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CSWS Resources

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Get Advice  |  Finding a Job  |  Forms and Handbooks  |  FAQs  |  Videos

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CSWS students

Not sure where to start? Talk to a student who's participated in CSWS.

CSWS Peer Advisors

Finding a Job

Most CSWS placements are developed by the applicant with the assistance of their community partner organization and Haas Center staff. As you begin researching potential placement opportunities, consider established opportunities, particularly internships that are being advertised as either paid or unpaid. Don't limit your search to published internships, however; other organizations may be interested in developing a community service work-study opportunity that matches your interest with their needs.

Which organizations are eligible?

Please review the Partner Organization Eligibility section on the CSWS Resources for Community Partners page to understand which organizations will qualify for the CSWS program.

Stanford Resources

  • Service4all: Email distribution list, where current service opportunities (including paid and unpaid positions) are often posted
  • Stanford Career Education: Student career education center at Stanford
  • Handshake: Online platform that provides Stanford students with opportunities, connections, events, and content related to their career aspirations and interests
  • Upcoming Events at Haas Center for Public Service: Upcoming events that could lead to finding potential placements
  • Cardinal Quarter Connections: Organizations seeking Stanford student interns. Applicants will need to confirm that the partner organization is eligible for CSWS and willing to complete the CSWS-specific responsibilities
  • Faculty and staff within your academic department who may have suggestions or information on former student internship placements or potential placements
  • Family, friends, neighbors, places of worship, community centers, etc. may have suggestions of potential placements

Nonprofit/Government Agencies

Tips for Researching a Potential Host Organization

  1. Think jobs, internships, or volunteer opportunities. Many may qualify as Community Service Work-Study (CSWS) positions (as long as your position does not displace current employees).
  2. Start early. It may take time to secure the best placement. Don't wait until the last minute, because positions may already be filled. Start the search in late fall quarter, arrange for interviews over the holiday break, and, once you receive an offer, complete the application to meet the early deadline in February.
  3. Create your own experience. Don't limit your search to what you see in print. Many organizations are interested in working with this program and hosting a student when they are asked.
  4. Don't get discouraged. You may hear "no," but don't let that discourage you. Move on to the next organization.
  5. Explore your options. Search for organizations that interest you and could provide a valuable learning and skill building experience. Consider these questions as you begin your search process:
    • When do you want to take part in this program? (academic year or summer)
    • Where do you want your placement to be? (The CSWS summer program can be anywhere within the United States; the CSWS academic year program must be local.)
    • What type of organization would you like to work with? (nonprofit organization or government agency)
    • What type of work would you like to do?
    • What do you hope to gain from the experience?
    • What types of skills do you possess?
    • What types of skills would you like to develop?
    • What population would you like to work with or serve?
    • How many hours a week do you want to work?
    • If you're working during the academic year, which hours can you work?
    • What modes of transportation do you have available to you?
  6. Contact the organization for more information - here's a sample letter. When evaluating a possible placement, consider these questions:
    • What is the mission and philosophy of the organization?
    • Is the organization affiliated with a particular religious, political, governmental, or civic group?
    • What are the expectations and the specific responsibilities of the placement?
    • What skills or experience are required or preferred?
    • What is the time commitment requested?
    • How are hours scheduled?
    • Who will you be working with and in what capacity?
    • Does the organization have experience working with students or interns?
    • What type of orientation, training, supervision, and support are provided?

Forms and Handbooks

Sample Time Sheet (292.42 KB)
 Learning Plan (58.16 KB)

Photo and video release

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in Community Service Work-Study (CSWS)?

Currently enrolled undergraduate students who have a financial aid package may qualify for CSWS, with the following exceptions:

  • International students are not eligible.
  • Seniors who are graduating from Stanford are not eligible the summer after their senior year.

All applicants must obtain an authorization form to verify their work-study eligibility from the Financial Aid Office**. Many applicants who have found themselves ineligible for work-study during the academic year have found themselves eligible for work-study during the summer. Therefore, it is important to verify your work-study eligibility for the academic year and summer programs separately.

**If you have difficulty accessing the Financial Aid Authorization Form for CSWS Summer, please email with your (1) full name, (2) SUID, and (3) specify whether you've completed your FAFSA for the following academic year to check your CSWS Summer Program eligibility. 

How much do I get paid?

Haas Center staff determine hourly wages based on a student's previous Stanford work experience and the job requirements. For the 2023-24 Academic Year, most students earn between $18 and $18.75. Once your hourly wage and eligibility limit has been established, you must provide this information to your partner organization.

The summer program wage is set at $22.00/hour*. 
*Final wage to be confirmed in February 2024.

Can I participate in CSWS during the academic year and the summer?

Yes, you may participate in the program both during the academic year and the summer if you are eligible. Please note that the academic year and summer work-study programs are two separate programs, and you must obtain authorization of your earnings limit for each program with the Financial Aid Office. In addition, if you participate in the summer program, you must reapply for the academic year program, even if you are working for the same organization. Similarly, if you have been working during the academic year, you must reapply for the summer. Keep in mind that the CSWS summer placement can be anywhere within the United States, but the CSWS academic year placement should be local.

Does academic year participation affect my summer eligibility (and vice versa)?

No. Participating during the school year does not decrease how much you can earn during the following summer and vice versa.

How do I apply?

Follow the Student Application process. If you have any questions, contact Yvette Zepeda.

How do I know if a community partner organization is eligible for the CSWS program?

Eligibility requirements are laid out on the Partner Organizations page. Host organizations are typically nonprofits, Native American tribal organizations, or government agencies.

Is housing provided by the CSWS program?

No, the program does not provide housing. Students can view tips for finding housing on our General Summer Housing Tips and Resources document or talk to one of our program staff members for ideas. Additionally, the FLI Student Success Center offers summer assistance for CSWS students who plan to live away from home and/or in an area with a high cost of living; more information about the Summer Equity Grant can be found on their website.

Other questions? Contact Yvette Zepeda.

Hear from Community Partners

Check out these quick video tips from Olatunde Sobomehin and Elisa Nino-Sears, two longtime CSWS and Cardinal Quarter supervisors.