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Wages & Hours

Hours and Schedule

Most students work 6-10 hours per week during the academic year but are permitted to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session during the normal academic year (fall, winter, and spring quarters).  Students may work over winter and spring break but all hours worked, including over breaks, will count toward the student's FWS allotment. If students work over breaks, they may not work more than full time, 37.5 hours.

State law entitles employees to a 15-minute paid break when working four straight hours and requires a 20-minute unpaid meal break for employees who work at least seven and half continuous hours.  This unpaid break must be taken no later than five hours after starting the shift.


Student employees must be paid according to Cook County minimum wage standards ($13.35 per hour for all Evanston employment.  Chicago campus student employees must have a minimum wage of $15.40 an hour effective July 1, 2022). 

Hourly wage for both on-campus and off-campus should be calculated based on job responsibilities and level of experience. The below categories should serve as a general guideline for assigning hourly wages and may be associated with a wage range indicative of responsibility, skill, job difficulty, or experience necessary to perform the tasks required by that position. Supervisors may use discretion to determine the appropriate hourly wage for their student employee. Higher wages may result in a student earning their full work-study allotment sooner.  

Salary bands
Level NU PayGrade Minimum Wage Evanston/Chicago Maximum Wage Evanston/Chicago
1 73 $13.35/$15.40 $13.75/$15.80
2 74 $13.45/$15.50 $14.35/$16.40
3 75 $13.55/$15.60 $14.95/$17.00
4 76 $13.65/$15.70 $15.55/$17.60

Off-campus employers should also use the table above to establish wages based upon the job responsibilities, the student's experience. You should not pay the federal work-study employee less than you would pay a person also performing the same work or Responsiblities that is on your organization's payroll. 

Pay Increases

Merit and longevity pay increases are at the supervisor’s discretion, however, pay should ideally not exceed the range of the job level.  We recommend that supervisors and students have a one-on-one performance review conversation at the end of the academic year with increases in effect for the following year.