Sample Offering Letter for Graduate Assistants

Section IV. Item 3,1.

Download the Sample Letter in Word Format

On behalf of (department/cost center), it is my pleasure to offer you a Graduate Assistantship at Northern Illinois University. The assistantship is contingent upon your written acceptance and your meeting university eligibility requirements of Graduate School admission and academic standing before the effective date of the appointment. Regulations relating to this assistantship are indicated in the enclosed "Policies Pertaining to Graduate Assistants" from the NIU Academic Policies and Procedures Manual . The following additional conditions apply:

Title: "[enter, Teaching, Non-instructional Teaching, Research or Staff]" Assistant
Department: "[enter your department or office name]"
Conditions of Appointment:
Appt. Term:"[enter term dates, e.g. August 16, 2004 - May 15, 2005]"
Semi-monthly Stipend: "[enter amount]"
Total Stipend: "[enter semi-monthly rate times the number of payroll pds.]"
Reporting Date: "[enter date employee must report. (M-F)]"
Duty Requirements: "[Enter all work requirements during recess or unusual hours]"
Hours Per Week: "[enter 10, 15 or 20 as appropriate]"
Contingencies: "[enter any contingencies as appropriate]"

Please Note: If the University increases this department's assistantship budget after this offer is made, then your semi-monthly stipend may be incremented to exceed the amount indicated above.

Please read the attached "Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, and Assistants" to which Northern Illinois University subscribes and with which you will be expected to comply if you accept this appointment. Under Illinois law, you must also comply with regulations pertaining to repayment of educational loans and selective service registration compliance in order to accept this appointment.

Also note the enclosure regarding the "Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986." The IRCA prohibits the hiring of any person (including graduate assistants) for employment in the United States after November 6, 1986 without complying with the employment verification and attestation requirements which are set forth on Department of Justice - Immigration & Naturalization Form I-9. According to federal law, you must present original documentation that establishes both employment authorization and identity, to your employing department or the office of Graduate Assistantship Employment at Human Resource Services, within three (3) days of your reporting date stated above or risk cancellation of your graduate assistantship.

Under Illinois law, a student whose native language is not English must demonstrate competence in spoken English to be appointed as a graduate teaching assistant engaged in oral classroom instruction. A minimum score of 50 on the new version (220 on the old version) of either the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) administered at Northern Illinois University, or on the Test of Spoken English (TSE), has been set by this university for this purpose. This requirement is independent of the Graduate School's admission requirement of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), for students whose native language is not English.

A graduate assistant may be appointed to a full-, three-quarter-, or half-time position and receives a full tuition-waiver scholarship for each semester of the contract period; payment of fees is the responsibility of the student. Tuition-waiver scholarships are based on the period of the assistantship appointment. Late appointment or resignation during this period may result in the English for payment of all, or a portion of the tuition. Specific questions concerning extent of tuition liability may be addressed to the office of Graduate Assistantship Employment at Human Resource Services.

Northern Illinois University's policy is direct deposit of monies received for employment. Authorization for direct deposit is included on the enclosed Personal Data Form for your convenience. card for direct deposit is enclosed for your convenience. Specific questions pertaining to this process should be directed to the Payroll Office (815-753-1322).

Students who enter the United States on a student visa will also need to complete the Foreign National Information Form (FNIF). This document is used to determine tax status and ensure that you have access to the available options for preferential tax treatment as a foreign national. This form is used in lieu of a Form W4, which will be generated based on the information provided. Completion of the form, along with copies of the required documents, may reduce or eliminate certain taxes that otherwise would apply. For additional information please contact the Compliance Coordinator, Noor Harrison ( of human Resource Services (815-753-6000) upon arrival on campus.

Your signature at the end of this letter indicates your acceptance of this assistantship offer. After signing, please return this offer letter along with the enclosed forms, completed and signed:


1. Form W-4 (Employee's Withholding Allowance)
2. Personal Data Form
3. Selective Service Registration Compliance Form.

Please return to:
Northern Illinois University


[enter name of Dept. Chair/Graduate Director]



Enclosures (Policies, Resolution, DELR, IRCA, W-4, Direct Deposit)

c: Assistant/Fellowship Specialist


I accept the contract offer above.

Student's name





Approved by the Graduate School, June 30, 1997
Modified Editorially May 9, 2006