One-time Bonus for Graduate Assistants

Graduate students on assistantship are eligible for the bonus if:

  • they were employed (GA, GRA, GTA, faculty, or staff) during the 2009-10 fiscal year, and
  • are contracted as a graduate assistant (GA, GRA, GTA) on December 1st, 2010.

The bonus is 3% of the graduate student’s projected annual pay as of December 1st, 2010, based on an academic year or calendar year basis.  The graduate student’s 2009-10 employment history will determine an academic or calendar year appointment basis.  The bonus is included in the December 1st, 2010 paycheck.  Applicable taxes and deductions will apply.
Q: Who is eligible for the Returning Graduate Assistant Bonus?

A: Graduate assistants who were contracted as a GA, GRA or GTA or employed as a faculty or staff member during the 2009-10 year and are contracted as a GA, GRA or GTA on December 1st, 2010 are eligible.

Q: What if I was employed as a wage employee last year or will be a wage employee on December 1st, 2010?
A: Wage employees in the Commonwealth are not eligible for the bonus program.

Q: How much bonus will I receive?
A: Consistent with the bonus for salaried staff and faculty, eligible returning graduate assistants will receive a one-time bonus payment of 3% of their annual compensation, calculated based on their 2009-10 appointments (academic year or calendar year) and their current stipend amounts.

Q: When will I receive my bonus?
A: Bonuses will arrive in the December 1st paycheck. No application is necessary.

Q:  How will the bonus to graduate students with assistantships be taxed?
A: Federal and state tax withholding rates will depend on the personal withholding status of the student employee based on the W-4 and VA-4.  As a rule, FICA taxes will not apply, as students with assistantships should meet the requirements for the student FICA exception.  This is the same method used to calculate taxes on the regular paycheck.

Q: What if I have further questions?
A: Graduate students with a specific question not answered above regarding the bonus program should contact the Graduate School at 231-4558 for assistance. Departments and colleges with questions about funding should contact Brennan Shepard in the Office of Budget and Financial Planning at 1-6419.

Preview Weekend

It is time to start nominating candidates for Preview Weekend.

Nominations will be accepted through January 20, 2011. Please note that this program is designed to bring your top candidates to campus as an opportunity for the Graduate School and your department to highlight our offerings. 

Priority is given to students who have not already visited campus and who are underrepresented in your department.

Please contact me if you have questions.

Dannette Gomez Beane

Office of Graduate Recruiting and Diversity Initiatives

Virginia Tech


Nominations requested for Graduate Student Awards

The Graduate School would like to encourage nominations for the following student awards:

  •          Outstanding Dissertation– two awards, one in math/science/engineering and one  in social sciences/business/humanities, $1000
  •          Graduate Student Teaching Excellence- $1000
  •          Graduate Student Service Excellence– $1000
  •          Graduate Man and Woman of the Year– $500
  •          Outstanding Graduate Student– one master’s and one doctoral student per college, $500
  •          Outstanding Interdisciplinary Program Student– $500
 All students will be recognized during the Graduate Education Week banquet in March as well as receive a plaque/certificate and monetary award. More information about criteria, forms, and process for nomination can be found on our web page at:

The deadline for the first four awards listed above is February 4, 2011 at 5 pm while the last two are due by February 18 at 5 pm.

AdvanceVT Grad Student Lunch Seminar

Graduate students interested in pursuing a faculty career and learning more about working at different types of institutions are invited to join a panel discussion of strategies for success. Panelists are Dr. Olga Pierrakos, Assistant Professor, Engineering, James Madison University; Dr. Morgan Wilson, Associate Professor and Head, Biology, Hollins University; and Dr. Julie Dunsmore, Associate Professor, Psychology, Virginia Tech.

AdvanceVT Graduate Student Lunch Seminars are designed to help graduate students prepare for careers in academe. All graduate students and postdocs are welcome, and lunch is provided. Register here by November 10.

Guidelines for New Graduate Course Proposals

Preparing a proposal for a new course? Find detailed guidelines for each section of the proposal plus two examples of recently approved proposals at

After college approval, proposals are uploaded to Hokie CAPS by the college staff member who assists the college curriculum committee.

Questions? Kerry Redican, Graduate Curriculum Committee Chair, or Rosemary Blieszner, Associate Dean.