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GA Frequently Asked Questions

Q:           What are the eligibility requirements of a GA?

A:            To qualify for a GA position, a student must be clearly admitted into a degree-seeking program, be fully enrolled (9-13 hours spring and fall semesters), and maintain a 3.0 GPA. If at any time the student does not meet all of these requirements his GA position will be cancelled.

Q:           How many hours per week are GAs allowed to work?

A:            ALthough hours may vary from week to week, an average of 10 hours/week is expected for a half-time position and 20 hours/week for a full-time position.

Q:           How many semesters may a student be a GA?

A:            Students are eligible to hold GA positions for two academic years. Thus if a student is first hired as a GA in Fall 2016, the last semester he/she can be a GA is Summer 2018 (four semesters).

Q:           Can a student be a GA during summer?

A:            The Graduate school funds GA positions for Fall and Spring semesters only so any student working for summer semesters must be funded by their department. The same qualification rules apply as in fall and spring semesters except full enrollment is considered 6-9 credit hours for summer.

Q:           What duties are GA expected to perform?

A:            GAs are restricted to performing only the duties that pertain to their education. These would be the activities associated with teaching, tutoring, and conducting research. GAs are NOT to perform general clerical office work such as filing, data entry, etc. that does not specifically pertain to a special project related to their program of study.

Q:           What should GAs do if their department asks them to perform an activity they do not feel falls within GA appropriate duties?

A:            GAs are encouraged to contact the Graduate School whenever they have questions regarding any aspect of their position. It may be necessary for the Graduate School to contact the GA’s department to discuss applicable job details.

Q:           How do GAs resign their positions?

A:            Any GA who decides to discontinue his/her GA appointment for any reason must first inform his supervisor. The student should then contact the Graduate School to provide the date of the last day he worked.

Q:           How much is a GA stipend?

A:            GAs are awarded $5,600 per semester for full-time, 20 hours/week (based on 16 weeks for the fall and spring semesters) positions, and $2,800.00 per semester for half-time, 10 hours/week positions. Some select departments have additional GA monies they might supplement the stipend with.

Q:           How are GAs paid?

A:            A GA’s stipend is paid out in pay checks (direct deposit) on the 15th and 30th of every month. A semester is typically 16 weeks so a GA who has been working the entire semester will receive 8 paychecks (providing that HR has all required paperwork from the student). The first pay date for fall is August 31st and the first pay date for Spring semesters is January 31st.

Q:           Is tuition taken from the stipend?

A:            Tuition is NOT taken from the stipend. Tuition is managed by the Billings and Collections office and is unconnected to GA funds. Tuition must be paid at the start of the semester or a payment plan must be arranged with Student Financial Services.

Q:           What might cause a GA not to receive a paycheck?

A:            Missed paychecks might occur at the start of the semester. There are 3 reasons a GA may not receive a paycheck:

  1. The student has not filled out the appropriate payroll paper work with HR.
  2. The student is not eligible for a GA (lacking GPA, enrollment, or program).
  3. The student’s Nomination form was not approved in time.

Q:           Who receives tuition waivers?

A:            All GA whose positions are funded by the Graduate School receive partial tuition waivers. Some departments fund their own GAs and may not include tuition waivers in their support. Check with your hiring manager if you are unsure whether your position qualifies for a tuition wavier.

Q:           How much is a GA tuition waiver?

A:            A full time GA working 20hrs/wk receives six credit hours and a half-time GA working 10hrs/wk receives three credit hours. The total  amount of the waiver is dependent on the students residency status (resident, non-resident, international).

Q:           Why might a GA not receive their tuition waiver?

A:            GAs will not receive their tuition waivers until their nominations are approved and they are fully enrolled 9-13 hours. If a GA is in his/her last semester, and does not need 9 hours to complete his/her degree, he/she must contact the Graduate School to have the wavier applied to the account. A GA whose position is not funded by the GS may also not receive the tuition waiver. You should speak to your hiring manager if you are unsure whether your position qualifies for the waiver.