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Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study program is an employment program that subsidizes the wages of students working in nonprofit settings.

The program enables employers to fill part-time positions at reduced cost, thereby increasing employment prospects for federal work-study participants. Students apply for federal work-study program via the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. Once eligibility has been established, students may begin the search for an appropriate job.

Typical work-study jobs include on-campus employment such as research assistant, laboratory assistant, library aide, and clerical assistant; students may want to explore the possibility of working in their academic departments. Off-campus employment is ordinarily with public or private nonprofit organizations whose work performance requirements are not political or sectarian in nature. Typical work settings include hospitals, public schools, youth centers, daycare centers, community development centers, consumer affairs agencies, and city and state agencies. Under certain conditions, off-campus employment can be arranged in business and industry at a reduced wage subsidy.

Upon review of the federal student aid application materials listed above, work-study eligible students are given a work-study earnings ceiling; students who exceed this earnings cap may have to relinquish other funding due to federal regulations concerning over-awards.

Once students have been notified of their federal work-study eligibility, they are free to begin job searches. The Harvard University Student Employment Office maintains a database of open positions and may be a valuable resource. To complete the awarding process, students who have secured work-study jobs complete either an On-Campus Referral Form or an Off-Campus Referral Form.

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