Become a Federal Work-Study Partner

What is Federal Work-Study?

Work-study is a need-based, part-time employment program in which the government and the employer share the payroll cost of employing a student. More information on Federal Work-Study can be found here.

What does it mean to be a Federal Work-Study partner?

Federal Work-Study Partners are community-based non-profit organizations, local municipalities, and small businesses within the state of Wisconsin where UW-Madison students are able to work to earn funds from their work-study allotment. This helps our partner organizations find and recruit highly qualified students while keeping costs for employee wages low. All partners are reviewed for eligibility by our team based on UW-Madison’s administration of this federal program.

Check Your Eligibility

Why should I become a Federal Work-Study Partner?

Streamlined Application Process

Federal Work-Study Partners are the only non-UW organizations with full access to the Student Jobs Platform which is utilized for posting positions and collecting applications, allowing for a streamlined recruitment process.

Simple Recruitment of Student-Employees

Students who have the Federal Work-Study award can utilize the Student Jobs Site to find employment, making your job posting visible to thousands of eligible students.

Financial Benefits

For approved off-campus work-study partners, the student's Federal Work-Study allotment covers 75% of their hourly wage until the amount runs out. If you pay students $10/hour, that leaves just $2.50/hour that your organization is responsible for!

How it works:

  1. Complete a Work-Study partner eligibility questionnaire. If approved, our Student Employment Manager will reach out to share the contract, which defines the partnership and will be renewed on an annual basis.
  2. Federal Work-Study Partners post their positions through the UW-Madison Student Jobs Platform.
  3. After a student is hired, the student completes a Student & Employer Information Form within the Student Jobs platform.
  4. Students are paid through the UW Payroll System, and Federal Work-Study partners are invoiced for their portion of student wages on a monthly basis.

Off Campus Work-Study Eligibility Questionnaires

Non Profit Off Campus Work study Eligibility Questionnaire
(This questionnaire is for Wisconsin non-profit organizations to determine their eligibility as a prospective UW-Madison Federal Work-Study partner).

Small Business Off Campus Work Study Eligibility Questionnaire
(This questionnaire is for Wisconsin small businesses to determine their eligibility as a prospective UW-Madison Federal Work-Study partner).

Frequently Asked Questions

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How long is Work-Study valid?

Work-study is awarded in two terms, the Academic Term and Summer Term. The Academic Term typically spans from the beginning of September through the mid to end of May with the Summer Term then running the end of May through the end of August. Since a student is awarded Work-Study separately by either Academic or Summer term, this means their award can differ from term to term. A new Student & Employer Information Form is required to be completed for each term that a student is awarded Work-Study and seeks to work at an approved Work-Study partner site.

How do I become a Federal Work-Study partner?

Complete a Work-Study partner eligibility questionnaire form. Once submitted, it will be reviewed by our Student Employment Team. Partners must either be a non-profit organization and able to show proof of registration as a 501(c)(3), a division of local government (state or city), or be classified as a small business by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Standards. If you have any questions, please contact the Student Employment Manager, Kristina

What happens when a student runs out of their Federal Work-Study allotment?

If you or the student believe that the student is getting close to the maximum dollar amount for Federal Work-Study, please contact the Student Employment team at, as we may be able to make adjustments. However, once the allotment runs out, the employer is responsible for the full amount (100%) of the student’s wages.