As a result of the pandemic and interruptions to typical College operations, fewer student jobs will be available this spring semester. Mount Holyoke recognizes the importance of student employment to the financial security of many students and families, however. So in response, temporary changes have been made to student employment policies that are intended to support the equitable distribution of jobs among students of high financial need, which is a top priority during this unusual time.
New students (first-year and transfer)
Traditionally, the College employs first year and other new students with “level one” on-campus jobs, mostly through Dining Services. In spring 2021 there will be very few level-one jobs and none in Dining Services. As a result, new students — first-year students and transfers — who are eligible for work-study and residing on campus will receive work-study replacement grants rather than work-study awards.
All students eligible for work-study who are residing off campus will receive work-study replacement grants rather than work-study awards. Work-study-eligible students residing on campus will receive work-study awards (with the exception of new students, as noted above).
Preference in hiring will be given to those students who have a traditional work-study award in their financial aid packages.
On-campus student work will only be available to students living on campus.
Remote student work is governed by state and federal employment regulations. During the pandemic period, the College can continue to facilitate some remote student employment within these parameters:
- Students who are living in Massachusetts, including those living on campus, may work remotely. Some in-person work may be available to students living on campus.
- Students who have previously worked for the College and are living within the U.S. may work remotely.
- Students who are living abroad, unfortunately, may not work for the College. This is true regardless of citizenship or previous employment with MHC.
- Students who have not previously worked for the College and are living within the U.S. may be able to work, depending on the employment laws in their state of residence.
The Student Employment Office will assess every student’s eligibility for work this academic year. Students who wish to work remotely should complete the Interest in Student Work form so that the Student Employment Office can assess their remote work eligibility. Student employees must also update the form whenever their location of residence changes. Please note: Students who completed this form in the fall and received a response that they were ineligible for work at that time are still ineligible unless they have changed their location of residence.
These remote-work eligibility categories will remain possible until Massachusetts enters Phase 4 of the Massachusetts Reopening Plan. After entering Phase 4, Mount Holyoke College will be required to reassess what, if any, remote student work can continue under state employment guidelines.
Supervisors wishing to hire for the spring semester must post the open position(s) by January 5. During January, students receiving a work-study award may apply for up to 15 hours of work (in one position or across several positions). All students, including both those eligible for work-study and those ineligible, may apply for work beginning on January 19. This applies to new hires only — students who already hold jobs for the spring semester may keep them.
The goal of this special hiring period is to allow as many students as possible the chance to secure enough hours to earn the full amount of their work-study award (about 7 hours per week for most students).
Exceptions to the January hiring period will be made for supervisors of academic roles that need to hire after the semester begins, such as tutors and notetakers.
Students may work up to 15 hours per week. This cap aims to ensure the equitable distribution of work opportunities, as well as ensuring that students have the time to focus fully on the academic program. Rare exceptions will be made when it is necessary for a student in one or more academically related jobs to work more than 15 hours per week in order to fully support the learning of other students.
The hours cap has been put in place because the current residential plan requires about half of the student workers as in pre-pandemic semesters. It is our goal to distribute whatever work remains among as many students as possible, with priority given to students of high financial need. In addition, all incoming first-year, first time students who are work-study eligible will now be receiving a grant instead of earning that money through work.
Jobs with hard-to-measure hours
Some jobs on campus have extremely variable hours that do not lend themselves to an hours cap. Supervisors and the Student Employment Office will work together to determine which category each of these positions belongs in:
- If hours vary, but it is possible to anticipate a rough average for the semester, supervisors will hire the student with that average in JobX. The position will count toward a student’s total hours, but some leniency with the variable nature of the student’s hours will be allowed.
- If the hours vary too much to provide an estimate, such as on-call jobs, it may qualify for an exemption to the hours cap. The Student Employment Office will let both the student and the supervisor know if the position qualifies for an exemption. If it does, this will not count toward the student’s total hours in any given week.