PROCEDURE 481: Graduate Assistants
Adopted: June 30, 2021
The purpose of this procedure is to promulgate standards for the awarding and administration of graduate assistantships at Ramapo College of New Jersey (“Ramapo College” or “College”).
Graduate assistantships are positions where Ramapo Graduate students work a set number of hours in exchange for tuition reimbursement. These positions are intended to compliment the students’ academic growth.
Positions not fitting these requirements are not considered for Graduate Assistantships. Please contact the Cahill Center for hourly student aides (for Ramapo students) or Human Resources for part-time positions (non-Ramapo Students).
II. Categories of Employment Status
A. Graduate Assistant (Academic)
A graduate student whose primary focus is assisting in an Academic program and performing such functions as research and/or teaching. An academic graduate assistant works a maximum of 20 hours per week, is paid a stipend consistent with College guidelines, and is eligible for tuition remission.
B. Graduate Assistant (Administrative)
A graduate student whose primary focus is assisting with administrative support functions within the needs of a department, including student facing units. An administrative graduate assistant works a maximum of 20 hours per week, is paid a stipend consistent with College guidelines, and is eligible for tuition remission.
C. Graduate Assistant (Residence Life)
A graduate student who assists with the administrative support functions for the Office of Residence Life. The Graduate Residence Assistant works maximum of 20 hours per week plus On-Call Administrator rotation, is paid a stipend consistent with College guidelines, and is eligible for tuition remission. As part of the On-Call Administrator rotation, Graduate Assistant receives campus housing and food allowance. These positions are usually awarded to students who have had previous residence life employment experience.
III. Requirements for Graduate Assistantships
The following Academic requirements apply to all graduate assistantships at the College:
- Graduate Assistant must be matriculated and enrolled in a graduate program at Ramapo College, and make satisfactory academic progress towards degree completion.
- If after advertising the position, no Ramapo College student is identified for the graduate assistantship, a student from another university/college may be selected.
- Enrollment in a minimum of six (6) credit hours per semester or two (2) courses per semester, whichever is greater, during the academic year (fall and spring semesters).
- Graduate Assistant shall maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher and be in good academic standing as defined by the College or other college/university in which the Graduate Assistant is enrolled.
No person will be permitted to apply and keep a Graduate Assistantship at the College if these criteria are not met.
- Academic and Administrative Graduate Assistants
- Tuition: Tuition remission of up to $4,000 per semester or up to $8,000 per academic year (spring and fall semesters), towards their Ramapo College graduate student tuition or graduate student tuition at another university/college; and
- Stipend: $10,000.00 for an academic year (10 months – September 1st to June 30th).
- Residence Life Graduate Assistants
- Tuition: Tuition remission of up to $4,000 per semester or up to $8,000.00 per academic year (spring and fall semesters), towards their Ramapo College graduate student tuition or graduate student tuition at another university/college; and,
- Stipend: $8,000 for an academic year (10 months – September 1st to June 30th); and
- Room & Board: Paid housing and food allowance as part of the GAs On-Call Administrator duties.
V. Proof of Academic Progress
- Graduate Assistants must achieve active and satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of a graduate degree in an approved graduate (Master’s) program.
- Proof of class enrollment and good academic standing must be provided each semester to the Graduate Assistant’s Supervisors must then forward such proof to Human Resources for final review and recordkeeping.
- Students who do not maintain the minimum grade point average and/or provide proof of academic progress may be terminated from their Graduate Assistant position.
VI. Payment Terms
- Tuition remission is eligible only for graduate level courses as part of the Ramapo College student graduate program requirements.
- Tuition for non-Ramapo College students will be paid at the beginning of each semester once a bill has been provided to the College with proper supporting documentation.
- Stipends are paid in bi-weekly installments for the term of the contract. Applicable federal and state taxes will be withheld.
- The stipend terminates effective the date of resignation. In addition, any housing privileges will be revoked as of the date of resignation.
- While tuition benefits are paid on behalf of the Graduate Assistant up front, if the Graduate Assistant’s contract is not completed as noted, the Graduate Assistant will owe a pro-rated portion of the tuition benefit to the College.
- If a Graduate Assistant withdraws from a course and this generates a refund, such refund must be paid back to the College.
- An Accounts Payable (A/P) voucher must be prepared by the Graduate Assistant’s supervisor along with a copy of the tuition invoice and be provided to Accounts Payable for direct payment to the institution. If payment was made by the Graduate Assistant directly to the institution a copy of the paid tuition invoice must be provided along with the A/P voucher for reimbursement to the Graduate Assistant.
VII. Available Benefits/Limitation on Benefits
- Graduate Assistants are not eligible to travel and/or receive travel reimbursements, except when the Graduate Assistant’s job description requires the Graduate Assistant to accompany undergraduate students as part of a College program.
- Graduate Assistants are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits in the event of a workplace injury.
- All students follow the medical insurance requirements as set forth by the College.
- Graduate Assistants are not eligible for pension benefits.
- There is no accrual of leave time or pay for time not worked.
- There are no entitlements to benefits or pay for hours not worked with exception of paid sick entitlements.
VIII. Employment Requirements:
- All graduate assistant appointments terminate at the end of the appointment period (September 1st – June 30th) and there is no commitment to reappoint the same student at a later time.
- Units requiring additional weeks of service beyond the 10 month graduate assistant contract, must contact Human Resources. Students will be paid hourly, up to 20 hours per week for any work outside of the 10 month contract. No student will be allowed to work during the 2 additional months at hourly pay without a separate contract.
- Since the Graduate Assistant is in a part-time, temporary position, the Graduate Assistant is an at-will employee who can be terminated by the College at any time without notice or severance pay.
- Ongoing employment is contingent upon satisfactory performance as well as availability of funding and other policy considerations.
- Graduate Assistants may need to be absent for personal reasons or illness; while every effort will be made to accommodate occasional absences, such absences must not interfere with or cause neglect of duties, and must not exceed reasonable limits.
- Graduate Assistants who are not able to fulfill the requirements of their assistantship due to illness or other reason will be terminated, and a pro-rated portion of the stipend will be paid up to the date of termination. A pro-rated bill for the tuition benefit will be issued by the College and the Graduate Assistant shall pay such amount to the College.
- Graduate Assistants who must resign during or prior to their period of appointment must provide written notice to the College. Every effort shall be made for the Graduate Assistant to provide adequate notice for a replacement to be hired. If the resignation takes place at the end of a semester, the tuition benefit for that semester remains in place; if the resignation takes effect during a semester, a pro-rated bill will be issued to the Graduate Assistant who shall pay the amount owed to the College. The stipend terminates effective the date of resignation. In addition, any housing privileges will be revoked as of the date of resignation.
- Graduate Assistants must be provided with contracts detailing the terms and conditions of the graduate assistantship.
- A template contract is attached hereto as Appendix A. Any changes to the template contract must be approved by the College’s Office of General Counsel.
X. Compliance with Applicable College Policies
- All Graduate Assistants are governed by College Policies as applicable, including but not limited to policies outlined within the Student Code of Conduct and Student Handbook or/and the Employee Handbook.
XI. Hiring Process
- Human Resources and Vice President/Provost approval of all Graduate Assistant positions is required.
- Open positions shall have a job description and be advertised in Hiretouch.
- Positions should be communicated to the Associate Director of Graduate Admissions.
- Signed Graduate Assistantship contracts must be received by the College prior to work commencement.
XII. General Procedures for Processing Graduate Assistantships
- All open graduate assistantship positions for the upcoming academic year shall be posted on the College’s website (Hiretouch).
- Students shall submit a Graduate Assistantship Application for the academic year or semester in response to a posted position. Applicants must apply through the College’s online job portal.
- Graduate assistantships are normally awarded for a full academic year, but may be awarded for a semester. Individual units or departments are responsible for the selection of a Graduate Assistant.
- An offer of a graduate assistantship should be made to the candidate along with a contract and job description for the position.
- Required documentation for Graduate Assistants includes: Social Security Card; student ID or photo driver’s license; completed W-4 and I-9 forms; written evidence of health insurance coverage; and, other documents/forms as may be required by Human Resources.
- Reappointments must follow the policy of initial hiring (application, approval and contract signing). The student shall also satisfy all of the criteria for a Graduate Assistant.