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Student

You are considered by SSA to be a student if you are enrolled for one or more courses of study and attend class:

                   In a college or university for at least 8 hours a week under a semester or quarter system; or

                   In grades 7-12 for at least 12 hours a week; or

                   In a course of training to prepare you for a paying job, and you are attending that training for at least 15 hours a week if the training involves shop practice or 12 hours a week if it does not involve shop practice (this kind of training includes anti-poverty programs, such as the Job Corps, and government-supported courses in self-improvement); or

                   Less than the amount of time given above for reasons you cannot control, such as illness, if the circumstances justify your reduced credit load or attendance.

NOTE: Before April 2005, students who were married or heads of household were not eligible for the Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) (even if they met one of the above criteria) if they were married or the head of household. Eligibility was expanded under H.R. 743, the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-203). Effective April 1, 2005 you can qualify for the SEIE if you are under age 22 and you are a student regularly attending school.

Source

Some information for this topic was drawn from:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500820510


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