Work-Study Program

Download an Employer Guide (pdf) to the Federal Work-Study Program or read the information below.

The Federal Work-Study program at 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:
  • 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.)
  • Pay the student at a rate comparable to that paid to employees doing comparable work.
  • Provide reasonable supervision.
  • Follow the student work hour guidelines: 20 hours or less per week when Humboldt is in session; up to 40 hours per week when Humboldt is not in session.

Work-Study positions must not:

  • Result in the displacement of employed persons nor impair existing contracts for services. No work-study position shall have been occupied by a regular employee during the preceding 12 months.
  • Violate any applicable collective bargaining agreement nor fill any vacancies due to a labor dispute.
  • Involve any partisan or non-partisan political activity associated with a faction in an election.
  • 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:
  • Federal Work-Study Program Off-Campus Agreement
  • Position Announcement Form
  • Signature Authorization Card
  • Vendor Data Record

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.
For more information contact:
J.d. Garza, Work-Study Coordinator
Academic and Career Advising Center

1 Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 95521
Phone: (707) 826-5222