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To: School/Division HR Officers and Secondary Contact, Business Managers, Student Services Managers
From: Suzanne Barbour, Dean; Beverly Wyrick, Director of Finance/Administration; ConnectCarolina HR/Payroll

Graduate students may be hired for a semester, academic year, calendar year, or other periods as needed. Each school/division may establish varying effective dates to meet their business needs. This year presents a challenge due to the changes in the academic calendar in response to COVID-19.

The stipend calculator tool can assist users in determining the flat rate amount to enter on the ePAR form. Use the dates suggested below and the calculator stipend tool to determine the correct amount of pay AND to ensure the minimum stipend is met for students who receive tuition and fee awards.

GradStar uses these dates and uses the same logic as the stipend calculator tool. If you use other dates, the stipend may be under/overstated for the term. The attachment for more detailed explanation of the calculation in GradStar.

In addition, please visit the Student Employment website for more information for hiring supervisors, managers, and students.

9-Month Appointments

The dates below are recommended for standard 9-month appointments.  You may use different dates, but it is strongly encouraged to use the stipend calculator if you do so to ensure the intended amount of pay.

9-Month Appointment Dates
Timeframe Start Date Pay-Through Date Expected Job End Date
Fall Only 08/05/2020 12/31/2020 01/01/2021
Spring Only 01/01/2021 05/04/2021 05/05/2021
Academic Year 08/05/2020 05/04/2021 05/05/2021

12-Month Appointments

Units who choose to pay graduate students on an annual rate may also use varying dates to meet their business needs. A best practice is to align hire dates to coincide with the insurance policy year which is August 1 through July 31.

12-Month Appointment Dates
Timeframe Start Date Pay-Through Date Expected Job End Date
Annual appointment 08/01/2020 07/31/2021 08/01/2021

Other Considerations

Students who need to complete an I-9 must be hired using a start date that remains in compliance with I-9 guidelines.  Look for announcements from central OHR for any allowable adjustments related to the COVID-19 situation.

Normally, students should not be hired before August 1 or end work after December 31 for fall semester and should not be hired before January 1 or end work after July 31 for spring semester.  However, this year, dates may be adjusted to accommodate the different academic schedule.

Adjust summer appointments as needed to reduce errors such as over/underpayments for fall or spring semester appointments.

Helpful Reminders

  • Training materials and other information for student originators can be found here, Student Originators
  • The expected job end date for the Hire or Job Change ePAR should always be one day greater than the Pay-through date on the stipend calculator.
  • Be sure to review the instructions on placing and/or returning EHRA students from short work break here Short Work Break
  • Lump sum payments for graduate students are not allowed, except for CDME pay during the COVID time period.  This decision was made by the Graduate School and OHR Benefits in response to Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements for tracking benefits eligibility. Lump sums payments also do not allow reporting offices to get an accurate count of student employees and the hours they work.

Multiple Jobs Summary and UNC Employee Information

  • Use these pages in the HR Work Center to review the student’s employment and job status prior to taking any action. These pages provide the following information:
    • HR and Payroll status, which helps determine if the employee is active or on a work break.
    • Appointments and their expected job end date.
    • Department, job code, and FTE.
  • These pages can also help departments avoid hiring a student into the same job twice, as well as avoid term/re-hires or transferring the student out of the wrong appointment.

Short Work Break Information

  • Students should be returned from work break if they will be returning to their appointment. Or, if they will not be returning, then they should be terminated.
  • When completing the ePAR to return a student from work break, do not check the box to bypass compensation and funding. Instead, be sure to include compensation and funding on the action. This will allow the originator and all approvers to confirm the compensation and funding are accurate.
  • Please be advised, if a student is transferring from a job that is on Work Break into a new appointment, they must first be returned from Work Break.
  • When submitting hires, returning from work break, and termination, always be mindful of payroll deadlines.

2020-21 HR/Payroll dates and deadlines calendars

  • HR/Payroll calendars
  • Note: Calendars are subject to change. Please review on a regular basis to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.
  • TIP:  you can pull the Payroll Deadline calendar into your Outlook calendar and view it side-by-side or as an overlay to your personal calendar.  For step-by-step instructions, visit this website:  Combine outlook calendar.

For policy questions, contact your dean’s office/business office, or Beverly Wyrick at 919-962-6318 or

For process related or technical questions, submit a service request.

SalaryStipendCalculatorforGradStudents with EXAMPLE

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