Payroll Policies

PR06 Graduate Assistants

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Director of the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration, 814-865-2514,

Policy Steward: 

Vice Provost for Graduate Education


PR06 Graduate Assistants - Now GSAD 901 Graduate Assistants


Policy PR06 Graduate Assistants is now a policy belonging to The Graduate School. Please see GSAD-901 Graduate Assistants to access the new policy.  All inquires regarding this policy should be directed to the Director of the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration.



Most Recent Changes:

  • December 7, 2018 – Significant organizational and editorial changes and additions throughout entire policy, to remove IBIS references for appointments and incorporate University move to WorkDay, including move from “PR” or Payroll Policy to “GSAD” or Graduate School Administrative Policy.

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • December 6, 2017 - PR06 is under review due to WorkLion implementation.
  • August 20, 2014 - Editorial changes. Clarifications in SUBMISSION OF FORMS FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF GRADUATE ASSISTANTS and PAYMENT OF STIPENDS sections to reflect current operations. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
  • March 29, 2012 - Revisions have been made to the ELIGIBILITY and CREDITS THAT MAY BE SCHEDULED sections, clarifying details that pertain to these categories.
  • September 19, 2011 - Editorial changes made to HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS, clarifying contact information, if further information is needed.
  • March 24, 2005 -
    • In RESPONSIBILITIES section, added verbiage for proper completion when the tasks assigned to a graduate assistant are identical in nature to those required for the advanced degree sought.
    • In the HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFIT section, added verbiage that distinguished benefits of international Graduate Assistants and domestic Graduate Assistants.
    • Changed fall/spring credits for half-time Graduate Assistants from 8-11 to 9-12.
    • Editorial changes made throughout the policy, where applicable, to remove references to the General Forms Usage Guide
  • March 6, 2003 -
    • Provisions moved from Policy BT03 to this policy:
    • Payments made in June for Summer Session are pre-payments against the following year's budget.
    • Appointments are to be submitted in accordance with stipends authorized in the Table of Stipends (Appendix 5 of the General Forms Usage Guide).
    • Credits that may be scheduled by half-time graduate assistants increased from 8-11 to 9-12.
  • May 22, 2001 -
    • Under the RESPONSIBILITIES section, changed the advance approval requirements from "dean of the college where the student holds the assistantship" to "administrative head of the academic unit in which the assistantship is held, and of the chair of the student's graduate academic program."
  • January 24, 2000 -
    • Mandatory direct deposit of pay.
    • Added link to Penn State Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin.
    • Changed term 'earned tuition grant-in-aid' to 'Tuition Assistance Program'.
    • Revised RESPONSIBILITIES section.
    • Changed 1/4 time fall/spring credits from 11-14 to 9-14
  • December 3, 1996 - Removed references to several defunct forms (Loyalty Oath and Affirmation, and Alien Information Request); changed title "Senior Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School" to "Dean of the Graduate School."
  • April 4, 1994 - IBIS ASST form reference replaced by NAPP, GFSA, GRAD, TRMN, and GFST.
  • November 22, 1993 -
    • HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFIT section added.
    • Alien Information Request Form and Salary Deposit Request added as required forms to submit.
    • Effective November 1, 1993, direct salary deposits shall be mandatory and a condition of hire for anyone beginning employment on or after that date.
    • Provision added for salary advance for first monthly payroll.


  • October 1, 1993 - Added Intellectual Property Agreement as a required form to be completed by a graduate assistant.
  • May 22, 1991 - The Assistantship and Fellowship Stipend Form replaced by the IBIS ASST form: Under ELIGIBILITY, added provisions for candidates to have health insurance.
  • April 12, 1988 -
    • Added Employment Eligibility Verification Form (INS Form I-9) to FORMS TO BE COMPLETED section.
    • At locations other than UP, references to the "Bursar" should be read as Financial (or Business) Office.
  • March 27, 1987 - "Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate" change to "Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate"; added lengthy section TUITION REMISSIONS EDUCATION ASSISTANCE PLAN.
  • April 18, 1985 -
    • Under section TYPES AND SALARY RANGES, "summer session 10 weeks(or extended session 12 weeks)" changed to " extended summer session 12 weeks."
    • "Dean of the Graduate School" changed to "Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School."
    • Credits for 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 time graduate assistants now identified for fall or spring semester.
    • Credits for summer added as follows: 1/4 time = 5-7; 1/2 time =4-6; 3/4 time = 3-5.
  • July 25, 1983 -
    • Removed section PRIVILEGES FOR GRADUATE STUDY GRANT-IN-AID and replaced with section RATES TO CHARGE FUNDING
    • Provisions of new section include: tuition will be charged to sponsored agreements at an average in-state rate, effective summer session 1984; flat rate dissertation fees will be charge to sponsored agreements for assistantships effective fall semester 1983; earned tuition grant-in-aid will not be available after summer term, 1983.
    • "Business Manager" changed to "Director of Business Services."
  • April 15, 1983 -
    • Term "changed to "Semester".
    • Budget Executive signs Assistant and Fellowship Stipend Form instead of dean or administrative officer.
    • 1/4 time Graduate Assistant changed from 7-9 credits to 11-14 credits.
    • 1/2 time graduate Assistant changed from 5-7 credits to 8-11 credits.
    • 3/4 Time Graduate Assistant changed from 4-5 credits to 6-8 credits.
    • All graduate assistant appointees are paid monthly instead of 6 equal installments per term.
    • The total credit load over a period of time must conform with the specified limits.
    • Under section PRIVILEGES FOR GRADUATE STUDY GRANT-IN-AID, deleted the phrase " The additional grant-in-aid may not be accumulated."
    • Changed "application for Earned Extra Grant-In-Aid" to Application for Tuition Grant-In-Aid."
  • June 1, 1981 - The Assistantship and Fellowship Stipend Form and Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate are to be submitted to Financial Officer (and not to Budget Office); at Commonwealth Campuses references to the "Bursar" should be read as Financial (or Business) Office. Reference to "Financial Officer" should be read as Business Manager if no Financial Officer is assigned to the Campus.
  • April 17, 1978 - Added that submission of forms for appointment is required in Payroll Office one month before the first pay date each term.
  • April 1, 1974 -
    • Added stipulation for same pay, same work within any department.
    • Significant reorganization of policy's sections including a new section RESPONSIBILITIES.
  • July 1, 1968 - New Policy.

Date Approved: 

December 7, 2018

Date Published: 

December 7, 2018

Effective Date: 

December 20, 2018