Graduate Staff Appointments

Graduate staff appointments offer a tuition remission and a small monthly stipend. 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 appointments 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-quarters or full-time will not be allowed without prior approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. It is the hiring department’s responsibility to verify 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

  • PNW is pleased to offer health insurance options to students through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical and Prescription Drug Plan, administered by Academic Health Programs (AHP). Please visit the PNW Student Health Insurance web page to learn more about enrollment options and requirements.
  • Purdue University Northwest requires all international graduate students who are registered for classes, regardless of credit hours, to enroll in the Academic Health Programs (AHP) insurance plan unless an approved waiver is on file. 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.

Fee Remission

  • Graduate students who are appointed as graduate staff for the 2024/2025 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 $924.35 per semester ($462.18 for summer 2025) 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.
  • We strongly recommend that signed fee remission forms should be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office (Lawshe 212) 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.

Required Documents

A summarized listing of documents that must be completed before a new graduate staff member may be paid are listed below:

  • Hiring Form
    • 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)

Termination Guidelines

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

Most graduate staff members find positions within their program of study department. Students can also check with The Career Center and look on Handshake.

It is the student’s responsibility to completely fill out the Graduate Staff Fee Remission Form and have it signed by the department head.

The department head of the employing department must sign the fee remission form.

A fee remission form must be submitted for every semester that you wish to receive the tuition remission. We strongly recommend these forms to be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office no later than two weeks after the student employment start date.

The Graduate Studies Office is in Lawshe Hall, Room 212. Forms can be dropped off during the hours of 9:00am to 4:30pm.

No, the remission leaves a lump sum of tuition that the student is responsible for, plus some specific fees.

For the 2024-2025 academic year, the flat tuition fee for the fall and spring session is $924.35 per semester plus lab fees, differential fees, special course fees and workshop fees.

This amount is subject to change each academic year.

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 at (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. Student Accounts is located in Lawshe Hall, Room 130.

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.

Yes, but the total FTE may not exceed 50% time or 20 hours per week. This total includes hourly student service positions as well as graduate staff positions. Appointments beyond 50.00 must be justified to and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies prior to actual hire. It is the responsibility of the student and/or department head to obtain this approval.

  • Graduate staff may be appointed on either an academic year or fiscal year basis. (See Policy VI.F.12)
  • For graduate staff appointed on a fiscal year basis, the employment period will begin and end with the actual dates of employment. (See the section on EMPLOYEE BENEFITS for information on vacation days for fiscal year staff.)
  • 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 the Friday after grade reports are due. (See the section on EMPLOYEE BENEFITS for information on vacation periods for academic year staff.)
  • The summer session is divided into three modules. The first module begins the day following the Spring Commencement.
  • For graduate staff appointed on an academic year basis, there is no limit to the number of days the student may work during the summer period. Summer appointments are based on actual days worked.

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.

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.