How Stipended Graduate Assistantships work

Eligible F-1 and J-1 students in graduate programs receive the Stipended Graduate Assistantships (SGA) through their department. These awards generally include a stipend, tuition remission, and health plan. For more specific information about receiving an SGA, please check with your Graduate School.

NOTE: If you have a position on campus that is titled “Assistant” (i.e. Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant), but you are paid hourly through the Office of Student Employment, Graduate Assistantships & Fellowships, then you most likely do not have an SGA. Stipended Graduate Assistantships are a package offered through the department and you will receive a letter that outlines the details of the SGA.

How to apply

Students who have been awarded an SGA and do not have a Social Security number will need to request an SGA Social Security Number Letter from the Office of Global Services (OGS) which must be signed by a Designated School Official (DSO). To apply for a letter, please follow the steps below:

1 Submit a request.

Complete the Stipended Graduate Assistantships Social Security Number Letter Request. You will be asked to provide information such as the College where you will be providing services and your start date.

2 Pick-up your letter.

A DSO from OGS will review and sign the letter, as long as your college has confirmed that you have an SGA. An e-mail will be sent to you once the letter is ready for pick-up.

3 Apply for your Social Security Number.

Present the letter to the Social Security Administration in order to apply for a Social Security Number. For detailed instructions on how to apply for a Social Security Number, refer to the Social Security Number section of the OGS website. Please note, the processing time for an SGA Social Security Number letter is five business days. It is the student’s responsibility to notify OGS if there are any changes to his/her SGA.