TA/RA Policies and Definitions

Paying students on a TA/RA contract

Please check out the funding graduate students page before proceeding to make sure you are using the correct method.

Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant Eligibility Requirements

  • GPA must be above 3.0
  • Enrolled in a degree seeking graduate program
  • Enrolled in 6 or more credits
    • Some departments may require more credits
    • PhD students who have advanced to candidacy may petition to take fewer than 6 credits if their advisors attest to their progress toward completion.

Forms related to TA/RA Contracts

TA/RA Contract Form  - use to assign tuition support and wages to a graduate assistant.

Contract Termination Form - use when the job is ending because the student has stopped working or attending classes or when the student is switching from one position to another.

Contract Change Form - use when you need to change the index that the tuition support is being paid from.

TA/RA Residency Form - use when a non-resident student qualifies for TA-RA residency. IMPORTANT - please review the TA/RA residency requirements before submitting this form along with the TA/RA Contract Form.


Filling out the TA/RA contract

  • Please be sure to use the correct Exemption Code for the index you are using for tuition support. Exemption codes can be looked up on our exemption code table.
  • Only one residency status can be selected. Resident, Non-resident, or TA-RA residency. If the student is seeking TA-RA residency, a TA-RA residency form must be attached to the contract.
  • If both tuition and wages are being paid by grants, both must be from the same grant.
  • Index Number: This is the index number to which the wages will be charged.  A signature is required for the budgeting authority for the index code that is listed.
  • Full Time Equivalent (FTE): Most teaching and research assistant contracts are processed with a .50 FTE. FTE MUST accurately reflect hours student will work, and must be less than or equal to 0.5 FTE (20 hrs/week).
  • Dates for wages section.  The beginning date should be the first day the student actually begins work and the ending date should be the last date the student works. STUDENTS CANNOT BE ASKED TO WORK WITHOUT BEING PAID. 

Other Important Information Regarding Graduate Assistants

  • Graduate TA and RA positions are employees and should be supervised by someone in the department.
  • If the graduate assistant stops showing up for work or performing duties it is the hiring department’s responsibility to fill out the contract termination form.
  • Graduate Assistants cannot be expected to work more than 20 hours per week.
All payments to students for educational purposes (regardless of the source) are reported to the UM Financial Aid Office.


  • All payment request forms such as Graduate School Contracts, ORSP Award Summary Sheet, and Stipend Request Forms should be sent to Financial Aid 15 business days before the first day of class.
    • To ensure timely processing
    • To adjust any financial aid (student loans mainly) PRIOR to disbursement
    • To avoid over-awards resulting in students having to pay back UM for student loans and carrying large balances on student accounts

Important Reminders:

  • Students who receive federal financial aid (including loans) have the responsibility to report all education resources to the Financial Aid Office and are asked to provide this information prior to accepting any financial aid.
  • We Advise all students who receive federal financial aid to consult with the UM Financial Aid Office before accepting payments associated with the cost of education, including but not limited to payments of tuition, fees, books, supplies, travel, and room and board stipends and awards.
  • Work-study is not initially offered to graduate students. Those wishing to receive work study must request it. Students who have a TA or RA contract cannot receive work study while under contract. Exceptions may be made during the summer for students doing work unrelated to their contract. All work study awarded to graduate students is subject to availability of funds and student eligibility.

 If ever unsure, please contact the financial aid office with questions

Email: faid@mso.umt.edu