UMass Boston

Off-campus Work Study

The Off-campus Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston is focused on providing opportunities for students to work in community service positions in the local Boston area. In order to provide students with solid work opportunities, the following goals have been established.

Employers participating in the off-campus FWS Program at UMass Boston:

  • will provide opportunities for students to engage in meaningful community service functions, with preference given to positions involving direct service;
  • are committed to a long-term relationship with UMass Boston to provide student employment opportunities;
  • will provide opportunities for students to work in positions with strong supervisory/mentoring relationships;
  • understand and are willing to work within the constraints created by the flexible scheduling needs of students; and
  • understand that FWS eligibility is based on a student's need, not on skills or talent, and are willing to assist less qualified individuals gain the necessary skills to succeed."

Off-campus FWS positions are limited to community service opportunities with local, nonprofit agencies already under contract with SES. If you are interested in working at an agency that does not appear in our position listings, the agency should contact SES for detailed information describing the program. Please be aware that the process for contracting with an off-campus agency can take a month or more, and not all agencies are approved. Do not begin working at any agency until the position has been approved and all necessary paperwork has been filed with our office, as you will not be paid for that time.

Off-campus Federal Work-Study Limitations

In accordance with the requirements of the federal programs, work to be performed under off-campus Federal Work-Study agreements are encouraged to relate to the student's academic or vocational goals.  However the work performed must be in the public interest, and:

  1. must be governed by employment conditions, including pay, that are reasonable according to the type of work performed, the geographic region, the employee's proficiency, and any applicable federal, state, or local law; and
  2. must not displace employees or impair existing service contracts (replacement is interpreted as displacement); and
  3. must not involve constructing, operating, or maintaining any part of a building used for religious worship or sectarian instruction; and
  4. must not solicit, accept, or permit soliciting any fee, commission, contribution, or gift as a condition of the student's FWS employment (union dues excluded if paid by all employees).

Further, no work shall be considered in the public interest where:

  1. it primarily benefits the members of an organization that has membership limits;
  2. it involves any partisan or nonpartisan political activity or is associated with a faction in an election for public or party office;
  3. it is work for an elected official unless the official is responsible for the regular administration of federal, state, or local government;
  4. it is work as a political aide for any elected official;
  5. a student's political support or party affiliation is taken into account in hiring him or her;
  6. or it involves lobbying on a federal, state, or local level.

Federal work-study community access program agency fact sheet

  • All employers interested in participating in UMass Boston's Off-Campus FWS Program must complete a "Request for Participation" as the first step toward entering into an "Off-Campus Federal Work-Study Program University-Agency Agreement" (referred to as the "contract"). The contract outlines specific regulations and procedures surrounding the program. The contract is valid for one fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) and must be renewed annually for continued participation. The contract covers all students hired through the program.
  • UMass Boston limits its Off-campus FWS Program to community service positions. As such, agencies must provide specific community service job descriptions with their "Request for Participation."
  • UMass Boston limits its Off-campus FWS Program to local, nonprofit employers. As such, agencies must provide documentation of their non profit status with their "Request for Participation."
  • No positions will be advertised nor made available to any student participating in the FWS Program until after the position has been approved by SES and all contractual paperwork is on file. Job descriptions are kept on file and can be reactivated for posting at any time (provided a current contract is on file).
  • Student Employment Services will complete a Personnel Action Form for the student. Upon processing the PA, SES will mail the agency an updated timesheet listing all of the student's currently contracted to work at the agency through the UMass Boston Off-Campus FWS Program for use in reporting the students' hours.
  • Do not allow the student to begin working until you have received timesheets from SES.
  • For purposes of Payroll, UMass Boston is considered the employer on record. The UMass Boston payroll period runs from Sunday to Saturday. As such, the agency is responsible for submitting completed weekly timesheets to the SES by 11:00 AM each Monday following the work week to report all hours worked through the payroll period just ended.