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Federal Work-Study


The Federal Work-Study Program was established by Congress to help students find employment to meet educational costs while providing work experience related to academic majors and interests. Approximately 2,000 undergraduates participate in the program annually at Northwestern University.

Most students work between six and ten hours per week. Funds are paid directly to students, and are intended to pay for books and other personal expenses. Federal Work-Study funds are not credited toward students' invoices.

Awards & Eligibility

Student eligibility for participation in the Federal Work-Study program is awarded on the basis of need. Students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of the application process for consideration for this assistance.

Awards range from $2,200 to $3,600 for the academic year. It is not a guaranteed salary, but an earnings limit. Students must devise a schedule with their employers based on this limit and their hourly pay to ensure that this limit will not be exceeded before the end of the academic year.

Students can choose to reject their work-study award for the year or for a term. Students who reject work-study may not be eligible to get the award back if they change their mind later. 

Employment Options

Students are responsible for finding their own work-study employment. Jobs are available both on and off-campus. A work-study job fair is held at the beginning of each school year, and a current listing of available jobs can be found on the Federal Work-Study Office website.

Non-Work-Study Options

Students who do not have eligibility to participate in the Federal Work-Study program, but are interested in employment opportunities, will need to pursue non-work-study job opportunities on campus and in the Evanston area. Some options include the employment with the University Library, University Dining Services or the University Phone-a-thon. Students looking for employment outside of the Federal Work-Study program may consider visiting Northwestern Career Advancement's QuadJobs, a central job portal for part-time or one-off jobs in the communities surrounding campus as well as non-work study on-campus jobs.