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Work Study Program Details

The Work Study Program at North House Folk School is an incentivised program through which folks can earn credit towards taking classes by helping out with less glamorous but highly valued functions of the school. Work Study is part of the North House Accessibility Program.

How it Works

Work Study tasks and sessions align with North House’s needs for daily campus support, weekly operations, annual events, and other special projects. In exchange for hours spent working on campus, participants are compensated with tuition credit that can be used towards coursework tuition or sailing aboard the schooner Hjørdis. 

Anyone may sign up for Work Study programs. That said, Work Study is a key strategy for ensuring programs are financially accessible to everyone. Our goal is to attract participants highly interested in North House’s commitment to building community, motivated to work in a community service role, and interested in hands-on learning.

Program participants should be willing and physically capable of completing a wide range of projects. Projects include setting up classrooms, sweeping floors, washing windows, moving tables, cleaning bathrooms, mowing lawns, watering gardens, digging holes, folding letters and more! Opportunities to share stories, drink coffee, eat pizza, and get to know the North House community can also be anticipated. However, please let us know if you have special circumstances; we may be able to accommodate.

Work Study Varieties

Weekly Drop-in Work Study “Wednesday Work Study” is a two-hour shift that meets on Wednesdays from 1pm to 3pm to reset campus for the weeks coming coursework. We provide a bonus one-hour credit to those who attend three Wednesdays of the same month. Just come down to campus at 1pm Wednesday and we’ll get started!

Extended Session Work Study sessions are one to three weeks long in length and go deeper into supporting the daily operations of North House. Apply online at our Work Study page. Sign up for our newsletter to get updates when applications are open. More information below.

Special Event/Project sessions are recruited through our newsletter and Volunteer List Note: Only specific volunteer positions earn work study tuition.


The Work Study Program is an essential piece of the puzzle during a typical week at North House. Accordingly, we ask that all participants make sure they fully understand the requirements and duties associated with the program. These include: 

  • Participating in outdoor, physical, and messy work. Lifting and moving heavy objects. Cleaning.
  • Arriving on time, completing assigned projects, and asking for direction once tasks are completed or if unsure how to complete a project.
  • Folks under the age of 18 years old will need a parent/guardian with them. 
  • Willingness to comply with Covid-19 Policies and be respectful of others

Compensation Specifics

For each hour of work, Work Study earns an hour of tuition credit worth $12.86 per hour. The tuition rate for courses varies, but this hourly rate reflects the average tuition rate of $103/day; some courses may cost more and require a student to log more hours of work to fully cover the tuition.

Tuition credit
  • can cover Tuition
  • can cover Hjørdis rides
  • is good only for one year from the date of issue
  • is transferable to other people
  • does NOT cover materials fees
  • does NOT cover items in the store
  • can NOT be used in combination with other discounts (local, intergenerational, etc.)


Registering For Classes/Cancellation Policy

Work Study participants looking to use tuition credit must register in person or by phone. Payment of the materials fee is required upon registration. Tuition Credit will be applied at the time of registration; if a tuition balance remains, it is due at the time of class start.
North House’s cancellation policy applies to tuition credit. If North House must cancel a course, students will receive a full refund of any payments made for that course. Students who cancel their enrollment more than 21 days prior to the first day of the course will receive a refund less a $50 cancellation fee to cover administrative costs. In recognition of the time and energy instructors invest in preparing for courses, students who cancel their enrollment 21 days or less prior to the first day of the course are not eligible for a refund.


Extended Session Work Study

Extended Work Study sessions are a week-long or more in length and go deeper into supporting the daily operations of North House. Sessions include logging hours, coursework, and also a more regimented schedule with required commitment. Each session allows for one to two participants.

Selection of Candidates

North House selects candidates and assigns session dates based upon the Work Study Program's goals and the structure of each session is based on the need for campus support. Key amongst these are ensuring program accessibility and supporting ongoing programs. Session assignments will begin on the dates noted. Selection is solely up to the discretion of North House, and we reserve the right to make changes to the Work Study program at any time.


Lodging is provided in the home of a North House instructor.  The home is a couple blocks from campus. Rooms have a queen bed and private bathroom with a shared kitchen downstairs. The home has a family dog, a sweet but energetic weimaraner. 

Some Work Study participants elect to provide their own accommodations during their stay, including nearby Forest Service campgrounds, other area lodging establishments, or other creative solutions. Feel free to do so if this would better meet your needs. 


Food is not provided, work study participants need to plan to bring or buy their own food.   There are three gocery stores in town (The Co-op, Johnson's, and Gene's IGA) and several resturants.  Sometimes prices are a dollar or two more here than other areas of the state, you're welcome to bring food if this is a concern.

All lodging options will come with a basic cooking set up, like an electric hotplate and pot.  Work studies are also able to use the kitchen in the blue building before 8am or after 5pm when the building is empty, and can store some items in the fridge there.  

What to Bring

  • Clothing that you can move in and get dirty.  We reccomend bringing shoes that you're comfortable walking and working in and layered clothing; the weather can be unpredictable!  Some tasks will be inside and others will be outside, bring clothing that can work for either. 
  • Bedding and towels. Our housing options all include a mattress, but not linnens.
  • Specific pots or pans. We only have a basic setup.
  • Food.  This can also be purchased a grocery stores in town.
  • Sunscreen & bug protection (summer only)


Unfortunately, there are not very good public transportation options to get to Grand Marais, as it is pretty far from most places. In the warmer season, participants will not need transportation during their stay, once they arrive. In the colder season, participants that are assigned to stay at an instructor's home can walk to campus, but those assigned to stay at the Hungry Hippie Hostel will need a car to get to and from their offsite lodging.  Visit our Plan Your Trip section on our website for ideas.


In conjunction with the tuition credit earned, coursework can be included into the participants schedule with the approval of the Program Manager. This allows participants to earn tuition credit and take a class on the same trip, while lodging is available at no charge.  Not all classes can fit into the work study schdule.  If the  participant does not want to take a class offered during the session then the tuition credit can be used at a later date but lodging will not be provided.

Some folks have to cancel out of a Work Study session,  but they still want to take the class they have a held spot in. They have two days to register and pay for the class. After two days, the cancelled Work Study will be dropped from the class so that someone else may take the spot.

Bring A Friend!

Each session allows for two participants. So if you have a friend that would like to be involved have them apply with you. 

How to apply

Applying for the program is easy on our website. Note that openings in each session are limited.  While applications are welcome at any time, please note deadlines for when assignment of specific sessions will begin (any open dates after these deadlines will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis).

General Schedule and Workload 

The workload and work really varies seasonally and based on weather.  The days will usually start with morning rounds and making coffee for classes.  After that there will be a variety of tasts.  Sometimes these tasks end at 2pm, sometimes at 5pm.  Communicate with the Classroom Manager to figure out when it would fit in the schedule to take time off.  Work study participants will have time to explore the town and the wilderness around Grand Marais!  If work study applicants have one or two minor conflicting committments, let us know ahead of time and usually we can work around it. 

However, this is a 'full time' commitment.  Work study participants cannot work remotely for another job and try to fit in a couple of work study hours around thier regular work schedule.  However, the inverse could be true! Work study participants can spend the majority of their day working for North House and then take calls or emails for another job when the work study duties have wrapped up for the day.

Below is the general structure of a Work Study Week. Times are subject to change as campus needs are assessed. Here is a more detailed general schedule of duties if you really want the nitty gritty. 

Wednesday 10am — 5pm (1st day)
Thursday 8am — 5pm
Friday 8am — 9am
9am — 5pm in class
Saturday 8am — 9am
9am — 5pm in class
5am — 8pm Pizza Potluck (summer only)
Sunday 8am — 9am
9am — 5pm in class
Monday 8am — 5pm

8am — 5pm

Look like Fun?

Great! Apply for sessions on the main Work Study Page


More Information

Questions? Please contact Program Manager, Alex Blust at or call 218-387-9762.

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