Howard University Federal Work-Study Program

The FWS Program provides funds for part-time employment to help needy students to finance the costs of postsecondary education. Students can receive FWS funds at approximately 3,400 participating postsecondary institutions. Hourly wages must not be less than the federal minimum wage.

Students may be employed by: the institution itself; a federal, state, or local public agency; a private nonprofit organization; or a private for-profit organization. Institutions must use at least 7 percent of their Work- Study allocation to support students working in community service jobs, including: reading tutors for preschool age or elementary school children; mathematics tutors for students enrolled in elementary school through ninth grade; literacy tutors in a family literacy project performing family literacy activities; or emergency preparedness and response.

Students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of the application process for FWS assistance. The FAFSA can be completed on the Web at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. For more information on the student aid award process, see the Federal Pell Grant Program (# 84.063, also under topical heading Federal Student Aid).

Did You Know?

The Federal Work-Study program can help tackle two nagging issues in higher education: career readiness and retention. Read more here.

Open Jobs

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Job Placement Process for Students

  1. Accept FWS Award in Financial Package
  2. Attend Federal Work-Study Orientation
  3. Apply for Openings in Handshake
  4. Interview and accept position with the department
  5. Complete onboarding documents.
  6. Complete HR Clearance
  7. Obtain Work Authorization Form from the Center for Career and Professional Success

Schedule a Federal Work-Study Job Placement Appointment in Handshake

In efforts to further assist students in job placement for the Federal Work-Study Program, we are offering one-on-one appointments for students to learn more about job openings, and the onboarding process for on-campus employment.

To schedule an appointment:

  1. Please visit howard.joinhandshake.com/appointments
  2. Select "Appointment"
  3. Select "Federal Work-Study Job Placement"
  4. Once approved, a confirmation email will be sent with virtual meeting details.

Finding a Federal Work-Study Job on Handshake

Within the job search, you can search specifically for on-campus positions. To do this, click Jobs from the top menu bar; this will take you directly to the job search page.

To find positions designated as on-campus jobs, click the On-Campus filter. This will give you all of the jobs that have been specified as on-campus positions.

Federal Work-Study Supervisor and Student Handbook

The Federal Work-Study and Supervisor and Student Handbook explicitly outline rules and guidelines for supervisors and students participating in the Federal Work-Study Program.

These guidelines, policies, and procedures have been developed to meet student workers and their supervisors' needs. Students entering the work-study program must uphold all policies and procedures outlined in this manual. Any questions regarding this handbook should be addressed to the Center for Career and Professional Success.

For Employers

The Federal Work-Study program at Howard University can benefit everyone in our community. Employers profit by hiring workers with valuable skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm at a reduced rate of pay. Students gain an opportunity to serve our local community, explore career interests, and earn money to meet their college expenses. Community members, especially children, enjoy improved service. And our local economy is boosted by the new employment opportunities work-study helps to create.

The Federal Work-Study program places a special emphasis on community service. Students are encouraged to work in organizations that offer services designed to improve the quality of life for community residents. These services may be in the fields of health care, childcare, literacy training, education, social services, recreation, and the environment. Non-profit organizations, government agencies, and schools are reimbursed for 65% of the student's salary (75% federal grant less a 10% administrative fee).

Employers that hire reading or math tutors are reimbursed 90% of the student’s salary (100% federal grant less a 10% administrative fee). Private for-profit companies are eligible to participate in the Federal Work-Study program. The positions listed must be career-related or academically relevant to a student’s program of study. Private businesses are reimbursed 40% of the student’s salary (50% federal grant less a 10% administrative fee).

Program Guidelines

The employer must agree to:
  1. Pay the student wages for work, provide worker's compensation insurance, comply with all laws regarding withholding and payment of payroll taxes, and complete I-9 forms. (Note: Reimbursement will be made only for actual hours worked, not for holiday, vacation, or sick pay.)
  2. Pay the student at a rate comparable to that paid to employees doing comparable work.
  3. Provide reasonable supervision.
  4. Follow the student work hour guidelines: 20 hours or less per week when HU is in session; up to 40 hours per week when HU is not in session.
Work-Study positions must not:
  1. Result in the displacement of employed persons nor impair existing contracts for services.
  2. No work-study position shall have been occupied by a regular employee during the preceding 12 months.
  3. Violate any applicable collective bargaining agreement nor fill any vacancies due to a labor dispute.
  4. Involve any partisan or non-partisan political activity associated with a faction in an election.
  5. Involve the construction, operation or maintenance of any part of a facility used for sectarian instruction or religious worship.

Signing up

To participate in Federal Work-Study, employers need to complete and return the following forms:
  1. Federal Work-Study Program Off-Campus Agreement
  2. Federal Work-Study Work Authorization Form

Job Placement Process for Supervisors

  1. Complete Supervisor Orientation
  2. Sign Supervisor Agreement
  3. Post positions on Handshake
  4. Interview and select students
  5. Complete Job Placement Form
  6. Obtain Work Authorization Form from CCPS
  7. Allow student to start working!

Interviewing and Hiring Work-Study Students

Students will contact employers about their work-study positions using the application procedure outlined on the Position Announcement Form. Employers should interview these students just as they would interview regular employees. Neither the employer nor the student is obligated to arrange employment unless both feel that it would be mutually beneficial.

The employer is responsible for verifying the student’s Federal Work-Study award. The student can provide documentation or the employer can contact the Work-Study Coordinator for confirmation.

Prior to beginning work, the student must meet with the Work-Study Coordinator to confirm financial aid status and complete the appropriate paperwork. The student will receive a packet of information including time sheets and instructions after this meeting.

Work Period

Federal Work-Study funding is available only during the academic year. Beginning and ending dates will vary slightly each year. Federal work-study students normally work from August 1 through May 15.


Employer reimbursements will be made monthly upon receipt of the appropriate Federal Work-Study time voucher and Invoice. Reimbursements can be expected approximately four weeks after these forms are submitted.


The Work Authorization form is for all participants, including Howard University and Howard University Hospital departments. The Federal Work Study Off-Campus Agreement form is for our community partners not employed by Howard University or Howard University Hospital. If you have any questions, you can email us at careerservices@howard.edu.

Work Authorization Form
Federal Work Study Off-Campus Agreement Form

For more information contact us at careerservices@howard.edu.

“Excellence in Truth and Service”

We want to hear from you! Tell us how we are doing here.

careerservices@howard.edu | howard.joinhandshake.com | careerservices.howard.edu

About Us

Melissa Knight, M.Ed., Interim Director

The Center for Career and Professional Success promotes the integration of career services within the institution’s overall student success strategy. We consist of three components:

  • The Howard Career Community powered by Handshake
  • Employer Engagement & Recruitment
  • Experiential Learning, Federal Work-Study, and Campus Employment

We strive to embody the core principles of "Excellence in Truth and Service" through our service delivery, knowledge, and efficiency. We are committed to being at the forefront of developing a sustainable service model for the virtual delivery of career services.

We look forward to serving the Howard University community!'

Federal Work-Study & Campus Placement Team

Priscilla Hudson, Career Placement Specialist

Bison SAFE: The University's Pandemic Response

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Howard University Center for Career and Professional Success