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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 affect Federal and State Income Tax.) 

Oakton student employees are eligible for the FICA tax exception if he or she is 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%.)

Oakton will determine 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.

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 a minimum of 3 credit hours for that semester.  Courses changed to audit and Alliance for Lifelong Learning classes will not be considered for eligibility for student 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.