Brown defines its mission, in part, as "educating and preparing students to discharge the offices of life with usefulness and reputation." This does not happen only in a classroom and through formal coursework, but also through employment, volunteerism, scholarly awards, and student leadership opportunities.

Due to the federal and state regulations regarding whether or not a student opportunity creates an employee/employer relationship between the University and the student, it is critical that student opportunities are classified into categories that enable us to ensure that Brown is in compliance. A student who is considered an employee of the University is entitled to hourly wages, while a student who is given the opportunity to participate in activities that further their own learning and development may be unpaid, or may be provided with a stipend.



  • Service provided on a voluntary basis. There is a mutual understanding that there will be no payment for services performed. Reimbursing or covering direct expenses incurred is allowable (i.e. program can pay for meals in dining hall)


  • Meiklejohn Advisors, Campus Tour Guides, Orientation Welcoming Committee, Swearer Center Volunteers.

Method of Payment:

  • None
  • Gift cards are considered payment and as such are not allowable.

Note: Non-programmatic, short term volunteer opportunities (e.g. commencement) do not need to be vetted through this process.

Requesting Approval

If you would like to create or request approval for an Undergraduate Scholarly Award, Program Leader/Coordinator Opportunity, or a Volunteer Program not listed as an approved opportunity, please email with the following:

  • A program description that includes the activities to be performed.
  • How those activities will further the student's learning and development.
  • The process by which the student accesses the award or opportunity.
  • Department Name
  • Reporting Line
  • Contact Person
  • Compensation ($ amount/payment method... lump sum, two payments, bi-monthly, etc.)
  • How many students a year
  • Program verse Scholarly Award
  • Names the program may be listed as