Community Service Work-Study

Finding a Job

From Here to Employed

The suggested early bird application periods are as follows:

  • Fall: Ongoing
  • IAP: Nov 10-Dec 23/Dec 15 for out-of-state positions
  • Spring: Jan 4 onwards
  • Summer: Apr 20-Jun 24/Jun 17 for out-of-state positions (Summer positions begin on or after June 8).

Each week, qualified applicants will be approved, even after these suggested application dates have passed, as funding permits. Requirements include:

  • Federal Work-Study eligibility
  • A secured position with a nonprofit organization, government agency, or school
  • Position qualifies for the program (ask me, I’ll let you know!)
  • MIT funding is still available

These requirements are described in greater detail below.

Step One: Check your eligibility

Make sure you are eligible for Federal Work-Study! Your financial aid award on WebSIS must say you have a "Federal Work-Study Award" to be eligible for an off-campus community service job. Please contact the Community Employment Administrator at to confirm your eligibility!

Step Two: Find a job

There are several ways to find a job. Consider working for an employer that is part of Neighborhood Works, where groups of MIT students work to improve the Cambridge-Boston community.

You can also browse the community service job listings to see a wider range of local jobs. To get started search for “Community Service” in the Job Category drop down menu.

Finding your own non-profit organization to work with is a third option. Come in and meet with the Community Employment Administrator to talk about what you are looking for in a job and ensure that anything you have in mind meets the Federal guidelines for the program. To schedule a meeting email us at

Step Three: Do some paperwork

Once you have received a job offer, contact the Community Employment Administrator,, and you will receive a Student Job Description Application to complete and return. (If you want to continue in a job you’ve had previously you will be asked to complete a continuation application.) These applications will be reviewed and approved each week until all of MIT’s Community Service Work-Study funding has been promised for the semester.

When your job has been approved you will need to complete the final paperwork. Even though you will be working off-campus, you will be paid by MIT. If you've previously held an on-campus job, you will have already completed some of this paperwork.

  • I-9 form: This is the form anyone starting a new job in the United States must fill out to prove his or her eligibility to work. This is required if you've never worked at MIT before. Complete and turn in this form to the Welcome Center, W20-021H. You can download the form here.
  • Tax forms: MIT's online federal and state tax withholding forms.
  • Direct deposit authorization form: You must sign up for direct deposit to your banking account. MIT does not cut paper paychecks.

You cannot begin working until all completed paperwork has been received and approved.

Step Four: Start working and get paid

Once your paperwork has been approved, you will need the go-ahead from the Community Employment Administrator before you can begin working and turning in time sheets.

Federal Work-Study student earnings are constrained by an MIT minimum and a Federal maximum. MIT’s minimum is the same as that of an on-campus position: $10 per hour. The maximum is determined by the amount of Federal Work-Study earnings you were allotted in your financial aid package, which is known as the “earnings ceiling.”

Jobs under the Community Service Work-Study Program are unlike other MIT jobs in that you will not be filling out a time card online. Remember to fill out your time sheet with your supervisor every time you work, and be sure to sign it! Time sheets must be be scanned and emailed to by no later than 3 p.m. on Fridays by your employer. If you work on weekends, time sheets can be faxed by Monday at 10 a.m. at the absolute latest. There is no stretching these deadlines because the electronic payroll system shuts down every Monday.

Through the work-study program, the Federal government pays 75% of your wage, while the employer is responsible for the remaining 25% plus an 8% employee-benefits charge during the summer. MIT pays students their full wage each week, and the agency reimburses MIT on a monthly basis. Your wages will be deposited in your bank account by 9 a.m. on Fridays.

Here are some important things to remember when you are working:

Most students work 5-15 hours per week; students can work up to 20 hours per week during the school year, including hours worked in other MIT positions. You can work up to 40 hours a week during the summer or IAP.

If you are working more than five and a half hours per day, you are required by law to take an unpaid lunch break of at least half an hour. You must record the times you start and finish this break on your time sheet.