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Graduate Service Appointments (GSAs)

Many graduate students seek graduate assistantships positions to help fund their education. At EWU, these are called GSAs (Graduate Service Appointments). They typically consist of a full tuition waiver, a stipend, and health insurance. Students teach or support scholarly/creative activities for 20 hours per week during the school year. Washington residents and a limited number of Non-Resident students are eligible. The priority deadline for applying for GSAs is March 1 for the Fall start term. Check with your program to find out about opportunities.

How to Apply

The GSA Application Form is available online or as a PDF or Word document. If you choose to complete the PDF or Word version of the application, please submit it directly to the department or office in which the applicant seeks a position.

GSAs are awarded on a competitive basis to students of outstanding promise by an academic program or administrative office. Interested students should apply by March 1 directly to the appropriate department for fall term. Earlier application is encouraged, and may be required by some departments. Please review this PDF document for detailed information about requirements and conditions of these awards:

Note on GSA eligibility: GSAs are not available in self-support programs, which are typically online programs that lack differential tuition for resident and non-resident students, such as the School Psychology Respecialization online program.

Need-Based GSA Awards

A portion of the total funding for GSA waivers is allocated for outstanding students who demonstrate financial need. Only Washington residents are eligible for this subset of overall GSA funds. To be considered for a need-based GSA waiver, applicants must have completed the FAFSA. Washington residents who have completed the FAFSA and applied for a GSA need not take any other steps to be considered for a need-based GSA.

Work Requirements for GSA Positions

Graduate Service Appointments are awarded in one of two categories. Graduate Assistants  teach or support scholarly/creative activities.  Graduate assistants are required to complete at least 10 credits per quarter or semester.  Graduate Instructors teach one or two classes per quarter (depending upon the department) and are required to complete at least eight credits per quarter. Most awards at EWU are for Graduate Assistant positions.

All students with a GSA work 20 hours per week and may not accept any other employment or compensation from the University, with the exception of breaks between quarters.

GSA Award Benefits

Terms of GSA awards may vary, but they usually include a full tuition waiver and a stipend.

Recipients of GSAs are eligible to enroll in a health insurance program with the annual premium of approximately $2,300 paid by Graduate Studies. GSA students are not automatically enrolled in this plan; they must opt in by completing the online enrollment form before the end of the first week of classes at the start of their appointment. The Office of Graduate Studies provides information on this insurance program by e-mail in late summer and coordinates the premium payments.

GSA tuition waivers do not cover most student fees, such as:

  • the quarterly building fee
  • services and activities fee
  • health fee
  • technology fee
  • transportation fee
  • recreation center fee
  • course or program fees

Because non-resident tuition is significantly higher than resident tuition, relatively few GSAs are allocated for non-resident students. Occasionally, a non-resident student accepts a GSA award with a resident-level waiver, since these awards are more widely available. In such cases, the student is responsible for paying the difference between the total charge for non-resident tuition and fees and the resident-level tuition waiver.

Deadline to Accept a GSA

EWU abides by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) April 15 Resolution, which obliges EWU to allow admitted graduate students to consider all offers of financial support for the Fall term through April 15. The resolution binds students to their decisions made or held in place after April 15. A copy of the resolution may be found here.

The April 15 deadline applies only to acceptance of an offer of financial support (such as a GSA or a tuition waiver like NRTS or WICHE). It is not a deadline for confirming your enrollment after you receive an offer of admission to your program. Acceptance of an offer of financial support made after April 15, is conditional upon presentation by the student of written release from any previously accepted offer.

For more information, contact Leslie Swannack,, 509.359.4675.


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