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.