Graduate Assistant FAQ
Welcome to the Current Graduate Assistant's Frequently Asked Questions page. Here you will find answers to common questions asked by Graduate Assistants. If you cannot find your question here, please check the Graduate Assistant Informational Guidelines manual you received during your orientation. The manual can also be found on the College of Graduate Studies website: http://www.apsu.edu/cogs/current-ga-information. Also feel free to contact the Graduate Office for inquiries or concerns.
1. Where do I find the GA handbook?
On the CoGS website a link for “Graduate Assistantship” is accessible then “Current GA Information.” On the CoGS website click the link for “Graduate Assistantship.” Under this link you will find a link for “Current GA Information." This link was set-up just for you! You can find the Graduate Assistant Informational Guidelines booklet at the top of the webpage.
2. What is the first day of work?
The GA contract signed during orientation indicates the start and end date of your assignment. Graduate Assistantships usually start on the first day of class; however, please contact your supervisor to clarify a start date.
3. Where can I get my GA job description?
Each department is required to complete a GA job description. It is important to request a copy of the job description from your supervisor before you begin in order to meet and exceed the expectation of your GA assignment.
4. How many hours do I need to work each semester?
The GA contract always specifies the number of required hours to work for your stipend. Please refer to your current contract.
5. Do I work on days there are no classes?
The work hours computed per semester in your GA contract does not include “non” class days. However, you and your assigned department should plan your schedule, and determine whether you will need to work on days there are no classes. If so, simply count the hours worked toward the assigned number of hours for that semester.
6. What is the procedure for snow days or when the notice is sent that university will be closed?
When the University is closed it is up to the assigned department to determine how you will make up your GA hours. The GA hours are not reduced due to University closings.
7. How do I report my hours?
It is imperative that hours worked be reported to the assigned supervisor within the department. Please see the timekeeper in your department to determine how those hours are reported. Graduate Assistants are not required to report hours to Human Resources/Payroll.
8. Where do I find important GA forms?
On the CoGS website a link for “Graduate Assistantship” is available. The “Current GA Information” link was set-up just for you! All important GA forms can be found on this link.
9. When do I get paid?
Graduate Assistantships are paid semi-monthly in seven equal installments each academic semester during the fall and spring semesters. The semi-monthly pay schedule can be found in your GA Informational Guidelines booklet and on the “Current GA Information” webpage.
10. My first paycheck was not direct deposited. Why?
Normally, GAs do not have a direct deposit account set up in Human Resources/Payroll. The first paycheck must be verified before the direct deposit transaction can be enforced. Therefore, GAs with new direct deposit accounts must pick up their first paycheck in the Browning building, room 134. Subsequently, future checks will be direct deposited accordingly.
11. Will my GA affect my financial aid?
The Graduate Assistantship, not including the stipend, is considered financial aid assistance and could affect your eligibility for certain types of financial aid. Most often it means that your financial aid loan will be reduced. For more information about how the GA position could affect your financial aid, please contact Sherri Devers in Student Financial Services (email@example.com) for questions specific to your financial aid.
12. For questions or concern regarding the financial distribution for my GA scholarships who should I email?
The Graduate Office submits the qualified GA information to the Business Office and Student Financial Aid. If you should find any discrepancy regarding your student fee statement it is imperative that you contact the appropriate offices for resolution. Students should email Sherri Devers in Student Financial Aid (firstname.lastname@example.org) for questions specific to your financial aid award and Amy Tanner in Accounts Payable (email@example.com) with questions or concerns regarding the billing for your GA scholarship. Be sure to copy June D. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ensure the Graduate Office is aware of your concern.
13. Do I get paid over break?
Graduate Assistants are paid in accordance with his/her assigned semesters and according to the semi-monthly pay schedule. The assignment can occur during the fall, spring and/or summer semesters.
14. Can I work during the summer?
Assignments for Teacher Assistants (TAs) are available during the summer per department request. The College of Graduate Studies does not fund assignments for the summer Graduate Assistantships; however you may contact your department for possible funding. These positions are rare since individual departments are responsible for funding summer GA positions. The summer assignment will be counted toward the 4 semester maximum a GA can serve.
15. How do I reapply for the next academic year to serve as a GA?
You will be notified by the College of Graduate Studies office when to submit your intent for the next academic year. The reapplication form must be submitted to the College Graduate Studies upon request and by the deadline as instructed. Otherwise, you jeopardize losing your GA slot. The form is located on the CoGS link for “Graduate Assistantship” then “Current GA Information.”
16. What form must I complete to request more and fewer than 10 credit hours?
If you have more or less than 10 credit hours you are required to complete a Graduate Assistant Add or Reduce Hours form. The form is located on the CoGS link for “Graduate Assistantship” then “Current GA Information.” This form must be turned into the College of Graduate Studies for final approval.
17. Am I able to have an additional work assignment during my GA contract?
GAs may work up to ten (10) additional hours in conjunction with his/her GA assignment. For additional hours (no more than 10) within the university the Request for Additional Employment form must be completed by the requesting department and the assigned GA supervisor as well. However, final approval is required by the Dean of College of Graduate Studies before the additional hours assignment is implemented. The form is located on the CoGS link for “Graduate Assistantship” then “Current GA Information.”
The approved form will be forwarded to Human Resources for appropriate processing of the additional work assignment.
Approval for work outside the University is not required, although the current work information is required on the Notice and Agreement of Employment for Graduate Assistants
18. What should I do if I have a problem at work?
You should first speak with your immediate supervisor, if this not possible, or does not resolve the conflict, then the graduate coordinator, and then the head of the department. If the compliant is still not adequately resolved, then contact the Dean of your college. If you do not believe that the issue can be resolved on a department or college level, please contact the Dean of Graduate Studies for a formal appeal.
19. What do I do when I am finished with my GA?
All Graduate Assistants must complete a Graduate Assistant Clearance form before the last day of their assignment. The clearance form is located on the College of Graduate Studies website. Follow the order of the GA Clearance form. Upon completion of the form it must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
20. What is the procedure to resign from my GA position before my academic contract is complete?
You are required to complete a resignation letter that includes the last day of work and the total number of hours worked. This letter must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies as soon as possible. Before the last day of employment the Graduate Assistant must complete a Graduate Assistant Clearance form. The form is located on the CoGS link for “Graduate Assistantship” then “Current GA Information.”
This completed form must be turned in to the College of Graduate Studies.