Division of Student Life

Off-Campus Federal Work Study 

Community Partners: Nonprofits, Public Schools & Public Agencies

Reed College's off-campus federal work-study (FWS) program supports FWS-eligible Reed students -- those of the highest financial need -- in their decision to volunteer/intern at FWS-approved nonprofits, public schools and public agencies. Among other support, Reed College pays students $13/hour for work done at these community partner sites.

Though we cannot guarantee Reed student involvement at your site, becoming an approved FWS host site greatly increases the likelihood that a student will commit to a volunteer position or internship with your organization.

Off-Campus Host Site Eligibility
Expectations of Student Interns
Expectations of Community Partners
Steps for Community Partners
Steps for Students

Who is eligible to host a Reed FWS intern? A few key points of eligibility this Federal program requires:

  • organization must be a private non-profit or a federal, state, or local public agency
  • student may not construct, operate, or maintain any part of a building used for religious worship or sectarian instruction
  • student may not replace a full time employee
  • student may not engage in partisan or nonpartisan political activity 
  • organization may not primarily benefit members of organization that has membership limits, such as a credit union, a fraternal or religious order, or a cooperative 
  • student may not work for an elected official unless responsible for regular administration of federal, state, or local government 
  • student may not work in a position that takes party affiliation into account when hiring 
  • student may not engage in lobbying at any level 
  • student may not engage in any form of political activity (including working at voting polls) 

What can be expected of Reed FWS interns?

Students with an FWS allocation listed in their Financial Aid package who complete additional off-campus FWS paperwork are eligible. Once students' wages have exceeded their FWS allotment for the academic year (often after 50-100 hours of work), they must wait until the following year to continue participation. Some students choose to continue their work as unpaid volunteers when their FWS allocation is exhausted. Some organizations have chosen to hire interns so they can continue making a valuable contribution.

Interns usually work 2 to 10 hours per week, although some may wish to work more hours and others will need time off during exam periods and holidays. New hires will require training, but many already possess Macintosh computer skills, basic research skills, and good communication skills. Most interns have prior experience in community service and are thoughtful and reliable.

What are FWS host sites required to do with their FWS interns?

  • Provide a job description detailing intern's roles & responsibilities.
  • Discuss responsibilities, supervision & learning outcomes with interns.
  • Provide interns with training, supervision, support & feedback.
  • Provide background checks for Reed students before any unsupervised, direct contact with minors occurs.
  • Approve bi-weekly timesheets, detailing hours worked. Questions? Contact Student Payroll Specialist, Dawn Derry.
  • Inform SEEDS if you decide to discontinue working with a student.
  • Communicate noteworthy successes or problems to SEEDS Program Manager, Tara Sonali Miller.
  • Contribute to evaluations regarding your intern & your program. 

What does Reed do?

The SEEDS office identifies prospective FWS sites and promotes FWS host sites to FWS-eligible students. Once you and your FWS intern agree to work together, Reed's financial aid and business offices require the FWS intern to complete additional paperwork before they begin work.

What are the steps for working with these students?

  1. Contact SEEDS Program Manager, Tara Sonali Miller, to inquire about the community partner FWS host site contract process.
  2. Complete contract process.
  3. Hire a student:
    • Once you have completed the contract process, SEEDS will promote FWS-eligible positions and you may begin to get emails/calls from interested students.
    • Students have been informed that they must complete the regular application, interview, hiring & training processes associated with each FWS site.
    • You have complete control over hiring and firing of interns within the confines of employment law.
    • We do recommend that you interview them in person.
  4. Student signs Learning Contract with Reed. Please note: students cannot be paid for work completed before submitting the Learning Contract.
  5. Reed will sign contract forms and send copies to host site, student, and to Reed's student payroll specialist.
  6. Reed's student payroll specialist will mail a letter that includes instructions and timesheets for the intern's wage payment. Reed will pay 100 percent of the student's wages and workers' compensation insurance.

Note: Reed does not offer FWS funding during summer break. See Reed's academic calendar.

How can Reed do this?

Since its beginning, the federal work-study program has recommended that colleges allow students to use their FWS award to work off-campus in community engagement positions. In 1994 the government amended the federal work-study legislation to require that schools spend 5 percent of their total allocation on community service positions. This allocation increased to 7 percent in 2000-01. While some schools require off-campus employers to pay up to 25 percent of FWS student wages, Reed continues to pay off-campus FWS community engagement interns' wages and worker's compensation insurance in full.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email SEEDS Program Manager, Tara Sonali Miller.

Thank you for your interest!

Contact SEEDS

Tara Sonali Miller
SEEDS Program Manager
Student Center 112

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