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Do graduate students pay FED MED/EE?

Graduate students pay FED MED/EE unless they meet the criteria for Student FICA Exemption or are in Non-resident Alien Tax Status as a student.

Student FICA Exemption

The IRS provides a special exemption for students who at work on campus commonly known as the Student Exemption to FICA tax, which states that FICA (Social Security & Medicare) taxes do not apply to service performed by students employed by a school, college, or university where the student is pursuing a course of study.

NC State has interpreted this regulation to mean that a student must work:

  • Less than 30 hours per week, and
  • Be enrolled at least half time:
    • Six hours for undergraduate students and three hours for graduate students during the fall and spring semesters
    • Three hours for undergraduates and one hour for graduate students during the summer semester.

If students do not meet both of these criteria, Social Security and Medicare taxes will be withheld.

Updated on November 22, 2021

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