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Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid

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How much does it cost to be a full-time student? In-state? Out-of-state?

To be a full-time student, you must enroll in three courses (nine credit hours) per semester. For Fall 2016, in-state tuition would cost $3,626.63. Out-of-state tuition in Fall 2016 would cost $7,298.63.

You can find up-to-date tuition and fee rates at the Graduate College website.

Is there a part-time option?

Yes! You have the option to complete your degree in four years as a part-time student. In order to graduate on time, you would need to take two classes (six credit hours) every semester.

I was accepted when I lived outside of Texas. I have to pay out-of-state tuition for only one year, right?

Unfortunately, no. If you are accepted while living out-of-state, and do not receive an assistantship from the English department, you are required to pay out-of-state tuition throughout your tenure in the program. However—as a legal matter, entirely separate from tuition issues--you are required to declare legal residence in Texas if you are here for more than 30 consecutive days. You have 90 days to do so.

Is there any way to get in-state tuition if I’m an out-of-state student?

No. While you certainly can pay for tuition all at once, Student Business Services offers a payment plan that allows you to pay in three increments. Note that your first tuition payment is due before the start of the semester.  You can find more information about the payment plan on the Graduate College website.

Do I have to pay all of my tuition at once?

No. While you certainly can pay for tuition all at once, Student Business Services offers a payment plan that allows you to pay in three increments. Note that your first tuition payment is due before the start of the semester.  You can find more information about the payment plan on the Graduate College website.

There’s been an emergency and I don’t have all the money I need for tuition. What can I do?

Texas State does offer an emergency loan fund. There is a fund to assist only for the down payment for enrollment in the Student Business Services payment plan. There is a separate fund to assist in covering other school-related expenses (such as textbooks or supplies). You can find more information on the Graduate College website.

Does FAFSA work for graduate school? What are the dates for that?

Absolutely, FAFSA can be used for graduate school. The Texas cutoff date is March 15th each year, but you can apply as early as December for the following academic year. If you apply after March 15th, you will still be eligible for FAFSA but not for any state grants. 

What are my scholarship options?

You have a few options for applying to scholarships through Texas State, as well as outside of the university.

  • The Graduate College offers two scholarships for current and incoming MFA students: The Celebrity Classic Scholarship and The Graduate College Scholarship. Both scholarships open on November 1st and close on March 1st. You may apply for and receive both.
  • The English department offers a variety of scholarships for graduate students. The list of available scholarships can be found here.  There is only one application (on the top of the page) that you download and turn in. The scholarships are traditionally due during the first week of March. Please check with the website about due dates for the 2016-2017 year.
  • There are plenty of outside options to which you may apply for graduate funding. Please be aware that many scholarships have different dates and requirements. If your scholarship application requires a letter of recommendation, please be considerate and give your letter writers plenty of time to reflect on your merits. 

Does the scholarship I’m awarded in my first year transfer over to the next year?

It depends which scholarship you received. The Rose Fellowship and the Celebrity Classic Scholarship do roll over every year. Students must reapply for the Graduate College Scholarships and departmental scholarships every spring. All other scholarships are for one year only. 

Are scholarships applied to my tuition? What happens if there is a surplus?

Scholarships are always applied directly to tuition. A surplus is uncommon but does happen occasionally. If there happens to be a surplus, you will receive a refund check. If you have direct deposit from Texas State, then it will be deposited directly into your account. 

How does being an IA work? Can I apply for it once school has started?

An Instructional Assistant works with a professor in the English department to help with an undergraduate survey course. IA duties may include grading student assignments, preparing the classroom or needed equipment, and otherwise helping the lead professor with whatever she or he needs. Occasionally, IAs will be allowed to give guest lectures in class.

A Teaching Assistant is an instructor of record. They teach their own sections of composition courses without another instructor. Generally, one must be an IA before they can become a TA. Both positions are under nine-month contracts and pay a monthly stipend, issued on the first of the month.

As a first-semester IA, you must enroll in a practicum course that will count for university credit. As a first-semester TA, you must enroll in another practicum course. This course does not count towards university credit.

The IA/TA application is always due on January 15th.

If you are not awarded an IA assistantship for your first year, you may reapply for your second or third year. All IAs and TAs are assigned for fall semester before the semester begins.

Are there other options for working on campus? Where can I find these?

There are other jobs available on campus. You can reach out to the Writing Center or SLAC for possible work opportunities. Many of our students have chosen to work as writing tutors with these offices. You can also check with the Career Services Center, or their job boards at Jobs4Cats, for information on other jobs.

What is the difference between a job and an assistantship?

An assistantship is a type of funding that requires you to work. The only assistantships offered in the English department are IA, TA, GA (Graduate Program Assistant), or GRA (Graduate Research Assistant) positions. All assistantship recipients are eligible for in-state tuition. A job would be any other employment position obtained on campus, and it does not guarantee in-state tuition to out-of-state students.

Can I ask for a raise for my on campus jobs? (Including IA/TA?)

Assistantships (IA/TA/GA/GRA) have a stipend set by the University that is not negotiable. Students who work part-time in other areas (such as the Writing Center or SLAC) may ask for a raise, though it is not likely. 

Am I guaranteed a job on campus as a graduate student?

You are not guaranteed campus employment as a graduate student. However, there are many opportunities available, and almost all students looking for on-campus work are able to find it.

Please note that if you are awarded an assistantship, you are discouraged from maintaining a second job off-campus.

Can I get fired from my on-campus job (including TA/IA)?

Yes. Although it is a contract position, it is possible to be terminated during the school year.  All other campus jobs are subject to a given department’s code of conduct.  

Am I allowed to quit my job as an IA/TA?

You are under contract and are expected in good faith to complete your contract. However, if there are extenuating circumstances (e.g., health problems) under which you find you are unable to continue working, please contact Nancy Wilson ( as soon as possible.  

If I work an on-campus job my first year, am I guaranteed to have that job the following years?

Typically, yes. Most IAs will move on to become TAs unless their contract is not renewed  If you choose not to continue to be a TA for whatever reason, you may turn down the opportunity when it comes time to renew your contract. Other jobs on campus offer their own contracts. Typically, people are allowed to keep their campus jobs if they choose to. 

Do I get paid the same amount every month? Including over winter break?

All IA/TAs will receive a stipend on the 1st of the month. The salary that is offered to IAs is the same every month. The same is true for TAs.  GRAs and GAs are also paid monthly.

All positions receive a set salary from October through June.  There is an option to have a 12-month salary spread. If you choose to do this, there is a form you will need to complete. Generally, there will be a workshop at the beginning of the school year to go over stipend plans and other issues concerning payment.

Is there an option for work during the summer?

There are a limited number of IA opportunities over the summer for  Summer I and II sessions. There are no TA teaching opportunities during the summer. Other campus jobs may have work over the summer.