Policy Steward: 
Assistant Director of Payroll
Format Updated: 
University Policy & Standards Converted: 
Revision Date: 
Friday, March 1, 2024
Next Review Date: 
Saturday, February 1, 2025

* This information replaces PAY 300 Payment of Graduate Student Employees & FIS 403 Graduate Assistant Employed by Non-Academic Unit


Payment of Graduate Student Employees

Covers payments made to Graduate Assistants and explains how graduate tuition remission expenses are distributed to department funds.

There are several “Graduate” employee types at OSU. Only the Teaching and Research Assistants are eligible for tuition remissions.

  1. Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA)
  2. Graduate Research Assistant (GRA)
  3. Clinical Fellows
  4. Postdoctoral Scholar

Graduate assistant students may also work as student employees during summer session and the academic year in addition to their Graduate Assistantship. If a graduate assistant less than .49 FTE takes on extra duties, the total assistantship plus salary or hourly pay from any location within Oregon State University shall not exceed the equivalent of .49 FTE for any term. Doing so jeopardizes the student’s assistantship eligibility.

To be eligible for a Graduate Assistantship appointment, students must meet specific eligibility requirements established by the Graduate School and monitored by the Office of Human Resources. See OSU Graduate Assistantships on the Graduate School website for additional information.

The following chart provides a summary of data for Graduate Employment positions during the academic year and summer.

Academic Year and/or Summer Session Employment

Clinical Fellowship

Pay Type



DVM Clinical Fellows

Pharmacy Clinical Fellows


Clinical Fellows

Postdoc Scholars









00 or G2

00 or G2





Earn Code









Account Code









Enrollment Requirements?







Other Specialized Graduate Employee Types

Clinical Fellows are found in the Vet Med and Pharmacy Schools, as well as CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) and Athletics.

Postdoctoral Scholars are employed by various departments. Contact the Graduate School for any policy issues.

Job Forms

The Job Form is used to authorize pay for initial appointments, report changes of appointment %, and to report changes in contract length during the fiscal year.

  • To obtain this form, log onto the Benny Hire website, scroll down to Recruit/Appoint, click on "Appoint - Graduate Assistant".

Labor Distribution Forms

The Labor Distribution Form is used to report changes to prior, current or future distributions.

  • The form and instructions for grant-related distributions can be downloaded from the OSRAA website. See Sponsored Project Labor Distributions Policy and Guidelines for more information.
  • For non-grant distributions, contact Financial Strategic Services.
  • Labor Distribution forms for the current fiscal year should be entered and archived by the Financial Strategic Services (FSS) team.

Pay Method - Default Pay

Pay is issued for the period from the 1st of the month through the end of the month. Refer to Graduate Student Earn Codes for the correct Earn Codes and Account Codes to use.

Pay Method - Unit Based Pay

For Fall, Winter and Spring only, eligible Graduate Assistants are granted a Graduate Salary Adjustment as determined per contract. This is administered by the Payroll Office.

FICA Exemption for Student Employees

Student employees, enrolled in Oregon State University, at least half-time, are exempt from both Social Security and Medicare withholding tax, (FICA) based on Federal regulations. Half-time enrollment is defined as:

  • Undergraduate Students – 6 credit hours per term
  • Graduate Students – 5 credit hours per term

Generally, Clinical Fellows and Postdoctoral Scholars are full time employees and ineligible for the student FICA exemption.

Accounting for Labor Charges

Labor is charged to specific indexes and account codes. Use of activity codes is the choice of the department.


Department/Grant index must be an open index owned by the employing department.

  • Index must remain open through the last day of the month payment is received by the employee.
  • Redistributions of payroll charges should also include redistributions of tuition remissions.


Refer to Graduate Student Earn Codes for account code information.

Distribution of Tuition Remission Charges to Pay Indexes

Eligibility requirements for tuition remissions are established by the Provost's Tuition Remission Policy and by the collective bargaining agreement between OSU and the Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE). See the Graduate School web site for additional information.  Student Accounts processes tuition remissions and charges the expense to a clearing fund. It is Payroll’s responsibility to distribute those charges from the clearing fund to the appropriate department and/or grant funds.

Eligibility Requirements to Receive Tuition Remission
  • Be a regularly admitted, conditionally admitted or provisionally admitted graduate degree-seeking student at Oregon State University.
  • Enrollment in a minimum of 12 credit hours each term of the appointment during the academic year and 3 credit hours during summer session (see Graduate School website for additional information). Graduate assistants who are members of the Coalition of Graduate Employees, American Federation of Teachers, Local 6069 must enroll for a minimum of 12 graduate credits each term of the appointment during the academic year and 3 graduate credits during summer session. Audit registrations, course withdrawals and enrollment in INTO OSU may not be used to satisfy enrollment requirements for graduate assistant salary/stipend, tuition remission or health and wellness benefits.
  • Assistantship appointment per 13-week term of at least 40% and not more than 49%.
  • A graduate assistant on less than .49 FTE may take on extra duties; however, the total stipend plus salary from Oregon State University shall not exceed the equivalent of .49 FTE for any term.
Student Accounting Tuition Remission Process
  • Graduate Assistant Job forms are completed by the employing department.
  • Job forms are reviewed and approved by Human Resources, then forwarded to Payroll.
  • Payroll processes Job forms and completes data entry in Banner.
  • Student Accounts runs a process that verifies the student’s enrollment and posts the tuition remission to the student’s account. This process charges the cost of the tuition remission to a clearing fund.
Payroll Process for Distributing Tuition Remission
  • Set up position C69999 with a job suffix of FR for the graduate.
  • Payroll enters a non-cash earn code, AGF, that allows the deduction code, IGF, to charge the C69999 Labor Distribution, crediting the clearing fund associated with the tuition remission on the student's account.
  • Tuition remission is paid from the same source as the salary unless:
    • the pay index prohibits the payment of tuition remission, in which case a tuition cost share index with account code 10952 must be used.
    • requested to be paid from another allowable funding source such as ARF, OSUF, other gift funds or Ed & General, including SWPS, appropriated funds.
  • Note:  Tuition is a benefit, not salary, so it is more like voluntary uncommitted cost share and not part of the PAR form (or effort which goes on the PAR form). Exceptions to decouple the funding source for salaries and tuition remissions are not allowed when paid by self-support funds or grants from granting agencies that allow the payment of tuition, as all operating costs should be expensed to those funding sources.
  • All other tuition remission should be charged using account code 10951.
Graduate Health Plans

Beginning Fall 2004, graduate assistants with at least 0.2 FTE are required to enroll in the mandatory health insurance plan, unless they can properly secure a waiver. The health insurance plan is administered by OSU Office of Human Resources. For more information, please see the Graduate Student Insurance website for Graduate Assistance Insurance information.

Additional Information
  • Pharmacy Interns, Residents, and Trainees, DVM Clinicians and Postdoctoral Scholars while not considered graduate students or graduate assistants, are eligible for health insurance administered through OSU Office of Human Resources.
  • Graduate students are prohibited from holding faculty rank (OAR 580-20-005). Individuals seeking exception to this rule should review the Graduate School website.

Graduate Assistant Employed by Non-Academic Unit

Per OSU Graduate School, all graduate assistant appointments are made by the Graduate School or an academic department. Administrative and student support units are required to partner with an academic unit when hiring a graduate assistant. The academic unit is responsible for paying the student from the appropriate academic department’s general fund index. When a graduate assistant is working in an administrative or other unit, the academic department must be reimbursed for the costs incurred by them.

For graduate appointments supported by OSU general fund 001100, a journal voucher must be processed debiting the administrative/support unit and crediting the academic unit’s general fund index for the amount of both wages/stipends, differentials, and OPE. In the absence of a contrary policy in the academic unit, OPE is a set amount per term plus any applicable benefits for those covered by the bargaining unit agreement. Since tuition remission follows the salary index, it will be reimbursed by the institution.

For graduate appointments supported by Statewide Public Service and other funds (non-001100 E&G, Designated Operations, Service Units, Auxiliaries and Restricted Funds), partnering of the funding unit with an appropriate academic unit will be required to gain authority to offer tuition remission. For all of these funds (ranges 001101-019999, 030000 – 039999, 050000 – 199999, 200000 – 499999, and A00000 – ZZZZZZ), the wage/stipend, OPE and tuition remission continue to be a direct cost of the Statewide Public Service or other fund operation.

Coordination between the academic unit graduate student coordinator and the Financial Strategic Services is essential.  The index will need to be provided to the appropriate academic department, which in turn will initiate the appointment paper. University Human Resources Office will only accept appointments from the Graduate School or academic units.


Administrative units should use the following procedure to reimburse academic departments for wages/stipends and OPE of graduate assistants working in their unit.

For graduate appointments supported by OSU general fund 001100, a journal voucher (3BCx rule code) must be processed:

            Debit  Administrative/support unit index – using account 24999
            Credit  Academic unit’s general fund index – account 79302

The amount of the JV should include both wages/stipends, differentials, and OPE. Instructional Tuition Remission and Health Insurance subsidy is not included in the amount because the institution will reimburse the 001100 general operating fund for this cost.

For graduate appointments supported by Statewide Public Service and other funds (non-001100 E&G, Designated Operations, Service Units, Auxiliaries and Restricted/Grant Funds) the cost is paid directly from those funds. There is no journal voucher necessary, nor is there a reimbursement for tuition remission.


See "Guidelines for Accounting & Reimbursement – GA Tuition Remission" on the Graduate School website.


    1. Original Issue Date:  01/2001 (PAY 300 Payment of Graduate Student Employees) & 06/2006 (FIS 403 Graduate Assistant Employed by Non-Academic Unit)
    2. Previous Versions:  11/19 (PAY 300); 04/2013 (FIS 403)
    3. Next Scheduled Review Date:  02/2025