Appointment Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I find out when I will be paid?
    Graduate Assistants are paid Bi-weekly on Tuesdays, Bi-weekly pay schedule.
  2. What is a Form I-9, and how do I fill it out?
    To verify that you are eligible to work in the United States, if you are a new appointee Form I-9 must be completed by no later than your third day of employment (appointment). The latest information on Form I-9 and instructions for completing the form in the GoWMU portal are available on the Human resources website Form I-9. The first part of the form must be completed on or before your first day of employment; however, you will not be able to do this part until your hiring department has submitted your appointment form through the online system. If you are not able to complete the first part of the form, you must contact your hiring department for assistance.
  3. What else do I need to do if I’m a new appointee?
    You are expected to attend new graduate appointee training provided by the Graduate College in E-Learning. If you have not received an email about enrollment in E-Learning for GA training and it is a week or less before the training date, please contact the Graduate College directly at (269) 387-8212.  Please review these materials before your appointment begins.
  4. What is the Teaching Assistants Union?
    All graduate appointees at WMU who have an appointment classified as teaching are subject to the Agreement between the University and the Teaching Assistants Union (TAU – AFL-CIO Local 1729). For further information, you may view the current TAU Agreement at WMU Academic Collective Bargaining or visit the TAU site.
  5. What is my tuition award, and how is it paid?
    Graduate appointees receive, as part of their appointment, a payment to their student account that is equivalent to a certain number of hours of either in-state or non-resident tuition (based on the student’s residency status). Full-time appointees receive up to 9 hours tuition per Fall/Spring semester and up to 3 hours tuition for a full-time appointment in a Summer session. Tuition awards are pro-rated based on the level of appointment; for example, a student on 2/3 time appointment would receive 6 hours tuition in a semester.  Enrollment requirement remains full-time for all appointees (6 hours Fall/Spring, 3 hours Summer session) even for partial appointments; if the tuition award does not meet the enrollment requirement, the student must pay the difference. The tuition award amount is based on current tuition rates.  If your tuition award is not showing on your account or has not paid for some reason, contact . Fees are the responsibility of the student.
  6. What is an “under-enrollment”?
    Whenever a graduate appointee is not enrolled full-time during the period of appointment (6 credit hours Fall/spring or 3 credit hours Summer session), this is called an under-enrollment. Since a condition of being on appointment is full-time enrollment, periods of under-enrollment must be approved by the Graduate College and are allowed in only certain circumstances. These include: a) Under-enrollment for one term only is allowed when the appointee is in the final term for the degree, has applied for graduation, and does not need a full-time load to complete the program; b) Under-enrollment as needed is allowed for an appointee who is enrolled in thesis or dissertation hours. Under the “continuous enrollment” policy, graduate students may take as little as one hour of 7000 (thesis) or 7300 (dissertation) and still be considered full-time by the University. (Note, however, that any graduate student enrolled less than half-time, i.e., 3 hours per semester or 2 hours per summer term, is subject to payment of FICA taxes and would not qualify for financial aid or student loan deferments.) Other circumstances of under-enrollment are sometimes approved on a case-by-case basis. Do not wait until after drops and adds to find out if under-enrollment situations not described above will be approved. If you are under-enrolled and have not received approval from the Graduate College for the under-enrollment, your tuition award will not pay to your account. To remedy this, the under-enrollment permission form—found on our forms page—must be approved by the Graduate College. This will release the payment of the tuition award to the under-enrolled student.
  7. Do I have to pay student fees if I am a graduate appointee?
    Appointee is required to pay regular student fees such as the enrollment fee, student assessment fee, sustainability fee, one-time records fee, and, for international students, the international student fee. More information on student fees.
  8. Can I set up a payment plan to make monthly payments on my account?
    Yes, if the amount you owe for the current term is at least $400—some restrictions apply—you can enroll in the University’s payment plan. The usual $35 sign-up fee is waived for graduate appointees. Additional information about account payment options for students.
  9. How do I change my residency status?
    Western Michigan University graduate students, admitted and enrolled effective with the Summer II 2020 semester or later, will have their residency status determined at the time of admission and it will remain the same throughout the student’s enrollment at Western Michigan University. Students enrolled prior to Summer II 2020  and are a non-resident graduate student who is a U.S. citizen and has lived continuously in Michigan for at least 12 months may qualify for Michigan residency. See how can I change my residency status for more information.  
  10. Can I have more than one simultaneous appointment?
    Yes, however, you may not hold more than the equivalent of a full-time appointment. Presently the only possibility for combining two appointments is to hold two half-time appointments. Note that two half time appointments will pay the maximum tuition benefit of 9 credit hours per Fall or Spring semester or 3 credit hours for Summer session.

Revised January 2021.