Assistantship Policies

Assistantship Policies

Graduate Assistants must be enrolled for the number of credits required by their awards for the entire award period. Other conditions may exist for your award; if the requirements are not met, stipend and salary payments and tuition awards can be jeopardized. Please note that by University Policy, stipend checks can only be released if the recipient is enrolled.

How to Accept your Award

To accept or decline your award, click here to log into your GWeb account to access the Graduate Merit Award page.

For Admitted Students, please see the guidelines on how to Create and Log in to an Applicant Account  at

Salary Payments

Assistantship salary payments may vary by school and department.

Assistantship salary checks are issued on the last business day of each month, beginning on the first day of a month and ending on the last day of a month.

Checks can be electronically deposited in a U.S. bank or mailed to a student’s local address if direct deposit is not set up.


All questions on payments should be directed to your awarding office. Your awarding office is indicated by the contact information listed at the bottom of your award letter. If you do not have an award letter please contact the department that has appointed you as soon as possible. If any problems cannot be resolved contact  [email protected].


Stipend Payments

Some GAs/GRAs may have a stipend award in addition to their GA/GRA salary. A stipend is awarded to cover living expenses, requires no services and is a merit award intended to support your academic study. Stipends are paid monthly and are transferred via direct deposit to GAs personal bank accounts on or by the first business day of the month. 

Tuition Payments

Some GAs/GRAs may have a tuition fellowship award in addition to their GA/GRA salary. Tuition fellowships are applied directly to your GW account. A tuition award covers all or part of the cost of tuition. If you have been awarded one, it will be entered into the Banner system by authorized University staff and roll to your student account after you have registered for the required number of credits. If you receive a bill for tuition and you think you should not, you should contact your awarding office. Most awards do not cover fees.

Working in Multiple Positions

Graduate Assistants may hold more than one assistantship (GA and/or GRA) concurrently or hold an assistantship in combination with an hourly wage job as long as all positions together total no more than 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters.

Graduate Students who hold an assistantship position during the summer semester are permitted to work up to 40 hours per week as long as they are not enrolled in summer coursework during the tenure of their assistantship appointment.

In general, students must not hold other employment inside or outside GW when receiving one of the following awards from GW:


  • Receive more than $8,000 in fellowship stipend and/or assistantship payments in a semester OR
  • Have a 20 hours per week assistantship service commitment


  • Receive more than $10,000 in fellowship stipend and/or assistantship payments in a semester OR
  • Have a 20 hours per week assistantship service commitment

*Please note that tuition awards do not count toward the funding thresholds listed above.

"Employment" is defined as internships or any other miscellaneous employment that is not part of the fellowship or assistantship. However, under exceptional circumstances, students may apply for and be granted permission to work by submitting the Request for Permission to Work form.


Graduate Award Requirements

All assistantship award letters include a link to this Graduate Award Requirements document. Students agree to the requirements in this document by accepting their award.

Graduate Award Requirements

Health Insurance

Domestic (U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident) students can enroll in the GW Student Health Plan. More information is provided here.

Background Check Requirement

A background check is required for all graduate students who are GAs and GRAs for the first time.

Students will receive information about completing the background check from "Sterling Info Systems".

Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9)

The I-9 process is required by the federal government for all employees new to GW. Students will receive instructions for completing the I-9 process from the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships. 

There are two steps to complete this process:

Step 1: Online Form

  • Visit and enter the employer code of 14290 to complete Section 1 of your I-9. After you finish, you’ll see a list of acceptable original documents you can bring to complete the in-person verification.
Step 2: In-Person Verification
  • Once your online form is completed, you will need to schedule an appointment to meet in person with a representative that will verify your documents. This can be on a GW Campus.
    • Complete on a GW Campus (Foggy Bottom or VSTC)

Please note: U.S. Social Security Numbers (SSN) are required when completing the I-9 because GW participates in E-Verify (# 335965). You would need to have applied for an SSN prior to completing an I-9. You can find information about applying for a SSN here:

Please visit the HR Employment Eligibility Verification webpage to learn more and contact hris@gwu with any questions.

For questions on the process, the I-9, or required documentation, email [email protected].

Sick Time

Sick time provides GAs with paid time off to take care of their basic health and safety needs as well as those of their family members.

Sick time begins accruing on the date of your appointment and any accrued but unused sick time can be used during the appointment period with manager approval. Accrued sick time is credited on the last working day of each month and may not be used prior to its actual accrual.

GAs and GRAs accrue sick time at a rate of 2.25 hours each month up to 20 hours per year and can carry over up to their maximum annual accrual of sick time each year.

Sick Time is tracked via Kronos.

Sick time policy information is in the Time Off and Leave Guide.

Please refer only to the sick time sections specific to Graduate Assistants, beginning on page 11. You can also contact Benefits at [email protected] for questions related to sick time.


If you have questions about taxes related to your salary and/or stipend, please contact the GW Tax Department.


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