Western Kentucky University

The Graduate School - GA FAQ

How many hours may I take as a graduate assistant?
Graduate assistants may enroll in nine to twelve (9-12) hours during each semester that coincides with the graduate assistant appointment. This applies to all terms except for the summer term and term of graduation. During these terms, graduate assistants may enroll in one hour.
Where do I go to sign my tax forms in order to get on the payroll?
You will need to report to your college dean's office to submit the necessary paper work prior to your first day of work.
What if I miss an initial pay period due to some reason?
Regardless of when the first check is issued, you will receive the amount awarded to you in the appointment letter for your assistantship. In the event of a delay in the processing of the payroll information, the total amount will be divided among the remaining dates for checks to be issued during the term of appointment.
How do I apply for an extension of my graduate assistantship?
All continuations are contingent upon funding available in each college dean's office and successful completion of assistantship duties as assigned in the initial appointment period. Please contact your academic department for more information regarding continuation of an assistantship.
Do I need additional letters of professional recommendation when I reapply for my assistantship?
No. If you are reapplying for a continuation of your assistantship in the same area, you will not need to submit additional letters of recommendation. The original letters remain on file.
When do I need to apply for a continuation of my assistantship?

Because assistantships are offered on a competitive basis, the earlier the better.

To receive maximum consideration for a graduate assistantship, students should consult with their academic department as soon as possible to inquire about the deadline and process established by the department or college.

What do I do if I need to resign my assistantship?
If you must resign your assistantship appointment, a letter of resignation should be submitted to the graduate advisor or supervisor of the assistantship, the department head, college dean, and dean of graduate studies.
Who do I contact if my mailing address changes during the term of my graduate assistantship?
You need to notify your college dean's office and the office of Human Resources. You should also notify the Registrar's Office and/or the Office of Graduate Studies and Research if your permanent mailing address changes. Address changes may be made on TopNet.
Where do I get my check?
Checks are delivered to your home department the morning of each payday. You will need to contact the Administrative Assistant for your department to find out when and where you can pick up your check.
Can I use direct deposit?
Yes. Graduate Assistants can get their pay direct deposited by completing a Direct Deposit Authorization and bringing it, along with a voided check, to the Payroll Department in Wetherby Administration Building, Ground Floor, Office G10. If you have had direct deposit previously and have changed your account over the summer, please contact our office immediately to set up your new direct deposit.
When do I receive payment of my graduate assistantship?
Graduate assistants receive a stipend that is distributed in the form of a pay check issued once a month on the last working day. The date of the first pay period is contingent upon when the student signs the necessary tax forms and the paper work gets processed through all the campus offices.
What deductions are taken from my pay?
Your check will be for the gross amount you earned less any applicable taxes and deductions. For most of you this will include federal tax, state tax, and local taxes. There may be more than one local tax depending on where you live or work as a GA. Most of you will not have Social Security or Medicare taxes taken from your check. Since you are full time students, tax law exempts these earnings from FICA taxes.
Have I filled out all the necessary forms?

In order to be paid, you must file the following 4 forms with Human Resources and Payroll.

  • W-4: Federal tax form that dictates how much federal tax is withheld.
  • K-4: Kentucky withholding tax form that dictates how much state tax is withheld.
  • I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification
  • Warren County Tax Verification: This form requires your living address to determine whether Warren County taxes need to be withheld.
Who do I call if I have any payroll questions?
Anyone in the Payroll Department will be happy to assist you. They can be reached at 270-745-5365.
What tuition rate are GAs charged?
Graduate assistants are charged the in-state tuition rate, regardless of residency or term.
 Last Modified 7/3/14