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What Every Student Employee Needs To Know About FICA

The Internal Revenue Code imposes a tax that was enacted as part of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). FICA is social security and Medicare taxes.

There is a student employee FICA tax exception. The exception – a student employee does not have to pay FICA if he or she is enrolled at least half time and work at the college or university at which they are enrolled. (This exception does not effect Federal and State Income Tax.)

Oakton students are classified as at least half time for the fall or spring semester if they are enrolled for at least 6 credit hours for that semester; students are classified as at least half time for the summer session if they are enrolled for 3 or more credit hours. Therefore, to be eligible for the student employee FICA tax exception a student employee must be registered for at least 6 credit hours in the fall or spring semester and 3 credit hours in the summer session.

If a student employee does not meet the criteria for the exception, FICA will be deducted. The percentage of a student employee’s wages that will be deducted for FICA is 7.65% (Social Security is 6.2% and Medicare is 1.45%.)

Meeting the criteria for the FICA tax exception DOES NOT affect a student's eligibility to work as a student employee. Students are eligible to work as a student employee in any given fall or spring semester if he or she is registered in an Oakton credit or Alliance for Lifelong Learning course for that semester. If a student ends his or her enrollment for a given semester (e.g. they dropped their classes), they must also end their employment. Students are eligible to work in the summer if they were enrolled the preceding spring, during the current summer term, or for the following fall.

Oakton will make a determination of a student employee's FICA tax exception status each pay period in which classes are in session. If a student employee does not meet the criteria for the FICA tax exception, FICA will be deducted from their paycheck.



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