If You Have a Graduate Assistantship

Congratulations on having a Graduate Assistantship!

There are things you will need to know. The Office of Human Resources also has helpful information about Graduate Assistantships.

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When to Arrive

You must arrive no later than the program start date indicated on your I-20/DS-2019. Some departments have an earlier orientation that you will need to plan your arrival around; contact your department for information about orientation dates.

Steps to Complete Before Your First Day of Work

  1. Complete your ISSS new student requirements, which are required to remove your AI hold. Take action to remove any other registration holds on your record. 
  2. Complete the requirements for activation of your SEVIS record:
  3. Complete an I-9 with your department's Human Resources or Payroll staff. It is essential that you complete the I-9 and present the necessary documentation prior to beginning work. Review our I-9 webpage for a list of these documents and more information.
    • Note: Do not complete your I-9 before your ISSS Check-in is approved by ISSS. ISSS will make updates to your university record upon approval of the ISSS Check-in form that are required for you to begin on-campus employment.
  4. If you are a J-1 student, you must report your employment information
    • Please note: Failure to begin working on your start date may result in a loss of salary and/or a portion of your tuition and health care benefits.

Social Security Number

If you do not have a Social Security Number, you will need to apply for one. An SSN is not required before completing the I-9, but you are strongly encouraged to apply for your SSN within 10 days of your employment start date.

Note: Do not apply for your Social Security Number (SSN) too early. Wait at least 10 days after you have completed the requirements for activation of your SEVIS record to apply for your SSN. Learn more about applying for your SSN, including when to apply. 

Information To Know About Your Paycheck

When You Will Get Your First Paycheck

If you are a graduate student with an assistantship, your first paycheck will most likely not be issued until a month after the start of your assistantship. Therefore, you should bring money to pay for your initial expenses, such as food, mobile phone and service, and apartment rent deposit.

You should also be aware that income from your assistantship or fellowship may not pay for all your expenses, so plan your budget and calculate how much additional money you may need for the rest of the year.

Be Aware of a Possible Deduction

The total value of your appointment or fellowship may be subject to a deduction of as much as 28 percent to cover taxes on the value of your tuition waiver.

Last updated: March 20, 2023