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Teaching Assistantship 'stipends' = NOT financial aid?


saul goodman esq
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Hey all,

 

I know this is a question for my school, but its Fin-Aid office hasn't been particularly competent-seeming when I've called them about other questions.

 

I'll have a teaching assistantship in my program, which includes a tuition waiver and stipend.  My duties as part of this TA-ship will include grading the first year, then leading discussion sections, etc. - typical stuff.

 

Obviously the tuition waiver is counted as financial aid that I'm receiving.  It's reported to the Financial Aid office and decreases the amount of student loans I'm able to take out.

 

Now, I had myself under the impression that the TA-ship stipend was also customarily counted as financial aid (as it would be if I was receiving a fellowship instead of a TA-ship).  But I realize now that since the stipend is payment for work performed, it's almost certainly going to be counted as wages, and so NOT financial aid - so that my stipend amount would not decrease the amount of student loans I can take out.

 

Sound right?

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In my own experience/at my university only:

Payment for services as a TA is usually not called a "stipend," it is a salary and processed through normal payroll procedures.

It is not counted in financial aid calculations, and therefore does not reduce the amount of your loan eligibility.

 

A "stipend" is usually an award you are receiving from your department or school (fellowship, scholarship, grant) that does figure into your financial aid calculations and reduces your loan eligibility.

 

Sorry, this may just be more confusing, as the terminology and procedures probably vary from uni to uni...

You will, unfortunately, probably have to consult your Financial Aid office to see how they handle whatever award you are getting.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Actually I am in the same boat as you trying to figure this out. I've been told to talk to financial aid at my school but they don't actually put in the fee waiver till later so right now they offered me full loans to cover all expenses, but that might be reduced if the fee waiver will kick in, contact your financial aid. They told me that TA salary doesn't affect the financial aid though.

If anyone has any more insight about this please let us know!

By the way which univ. are you at?

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I may be a little late to the party here, but my understanding is this:

Tuition or fee waivers are considered financial aid and may affect your other financial aid options (including loans).  These waivers are considered taxable, UNLESS you are receiving them in return for performing your work as a grad student at an accredited academic institution.  This probably applies to most people in this forum.

 

Money received in exchange for your services (i.e. work, including TA and RAships) is considered a wage, and does not affect your financial aid.  Incidentally, this money is taxable, just like any other wages.

 

A grad stipend (as well as scholarships and fellowships), like that typically associated with a fellowship may affect your financial aid eligibility.  These funds are tax free until they exceed your educational costs.  Americans, refer to your 1098-T come tax season to see how much is tax-deductible.

 

Please correct me if I'm mistaken.  I hope that was helpful.

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