Important Information for International Students

If you are an International Student who has never been assigned a social security number, you must apply for one at the Social Security Administration office located at 1202 E South 11th.  To apply for your social security card, you will need to have an on-campus job and the following:

  1. Passport
  2. 1-20
  3. 1-94, code F1
  4. ACU ID
  5. Two form letters from the Center for International and Intercultural Education (International Office)

After you have applied for your social security card, bring your passport, VISA, ACU ID, I-94, I-20, and checking account information to Human Resources.  You may fill out your paperwork without your social security card, but once your social security card arrives in the mail, you must bring it to Human Resources.

Policy No. 011
May 2000
Reviewed July 2004


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines and definitions for supervisors as they hire student employees at Abilene Christian University under compliance rules of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) as well as ACU policy.

The policy  applies to all undergraduate students who are working for ACU while attending school at ACU.

Students who are employed by ACU are exempt from paying Social Security taxes if they are enrolled and attending classes in a minimum of half time hours. (For International students, see Section VII.)  This exemption applies to employment which continues during school breaks of 5 weeks or less.  Any break in status that lasts 5 weeks or more discontinues the Social Security exemption.  (See Section V.)  The Student PAF is the appropriate form to use and must be submitted on time in order to pay the student on time.

If an international student holds a F-1, J-1, M-1, or Q-1 Visa and is classified as a non-resident alien, he/she is exempt from paying Social Security taxes.  (See Section VII for additional information concerning employment of international students.)

Texas Pay Day Law requires that hourly paid employees must be paid at least semi-monthly.

Students should work no more than 20 hours per week.  This includes all ACU jobs. If a student has more than one position, the cumulative hours should be no more than 20 hours per week.

Definition of Student Employees
A student employee is defined as an ACU student who is taking at least a half-time course load.  A half-time course work load is defined as 6 hours for both undergraduate and graduate studies during Spring and Fall terms and 3 hours during Maymester and Summer terms.

Student Employees
Individuals whose employment is incidental to their status of at least half-time students at the university.  Individuals who have been admitted to the university, who take at least half time coursework during each semester, and are simultaneously employed.  A half-time load is defined as 6 hours for undergraduate studies and graduate studies.  Employees on student payroll are limited to no more than 20 hours per week.

Maymester and Summer Terms
In order to maintain student employment status and benefit from the Social Security exemption, the student must be enrolled in one 3-hour course concurrently while working.

If the semester term is less than 5 weeks, and the student is enrolled in the appropriate number of hours for the term before and after the employment, the exemption remains.  If the term is more than 5 weeks, and the student is enrolled in the term before and after the break, the exemption is discontinued.

Student work is limited to no more than 20 cumulative hours per week.  Any exception to the 20 hours per week for Maymester and Summer terms must be made by the director of Human Resources.

If the department hires a student who is not enrolled in Maymester or Summer terms, but is enrolled in Spring and Fall terms, the student should be hired as temporary staff for the summer months.  All taxes, as with any other staff employee, apply.  A staff PAF must be submitted to Human Resources using the temporary staff line item of the budget as the account number.  The student line items may not be used to pay temporary staff.

Last Semester Enrolled
If a student is enrolled in his/her last semester, and will graduate at the end of the semester, an exception may be made to be enrolled in less than 6 hours and work for ACU.  For example, if the student only needs 3 more hours to graduate, the student may work during the last semester and receive the Social Security exemption.  The exemption applies for only one semester.

International Students
The INS requires that an international student must be enrolled in 12 undergraduate hours or 9 graduate hours to be eligible to work at ACU.  The international student does not have to be enrolled in Maymester or Summer terms to work for ACU during those times but must be enrolled in the appropriate hours during the long semester (Spring or Fall) immediately prior to the work.