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Eligibility & Reminders

Federal work-study is a federally funded student financial aid program and is subject to federal eligibility criteria and limitations. Work-study offered in your CAESAR financial aid notice is not a guarantee of earnings or job placement. Wages earned in a federal work-study position are primarily subsidized by the government. Therefore, with each paycheck, you'll be working toward earning the allotted work-study financial aid amount! 

Student Eligibility

Eligibility is determined based on your annual FAFSA information and demonstrated financial need. If eligible, a federal work-study allotment is offered in your financial aid notice on CAESAR (CAESAR > Financial Aid > View Financial Aid). 

  • FWS allotments may decrease or be canceled due to financial aid changes including but not limited to: non-enrollment, less than full-time enrollment, co-op programs, study abroad or other off-campus study, receipt of outside scholarships, or other adjustments to the financial aid package.
  • If your work-study allotment in any quarter is $0, you are not eligible to participate in work-study during that quarter.
  • Once you graduate, you may not continue to earn federal work-study wages. 

Don’t see FWS on your financial aid notice?  Northwestern Career Advancement offers QuadJobs, a job portal for all other part-time student job opportunities at Northwestern and in the local area.

International students are not eligible for FWS.

Regulations and Reminders

The amount listed on your financial aid notice is an earnings limit, or allotment, for the academic year. The amount is not a guarantee of employment or total earnings.

You may start your job the first week of classes in the Fall quarter and you must terminate your job no later than the last day of exams in spring quarter, abiding by the eligibility information above and assuming you have not reached your work-study allotment limit. 

You should monitor your bi-weekly and cumulative academic year work-study earnings (CAESAR > Financial Aid > Work-Study Earnings by Date) after each pay date. Our office will notify you when you are approaching your allotment limit however you are responsible to monitor and keep track of your earnings. Learn more about tracking hours and allotment earnings.  

Summer Employment

Interested in summer opportunities?  Review the Summer Work-Study page for eligibility and FAQs.