Off-Campus Federal Work Study for Employers

How can my organization participate in the Off-Campus Federal Work Study program at Kent State as an employer?

The Kent State Community Engaged Learning (CEL) office reviews its Off-Campus Federal Work Study partners annually in the summer but is happy to collect expressions of interest and answer any questions anytime. Organizations interested in serving as an Off-Campus Federal Work Study site for Kent State can call Community Engaged Learning at (330) 672-7876 or e-mail at

The first step is for a Community Engaged Learning staff member to complete a site visit at your location in order to complete a needs assessment, discuss payment processes, communicate federal regulations, and answer any questions you may have about the Off-Campus Federal Work-Study program.

To prepare for this meeting, please note the following:

  • The Off-Campus FWS program involves a 75%/25% pay split; where the employer pays the students in full by maintaining time cards and records of student employment. After timecards are turned in according to the designated schedule, Kent State reimburses the organization 75% of the students’ earnings (the America Reads / America Counts Tutoring program reimburses the organization 100%).
  • The employer is responsible for the interviewing, hiring, and firing of the student employees, including all tax paperwork and other documents related to their employment at the organization.
  • The organization must provide documentation of non-profit status (examples include 501(c)(3) tax documentation) at the time of the site visit.
  • At the conclusion of our meeting, based on the needs and regulations assessment, the Community Engaged Learning staff member will review and sign the Off-Campus FWS agreement to keep on file with our office; this serves as the contract between the institution and the organization for the duration of the student’s employment for the academic year.

Do organizations need to do anything to continue serving as an Off-Campus Federal Work Study site for Kent State University in subsequent years?

Community Engaged Learning staff members perform additional site visits with each organization once a semester. Additionally, the organization must file a new Position Information Form and a job description with the CEL office every year for each position it hosts, and the organization and the university must endorse a new agreement each year. 

How are positions posted, and how do organizations receive applications?

After the organization submits all paperwork and the organization and university endorse the agreement, a Community Engaged Learning staff member will post each position to “Handshake,” the university’s job posting board. 

The CEL staff member will monitor the submission of applications, verify candidates’ FWS eligibility with the Kent State Student Financial Aid office, and forward all eligible applications to the organization. Once the organization receives these applications it is welcome to initiate its own interview process. When the process is complete, the organization informs CEL which student(s) it wishes to hire, the staff member works with the Student Financial Aid office to issue the FWS award, and once that’s complete, the organization is able to on-board the student as a new employee.  

How are organizations reimbursed, and how quickly does it happen?

At the end of each pay cycle, the organization submits documentation of each student employee’s work hours, including a completed work study voucher (which Community Engaged Learning provides upon becoming an Off-Campus FWS site), paycheck stubs, and timesheets. CEL then submits the documentation to the university. After a week or two, the organization will receive a check for 75% of the students’ earnings for that pay period.