Program Guidelines

Early stage startups provide a unique environment for students to experientially learn the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of an entrepreneurial venture. The Subsidized Co-op Program provides eligible early stage startups with the opportunity to hire skilled and talented Northeastern University students into six-month, full-time, compensated co-op positions.  


To be considered for the program, startups are required to

  •  Have sufficient funding to match the $9,000 subsidy, but have not received funding beyond a Series A round.
  • Have a payroll vendor (for example, ADP/Paychex) through which the student’s compensation is processed and applicable taxes are withheld.
  • Have physical office space where the student will report to work on a daily basis.
  • Have the requisite time to mentor and coach and complete an online performance evaluation.
  • Participate in the semi-annual On Fire to Hire Startup Expo,, an on-campus networking event, during the applicable recruitment cycle.
  • Post a co-op position for the applicable co-op cycle that is
    • Full-time: 35+ hours per week
    • Six-months: January through June or July through December
  • Partner with their Cooperative Education Faculty representative during the recruitment cycle, interviewing and providing feedback on candidates in a timely manner


  • Approved startups are allocated a $9,000 subsidy paid as a scholarship to a hired co-op undergraduate student. Funds never transfer to the startup, but are paid in two $4,500 distributions at the beginning and mid-point of the co-op
  • Eligible startups are required to match the subsidy at $9,000 or more and pay the student as an employee through the firm’s payroll process.
  • The subsidies can be used for any full-time, six-month co-op position, and is for the hiring of undergraduate students only.
  • Only one subsidy is allocated per semester per startup, and can only be used to compensate one student. Subsidies will not be distributed to multiple students.
  • Participating startups are eligible to receive up to a maximum of two subsidy allocations, which must be used in adjacent co-op cycles: Spring/Fall or Fall/Spring

The Employer Handbook defines the university-employer relationship and employer expectations, in particular, that Northeastern students must be hired as employees, not independent contractors, of your firm.

Application Process

Application details will be forwarded after speaking with a Cooperative Education Faculty representative to determine your eligibility.

The Northeastern University Center for Entrepreneurship Education (NUCEE) reserves the right to award subsidies based upon alternating criteria. Eligibility criteria are subject to change.

Contact Information

Chewning_Esther_Photo[1] copy

Esther C. Chewning
Senior Associate Cooperative Education Faculty,
Entrepreneurship & Management

Northeastern University 
Center for Entrepreneurship Education
212 Hayden Hall  
360 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115
© 2018 Northeastern University