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Human Development and Family Studies

Graduate Student Assistantship Application Policy and Procedures

Each spring, graduate students are invited to submit departmental assistantship applications for the coming year. We also require that all graduate students who apply for departmental assistantships complete an application for work-study funding. Federal work-study funds, administered through the Financial Aid office at Tech, are very important for the department because they enable us to support many more graduate students in TA and RA positions than we would otherwise be able to do. The ability to support a larger number of students contributes to the growth of the graduate program, and has spin-offs in terms of our undergraduate course offerings and faculty-student research collaborations.

Obtaining work-study funding is sometimes problematic for students in that the amount of student loan money for which they are eligible is reduced by the amount of work-study funding that they receive. Consequently, we have developed the following procedures which we hope will be more responsive to student needs. We will be evaluating these procedures about this time next year and will welcome your input at that time.

  1. Complete the HDFS Application for Assistantship form and return it to the Graduate Secretary. These forms will be distributed to student mailboxes early in the spring semester.
  2. Apply for work-study funding. These applications must be completed and submitted to the Financial Aid office during April of each year for current students, and as soon as possible after that time for incoming students. This involves completing the form required by Financial Aid for any form of financial assistance, and turning in a work-study application to the department. The latter forms are distributed to all students early in the spring semester. Students who do not complete their applications for work-study funding at this time will not be eligible for an assistantship during the following academic year.
  3. After Financial Aid has processed the applications and assigned awards, the Work-Study Committee (department chairperson, graduate coordinator, and two graduate students elected by the HDFS graduate student organization) will meet with Financial Aid representatives to go over the awards. This committee will consider the amount of the award in terms of the reduction of the student’s capability of obtaining loans, and the committee may request a reduction in work-study amounts on this basis.
  4. After receiving award information, if a student wishes to appeal the award (because of the reduced student loan capability), she or he may request a meeting with the Work-Study committee. That committee will make a decision about work-study funding, based upon the student’s financial need.

Because we want to be sure that all students have received this information, please print a copy of this, sign, and return to Julia Siu, the HDFS Graduate Secretary. We must have this signed form (as well as the HDFS Application for Assistantship and a completed work study application based on information sent to us from the Financial Aid Office) in order to process your request for an assistantship.

Note. Students who have new circumstances since the time of their application for financial aid can go over and talk with Nikki or Yvonne in Financial Aid to see if more aid is possible. Bases for increased eligibility include new car purchase, new computer purchase, increased rent, etc. Students with children may be able to get dependent child care assistance.