Become a Federal Work-Study Host Site

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program supports Federal Work-Study-eligible Reed students—those with the highest financial need—in their decision to work at FWS-approved nonprofits, public schools, and public agencies.

Since its inception, 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 work-study legislation to require that schools spend 5% of their total allocation on community service positions. This allocation increased to 7% in 2000–01. While some schools require off-campus employers to pay up to 25% of FWS student wages, Reed continues to pay off-campus FWS community engagement interns’ wages and worker’s compensation insurance in full.

Reed College pays FWS-eligible students $15 per hour for work completed at FWS-approved sites. Students earn their federal work-study wages by working with SEEDS community partner organizations. Becoming an approved FWS host site indicates that you are prepared to support students’ participation in your organization through a volunteer position or internship. Becoming an approved FWS host site also increases the likelihood that a student will commit to a volunteer position or internship with you in the future.

Please contact to initiate the process of becoming a host site or if you have further questions or concerns. Thank you for your interest!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is required to host a Reed FWS intern?

  • The organization must be a private nonprofit organization or a federal, state, or local public agency.
  • The organization must sign off on bi-weekly timesheets.
  • The organization must complete a four-part contract process.
  • Work for any organization that has membership limits (e.g. credit unions, fraternal or religious orders, cooperatives, etc.) may not primarily benefit members of the organization.
  • The student may not construct, operate, or maintain any part of a building used for religious worship or sectarian instruction.
  • The student may not replace a full-time employee.
  • The student may not engage in partisan or nonpartisan political activity.
  • The student may not work for an elected official unless responsible for regular administration of federal, state, or local government.
  • The sudent may not work in a position that takes party affiliation into account when hiring.
  • The student may not engage in lobbying at any level. 
  • The student may not engage in any form of political activity (including working at voting polls).
  • The student may work remotely* (this criteria is in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic)

What can be expected of Reed FWS interns?

Interns typically work two to ten 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 computer skills, basic research skills, and good communication skills. Most students have prior experience in community service and are thoughtful and reliable. Once students' wages have exceeded their Federal Work-Study allotment for the academic year (often around 140 hours of work), they must wait until the following year to continue participation. Some organizations have chosen to hire students who make a valuable contribution.

What are the requirements?

  • Complete a four-part contract process.
  • Provide a job description that details the student’s roles and responsibilities.
  • Discuss responsibilities, supervision, and learning outcomes.
  • Provide training, supervision, support, and feedback.
  • Provide background checks for Reed students before any unsupervised direct contact with minors, if applicable.
  • Approve bi-weekly timesheets, detailing hours worked.
  • Inform SEEDS if you decide to discontinue working with a student.
  • Communicate noteworthy successes or problems to SEEDS.
  • Contribute to evaluations regarding the student and your program.

How does Reed contribute?

SEEDS identifies prospective FWS sites and shares that information with FWS-eligible students. Once you and the student agree to work together, Reed’s financial aid and business offices require the student to complete additional paperwork before they begin work. Reed also pays students their FWS wages. Reed will sign contract forms and send copies to the host site, the student, and Reed's student payroll specialist. Reed’s student payroll specialist will mail a letter that includes instructions and timesheets for payment of the students’s wages. Reed will pay 100% of the student's wages and workers' compensation insurance.

What are the steps for working with students?

  1. Contact to inquire about the FWS site contract process.
  2. Complete the contract process.
  3. Hire a student.

Once you have completed the contract process, SEEDS will share FWS-eligible positions with interested students. Students are informed that they must complete regular application, interview, hiring, and training processes associated with each FWS site. You have complete control over hiring and terminating interns within the confines of employment law. We do recommend that you interview students in person.

Reed will pay 100% of the student's wages and workers' compensation insurance. At the conclusion of the internship, we ask that students and community partners participate in an exit interview to provide SEEDS with their feedback.

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