Off-Campus Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program

Reed students who receive federal work-study (FWS) in their financial aid award can apply to work for off-campus FWS positions hosted by local non-profit, government, or community-based organizations, and receive FWS wages during the academic year.  SEEDS partners with local non-profit, government, or community-based organizations (referred to as “host site” below) to set up paid positions that focus on a variety of community engagement topics in the local Portland community.  Students may also propose an internship position with a local non-profit organization following the program guideline for SEEDS to evaluate as an official off-campus FWS position.  Reed College subsidizes off-campus FWS positions in an effort to promote connections between the college and the Portland community, as well as to support students in finding meaningful work off-campus. Each opportunity entails different responsibilities, minimum hourly commitments, and minimum engagement period.  

In order to receive FWS wages from the Off-Campus FWS Program, students must have federal work-study as part of their financial aid award, follow program guidelines, and complete all program requirements.  A federal work-study award is different from a Reed work-study award; students with a Reed work-Study award are not eligible for the Off-Campus FWS Program.  

SEEDS is excited to work with Reedies and partner with a variety of local public agencies and non-profit organizations to offer off-campus FWS paid internship opportunities that satisfy the criteria for the Off-Campus FWS Program. Off-Campus FWS positions and application instructions are posted on Handshake.  Local public agencies and non-profit organizations are welcome to propose setting up off-campus FWS positions.  Email for more information.

Student Eligibility

  • All currently enrolled students attending Reed directly (no study abroad) are eligible to apply.
  • Students must have a federal work-study award in their financial aid award.  For information regarding financial aid awards, contact Financial Aid

Program Requirements

To successfully apply for an Off-Campus FWS position, students must:

  • follow the program guidelines, adhere to the program timeline, and complete all program requirements.
  • submit SEEDS’s Off-Campus FWS Program Application Form for the position(s) they are interested in, job descriptions application links are posted on Handshake.

After students are selected for an Off-Campus FWS position, students must:

  • maintain clear and consistent communication regarding their positions with SEEDS and the host sites.
  • complete payroll paperwork as required.
  • abide by the learning contract.
  • submit certified timesheets on time.
  • be mindful of their FWS award amount and communicate leftover workable hours with the host site (students can only earn up to their FWS award amount).
  • fulfill job description, work requirements and expectations of the host site.
  • participate in SEEDS’s program reflection session at the end of the semester.

Important Note:

  • Missed program deadlines will not be accommodated, possible exceptions are made when extenuating circumstances are communicated to the program director for SEEDS.
  • Students can participate in the Off-Campus FWS and CE Credit program at the same time, but the work and volunteer responsibilities may not overlap and time committed needs to be separated if both the off-campus FWS and volunteer positions are in the same organization.
  • Late timesheet submissions will result in delayed paycheck processing time.
  • Any work done before completion of the Off-Campus FWS application process and confirmation will be considered unpaid volunteer work.  Possible retroactive hours submission exceptions are made upon approval from the program director for SEEDS after discussion.
  • The Off-Campus FWS Program only offers internship positions during the Fall and Spring semester of each academic year, any work done outside of the academic year will not be paid.  Students can choose work during breaks within the academic year; host sites are advised to permit students to take time off during breaks during the academic year.

Application Guidelines for Students

Step 1: Confirm Qualification for Federal Work-Study

Step 2: Review Open Off-Campus FWS-approved Positions on Handshake

  • Log in to Reed College’s Handshake with Reed's login information.  Visit The Center for Life Beyond Reed (CLBR)’s website for Handshake resources.
  • Look for off-campus FWS job positions on Handshake: Select “Postings”, then “Jobs”, then “Approved”, and search for job titles beginning with “[OCFWS]” posted by “Off-Campus Federal Work-Study by SEEDS Community Engagement Internship Program” (SEEDS’s employer account on Handshake).
  • If students want to work with a host site that is not off-campus FWS-approved by SEEDS yet, students may initiate the process to create an eligible off-campus FWS position.  Students should communicate with the host site in advance with their proposal to set up an off-campus federal work-study position, then reach out to along with the potential supervisor from the host site to initiate the process.  Approval depends on eligibility and is not guaranteed.

Step 3: Apply for the Off-Campus FWS Position(s)

  • Apply for the Off-Campus FWS position(s) via SEEDS’s Off-Campus FWS Program Application Form, the application link and instructions are posted in the Handshake job description.  Submit one application per position.  Do not apply on Handshake or reach out to the host sites directly.
  • SEEDS will send your application materials to the host sites for review.
  • Contact The Center for Life Beyond Reed with questions about Handshake and for resume, cover letter, and job interview resources.

Step 4: Interview Process

  • Once applications are submitted, the host sites hosting the positions will review application materials and reach out directly to schedule interviews with applicants they are interested in interviewing.  Interview opportunities are extended by the host site and are not guaranteed.
  • Reach out to SEEDS at if you have any questions regarding the application and interview process, do not reach out to the host site directly.

Step 5: Hired?  Complete and Sign the Learning Contract

  • SEEDS will send an application update via email, the email will include:
    • Application Decision
    • Off-Campus FWS Learning Contract (for hired applicants, students cannot earn FWS wages for work done before this contract is completed and signed)
    • Any additional program information

Step 6: Complete I-9, W-4 & Direct Deposit Forms with the Business Office (Student Payroll Services)

  • First-time student workers at Reed will be contacted by the Business Office directly to complete relevant paperwork (I-9, W-4, and direct deposit).  If you have worked on- or off-campus with Reed before, no further action is required.

Step 7: Submit Timesheet to the Business Office (Student Payroll Services)

  • Once the hiring process is complete, students and the host sites are responsible for completing, certifying, and submitting off-campus FWS work timesheets bi-weekly (instructions will be provided) to Reed’s Business Office.

Step 8: Attend Off-Campus FWS Program Reflection Session

  • All students in the SEEDS CE Internship Program are required to participate in reflection sessions at the end of each semester to reflect and share their community engagement experiences.

Off-Campus FWS Wage Rates & Guidelines

  • The 2023-2024 academic year hourly wage for all off-campus FWS positions is $16.45.
  • Per the 2023-2024 Federal Student Aid Handbook, there are no statutory or regulatory limits on the number of hours per week or per payment period a student may work, provided no over-award occurs.
  • Commute time (up to 1 hour per trip to and from the host site) can be entered into the timesheet as part of work hours.
  • Any hours worked outside of the Off-Campus FWS Program timeline will not be paid.
  • Students can only earn up to their FWS awarded amount for their off-campus FWS positions; payroll will terminate their off-campus FWS employment once students earned their entire FWS award.  Students and host sites can decide if they want to continue the position by having the host site pay the student or convert the position to volunteer work after the student’s FWS award ran out.
  • Students must reach out to SEEDS immediately if there are any issues with payroll or work status, retroactive pay is processed depending on the situation and is not guaranteed.

Program Timeline 2023-2024

Aug 21: Off-Campus FWS Positions go LIVE on Handshake with Job Titles Beginning with “[OCFWS]”, Application Process Begins and Continues Until Mar 8

Aug 28: First Day of Off-Campus FWS Work, Timesheet Begins

Oct 16 - Oct 20: Fall Reflection Session

Mar 8: Last Day to Apply for Off-Campus FWS Positions; Last Day of Spring Semester Quarter 1

Apr 26 - May 5: Spring Reflection Session

May 9: Last Day of Off-Campus FWS Work, Timesheet Ends

May 20: Deadline to Submit Last Timesheet

Schedule a Consultation Meeting Before Applying!

Check Out Off-Campus FWS positions on Handshake!

Apply for Off-Campus FWS Positions HERE!

Off-Campus FWS Frequently Asked Questions


Who hosts Off-Campus FWS Program internships?

The Off-Campus Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program, as part of the SEEDS Community Engagement (CE) Internship Program, partners with local non-profit, government, and community-based organizations (referred to as “host site” below) to set up paid positions that focus on a variety of community engagement in the local Portland community.  Visit this page if your organization wishes to become a host site.

If I'm not FWS eligible, can I still apply for an internship with an off-campus work-study partner?

No, you can not apply for any Off-Campus FWS Program positions if you do not have an FWS award in your financial aid package.  Check out SEEDS's Community Engagement (CE) Credit Program if you want to receive PE/CE credit for volunteering.

I’m an international student. Can I participate in the program?

Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for Federal Work-Study awards.  However, The Center for Life Beyond Reed's EXEL Program provides opportunities for eligible international students to receive PE credit and get paid to work. In addition, check out SEEDS's Community Engagement (CE) Credit Program if you want to receive PE/CE credit for volunteering.

I know I want to participate in this program but I’m not sure which position to apply for. How should I proceed?

We have a lot of resources for you! Reach out to SEEDS Community Engagement Internship Program Coordinator by emailing We can help you figure out which of our positions are the best fit for you. You can also attend our info sessions held periodically throughout the academic school year.

What’s the best way to find out more about this program?

Contact the Community Engagement Internship Program Coordinator, Nina Gopaldas at to attend an info session or get more information.