Graduate Assistantships: FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I know if my GA code has been entered into the university system?
  2. What does the GA code on the Fee Bill mean?
  3. Why am I being billed for tuition after I have been coded as a GA?
  4. What should I do if my schedule is purged?
  5. If my paperwork is not submitted until after the deadline for tuition payment, do I have to pay the late charge?
  6. If, for example, I have to wait for letters of recommendation, is it okay to submit the completed portion of the packet first?
  7. What is the processing procedure for GA paperwork?
  8. How long after my paperwork has been submitted should I expect to receive my first paycheck?
  9. If I do not receive a paycheck, whom should I contact?
  10. I am an international student with a Green Card (Permanent Resident). Do I still have to be advised by the International Tax Coordinator?
  11. Under what circumstances am I eligible to enroll in 7040? Does 7040 satisfy the GA full-time student requirement?
  12. What is ORSP's policy regarding Exception Requests and Extra Compensation forms?


1. How do I know if my GA code has been entered into the university system?

Please contact your department to confirm that your Tuition Expenditure form has either been faxed or mailed with the GA hiring packet to the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (ORSP).

2. What does the GA code on the Fee Bill mean?

The department must submit a current Tuition Expenditure form for a GA code to be entered into the system. Once the code is entered, the student's schedule is locked and cannot be affected by the purge. Please be aware this may have unintended consequences if, for example, the student leaves the university. In such cases, a removal Tuition Expenditure form is required to prevent an F from being recorded for all registered courses.

3. Why am I being billed for tuition after I have been coded as a GA?

Financial Aid usually takes a few weeks at the beginning of each semester to credit student accounts, so do not be alarmed if tuition still shows on your Fee Bill. Be sure that your GA code is in the system and check your account later in the semester. (Please note that you are responsible for paying all fees other than tuition.)

4. What should I do if my schedule is purged?

See your department. ORSP cannot reinstate schedules.

5. If my paperwork is not submitted until after the deadline for tuition payment, do I have to pay the late charge?

No, your department should write a letter to the Bursar's Office explaining the situation and requesting a removal of the late charge. ORSP cannot remove the charge.

6. If, for example, I have to wait for letters of recommendation, is it okay to submit the completed portion of the packet first?

No, submitting paperwork incrementally will only delay processing. Incomplete packets are immediately returned to the department.

7. What is the processing procedure for GA paperwork?

ORSP processes GA hiring packets in the order in which they are received. GA codes are entered into the system and paperwork is checked for errors. Incorrect packets are returned to the department. ORSP is not authorized to correct errors in paperwork – the department is solely responsible for successfully completing the packet. After processing, ORSP delivers the packet to HR, which in turn, submits it to Payroll. Copies of the Tuition Exemption form go to Accounting Services and Financial Aid. The entire process may take up to three weeks (two weeks maximum in ORSP.)

8. How long after my paperwork has been submitted should I expect to receive my first paycheck?

Payroll sets a deadline approximately one week before each pay period – usually around the 8 th and 24 th of each month. To insure payment on the ensuing pay period GA paperwork must be submitted to ORSP, without errors, at least two weeks before Payroll's deadline. ORSP encourages all departments to submit their GA packets as early as possible to prevent delays.

9. If I do not receive a paycheck, whom should I contact? Where is my packet?

Paperwork takes a maximum of two weeks, and usually only a few days, to leave ORSP. Errors and incomplete forms may delay payment. Incorrect paperwork is returned to the department, via campus mail, with detailed instructions as to what must be done to complete the packet. Paperwork is also occasionally held up within the department before it is submitted to ORSP. In either case, please contact your department with inquiries regarding the status of your paperwork.

10.I am an international student with a Green Card (Permanent Resident). Do I still have to be advised by the International Tax Coordinator?

No, this is the only exception. All other international students must see King Chan (280-7369) regarding the L-4 and W-4.

11. Under what circumstances am I eligible to enroll in 7040? Does 7040 satisfy the GA full-time student requirement?

The pre-requisite for 7040 is that all required credit hours have been completed and the student “has only (other than application for degree) the final typing and acceptance by the Graduate School of his/her thesis or dissertation.” In this case 7040 qualifies as full-time. However, some departments have allowed students to enroll in 7040 when they are not eligible to do so – i.e. when they have not yet submitted a draft of the manuscript. Attempting to circumvent the GA full-time student requirement by adding 7040 to your schedule is not permitted. GA's must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 Credit Hours for both the Fall and Spring semesters. Exceptions to these requirements will only be considered if the department submits an Exception Request form detailing any extenuating circumstances as to why the student should be allowed to attend less than full-time.

What is ORSP's policy regarding Exception Requests and Extra Compensation forms?

All exceptions are considered on an individual basis. Both Exception Requests and Extra Comp are tracked for each student, and may affect the evaluation process for future requests. For example, if a student is granted permission to enroll in fewer than 9 Credit Hours due to time constraints, Extra Comp will not be approved. Please note there is no guarantee that any request will be approved. Therefore, it is imperative that requests be submitted before the student drops a class or performs additional work. Please note:  Employment of International Students (those on F-1 visas) is subject to federal immigration and labor law. As per the Code of Federal Regulations [8 CFR 214.2(9)]:  “(i) On-campus employment.  …Employment authorized under this paragraph must not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session…An F-1 student may, however, work on campus full-time when school is not in session or during the annual vacation.”