Tuition Charges and Financial Aid

Co-op participants maintain active student status and can continue to defer loan repayments. During the time of Co-op participation, the student is charged no tuition and is therefore ineligible for any federal, state, or institutional financial aid.  Students who are on Co-op for a partial semester (one of the two terms) will be charged 1/2 semester tuition and allowed to take 4/3 units of credit during the term on campus.  

Note:  Students are eligible for institutional aid for 16 terms of enrollment while at WPI or until they receive their Bachelor Degree (whichever comes first). If a student has a Co-op that results in attendance for a partial semester (e.g. B but not A, or C but not D terms) the student is eligible for financial aid in that semester, but the total aid eligibility is reduced by a full semester. Funds earned while on Co-op can also affect subsequent eligibility for some kinds of aid. Students with aid must consult with the Office of Student Aid and Financial Literacy for more information as this can be specific to individual circumstances. 

Residential Student Charges

If your Co-op assignment is close to campus, you may live on campus for the duration of your Co-op.

  • If going away C+D term: You will be released from your housing contract and refunded the cost for C + D terms.
  • If you are going away for A and B term and plan to return to campus housing for C and D term: Please contact Residential Services before you come back to school in the spring.
  • If you are only away one term: You will still be responsible to pay your housing bill for that one term.


The deadline to complete paperwork for a Co-ops is:

August 1st: For Fall Co-ops

December 1st: For Spring Co-ops

Paperwork submitted after the deadline will be reviewed and approved on a case by case basis

Professional Behavior Expectations

Obtaining a Co-op position is a competitive process just like any other job search. Students apply for positions and then employers typically interview the several candidates whom they feel are most qualified. Companies will offer positions to those students, who, after personal interviews and other evaluations, have been found to have qualifications compatible with the interests of the company. Similarly, students may interview with several prospective employers and choose from employment offers received. It is very important to the success of the Co-op process that students are responsive to correspondence from the CDC and prospective employers. Messages, especially those concerning job interviews and offers, should be handled with the utmost promptness. While participating in a Co-op, students are expected to abide by WPI Student Judicial Policies and Procedures as outlined in the Student Planner and Resources Guide.

Duration of Agreement

Once a Co-op offer is made and the student has accepted it, both student and employer are expected to continue their association for the duration of the student’s scheduled assignment. If the student’s performance on the assignment is unsatisfactory, or when experience indicates that a significant mismatch has occurred, the employer or student may contact the CDC to discuss options.

Termination of Co-op

Termination of a Co-op either by the student without approval of the CDC or by the employer due to the student’s unsatisfactory job performance, should be communicated to the CDC right away. If termination occurs during an academic term, students should inform the Career Development Center, their academic advisor, and the Office of Academic Advising immediately. The student does not have a right to expect or demand continued employment beyond the agreed upon termination date. However, this does not preclude the employer from making a separate offer of temporary or permanent employment beyond that date.

Academic Credit

Credit is not granted for Co-ops. Co-ops may not substitute nor qualify as courses or either MQP or IQP degree requirements.  The expectation is that students on Co-op will commit fully to the Co-op, and not take courses simultaneously. If for some reason you need to take a course, you can petition to take up to 1/3 unit while on Co-op. Your Co-op is added to your transcript as 0 credit and company name is listed.