Assistantships provide monthly stipends during the contract period. The stipend rate is based on whether the assistant is serving in the first year or second year of the appointment. An assistant is considered a second-year assistant if (s)he held an assistantship position during the previous academic year, which includes those who are appointed during the Spring semester of the previous academic year.
For the 2011-2012 academic year (effective August 16, 2011 until May 15, 2012), the stipend for graduate students pursuing a master’s degree at UIS and serving as a first-year assistant is $950 per month for a nine-month, 50-percent-time appointment (i.e., 20 hours of work per week). Second-year assistants receive $1,000 per month for a nine-month, 50-percent-time appointment.
Future raises will occur as follows:
2012-2013 academic year (8/16/2012 through 5/15/2013)
- First year assistants = $975
- Second year assistants = $1,025
2013-2014 academic year (8/16/2013 through 5/15/2014)
- First year assistants = $1,050
- Second year assistants = $1,100
Tuition and Service Fee Waiver
As an assistantship recipient, you are eligible to receive a tuition and service fee waiver (this includes the activity fee, the intercollegiate athletic fee, and the Career Center fee) for qualifying course work. General fees and course fees are not waived. Assistants are entitled to a maximum of 30 credit hours of tuition waived during the academic year (includes fall, spring, and summer semesters). Please note that only degree-required courses will be covered. Degree requirements are defined by the catalog program copy associated with your catalog year. Students will be billed for any course taken beyond the 30 hours and charged the in-state tuition rate.
Assistants who serve during a semester preceding a summer session are eligible for a tuition and service fee waiver for a maximum of 6 hours during that summer session.
For information regarding late appointments, please refer to the Graduate Assistantship Policy Manual. (pdf)
Regarding taxability of tuition waivers associated with assistantships and fellowships:
Assistant stipends are subject to federal and state taxes. Current tax law exempts Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Research Assistants (RAs) from having to pay taxes on tuition and service fee waivers associated with their appointments.
Effective January 1, 2003, the University adopted an Educational Assistance Plan, complying with Internal Revenue Code 127, which excludes from taxable income $5,250 per calendar year in tuition and service fee waivers associated with graduate assistant (GA) and/or pre-professional graduate assistant (PGA) appointments. Under other Sections of the Internal Revenue Code, GA and PGA tuition and service fee waivers exceeding $5,250 per calendar year may be excluded from taxable income if the GA or PGA appointment meets certain criteria.
Students receiving waivers associated with GA or PGA appointments will receive information from the Payroll Office to assist in determining what portion, if any, of the waiver should be considered taxable income and whether or not it will be necessary to withhold additional taxes from these students’ paychecks.
Assistants receive additional benefits, such as leave time for sick leave, parental leave, jury duty, military leave, and bereavement leave, as well as for designated holidays. Please refer to the Graduate Assistantship Policy Manual (pdf) for specific information.