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VanderCook College of Music

Work-Study Program

Work-Study Program Overview

VanderCook offers a wide range of candidate apprenticeships and job opportunities. Positions become available at different times during the year and may be open to most students.

The Work-Study Program objective is to:

Work-Study Positions

Work-Study positions are subject to change from semester to semester, however, positions are generally available in the following areas:


Library student staff assist in general office duties, checking library materials in and out, shelving read and shift books, basic data entry, performing music catalog searches, and helping with archive projects.

Ensembles Office

Ensembles student staff assist in music library management, music and instrument distribution and inventory, logistical operations for concerts, festivals, and outreach events.


A/V student staff provide technical assistance and manage audio and video recording of concerts, lectures and special events.

Continuing Education

Continuing education student staff assist in the operational needs of the MECA continuing education program. Candidates must be available on weekends and have means of travel for early morning arrivals.

General Office Assistant

The general office assistant aids in clerical duties and helps manage mailings through positions in the offices of Admissions, Development, Business, Professional Education, Registrar, Front Office, and President’s Office. (Offices may be combined for a shared position.)

Building Lock-Up

Under the supervision of the evening receptionist, the building lock-up crew ensures all doors and windows in the building are locked, vacuums classrooms, and washes white boards.


Through a series of partnerships, VanderCook provides community outreach services to neighboring schools and establishments. Students assist with drum circles or guitar instruction.

Applications for these and other positions are announced and interviews conducted during the first week of each semester.

Other Employment Opportunities

VanderCook offers private music lessons to students of all ages and levels through the Community Music Program (CMP). VanderCook students may participate in this program by providing individual or group instruction in their primary area of study. The CMP operates independently from the Work-Study Program and runs all year long.

Summer Employment

Undergraduate students serve as the summer student staff for the six-week graduate program and the eight-week MECA continuing education rogram. Summer job lists are published and distributed in April. Summer employment does not operate under the Work-Study Program. Students are selected by merit and experience and not necessarily by financial need. Graduate students and non-undergraduate students are not eligible for summer employment.

Work-Study Payments

All Work-Study positions pay by the hour.

Hourly Pay Model

The hourly wage for Work-Study positions starts at the City of Chicago minimum wage rate. Paperwork is required for any hourly pay position, including:

These documents must be completed and submitted to the Business Office prior to a student’s first day of work.

Federal Work-Study

Students eligible for financial aid through the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) will be identified at the beginning of each semester. To be eligible for FWS, a student must have completed a FASFA form and have unmet financial need after all other need-based financial aid awards have been taken into account. Graduate and undergraduate students are eligible for funding. The FWS amount may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance. Students must meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress to be eligible for any federal funds. Once enrolled in FWS, students will complete paperwork accordingly and are paid as hourly employees.


Every Gift Matters…

Gifts to VanderCook come in many forms and sizes and each one truly makes a difference. You may wonder how a small contribution can matter to the college – how it can “make a dent.” Combined with other donor gifts, even a relatively minor contribution can make a major impact.

Thank you for your generosity and support!

The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

© 2022 VanderCook College of Music. All Rights Reserved.
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