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GA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q:      What are the eligibility requirements of a GA?

A:       A student be clearly or provisionally admitted into a masters or doctoral degree program at Eastern Kentucky University.

Graduate Assistants must be registered for a minimum of nine credit hours in graduate level courses that are directly related to their degree requirements. Graduate Assistants are granted a one time exception to the 9 credit hour requirement, during ONE semester a GA may take 6 credit hours instead of 9.

All GAs must maintainan a minumum graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.

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

A:      Full-time work 20 hours per week and Half-time work 10 hours per week for 16 weeks Fall and Spring semesters.

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

A:       In a program that requires less than 40 hours for completion, a GA may hold an assistantship for two academic years (4 semesters), not including summer semesters.

In a program that requires more than 40 hours for completion, a GA may hold an assistantship appointment for a maximum of three academic years (6 semesters), not including summer semesters.

Q:      Can a student be a GA during summer?

A:      The EKU Graduate School funds GA positions for Fall and Spring semesters only.  Any student working for summer semesters must be funded by their department or an external grant. 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:      Graduate Assistants may participate in teaching activities under the supervision of an experienced faculty member. This may include running undergraduate laboratories, assisting with the preparation of teaching materials, grading assignments, proctoring examinations, or tutoring.  GAs may also facilitate undergraduate online courses via e-campus.

Graduate Assistants may also work alongside faculty members on research projects. This may involve collecting and analyzing data, conducting tests and observations, conducting surveys, engaging in library research, writing reports, or preparing materials for IRB review.

Graduate Assistants may work in a service capacity that will provide professional development and career advanccement opportunities. GAs may be involved in program development or outreach, creating material and guides, or serving as student representatives on various committees.

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 EKU 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:      To leave in "good standing," GAs must present their supervisor (in writing) two weeks advance notice. The termination date should be clearly written in the notice. A copy should be delivered to the Graduate School immediately. Graduate Assistants must leave in good standing to be eligible for future employment with the university.

If a GA wishes to resign an assistantship in one department in order to accept an assistantship with another, the GA must obtain written permission from the chairs of both departments. This information must be submitted to the Graduate School before they can transition departments.

Vacancies in GA positions after week 8 of the semester will not be filled until the following semester.

Q:      How much is a GA stipend?

A:      The academic yearly GA stipend is $11,200 for full time GAs and $5,600 for half time GAs. This means that semester stipends are $5,600 for a full time GA and $2,800 for a part time GA. 

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 paperwork 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 of 3 -6 hours. Some departments fund GAs as Institutional Student Workers 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 waiver.

Q:     How much is a GA tuition waiver?

A:     A full time GA will be issued a tuition waiver for 6 credit hours of graduate tuition. A part time GA will be issued a tuition waiver for 3 credit hours of graduate tuition.

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

A:       GAs will not receive their tuition waivers until their nominations are officially approved by HR 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 waiver 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.

Additional Questions on Graduate Assistantships at EKU, please contact 859-622-1742 or consult the Graduate Assistantship Guide.