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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 Federal Work-Study Positions

Get started:

  1. Confirm your eligibility! See Eligibility & Earnings for more information.
  2. View the Jobs webpage for list of current on-campus and off-campus federal work-study employment opportunities.  
  3. Contact the supervisor listed on the position 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 hiring documents to the Federal Work-Study Office and Northwestern’s Human Resources to “officially” hire you as a Northwestern employee and establish your payroll. 

Failure to provide the required hiring documents or meet employment eligibility requirements in the United States will make a candidate ineligible for hire or result in the withdrawal of an offer of employment or lead to termination of employment.

Note, the Work-Study Authorization Form is required annually and is a CAESAR checklist item.

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

After Northwestern Human Resources processes your hiring documents, you are "officially" hired and will be granted 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 and Workforce, the university's timekeeping system.

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 applicable. 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.

Update your supervisor regarding your quarterly class schedule and availability. Most students work 6-10 hours per week in their federal work-study position(s) but may be permitted to work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year. Carefully plan your work schedule so as not to exceed 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, 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!  


Federal work-study students are expected and accountable for 

  • job proficiency;
  • dependability;
  • personal conduct; and
  • general compliance with Northwestern Federal Work-Study, Human Resources, and department/unit policies and procedures.

Performance evaluations are conducted by your supervisor at the end of the academic year or any time you leave a work-study job.

Multiple Positions

Students may be employed in more than one work-study position 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 20 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. 

Ending Employment

See Terminate Employment section for more information.