Graduate Assistant Supervisors
Beginning the Search for a Graduate Assistant
When a department begins a search for a candidate to fill a graduate assistantship position, the search should be conducted in the same manner as other job searches on campus. To best serve our graduate students, the School of Graduate Studies suggests the following process for conducting a search:
- Send an electronic copy of the open position to the graduate school for posting on the School of Graduate Studies Web site. Email email@example.com with your GA posting.
- Interviews of candidates should be conducted.
- When a candidate has been selected, the department should notify each of the applicants that the position has been filled.
Deadlines and Policies for GA Offers and Acceptances
April 15 is the traditional deadline for the extension and the acceptance of offers of financial aid.
St. Cloud State University observes the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants which states in brief:
- If a student accepts an offer of assistantship before April 15, but subsequently wishes to withdraw, the student may submit a written resignation any time through April 15.
- If a student has an acceptance in effect after April 15, the student is obligated to obtain a written release before accepting another offer.
- An acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer. A copy of this resolution, as part of the graduate assistantship application and handbook, serves as notification of the resolution. A complete copy of the resolution may be obtained from the School of Graduate Studies (AS 121) or found on the Council of Graduate Schools’ Web site at http://www.cgsnet.org/portals/0/pdf/CGSResolutionMay2009.pdf
Forms to Fill When Your GA is Hired
Once you have selected a graduate assistant to fill your open position, you will need to create an appointment in the electronic appointment and hiring system. The system will help you create an appointment letter to send to the student you wish to hire. You will also need to ensure the student has completed the appropriate payroll forms (I-9 and W-4) and they have been submitted to student payroll.
Hiring International Students
The offer and acceptance of a graduate assistantship position may have visa implications for an international student. International students receiving a departmental letter of appointment to a graduate assistant position may list the stipend as income on their financial certification forms. The offer of an assistantship must be printed on university or departmental letterhead. An original signed copy of the assistantship offer must be forwarded to the Center for International Studies. Only an official annual or semester appointment letter will be accepted by the Center for International Studies for the financial certification process.
Guidelines for GA Appointment Length
- A graduate assistant can be employed for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Graduate assistants employed 20 hours-per-week may not hold any other employment positions with SCSU while employed as a graduate assistant.
- Graduate assistants cannot be concurrently employed as adjunct faculty.
- Appointments may not exceed one year; however, they may be renewed for a second year.
- Appointments may not exceed two calendar years in length without special permission from the School of Graduate Studies.
Termination of a Graduate Assistant
Termination of an assistantship may occur prior to the date indicated on the employment contract. In this case, the effective termination date will be when the School of Graduate Studies receives electronic verification from the department through the electronic hiring system.. All compensation earned prior to this date will be charged to the unit responsible for the direct supervision of the graduate student.
It is the obligation of the graduate assistant and the employing unit to adhere to fair labor practices.
Receiving Tuition Remission
Tuition remission is placed on a student’s tuition statement in the form of a payment when the employment request initiated by the hiring unit has been fully approved, submitted the School of Graduate Studies, and is shown as completed in the electronic hiring system. Hiring units may check student eligibility for tuition remission in the approval area of the electronic hiring system. The graduate assistant’s registration needs to show submitted payroll documentation and registration for the appropriate number of graduate credits required for the assistantship.
Since the tuition remission is applied following the fifth class day of the semester, the student must be registered for the appropriate number of credits prior to the fifth class day to ensure proper placement of the tuition remission. Further, the hiring department/ unit must provide the employment contract and payroll forms to the School of Graduate Studies prior to the fifth class day of the semester. Failure on the part of the student to register for the appropriate number of credits or on the part of the hiring unit in submitting hiring paperwork can result in the loss of the tuition remission.
If the delay occurs in Graduate Studies, the tuition remission will be credited to the student’s bill as soon as the problem has been resolved. In some cases, this may mean that the student will need to pay the tuition in full and receive a refund for the amount of the tuition remission upon resolution.
Hiring departments/units must provide an appointment letter (hard copy or email) when offering graduate assistant positions to admitted graduate students. The electronic hiring system will produce these letters based on the appointment information entered for each GA. The letters may be modified to provide additional detail. The department should keep a copy of the letter sent to the student.
The letter will contain a link to the GA electronic hiring system and allow the student to login with the SCSU student id # and password and accept or decline the offered position.
When your new GA reports for the first day of work, you will need to provide him/her with the I-9 and W-4 payroll forms. The appointment letter instructs the student to bring the appropriate identification for this process. These forms can be found at http://www.stcloudstate.edu/businessservices/payroll/.