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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.

Note January 2021: Due to the pandemic, parts of this program are not feasible and on hiatus until it is deemed safe to do so by North House. Please contact the Program Manager if there are any questions.

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. 
  • COVID-19 update: Proof of vaccination against Covid-19 is required for all participants in our residential programs and campus employees. Please provide a copy of your vaccination card in advance of your arrival. 

Compensation Specifics

For each hour of work, Work Study earns an hour of tuition credit worth $11.09 per hour. The tuition rate for courses varies, but this hourly rate reflects the average tuition rate of $85/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.

Note January 2021: Due to the pandemic, parts of this program are a little different and more socially distant. Work Study is being limited to one participant or duo, and will have to follow our Covid Policies. Please contact the Program Manager if there are any questions.

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.


Rustic lodging will be provided during your stay. In warmer seasons, Work Study accommodations are provided either in a spartan cottage across the street from campus, or a yurt in the Grand Marais Recreation Park next door to campus. Both locations offer shower facilities and a basic cooking setup, but please plan on bringing your own bedding/sleeping bag. 

In the colder seasons, Work Study participants during their assigned sessions are housed at a North House instructor's home. This is a multi-room family home with shared kitchen, laundry, and private bedrooms and private bathrooms. Plan on bringing your own bedding/sleeping bag.

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. 


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 may want a car to get around, but it is not required to get to and from Art House, which is located within walking distance to campus. 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

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 Potluck (if restrictions ease)
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.