Graduate Studies

Frequently Asked Questions - Graduate Assistantship

How do I apply for a graduate assistantship? When will I know if I've been chosen to receive one?

As you complete the online Application for Admission, you will be given the opportunity to complete an Application for Graduate Assistantship. You can also choose to submit the assistantship application later. All materials will be forwarded to your academic department where the selection will be made based on departmental criteria. Priority consideration will be given to students that have submitted assistantship materials prior to March 15th. Available assistantship positions outside of the academic departments may be posted at

What are the requirements to hold an assistantship?

Students must be regularly accepted into a graduate degree program and have a Graduate Assistantship Application on file in the Graduate School. Students must successfully complete all employment requirements including a background check. They must be registered for 9 semester hours (Graduate Assistant/Teaching Support Assistant/Research Assistant) or 6 semester hours (Teaching Assistant) during the period of employment and maintain at least a 3.0 graduate GPA.

Can I get a Graduate Assistantship if I am in a certificate program or working on a second bachelor's degree?

No, you must be enrolled in a graduate degree program.

I am a probationary student. Am I eligible for an assistantship position?

No, you must be regularly accepted. Once you have been removed from probation you will become eligible.

I was not offered an assistantship with my department. Is there a list of assistantships available? How do I apply for an assistantship position outside my academic department?

Unfortunately the Graduate School cannot maintain a list of available assistantships as it varies greatly from term to term depending on funding, grants, departmental requirements, etc. If the Graduate School is notified of an assistantship vacancy, it will be posted on our home page under Assistantships - Available Positions. You are welcome to check with various departments, both academic and non-academic. Please keep in mind that the main function of the assistantship is to enhance your educational experience at WIU. The position must relate to your chosen field of study and a rationale statement will be required if the connection is not obvious.

I've received an assistantship. Now what?

Once the department sends the appropriate paperwork to the Graduate School, we will check to be sure your materials are complete and you meet all requirements to hold an assistantship. If you meet the requirements and everything is complete, a contract will be written and ready to sign within two working days. You will need to come to the Graduate School to sign your contract and complete various employment forms if this is your first contract.

How do I change my direct deposit information?

Changes can be made online via STARS, or by completing a new form in the Payroll Office.

How does the University know where to send my W-2 next year?

The address that you list on the W-4 (tax card) is the address the Payroll Office uses. You may choose to have your W-2 sent to your parents' home if they file your taxes.

My contract ends in May. I am graduating and will be leaving campus. Why can't I close my bank account before I leave?

You need to leave your account open so that your June 1 payroll may be deposited. You will receive payment for the work completed in May.

How can I find out when I'm getting paid?

You may view this information online via STARS, then click on the item as the next page appears: 1) EMPLOYEE, 2) PAYCHECK INFORMATION. This will show your gross wage, deductions, and net wage, as well as where the payment will be deposited.

What are the stipend amounts for graduate assistants/research assistants/teaching assistants? How many hours do I have to work?

Currently, full-time positions (20 hours/week) receive $1,224/month and two-thirds assistants (13 hours/week) are paid $816.50/month.

Are taxes withheld from my assistantship stipend?

Yes, Federal and Illinois state taxes are deducted.

When is my tuition waiver applied to my account?

Tuition waivers are applied once a student signs and returns a contract to the Graduate School. If it is your first contract, an electronic I-9 must be completed before the waiver can be applied.