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Mission

The College of Graduate and Professional Studies recognizes that graduate assistantships provide critical educational opportunities and financial assistance to graduate students, and that assistantships are directly related to the core elements of graduate degrees and endorsements.  Graduate assistants provide service to the University while simultaneously developing the skills and experience required to assume leadership roles in academia and/or professions.


Eligibility

For the purposes of this policy, a "graduate student" is an individual who is admitted and enrolled in a graduate degree or endorsement program in good academic standing at Longwood University.

Prospective graduate assistants are responsible for meeting the following eligibility requirements and for taking the initiative in ascertaining that all have been fulfilled. The requirements are described here to provide graduate student applicants with an understanding of the usual conditions for awarding assistantships. Individual colleges, departments, or programs may set more rigorous standards than are listed here.

An entering student is awarded an assistantship on the basis of academic potential. Applicants are expected to have:

  1. been admitted fully and without academic provision,
  2. achieved a cumulative graduate grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale or, for new graduate students, a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale, and
  3. submitted the complete two-page application with a resume to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Graduate assistants, once appointed, must maintain grade point averages of 3.0 or better.  Graduate students may be retained as assistants only as long as they are registered as current full-time or part-time students in good academic standing and are performing their teaching, academic, or research support duties satisfactorily.


Resolution

As a member of the Council of Graduate Schools, Longwood University follows the Council’s Resolution regarding graduate assistants.

Acceptance of an offer of financial support (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by a prospective or enrolled graduate student completes an agreement that both student and graduate school expect to honor. In that context, the conditions affecting such offers and their acceptance must be defined carefully and understood by all parties.

Withdrawal Acceptance - Before April 15

Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15.

Withdrawal Acceptance- After April 15

However, 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.

It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer.‚Äč


Graduate Assistantship Categories

Graduate students who are assigned academic responsibilities at Longwood University will be appointed to one of the following categories of graduate assistantships:

  • Teaching Assistant - A graduate student who assists a faculty member who is the instructor of record for a course. The duties of such an appointment may include work in the classroom, in recitation sections, in laboratories, in online learning management systems, or in other learning settings. The Teaching Assistant (TA) may or may not be responsible for grading student assignments and for maintaining office hours.
  • Academic/Research Assistant - A graduate student with limited responsibility for the administrative and/or applied professional practice within an academic department or a University administrative unit. These positions may also include significant student or client interaction, collaborative research with faculty, and project planning and implementation.

Student appointments that are primarily of a clerical or non-academic administrative nature should be offered through Student Employment and processed in accordance with their policies.  Funding provided by the College of Graduate and Professional Studies is not used to support those positions.  Graduate Assistants may have some administrative duties associated with their appointments, but those duties are considered part of their assistantship assignment.

Although assigned teaching, academic, or research support duties, graduate assistants are regarded by the university as students and not as employees. As such, graduate assistants are not eligible for any employee benefits.


Graduate Assistant Types

Standard Full-Time Assistantship

  • Student works 300 hours a semester (hours distributed over 15-20 weeks)
  • Student receives $3,000 in tuition coverage and a $4,500 stipend

Standard Part-Time Assistantship

  • Student works 150 hours a semester (hours distributed over 15-20 weeks)
  • Student receives $1,500 in tuition coverage and a $2,250 stipend

Non-Standard Assistantship

  • Work hours and hourly funding is determined by Department/Program and does not fall into one of the two categories above

Process Overview:  Program/Department Responsibilities

By February 1, a graduate program or department must submit the Request for Graduate Assistant.  Graduate Assistant positions are awarded for no longer than one academic year and are not renewed automatically from year to year.  Specific work assignments are determined by the department and are part of the request. 

The Graduate Dean and Director of Graduate Student Services will review and make awards of the funds provided by the College of Graduate & Professional Studies.  Graduate programs and/or University departments providing their own funding submit the same Request for Graduate Assistant in order to request the administrative management of the assistantship. 

The selection of the specific graduate assistant will be done by the program or department from the approved pool of graduate student applicants.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the supervisor and the College of Graduate & Professional Studies will be completed prior to the beginning of the assistantship and reiterates the responsibilities and funding for the position.

Supervisors must complete a Work Objectives, Assessments & Evaluation (WOAE) with each assistant at the beginning and end of each semester. Responsibilities and duties should be assigned to ensure that the required work hours are met. Monthly, supervisors must approve the GA Hours Tracking Log on which graduate assistants record their work hours.


Process Overview:  Student Responsibilities

The Graduate Assistantship Application must be submitted to the College of Graduate & Professional Studies by March 29 or until all positions have been filled.  Prospective graduate students may apply for an assistantship concurrently with their application to a degree or professional endorsement program.  The application form must be completed in its entirety and be accompanied by a resume.

Applicants with a minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale or new graduate students with a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale may be included in the approved pool for consideration for an assistantship.

The selection process is done by the respective graduate programs and/or departments and may include but is not limited to, an interview, request for recommendations, or testing.

Graduate assistants will work with their supervisors to complete the Work Objectives, Assessments & Evaluation (WOAE) at the beginning and end of each semester.

Graduate Assistants enter their time and submit it on the  GA Hours Tracking Log  monthly for their supervisor's approval.

Graduate assistantships require work from 8 to 20 hours per week during the academic year, depending on the position awarded. Graduate assistants must perform satisfactorily the duties assigned by their departments, make satisfactory progress in their programs as defined by the degree requirements and the regulations of their departments, and may not hold any employment or appointment of a remunerative nature during the term of their assistantships without the approval of the Graduate Dean.

A graduate student holding a graduate assistantship forgoes the designated student academic vacations for the period of the appointment.  Supervisors and prospective graduate assistants should agree upon the specific work expectations, including employment dates, before finalizing appointments.


Termination of Appointment

Graduate assistantships end when the period of appointment is concluded and the terms of the assistantship agreement are fulfilled.

Graduate Assistant supervisors will work with the Dean of the College of Graduate & Professional Studies to resolve problematic issues with graduate assistants. If issues cannot be resolved satisfactorily, termination of the assistantship may take place immediately.

A graduate assistantship may be terminated for the following reasons:

  • Resignation for cause by the student. This resignation should be in writing and approved by the Supervisor and Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies
  • Failure of the graduate assistant to perform assigned duties adequately. Termination must be recommended in writing by the Supervisor and forwarded to the Dean of the College of Graduate & Professional Studies
  • Failure to adhere to enrollment policies in accordance with the contract.

If a graduate assistantship is terminated prior to the end of the contract, the student will be responsible for returning any pro-rated assistantship funding to the University. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis by the Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies on the recommendation of the student’s supervisor.

A graduate student who believes that his or her graduate assistantship has been terminated unjustly and who has exhausted all departmental and school appeal procedures may appeal the decision in writing to the Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. The Graduate Dean will make the final decision regarding the termination of the appointment.


Funding

Tuition and/or fee support and other awards (such as stipends) associated with graduate assistantships vary from year to year and by program. Some awards may consist of a basic stipend only. In such cases, students are responsible for payment of tuition and fees. Some awards may include a base stipend plus tuition and/or fees or inclusion of room and meal plan.

Those students receiving tuition support are awarded funding for in-state tuition costs; out-of-state students are responsible for covering the difference. A student’s residency status is determined by the College of Graduate & Professional Studies during the admission process and is updated as necessary. All students are responsible for settling their accounts according to the rules and procedures of the University’s Office of Student Accounts.


Payments and tax status

Tuition and/or fee support is processed through the university’s Financial Aid Office and is applied directly to the student’s account. Any stipend received by a graduate assistant s designated by the Internal Revenue Service as wages for work performed is processed through the University’s Payroll Office and is subject to withholding taxes. A graduate assistantship stipend is reported to the IRS as earned income.

In all cases, final decisions and interpretations as to the tax status of graduate assistantship stipends or tuition and/or fee awards are made solely by the Internal Revenue Service. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure accurate reporting of such support to the IRS.

All graduate assistantship and tuition and fee awards are reported to the University’s Financial Aid Office and are included in any calculation of financial aid need. Students with questions about their need-based financial aid packaging should contact the Financial Aid Office.

International students are restricted by U.S. law in the actual (not the average) number of hours they may work during a week. These students may not work more than 20 actual hours per week during the semester. If the student cannot legally be appointed to additional hours, he or she must not be required or permitted to provide them.