delay in processing your background screening provide all required information.

All U.S. employers are responsible for the completion and retention of Form I-9’s for each individual hired for employment in the United States, including citizens and non-citizens.

You will receive an email to your USC email account from I-9 Advantage and you must complete Section 1 of the I-9 form in this automated system.

You will then need to bring original identification/employment eligibility verification documents to your student hire representative no later than the 3rd day of work (within three days of your hire).

Visit USCIS I-9 Central for a list and examples of acceptable documents.

Unless you have completed a Form I-9 AND had your documents verified by a hiring representative within 3 days of hire, you are not permitted to work or receive a paycheck.

Once your hire is approved in the HR/Payroll system, you will be prompted to log in and complete several onboarding tasks in Self Service. These will include some key steps which help to ensure you receive your first paycheck in a timely manner.

To compete these tasks sign in to the HR/Payroll system. When logging in, you will use your Network Username and password. This single sign-on requires two-factor authentication (DUO).

Direct Deposit

If it is your first time working as a student employee for USC, or if it has been a while since you received a paycheck, you MUST set up/update your Direct Deposit information in the HR Payroll system to ensure your direct deposit account is ready for your first paycheck.  Follow the step-by-step direct deposit instructions to ensure the timely deposit of your paycheck.

Failure to complete this critical step may cause a delay in the receipt of your pay.

W-4 and SC W-4

 As a new student employee, you are required to complete Form W-4 and SC W-4 for tax withholding. If you are an international student employee, you must contact Payroll to complete these forms as they will be display only in the HR/Payroll system.

These forms tell your employer how much federal and state taxes to withhold from each paycheck. As your employer, USC will remit the tax withheld from each paycheck to the IRS and the state of South Carolina on your behalf.

The Payroll department provides information and resources to help you complete the W-4 and SC W-4 tax withholding forms.

As your employer, USC is prohibited from giving you any tax advice, including what to put on a tax form, and you should rely on the official instructions or a tax advisor.

ACA Acknowledgment

As your employer, USC is required to provide you the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Market Exchange Notice which includes answers to questions regarding the Health Insurance Marketplace.

You are required to complete an acknowledgment [pdf] that you have received the notice and that you understand the provisions regarding health insurance and its potential impact on you.


New Student Employee Checklist

Download this Student Employment Checklist [pdf] to track completion of required tasks.



If you are a graduate student with an assistantship, such as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, you may be eligible for health insurance and tuition remission benefits. Visit the Graduate School for more information. 

The Student Health Insurance Plan is an excellent match for students. It offers comprehensive benefits, low premiums, low co-pays and zero on-campus deductibles. The plan also covers mental health, vision, and dental services. Review the Student Health Insurance Plan for more information.

The Student Health Plan meets the ACA requirements for individual coverage.

ACA Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

Student employees will receive the ACA Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt [pdf] in the same manner as other types of employees.

Eligibility for Summer Employment

Generally, summer employment is considered seasonal work for student hires and state benefits will not be extended. However, an offer of employer coverage will be extended to student employees who qualify based on the ACA and university guidelines. The Benefits Office is responsible for determining eligibility for state benefits. If you have specific questions or concerns that our team can help you address, please contact the Benefits Office at or 803-777-6650.

Visit the Division of Human Resources website for more information about state benefits.

Eligibility for Employment Outside of Summer 

Student employees scheduled to work 30 or more hours per week in a single position may be eligible for state benefits. Student employees working in multiple positions are evaluated for eligibility on their earliest hire date and annually thereafter. The Benefits Office is responsible for determining eligibility for state benefits. If you have specific questions or concerns that our team can help you address, please contact the Benefits Office at or 803-777-6650.

Visit the Division of Human Resources for more information about state benefits.



Work Schedule and Leave

The following information outlines relevant policies and best practices regarding work schedules and leave for student employees.

Your work schedule, that is the specific hours worked, is typically based on the needs of your supervisor and your availability.

Graduate Students

If you are a graduate student employee, it is recommended that you not work more than 20 hours per week.  For more information, review university policy ACAF 4.0.

Undergraduate Students

            If you are an undergraduate, you should not work more than 20 hours per week during the academic
            terms in which you are enrolled and 37.5 hours per week during official school breaks.

Federal Work Study Positions

If you are a student employee holding a Federal Work Study job, under program regulations, you may not work more than 20 hours per week and 37.5 hours per week during official school breaks in that position.

International Students

If you are an international student employee, you may not work more than 20 hours per week except during official school breaks.  For more information, visit International Student Services.

Student employees are not eligible to receive vacation or sick leave.

Talk to your supervisor about their preferred means of communication and documentation when you are unable to work.

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