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Federal Work-Study is considered a federal "self-help" component of financial aid.  Students are responsible for finding a job, are paid an hourly wage for hours worked, and receive a biweekly paycheck.  

Browse and Apply for Positions

Get started:

  1. Confirm your eligibility! See Eligibility & Earnings for more information.
  2. See Jobs for list of current on-campus and off-campus community FWS employment opportunities that require a variety of skills and experience.  
  3. Contact the position supervisor listed and provide all requested application materials*. 
  4. Be clear and honest about how many hours you are available to work per week.

*Northwestern Career Advancement can provide resources to help you when applying for jobs including help with resume and cover letter writing or mock interviews. 

Hiring Procedures

Once offered the position, you and your employer must submit required documents to the Work-Study Office and Northwestern’s Human Resources to “officially” hire you as a Northwestern employee and set up your payroll.  See the Hiring Forms page to review requirements. 

Note, the Work-Study Authorization Form is required annually and will be listed as a CAESAR To-Do list item until your supervisor has submitted on your behalf.

Note, if you have more than one work-study position, you must have a Work-Study Authorization Form submitted for both positions.  Please see additional information in the Multiple Positions section below.

After you are "officially" hired by process of your supervisor submitting the required  Hiring Forms you will gain access to the  myHR Employee Portal where you can view your job information and paychecks, edit your direct deposit, and access your annual W-2 wage statement.

Employment Responsibilities

Your employer will train you to complete specific tasks but may also provide opportunities for you to flex your creativity or leadership when appreciate.  No matter the task, you are responsible for your work and will be held accountable.  If you will oversee sensitive information, your supervisor will ask for a signed confidentially agreement.

Inform your supervisor about your quarterly class schedule and availability.  Most students work 6-10 hours per week but may be permitted to work a maximum of 15 hours per week while classes are in session.  Remember to arrange your work schedule to avoid reaching your FWS allotment limit.  Be sure to communicate shift expectations for finals week or ask for excused time off in advance.  If you need to miss a shift or cut back on hours for a while, talk to your supervisor to establish a new schedule or receive approved time-off.  Make sure to balance your academic load.  Your academics come first!  

Performance Evaluations are conducted by your supervisor at the end of the academic year or any time you leave a work-study job.  You are encouraged to communicate regularly throughout the year for performance feedback prior to the Performance Evaluation. 

Changing Positions & Multiple Positions

Ending Employment

The Work-Study Office strongly encourages students to remain in their positions the entire academic year.  We realize, however, that school work is the students primary responsibility.  Should a conflict arise between classes and work schedule, or the job does not allow sufficient time for studies, the student can terminate their position.  See Terminate Employment for more information on that process.

Multiple Positions

Students may be employed in more than one work-study position job at any given time if the student believes they cannot reach their award limit through their present job alone and/or if the second position is more relevant to their career interests. Remember,

  • You may not exceed 15 hours per week between the two positions. 
  • Use the Hours Calculator as a planning tool so you do not exceed your FWS allotment. 
  • All hiring forms, including a Work-Study Authorization Form, must be submitted for each position. 
  • Inform both supervisors regarding your multiple jobs as it may impact your schedule and their ability to pay you if you reach your work-study allotment mid-year.