Off-Campus Federal Work-Study

The Off-Campus Federal Work-Study (OCFWS) program enables eligible Brown students to access work-study funding through off-campus, community-based assignments. OCFWS connects students with partner organizations in the greater Providence area in various roles. The Swearer Center advises students as needed and helps connect them to eligible partner sites. Brown’s Office of Financial Aid determines student OCFWS eligibility and sets the award amount for yearly student earnings. Students are paid by the University through Federal Work-Study funding. Due to a limited pool of funding OCFWS positions are not guaranteed for every eligible student; if necessary, interested students may be placed on a waitlist until additional funding spots open up.


Click on any of the links below to navigate to the associated section:
OCFWS Eligibility Requirements
OCFWS Timeline
Application Process
I-9 Instructions & Payment Information
2022-2023 OCFWS Opportunities
Training & Support
Contact Us


OCFWS Eligibility Requirements


In order to be paid for their work, students must have a Federal Work-Study award included in their financial aid package for the qualifying academic year. Before applying for OCFWS, be sure to check your award to ensure that you are eligible. Students with a “Campus Employment” award are not eligible to participate. Click here for instructions on how to check your eligibility for Off-Campus Federal Work Study.

If you have further questions about your eligibility, please contact Financial Aid at [email protected].

Eligible students interested in OCFWS:

  • must work with one of the qualifying OCFWS partner organizations listed below.
  • must be enrolled in Brown University for the qualifying semester. Students taking a leave of absence during the spring or fall semester are not eligible to participate for the semester they are on leave.
  • are required to log hours into Workday in order to receive payment for completed hours.
  • are not able to use more than one OCFWS placement site for employment.


If you are ineligible, your application for OCFWS will be withdrawn and will not be sent to partner organizations. You are welcome to connect with the organization directly to see if they are interested in hosting you as a volunteer, however, you will not be able to receive OCFWS funding for your work. We also invite you to find a volunteer opportunity through Swearer's community service database, BrownEngage.

OCFWS Timeline

September 1 –  September 19 Students are invited to apply for the OCFWS program
September 13 - September 23 Students must make an appointment to complete a RI State Background Check with the Swearer Center IF required for the positions they are applying for. (Please see listings below).
September 19 – 20

Student applications are reviewed for eligibility by Swearer Center & Office of Financial Aid.

Students will receive an email around this time confirming their eligibility status. If eligible, this email will include their allotted OCFWS funding award for the year. 

All applications are sent to partner sites for review.

September 20 – September 30

Supervisors review student applications and interview students if wanted.

Students complete a background check through Swearer if required for the organization(s) they applied to.

Students confirm or deny any internship offers they receive from supervisors through email.

September 30 (no later than October 7) Deadline for supervisors to submit the name(s) of hired students to Swearer Center
Early October

Office of Financial Aid sends hour-logging & verification instructions for Workday (Brown's payroll system) to hired students and supervisors. Students are NOT allowed to work until they receive an official start date from Financial Aid.

Students who did not receive any offers will be contacted by [email protected] with available options for placement after the first round of hiring is completed.

Early-Mid October through May 2023 OCFWS students complete internships with their host organizations.

Application Process

All students interested in receiving OCFWS funding must apply for an eligible position through an application form that Swearer creates. Applications were due on September 19.

1- Review of Your Application
Swearer staff and Christina Visinho, the Assistant Director of Financial Aid, will review your application for eligibility and completeness, and verify that your I-9 process is complete. You will receive an email notifying you of your eligibility or ineligibility for the program on September 20. If you are eligible, your application will then be sent to the partner organization(s) for review.

2 - Interview Process
Partner organizations may reach out to OCFWS applicants between September 20 and September 30 to interview you for their position(s), as a part of the review process. Other organizations may only review the written application and make their decisions based on that information. 

3 - Onboarding & Hour Verification Process
You will hear back about whether or not you have been accepted by an organization you applied to by no later than October 7. Please reply to the acceptance email, if applicable, to confirm your interest. Financial Aid will then send you an official start date with instructions for logging hours on Workday. After that point, your host organization will be responsible for providing any onboarding support and training, as well as supervision, throughout the year. This includes hour verification on Workday.

There are many partner organizations that are interested in working with OCFWS students, however, we can not guarantee you a spot in the OCFWS program. After October 7, if you have not been accepted by an organization, we will do our best to connect you with any organizations that might still be looking for additional support.

Yes! Please submit the application multiple times for each position for which you would like to be considered.


You are more than welcome to apply for an OCFWS position and let your supervisor know that you would only be working for the fall semester. We recommend notifying the organizations you are applying to either by writing that in your application or mentioning it during an interview. 

Some organizations are better equipped to host a student for only one semester, especially those that are partnered with student groups on campus.

I-9 Instructions & Payment Information

All on and off-campus jobs require an I-9 form to be completed for tax purposes. Students interested in participating in the OCFWS program must complete an I-9 process through Brown University; once you complete this process, you do not need to do it again, though you can update your address and other information on Workday as needed. Detailed instructions for this process can be found here.

At Brown, there are two main steps to the I-9 process: 

  1. ​Complete your I-9 form on Workday

  2. Have your identity verified by bringing an approved document (see the list below) to the HR Service Center at the following address (no appointment needed, check here for hours of operation):
    Page-Robinson Hall, Room 213
    69 Brown Street
    Providence, RI 02912 Brown Business Office 

Please direct all I-9-related questions to the HR Service Center, the office that runs the I-9 process for students, through email ([email protected]), phone (401-863-5200), or an in-person visit to the HR Service Center

PDF iconList of Acceptable Documents for I-9 Identity Verification


You will receive hourly earnings of the amount that your supervisor sets for your position that is listed in the job description, like any other hourly on or off-campus job. The award amount that you receive after applying for the OCFWS program, if you are eligible, is the maximum amount you could earn throughout the entire year.

For example, if your hourly pay rate was $13/hour for the position you accept, and your OCFWS award amount from the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) was $2,000, then you could work about 153 hours in the given academic year to reach your full earnings maximum between the start date given to you by OFA and May 15th. You will have been sent checks or received direct deposit amounts in your bank account that total $2,000 by the end of the year if you work all 153 hours. That said, you do not need to work this many hours if you do not want to; the award maximum sets a limit for earning potential. You will receive reminders from OFA once you start nearing your award limit-- in some cases, if you are working frequently, your award limit can be increased for the year.


The money you earn through your OCFWS internship goes directly to you through direct deposit or check, depending on what preference you select in your Workday forms.


Students are to submit their hours each week using Workday, Brown's online time tracking system. Instructions will be sent to you once you have been hired for an eligible OCFWS position by the Office of Financial Aid. In general, it is advisable that students work no more than 8-12 hours per week during a period of academic enrollment. For more information on guidelines and regulations related to student work hours, please refer to the Student Employment website.

The Brown University workweek is defined as Sunday-Saturday. The deadline to submit your hours is every Saturday by 11:59 pm. This will allow us time each Monday morning to review and approve the hours you have entered so that you can get paid. The Office of Financial Aid will send you a reminder email every Friday to ensure that you meet the weekly expectation.

The Office of Financial Aid works with your supervisor to confirm that the hours reported in Workday match the hours you actually worked. 

Late Submission of Hours: If at any point, you are unable to enter your hours in Workday because you missed the deadline, please contact Off-Campus and Federal Work Study staff directly via email as soon as possible at [email protected] so we can provide you with alternative instructions for submitting your hours.

WHEN DO I GET PAID? Paychecks are issued bi-weekly (every other Friday). Although not required, the fastest way to get paid is to sign up for Direct Deposit. See the instructions document above to sign-up for Direct Deposit.

2022-2023 OCFWS Opportunities

Please search through this Google Folder to view the full job descriptions for each of these available positions.  You will need to complete an application for every position you intend to apply for.

Some positions require background checks for their student workers, which means you will need to get one through the host organization or through the Swearer Center. If the background check source says Swearer in the table below, then please refer to our Center's Background Check & Clearance Form webpage for more information. The Swearer Center will provide notary appointments from Sept 12th to Sept 23rd for students to obtain state background checks.

Organization Name Organization Focus Area Position Title Type of Work Hours/Week # of Students Wanted Background Check Required? Background Check Source
Providence Housing Authority Affordable Housing Office of Strategy and Development Intern In-person 10-29 1 Federal BCI Required Host Organization
DESIGNxRI Arts Development Intern Hybrid 10-15 1 No N/A
WBRU Radio Arts WBRU Student Intern In-person 5-15 25+ No N/A
New Urban Arts Arts and K-12 Education Artist Mentor In-person 4 10 State BCI Required Host Organization
College Visions College Access and Success College Success Program Research Assistant Hybrid 6-10 1 No N/A
Refugee Dream Center Community Service/Education Marketing/Social Media Intern Hybrid 5+ 1 Federal BCI Required Host Organization
Refugee Dream Center Community Service/Education Program Support Intern Hybrid 5+ 1 Federal BCI Required Host Organization
Refugee Dream Center Community Service/Education Volunteer Coordinator Intern Hybrid 5+ 1 Federal BCI Required Host Organization
Progreso Latino, Inc. Community Services Community Outreach In-person 30+ 1 No N/A
Rhode Island Center for Justice Criminal Justice Criminal Justice/Prisoners' Rights Intern Hybrid 4+ 3-4 No N/A
House of Hope (HOPE Student Group) Economic Justice Outreach & Advocacy Worker Hybrid 8-12 20+ No N/A
RI Coalition to End Homelessness Economic Justice SOAR(SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery) Program Assistant Hybrid 20-30 2 No N/A
Local Return Economic Justice Learning Fellow Remotely 6 1-2 No N/A
The Farmlink Project Environment Farmlink Fellow Remotely ~10 3 No N/A
Farm Fresh Rhode Island Food Systems Market Mobile Farm Viability Fellow In-person 8-20 1 No N/A
Farm Fresh Rhode Island Food Systems Farmers Market Food Security Fellow In-person 8-20 1 No N/A
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (SHAPE Student Group) Health SHAPE Facilitator Hybrid 3-5 20+ State BCI Required Swearer Center
Lifespan (Connect for Health Student Group) Health Connect for Health Advocate Hybrid 5-10+ (as wanted) 50 Federal BCI Required Host Organization
Rhode Island Free Clinic Health Patient and Volunteer Services Intern In-person 10-15 2 Federal BCI Required Host Organization
134 Collaborative Health, Arts & Education Program Associate In-person 8 1 State BCI Required Swearer Center
Annenberg Institute (Brown Tutoring Corps Student Group) K-12 Education Tutor (for K-12 students) Hybrid 2+ 100+ State BCI Required Swearer Center
RI Nurses Institute Middle College Charter High School K-12 Education Numeracy Support Professional In-person 15+ (during school hours, 8am-3pm) 2-3 Federal BCI Required Host Organization
Highlander Institute K-12 Education Data Management Intern Remotely 5-7 1 No N/A
Highlander Institute K-12 Education Social Media Intern Remotely 5-8 1 No N/A
Highlander Institute K-12 Education Impact & Research Intern Remotely 10-15 1 No N/A
Inspiring Minds K-12 Education Explorer In-person 3-5 20 State BCI Required Swearer Center
Inspiring Minds K-12 Education Tutor-Mentor In-person Up to 15 20 State BCI Required Swearer Center
Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education K-12 Education Intern Hybrid 12-15 2 State BCI Required Swearer Center
Providence Promise K-12 Education Youth Engagement & Evaluation Hybrid 10 1 State BCI Required Swearer Center
DownCity Design K-12 Education Program Intern Hybrid 20 2 No N/A
Boys & Girls Club of East Providence K-12 Education Mentor/Tutor Hybrid 5-15 10 Federal BCI Required Host Organization
Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center K-12 Education OLEEP Mentor at the Met In-person 3-4 7 Federal BCI Required Host Organization
SouthCoast Fair Housing Legal Non-Profit Student Intern Hybrid 8-12 1-2 No N/A
Youth Pride Inc. (YPI) LGBTQ+ Youth Center Outreach Liaison In-person 15-20 3 State BCI Required Swearer Center
Cultural Society Multiple Technical Support and Website Upkeep Remotely 10-20 1 No N/A
Cultural Society Multiple Administrative Intern Hybrid 20-25 1-3 No N/A
Rhode Island Center for Justice Racial and Economic Justice Education Justice Intern Hybrid 5-10 1 No N/A
Rhode Island for Community and Justice Racial Justice, Social Justice Youth Empowerment Intern In-person 15-20 1 State BCI Required Host Organization 

Scheduling, Training, & Support


    Site Supervision & Scheduling

    Your site supervisor(s) and/or student site leader(s) are responsible for providing orientations and ongoing training that will prepare you for your work at your site. They are your primary resource throughout the academic year and should be consulted if you are looking for additional support with your work. 

    You and your supervisor are able to set up a schedule for work that fits both of your needs. We recommend you communicate your mutual scheduling needs for the entire semester with your supervisor at the beginning of your internship to ensure clear expectations. Most students tend to work between 3 and 10 hours per week, with 12 hours being the highest we recommend unless you are able to devote a significant portion of your time each week to your internship. Students may schedule extra shifts or work time during less busy times of the academic year, and cut down on hours during midterms and finals-- for example, you could work 12 hours/week during October and November, and then work only 3 hours/week during your finals, if that requested schedule works for your partner organization. Some organizations might have busy times of the year during which they could use extra support-- for example, if your organization has a big event in early December, they might want you to work extra hours that week. These questions are great to ask your supervisor early on.

    Swearer Staff Support

    Swearer staff member Sophia Pray is accessible for OCFWS program-related questions. She can help provide guidance on the following topics:

    • Aligning your OCFWS experience with your professional goals

    • Building and sustaining relationships with your supervisor(s) and coworkers 

    • Troubleshooting any issues that may arise at your site

    Asynchronous Training Modules

    Swearer maintains a platform of asynchronous training modules that are accessible to all students at Brown University, including OCFWS students, that are listed below. In addition, Swearer will offer synchronous workshops with community partners throughout the academic year. In order to access the following training modules, you will need to sign up for a student TopHat account, the Swearer Center's e-learning platform, using your Brown credentials. If you do not sign-up for a student account you will not be able to access these training modules. 

    Instructions for creating a student TopHat account:

    1. Navigate to TopHat and click "Sign Up"
    2. Confirm your school affiliation by typing in and selecting Brown University on the TopHat website
    3. Complete Brown's Duo Mobile verification process
    4. Create a STUDENT account on TopHat (this is a very important step)
    5. Join the course(s) you are interested in by using the links below


    Orientation to Providence and Brown History

    Any individual engaging with the Providence community is encouraged to participate in this virtual training on Providence and Brown's history. All Swearer-affiliated students, including students applying for opportunities through BrownEngage, are required to participate in this training.

    Workshop Goals:

    1. Learn about neighborhoods in Providence
    2. Understand Brown’s History in the context of Providence
    3. Facilitate critical thinking and challenges assumptions

    While we invite students to review this training module each year, it only needs to be completed once during a student's tenure at Brown.


    Mandated Reporter Training

    Any individual engaging with minors under the age of 18 is required to complete a Mandated Reporter training. The Swearer Center maintains a list of students who have completed this virtual training for compliance tracking purposes.

    Workshop Description:

    • Rhode Island state law (RIGL 40-11-3) requires known or suspected cases of child abuse to be reported through a process known as “Mandated Reporting.” In this workshop, participants will be provided with an overview of the mandated reporting process as well as the implications of this role when engaging with minors ages 17 and under. Participants will learn to identify signs of abuse, including physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse, and familiarize themselves with the requirements of reporting this information whether they are in a K-12 school or another setting.

    • The 20-minute training module will teach participants about their roles as Mandated Reporters and provide instructions on how to make a report in the event that known or suspected cases of child abuse become known. The mandated reporting process is enforced by state law (RIGL 40-11-3). After receiving a report of known or suspected child abuse, the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) investigates and intervenes as necessary. 

    While we invite students to review the training each year, it only needs to be completed once during a student's tenure at Brown.

    Contact Us

    Have any general questions about the OCFWS program at Brown University? Please reach out to Community-Engaged Learning Manager Sophia Pray at [email protected].

    Want to learn more about your eligibility status for the OCFWS program? Please reach out to Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Christina Visinho, at [email protected].