Graduate student assistantships and their accompanying tuition waivers provide graduate students with financial resources that help defray the expenses associated with completing their graduate degrees. Students who hold assistantships experience educational and professional benefits. The responsibilities and benefits of assistantships vary, but in general, students gain further instruction in techniques in their fields; hone their research skills; acquire pedagogical experience necessary for an academic career; develop professional skills, including leadership, interpersonal effectiveness, and performance evaluation; and have collegial collaboration with advisors that result in joint publications.
Students may hold teaching, research, graduate, or pre-professional graduate assistantships. See the Academic Human Resources website for descriptions of each type of assistantship can be found online. Teaching assistants and graduate assistants are represented by the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO).
Some assistantship funding is available for graduate students who can pass the financial need test for the Federal Work Study program. In order to be considered for an assistantship funded by federal work study, it is required that applicants complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by mid-March.
Additional Information and Resources
For information about benefits, minimum stipends, definitions of different types of assistants, and more
Orientation for teaching, research, graduate, and pre-professional assistants on terms of appointment, waivers, stipends and benefits
Graduate level tuition & service fee waivers provided as a benefit of employment are considered taxable income by the IRS. This video explains the tax liability, existing exemptions in the tax code and how to calculate the potential impact on your take home pay for University of Illinois employees. It also covers relevant resources.
American Federation of Teachers Local 6300, AFL-CIO at the Urbana campus
Looking for an assistantship?
The Assistantship Clearinghouse contains a listing of current assistantship opportunities on campus.