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Participation Guidelines

The Federal Work-Study Program is administered by the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office. The Work-Study Office is part of this department.

Student Eligibility

Federal Work-Study is awarded as part of a financial aid award package. Eligible students are notified through the standard financial aid application process. Work-Study is considered a "self-help" component of financial aid. Wages earned through the program can be used to defray the cost of attending Northwestern University.

Earnings Limit

Students are provided a work-study earnings limit as a part of their notification of eligibility. Because this is a federal program that is based on the financial need of each student, there is a limit to the amount that can be provided. The federal government pays most of the wage and limits the amount each person can receive.

It is extremely important that students monitor their earnings so they do not exceed their limit. The student must stop working when the earnings limit is reached. Email notifications will be sent to both the student and the employer when a student approaches the earnings limit. The Federal Work-Study Office must charge the over-earnings directly back to the employer at 100%.

Students should arrange their work schedules to avoid prematurely reaching their limit. The maximum amount of hours a student is allowed to work is 15 hours per week. Students approaching the limit who believe their financial circumstances have changed since accepting the original aid package can submit an earning limit appeal.

Students should be aware that their limits may be decreased during the academic year if unanticipated resources (e.g., outside scholarships) affect their financial aid packages.