Graduate staff positions offer a tuition remission and a small monthly stipend. Graduate staff may work as teaching assistants, research assistants or graduate professionals. These positions are very competitive, since there are far more applicants than positions available.
Graduate staff positions are a form of financial aid to support graduate study. Employment is incidental to graduate study. Graduate students who are employed by the university provide services (teaching, research, administrative) that further the missions of the university while providing students with valuable professional experience and financial remuneration in the form of tuition remission and a modest salary.
These students are considered employees and are subject to the policies and procedures outlined in the Graduate Staff Employment Manual.
Finding a Position
Please check with your admitting program for its policy on graduate staff positions. To obtain a graduate staff position inquire within your department or contact PNW’s Career Center. Students may also find graduate staff positions through Handshake. Hourly student positions may also be available.
- Graduate staff positions are available on a quarter-time and half-time basis. Three-quarter time and full time positions or students with multiple positions totaling three-quarter or full time will not be allowed without prior approval of the Provost. It is the hiring department’s responsibility to verify the that student does not hold appointments that will total over half-time.
- Applicants must be enrolled as a graduate student in a degree-seeking or teacher license program and be registered for at least three credit hours of graduate level (50000 or above) course and/or research work during the entire appointment period.
- The appointment must be in effect during the first six weeks of a semester or July 1 of the summer session. If an appointment terminates within the first six weeks after the start of a semester or before July 1 during the summer session and the coursework is continued, all fees will be assessed for the semester or summer session.
- Health insurance benefits are not available to graduate staff employees.
- International graduate students must hold a certain level of health insurance while they are enrolled at Purdue University Northwest. The fee remission of any international student holding a graduate staff position will be held if proof of insurance is not submitted to the Graduate Studies Office.
- Graduate students who are appointed as graduate staff for the 2019/2020 academic year are granted a tuition remission in addition to the pay received for the hours worked. The tuition remission leaves the student to pay $832.82 per semester ($416.41 for summer 2020) plus lab fees, differential fees, special course fees and workshop fees. Tuition and fees are subject to change every academic year.
- The Graduate Staff Fee Remission Form is available through the Bursar’s Office. A fee remission form must be submitted each semester a student holds a graduate staff position. The student must complete the fee remission form and submit it to the employing department for the proper signature.
- Signed fee remission forms should be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office (Lawshe 242) no later than two weeks after position appointment.
- Students enrolled in the summer are eligible for the summer fee remission if they held a graduate staff position in the prior spring semester and will also be appointed to a graduate staff position in the following fall semester. A student who held a graduate staff position in the spring semester but will not hold one in the fall semester because he or she will graduate during the summer may be granted a remission for the summer session.
A summarized listing of documents that must be completed before a new graduate staff member may be paid are listed below:
Completed by the hiring department. Includes citizenship status and case verification number (CVN) from the electronic I-9 service for Employment Eligibility Verification, Self-Identification Compliance Form (SICF Form), Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate (Form W-4), Glacier Tax Summary and appropriate immigration documents (if applicable).
- Employee’s Withholding Exemption and County Residence Certificate (Form WH-4)
- Direct Deposit Form (Business Office Form 0003)
- Employee Information Form (Form 13)
Employment is subject to the availability of funds. The employment of graduate staff may be terminated prior to the expiration of the stated employment period or the compensation may be reduced during such period in the event federal or state appropriations are reduced or are deemed insufficient by Purdue University.
Compensation paid from other sources will be paid only to the extent of funds available from such sources. If for any reason employment is terminated before the expiration of the stated employment period, compensation shall be paid up to, but not beyond the date of such termination.
Continuation of graduate employment is conditional upon performance of the work assigned and/or satisfactory academic progress. The employment of any graduate staff member may be terminated at any time prior to the expiration of the stated employment period by the University for cause, which shall include any violation of University rules, regulations, or policies. No extension or renewal of employment of any graduate student beyond the stated employment period shall be effective unless a notice in writing is given to the student.
If the staff member’s appointment terminates within the six weeks after the start of the Fall/Spring semester or four weeks after the start of the summer session and coursework is continued, regular student tuition and fees must be paid for that semester or summer session.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find a Graduate Staff Position?
Who fills out the graduate staff fee remission form?
It is the student’s responsibility to completely fill out the Graduate Staff fee remission form and have it signed by the department head.
Who signs the fee remission form?
The department head of the employing department must sign the fee remission form.
When is the fee remission form due?
Fee remission forms are due in the Graduate Studies Office no later than two weeks after the student employment start date each semester.
Where do I submit the fee remission form?
The Graduate Studies Office is in Lawshe Hall, Room 242. The office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Does the fee remission cover 100 percent of tuition and fees?
No, the remission leaves a lump sum of tuition that the student is responsible for, plus some specific fees. For the 2019-2020 academic year, the flat tuition fee for the fall and spring session is $832.82 per semester and $416.41 for summer 2020. These amounts are subject to change each academic year.
What if I add a course after I submit my fee-remission form?
If your remission has already been posted to your student account it is possible the system will not recognize your remission status and you could be billed for the new course in its entirety. Contact Student Accounts in Lawshe Hall, Room 130, (219) 989-2560 and tell them you have a graduate staff appointment and have an approved fee remission. A student account representative will be able to verify your remission status and adjust your account accordingly.
Can I take an undergraduate course?
Undergraduate courses may be taken as long as the student is enrolled in at least 3 graduate-level (50000 or above) credit hours as well.
Can I have more than one graduate staff appointment?
Yes, but the total CUL may not exceed 50% time or 20 hours per week. This total includes hourly student service positions as well as graduate aid positions. Appointments beyond 50.00 must be justified to and approved by the Provost to actual hire. It is the responsibility of the student and/or department head to obtain this approval.
What is the employment period?
For graduate staff appointed on an academic year basis, employment will begin on the seventh calendar day preceding the first day of classes of the semester and end on commencement day. For payroll purposes, the sessions are defined as follows:
The fall semester begins the seventh calendar day preceding the first day of classes in the first semester and ends the eighth calendar day preceding the first day of classes in the second semester or until work authorization expires, whichever comes first.
The spring semester begins the seventh calendar day preceding the first day of classes in the second semester and ends on commencement day or until work authorization expires.
The summer session is divided into three modules. The first module begins the day following the Spring Commencement. Summer appointments are based on actual days worked.
How does having a graduate staff appointment affect my financial aid?
Fee remissions are handled in different ways depending on the type of financial aid. It is impossible to detail the process here. Any financial aid issue needs to be discussed directly with the Office of Financial Aid at 219-989-2301.
How does a graduate staff appointment affect my taxes?
The value of a fee remission provided to a graduate staff employee is not considered taxable income.
Federal, state, and county taxes are withheld from the student’s monthly stipend payments according to exemptions claimed on the Employee’s Withholding Certificate (Form W-4) and the Employee’s Withholding Exemption and County Residence Certificate (Form WH-4), respectively. A Wage and Tax Statement (Internal Revenue Service Form W-2) will be issued after the end of the year.