Financing Your Education
Washington State University is dedicated to providing financial support to current graduate students. As a matter of fact, the majority of full-time Ph.D. students at WSU receive financial support to pursue their academic studies. Explore the financial opportunities below and contact your department or graduate program for more information. There are also opportunities for graduate students to receive federal financial aid should they qualify.
Graduate Student Assistantships
One of the most common sources of funding is the graduate assistantship. Assistantship appointments provide financial support to a graduate student who engages in teaching, research, and/or service. Departments and programs generally make assistantship offers during the admissions process; however, current students may be eligible for an assistantship in their program if funding is available. Students should contact their department chair and/or program director for more information.
- Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA)
The GTA may assist faculty in teaching undergraduate courses and labs, grading examinations, problem sets, or lab assignments, setting up displays for lectures and labs, or preparing or maintaining laboratory equipment.
- Graduate Research Assistant (GRA)
The GRA conducts academically significant research under the direction of a faculty member who is generally a principal investigator on a grant or contract.
- Graduate Staff Assistant (GSA)
The GSA provides academic and administrative program support such as academic advising, program planning, and assisting with the administration of student services offices.
Sponsored Student Tuition & Non-Resident Waiver Form
Student tuition and mandatory fees supported from external resources may processes tuition and/or waiver requests with the following Sponsored Student Tuition & Waiver Form. Students eligible for Graduate Student Health Insurance and/or applicable non-resident waiver include:
- Graduates fully supported by a fellowship who are receiving a stipend of at least $800 per month; engaged in research activity similar to that of a Research Assistant; registered for at least 10 credits or
- In their final semester (defending by enrolled in 2-9 credits) and previously funded on an assistantship or
- Completed/submitted the Internship Leave form to the Graduate School.
If you qualify, please complete the Sponsored Student Tuition & Waiver Form. Please note that all graduate fellows who are requesting a non-resident waiver are required to obtain Graduate Student Health Insurance or provide evidence of the WSU minimum equivalent.
Scholarships, Awards and Opportunities
Each year the Graduate School recognizes graduate students of outstanding achievement with numerous awards. Find out how you can compete for these prestigious scholarships, awards and honors.
Fellowships and traineeships vary considerably, each with its own set of guidelines and restrictions set by the funding agency. WSU offers fellowships and traineeships through the Graduate School and academic departments as well as other external agencies. Graduate fellows who meet all eligibility criteria outlined here will be appointed through their respective academic departments.
Find out about funding opportunities through The Informer. Contact the Office of Grant & Research Development OGRD at 509-335-9661 for assistance.
Ph.D. Fellowship Tuition Support Program
Some fellowship awards fall short of meeting a graduate fellow’s educational expenses. The Ph.D. Fellowship Tuition Support Program (pdf) allows eligible students to receive support from the Graduate School to augment their fellowship award by providing a supplemental tuition waiver support.
Non-service Payment Form
The Non-service Payment Form authorizes disbursements to individuals who are not obligated to provide services to WSU in exchange for the payments. Please see the Business Policies & Procedures Manual 30.30 for more information.
Grants and Contracts
Fellowships and grants are available from a number of outside agencies, including private foundations, nonprofits, and state and federal sources. A variety of support is offered, from one-time awards to multi-year support for living expenses, educational fees, conference travel and/or research for beginning to advanced graduate student and postdoctoral levels. Aside from the obvious financial benefit, receipt of external funding exemplifies excellence in research, writing and scholarship. Applying for external fellowships and grants is an excellent professional development experience for many of you who will be seeking academic career placement where grant funding is a necessity.
Prospective students applying for grants should contact the Office of Grant and Research Development for information.
Internship experiences can enhance your future employment opportunities by providing you with relevant skills, workplace experience, and a network of business professionals in your career field. Hands-on experience provides you the opportunity to apply the knowledge you have acquired in your education to real-life settings, preparing you to succeed when entering your career field.
You should work with your faculty advisor to identify potential internship opportunities that fit within your program of study. Students who wish to participate in a fall or spring internship are required to meet the University’s continuous enrollment policy by either enrolling in a minimum of two graduate credits, be in continuous doctoral status, or be approved for official internship leave. Please see the complete Internship policy.
Deposit and Tax Information
Check distribution & direct deposit
Payments are issued on the 5th of each month. We recommend students use direct deposit to ensure fast arrival of funds. You may sign up for direct deposit through Travel Services.
WSU does not withhold federal income taxes on fellowships and traineeships, and will not report it on an annual 1099 IRS Form. Graduate fellows who are US citizens and resident aliens are responsible for paying all income taxes that may become due as a consequence of receiving graduate fellowship stipend payments. It is the student's responsibility to understand the federal and state income tax implications of receiving a fellowship.
The IRS provides general information to assist students in determining tax liability and reporting obligations. Tax liability depends on a student's particular circumstances, and students are advised to contact a personal tax advisor or the IRS with any questions or concerns. IRS Live Telephone Assistance is Toll-free: 1-800-829-1040. Instructions for 1099-MISC Form: Instructions for the Form 1099-MISC. To find your Local IRS Office, visit: www.irs.gov/localcontacts/index.html.
International students can find more information regarding their tax liability within the Office of International Students and Scholar Tax Information website.