Stipend and Take Home Pay
If you have concerns about your stipend, please first refer to the information regarding the CURRENT CONTRACT. If you believe you have been unfairly compensated (as per the TUGSA agreement), please contact us immediately. It is critical that you have the appropriate paperwork (i.e. pay stubs and the original offer letter) to help us validate your case. You can also use the ADP PAYCHECK CALCULATOR to determine what is your take home pay after taxes. Note that graduate assistants who are enrolled in six (6) credits of coursework are exempt from paying FICA (Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid) taxes.
Tuition and Fees
A graduate assistantship includes what is called tuition remission, which is a term to mean tuition waiver. This waiver is prorated to the percentage of the contract. Thus, a full assistantship would receive the full tuition waiver whereas a half assistantship would receive a half waiver. Most departments offer tuition remission for up to three (9) credits a semester, but this can vary by department or college. Thus, it is important to acquaint yourself with the details outlined in your contract (award letter). If you believe that you have been unfairly denied tuition remission, please contact us with the appropriate paperwork and we can work to address the issue on your behalf. The only time you should be paying out-of-pocket for tuition is if your coursework exceeds the amount stipulated in your contract.
It is also important to note that tuition remission DOES NOT cover fees and hence you are responsible for paying the levied fees per semester. Currently, TUGSA is working on limiting the fees or reducing them altogether, but this is an issue to be considered in the 2018-2022 CONTRACT. Keep in mind that payroll occurs at the end of the month (last business day) and as such, fall semester fees are levied prior to graduate assistants receiving their first paycheck in October. If this is an issue, please contact TUGSA and we can advise you on how to navigate this dilemma.