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Hiring Procedures

After posting a job and identifying a candidate, you are ready to hire! Note, the Federal Work-Study program is intended to help students offset the cost of their educational program, not replace employees in the work place. Review the steps below outlining official Federal Work-Study Office and Northwestern Human Resources hiring processes and procedures.

Set Up an Account

On-Campus Employers:

Establish a University chartstring from which the employer's 25% share of the student's wages will be drawn. If you have not employed work-study students in the past, on-campus employers should contact the Budget Office to open account codes 60122 (Federal Work-Study) and 60120 (Temporary Student Wages) on their chartstring.

Off-Campus Employers:

Review the contractual agreement between Northwestern and your organization. Northwestern is the record of employer, therefore we create a University assigned chartstring for your organization. Northwestern will pay the 25% of the students' wages throughout the year and and invoice the off-campus community partners on a quarterly basis for their 25% agency cost.  

Off-campus community  employers will be invoiced by the Federal Work-Study Office on 

  • January (October – December charges)
  • April (January – March charges)
  • July (April – June charges)
  • October (July – September charges)

Your payment will be deposited into your University assigned organization chartstring.  To ensure credit to the proper account, all checks should clearly state the organization's name and chartstring number.

Assign A Supervisor

Ideally, the designated work-study supervisor will be the same person listed as the Contact on the Job Posting.

Per federal regulation, all work-study students must be supervised by a permanent staff or faculty member, not another student of the department or organization. This supervisor must sign all forms and approve timecards. The supervisor must also be present on a regular basis to review the performance of the student-employee.

Submit Required Hiring Forms

See the Hiring Forms page for complete instructions and links to required forms. 

The Work-Study Authorization Form is required annually for each student employed as and earning federal work-study wages in your department.  

Establish a Schedule

The supervisor and student employee should determine a mutually convenient work schedule. See Set Wages and Hours for more information on this process.  Federal work-study students may work from the first day of classes in fall quarter through the last day of final exams in June, including winter and spring breaks but excluding summer break.

Work-study students may NOT work more than 20 hours per week while enrolled during the academic year.  Students scheduled during winter or spring breaks may work full-time during the break; however, overtime (any time over 40 hours per week) is not permitted on work-study funds, so employers must pay overtime hours 100% from their own funds.  Please also remember that wages earned during academic calendar break periods count towards a student's annual work-study earnings limit.

Meals and Breaks

If your student will be working 7.5 continuous hours or more, they must be provided a meal period of at least 20 minutes. The meal period must be given to an employee no later than 5 hours after beginning work. The meal period is unpaid. Illinois has no law regarding breaks.

Remind work-study students who enter their hours in the timekeeping system to deduct 20 minutes from their time if they worked 7.5 hours or more. Students who swipe at a Timeclock station must swipe in and out for lunch periods.