Office of Student Life

Grad Pad


Getting an Assistantship 

What if I did not get an offer for an assistantship after interview days? Are there other routes I can take? 

Yes. You could look for assistantships outside the Student Personnel Association Program. Contact the graduate school to ask about open appointments as well as individual offices that interest you. 

How do I get a GAA in Student Life if I am not part of the Student Personnel Association program? 

Some GAA positions require different professional credentialing or are not necessarily part of the Student Personnel Assistantship (SPA) program. When in doubt ask. These GAA positions are open to any applicant with appropriate experience. 

What are 10-hour a week positions? 

10-hour-a-week positions are considered .25 Full Time Employment (FTE). They pay half of what a 20-hour-a-week position would pay. If you already have a 50% appointment then they only pay for an additional stipend amount that is half of your 20 hour a week stipend. If you do not have any GAA appointment or only have one other 10 hour a week appointment, they pay for half of the tuition, health insurance, and stipend benefits that a 20-hour-a week appointment pays for. If you have additional questions about this, please contact 

Graduate Administrative Assistantship (GAA) Contracts and Fees 

When should I see my tuition and fees post for each semester? 

Tuition and Fees should post by 11:59 p.m. on the date that fees are due for the upcoming semester. If they do not post by this time, please contact the  and we will check on this for you. 

What specific fees are covered by my GAA contract? 

For the clearest answer please review the terms of your contract. Currently most contracts in the Office of Student Life cover tuition, subsidize Student Health Insurance, allow you to participate in a retirement plan, and cover learning technology fees as assessed by your program. However, things like the Ohio Union fee are not covered. A complete list of fees is available from the University Registrar: 

Additionally, here is a portion of the contract that describes fees covered. 

  • Additional Fees. Unless agreed to be covered by the GA’s appointing unit, each GA is responsible for paying all additional fees: the COTA bus pass fee; the student activity fee; the recreational facility fee; and any other department-/college-specific fees. (See GS Handbook, Section IX.5) 
  • Other Charges. Each GA is responsible for other miscellaneous fees, such as athletic ticket fees and any penalties or late fees that he or she incurs. (See GS Handbook, Section IX.5) 
  • Parking Permits. GAs may purchase “C” (student) or “B” (staff) parking permits for Central or West Campus. GAs are responsible for fees associated with the level of pass purchased as well as any other charges related to parking. (See GS Handbook, Section IX.5) 

If I have a GAA and there are fees I am responsible for (like the COTA fee), should I pay those in advance of the fee deadline for the semester or have them deducted? 

If you are a GAA for a given semester which is only when you are employed as a GAA and taking full time courses for that semester as defined by the graduate school, these fees are automatically deducted from your stipend. You should not be assessed a late fee. 

If I had a GAA for Fall and Spring semesters, is my tuition covered for Summer term even if I am not working at my GAA over the summer? 

Yes, this is called the "summer session fee authorization." Specific language from the contract states: 

 Graduate students holding a 50 percent or greater GA appointment for two consecutive semesters are entitled to a full fee authorization during the immediately following summer term without being on appointment. Students holding a 25 percent or less GA appointment for two consecutive semesters are entitled to a summer fee authorization at half the full fee authorization rate. Students using the summer fee authorization must be registered for at least four hours of credit. Post-candidacy doctoral students must register for at least three hours of credit. A graduate student who elects not to enroll during the summer may not defer the use of the summer fee authorization. (See the GS Handbook, Section IX.5.2) 

Can I have outside employment beyond my GAA? 

It depends on your academic program. It is important to ask either your academic program’s coordinator or your faculty advisor about this. 

In terms of being employed as a GAA at the University, you are limited to a position(s) totaling no more than 30-hours-a week.  

Am I employed as a GAA through breaks? If so, what about time off for holidays? 

As a GAA in the Office of Student Life, if you are appointed in a .50 FTE position you are expected to work on average 20 hours a week each week you are employed. This means that if you work more than 20 hours one week, you can bank those hours towards another week. Work with your supervisor on specifics. 

Within the terms of your contract, here is the language in regards to time off. 

  • Time Off. GAs do not accrue vacation or sick leave. Rules regarding time off during semester or term breaks or other times are determined by the GA’s appointing unit. GAs must check with their appointing units to determine when they are expected to be on duty. GAs are not required to work on legal holidays noted on the university calendar. When university offices are required to maintain services on certain holidays and GAs are scheduled to work on a holiday, they must be given an alternate day off. (See GS Handbook, Section IX.5.4) 

What do I do if I am unhappy about my supervisor? 

It is important that you first try to approach them with the difficulties you are having and what you would like to change in the dynamics of your relationship. If you need help constructing this plan, you can reach out to the SL-Grad Pad at  or SL-Human Resources (HR). 

If there is a complaint or serious problem, it is best that you work with the Graduate School and SL-HR. 

Getting a Practicum 

How do I get a practicum? 

Practicum opportunities are offered either by your academic program or by offices within Student Life. If you would like to talk about a practicum position, it helps to have worked with a person in that unit, and reaching out to that person or unit proactively. Also, your academic program may arrange a practicum experience for you.  

Graduate Student Associate (GSA) Positions 

What if I am employed as a Graduate Student Associate (GSA)? Are my fees automatically deducted? 

Your fees are not automatically deducted. If you are a GSA, you are responsible for paying your fees prior to the initial payment deadline for the semester. Payment deadlines can be found here: 

It is possible to set up a payment schedule over the course of the semester. You must opt in, and there is an additional $30 enrollment fee. The first payment of this plan is still due when the initial payment deadline for fees is due. This plan must be selected prior to the initial payment deadline for a semester. For a full description of this plan and how to opt into it, please follow this link: 

Graduate Student Associates receive an hourly salary that is paid monthly but do not receive tuition and other fee benefits. You are a GSA over the Summer Session if you are working as an employee at OSU but are not enrolled in classes. Your GAA status will resume when you enroll in classes in the fall and sign a new GAA contract.