Employment/Volunteering On-Campus

In this page:
On-campus Work Eligibility

On-campus Work Eligibility

On-campus employment must be performed on the school’s premises (including on-location commercial firms that provide services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria). Some exceptions can be made for off-site opportunities that are under St. Olaf employment, such as CURI research, etc. On-site non-St. Olaf employment that does NOT provide direct student services (such as a third-party sporting event taking place on campus, etc.) is not deemed on-campus employment.

Eligibility to Work On-Campus

All international students who hold a St. Olaf I-20 or DS-2019 are eligible to work on campus.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stipulates that international students may only work part-time (up to 20 hours/week) when classes are in session*. Students can work full-time (more than 20 hours/week) during breaks.

***Most on-campus jobs at St. Olaf require a Work Award. Be sure to accept your Work Award if you plan to work on campus.

Note: Despite DHS regulations, St. Olaf students with a full Work Award are only allowed an average of 7-8 hours/week. Students cannot work beyond the Work Award amount.
Transfer students are not eligible to work on campus until they obtain a St. Olaf I-20 and complete Immigration Check-in during Week 0.
Students transferring out of St. Olaf will not be eligible to work on-campus after the Transfer Release Date.
Students are no longer eligible to work on-campus after the Program Completion Date listed on the I-20 (unless the date has been extended through an OPT application).

For more information on finding an on-campus job, getting paid, and U.S. employment etiquette, contact the Center for Multicultural Engagement (CMIE) or see the Student Employment page.

Social Security Number (SSN)

A Social Security Number (SSN) is a permanent nine-digit identification number issued by the United States Government. Once issued, you will use the same number for life. It is used primarily for taxing income in order to provide retirement and medical benefits. For tax purposes, anyone receiving income must provide their U.S. employer with a Social Security Number. See more information at the Social Security Administration website.

Important: Do not carry your Social Security Number with you. A lost social security card can be replaced only a limited number of times. Once you receive your card, memorize your number and keep your card at home in a secure place. Provide your SSN only when it is absolutely required.
Also: There are many scams out there. If someone asks for your SSN and you are unsure who they are, take down their contact information and let someone at St. Olaf know.

All international students must file taxes and pay any taxes owed by April 15th. In reality, you’ve been paying taxes all year long. In April, all you are doing is determining if you paid the right amount. If you paid too much, you will get a refund; if you paid too little, you must pay all remaining taxes.


The Form I-9 is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) form for Employment Eligibility Verification. All individuals employed in the United States must complete a Form I-9 either on paper or online. The I-9 verifies the individual’s employment eligibility to work in the United States and salary cannot be paid until the I-9 has been satisfied. Please contact Jennifer Skluzacek, Student Employment Coordinator at the Student Employment Office for more information or to return the form BEFORE beginning any work

If you do not have a Social Security number, you must first apply for a number at the Social Security Administration.

F-1 and J-1 Visa Status Holders: Please contact Megan Carmes, Student Immigration and Off-Campus Studies Coordinator.  Make an appointment here.

F-1 and J-1 Transfer Students: If you are transferring from another institution in the U.S., you will not be able to have an I-9 processed until you receive your I-20 or Form DS-2019, have completed Immigration Check-In and are in possession of (or have applied for) a Social Security Number. Please contact Megan Carmes, Student Immigration and Off-Campus Studies Coordinator.  Make an appointment here.


Everyone the U.S. is required to file tax forms each year, even international students, regardless of whether or not you earned income. April 15th of each year is the U.S. tax-filing deadline. Failure to file taxes by this date could result in a violation of your immigration status.

Fraud Warning:

We have received reports of international students and scholars are being targeted by tax phone scams. The Internal Revenue Service and other governmental agencies will NEVER contact you by phone to demand an immediate payment.

If you receive a phone call from someone demanding an immediate payment to resolve a tax issue, it is fake, and you should hang up.