Off Campus

The Harvard Student Employment Office administers the Federal Work Study Program (FWSP) for Harvard students working in off-campus agencies. How can we help your organization? FWSP offers significant cost savings in employing eligible Harvard students. Rather than paying the student's full wage, your organization will typically only be responsible for 30% of the agreed upon hourly rate plus 7.9% in payroll taxes. If your organization can demonstrate financial hardship the Student Employment Office can offer a 25% or 10% option (plus tax) depending on your specific organization. Since FWSP is a federally-funded financial aid program, the Student Employment Office will take care of payroll services and then bill your organization for the employer's share at the end of the employment period.

Getting Started

  • Confirm that your organization is eligible to participate in the Federal Work Study Program. Most for-profit enterprises are not eligible.
  • Determine your budget for student employment. Keep in mind that the maximum your organization is responsible for is 30% of a student's earnings (plus 7.9% tax). If your organization can demonstrate financial hardship or is a community service focused organization you may be considered for a 10% or 25% share (plus 7.3% tax). Contact us with your specific situation.
  • Recruit a Harvard student through the Student Employment Office Jobs Database. When posting a job be sure to choose whether you are only accepting FWSP students or if any Harvard student is welcome to apply. While we can't stop non-FWSP students from applying, choosing Federal Work Study Program as a funding source will limit the number of non-FWSP applicants.
  • Need assistance using the Jobs Database? Check out our help page.

Choosing a Candidate

Once you have posted a job opening interested students will contact you through the system which will generate an email expressing their interest along with a copy of their resume and any other documents you requested. Choose 2-3 students to interview and be sure to discuss key topics such as work schedule, job duties, and rate of pay. See our Interviewing Guide for more detailed information.

Once you have found a good match inform the student in writing (email is fine) of the job offer. Include start end/end date and hourly wage.

Setting Up Your Student Hire

Congratulations on your new Harvard student hire! Since your organization is participating in the Federal Work Study Program the Harvard Student Employment Office will take care of the payroll function. At the end of the employment period we will bill your organization for the employer's share of earnings. Check out the end of this page for a sample invoice. Before we can hire the student we need two forms completed:

  1. The student must register their FWSP job. As the employer, please take a look at the registration form and provide the student with relevant information such as the billing contact.
  2. The employer must sign and return to the SEO (electronically or by mail) an Off-Campus Agency Agreement which outlines our respective responsibilities and billing procedures. If you need a counter-signed document just let us know.

Once these two steps are complete the student will receive time reporting instructions and the employer will receive time approval instructions. In short, the student will submit time to the Harvard SEO and we will forward those hours to supervisors for approval.

Time Reporting and Approval

Students will report their time to the Harvard SEO on a weekly basis. Supervisors will receive an automated email on Monday morning with their student worker's reported time. In order for the student to be paid the supervisor must approve the time by replying to the email with 'approve' in the body of the email along with an email signature. Please be sure to respond to the approval email by Monday at 11:59pm so that there is no delay in paying your student worker.

Note that in the event of a University holiday, the time approval process is moved up by (1) business day.

Billing Procedures

At the conclusion of the employment period the Harvard SEO will bill for the employer's share of earnings. Most common scenario is 30% of earnings plus 7.3% payroll tax (on the total earnings). Employers will receive an invoice from Harvard accounts receivables by mail and and an itemized invoice by email. Invoices must be paid within 30 days.

Make checks payable to 'Harvard University'. When remitting payment please do not send to the Student Employment Office. Use the following address and be sure to reference the invoice number:

Harvard University
P.O. Box 4999
Boston, MA 02212-4999


Helpful Documents

Off-Campus FWSP Checklist29 KB
Sample FWSP Invoice136 KB