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What is Student Employment?

Student employment is:

  • Part-time, non-exempt, hourly positions at Northwestern University for currently enrolled, degree-seeking students.
  • A means for students to earn money to pay for educational expenses while earning their degree .
  • Limited cumulative weekly hours so that students can focus on their academic commitments.
  • Defined for a particular period of time or ongoing throughout the student’s enrollment in their degree program. 
  • Not a route to a benefits-eligible position (i.e. no fringe benefits except for sick time).

Most departments hire students eligible for Federal Work-Study. Learn more about the Federal Work-Study program at Northwestern, the benefits of hiring an FWS student, specific program regulations, and eligibility criteria.  

Federal Work-Study is not required for all positions, however! Many students work may work on campus even if they are not eligible for Federal Work-Study. 

International students may also work on campus, however, they must be legally authorized to work in the United States. Learn more about hiring an international student on an F-1 or J-1 Visa, employment authorization requirements, and employer guides. For additional guidance and information, view the International Student Career Planning Guide.  

Employers may learn more about the types of temporary employees at Northwestern via the HR Systems Help Center

Volunteer and Unpaid Intern Employment

The US Department of Labor and the Fair Standards Act of 1938, as amended, prohibits employers (including institutions of higher education) from accepting voluntary services from any normally paid employee or for which counterparts are performing the same duties and responsibilities for pay in the same position. 

In other words, unpaid or volunteer jobs must have separate duties and responsibilities compared to peers employed in paid positions 

Learn more about Unpaid Intern and Volunteer Criteria on the Northwestern Human Resources website.