Student-Athlete Employment Guidelines

Jump to information about guidelines for employment periods and locations:

Note: The following information is subject to change. Prior to starting work, all student-athletes should check with the Compliance Office at 847-467-1445.

General guidelines for employment during the year:

  • All student-athletes must receive written permission from the Compliance Office prior to starting work.
  • Compensation is to be made for work actually performed.
  • Compensation must be at a rate commensurate with the going rate in the locality for similar services.
  • The employer shall not provide any benefits that are not provided to all employees in the same job classification (i.e. arrangement of transportation to and/or from work, meals, gifts, etc.).
  • Student-athletes are restricted by NCAA guidelines regarding amateurism.

Employment during the academic year:

Note: The academic term is defined in the Northwestern Undergraduate Catalog.

  • NCAA rules permit most student-athletes not receiving a full athletic scholarship to work during the academic term.
  • Student-athletes receiving a full athletic scholarship may be employed during the academic term, provided they:
    • Receive permission for employment from the Compliance Office prior to starting work;
    • Have spent at least one academic year in residence at Northwestern University;
    • Are academically eligible to compete in intercollegiate athletics; and
    • Earn a maximum of $2,000 above a full grant-in-aid.

Employment during vacation periods:

  • Employment is permitted for all student-athletes during vacation periods (Winter/Christmas break, Spring break, and Summer vacation). However, certain rules still apply (see below).
  • Student-athletes must receive permission for Winter break and Spring break employment from the Compliance Office prior to starting work;
  • Employment may not begin until the day following the conclusion of the quarter;
  • General employment guidelines (listed above) are still in effect during vacation periods;
  • No financial limits exist but the compensation must be commensurate with going rate; and
  • Earnings will not count toward the student-athlete's athletic financial aid limit.

Employment at sports camps and clinics:

  • Student-athletes must receive permission from the Compliance Office prior to starting work.
  • Student-athletes must perform general supervisory duties. Any coaching or officiating assignments shall represent not more than one-half of the student-athlete's work time.
  • Compensation shall be commensurate with the going rate.
  • Student athletes that only lectures or demonstrates at a camp/clinic may not receive compensation.

Note for football athletes only: No football student-athlete with eligibility remaining may be employed by Northwestern's football camp. An outside football camp shall employ not more than one NU football student-athlete with eligibility remaining.


Contact the Compliance Office at 847-467-1445.