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Washington State University Graduate School

Tuition and Finances

Tuition and Cost of Living

Graduate Student Assistantships

Assistantship appointments provide financial support to a graduate student who engages in teaching, research, and/or service. Most assistantships include a tuition waiver, health insurance, and monthly stipend. Graduate assistants are required to work 20 hours per week during the semester in which they receive the assistantship.

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant (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) 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) provides academic and administrative program support such as academic advising, program planning, and assisting with the administration of student services offices.

Graduate Assistant Medical Insurance

Managing Your Finances

Assistantship Check Distribution, Deposit,  and Tax Information

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 Payroll Services.

Payroll Deduction

Graduate students on half-time (20 hrs. /wk.) assistantship appointment may pay their mandatory fees through payroll deduction during the fall and spring semesters. To be eligible for this program, students must sign up each semester in which they wish to take advantage of this opportunity. Students may enroll in the program only after their assistantship appointment has been entered on the payroll system by the hiring department. Students can verify the projected fee amount and projected semi-monthly deduction amount by viewing their Online Earnings Statement.

Tax Implications

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:

International students can find more information regarding their tax liability within the Office of International Students and Scholar Information website.