Work Opportunities

Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program, open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, is a federally funded program that provides eligible students with subsidized employment earnings. Eligibility for work-study is based strictly on financial need. Payment is provided by the University (70 percent from the Federal Work-Study Program) and the employing office (the remaining 30 percent). The percentage split for payment may vary in certain circumstances, notably use of federal work-study funds for field education placement.

Graduate students generally earn an hourly wage in the range of $14.25 to $20 (2021–22 rates). Students are encouraged to work no more than 20 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week during the summer and school vacation periods. Pay rates vary depending upon the type of job performed. There is no compensation for legal or religious holidays or lunch hours. Payments are made weekly to students for work they have performed in the previous week.

Beginning with the 2019-20 academic year, typical allocations for the academic year are up to $6,000 per student pending eligibility. This ceiling may be allocated to more than one job if the total ceiling is not exceeded. Earnings are monitored so that the total resources do not exceed the cost of education. It is the student's responsibility to report receipt of any financial resources not noted at the time that the original earnings limit was set.

Those interested in obtaining a work-study job should:

  • First complete and return all of the necessary paperwork, described in the eligibility and required certification sections, so that the Office of Financial Aid may determine if a student has "financial need."
  • Submit a work-study request form so our office may award interested students who show eligibility.

Students who qualify will be given an on-line work-study referral on which their earnings ceiling is listed. This referral documents to the student's employer that the student has been awarded work-study funding. Upon completion of this referral, and its subsequent submission to the employer as well as the departmental payroll coordinator, a student's weekly paycheck will begin.

Off-campus work-study employment is ordinarily with public or private nonprofit organizations whose work performance requirements are not political or sectarian in nature. Students in the Field Education Program at HDS may have their placements paid through the work-study program under this provision. Students interested in using work-study for a field education program should contact the Office of Ministry Studies (OMS). A listing of appropriate candidates is made by OMS and then forwarded to the Office of Financial Aid. Work-study referrals are provided to OMS by our office for students who qualify.

Other work options

Students who do not have federal work-study eligibility, including international students, but who would like to work on campus may still be able to do so. A number of offices throughout the University are able to offer non-work-study positions. Interested students should visit the Harvard Student Employment Office website.

International students are eligible to work on campus and should contact the Harvard International Office for more information on what visa documentation may be required.