Graduate assistants, especially those who have a .50 or greater FTE assistantship, may be eligible to enroll in fewer than five hours of coursework during their final semester and still be considered full time for the purpose of maintaining eligibility for a tuition waiver and FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) tax exemption. The Graduate College has instituted this procedure to help students avoid paying fees for coursework beyond the hours needed for completion of their degree.
Graduate assistants who are eligible for reduced enrollment in their final semester may be considered eligible for a one-semester exemption from the FICA tax if they declare their final semester with the Graduate College by completing the online Graduate Assistant Final Semester Declaration form below. This form may be completed one time only.
- Potential Summer graduates must complete the online form no later than May 22nd to receive the FICA tax exemption on their summer paychecks.
- Potential Fall graduates must complete the online form no later than July 24th to receive the FICA tax exemption on their August paycheck, or by August 25th to receive the FICA tax exemption on their September paycheck, and students must also be enrolled by August 5th.
- Potential Spring graduates must complete the online form no later than December 31st to receive the FICA tax exemption on their January paycheck, and be enrolled by January 5th.
For more details, see Appointment Information.
Should a student declare their final semester with the Graduate College but not graduate in that semester, the student will no longer be eligible to retain full-time student status with reduced enrollment.
The Graduate College will report to the Office of Financial Aid any students who have self-identified the current semester as their final semester. Students should contact the Student Financial Center for enrollment requirements regarding financial aid eligibility and student loan deferment information.