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Financial Assistance

Many of the graduate students in the Department of Statistics receive some form of financial support. Typically, 35-45 students per academic year receive full support, but this number actually fluctuates from year to year. The majority of students are supported

by Teaching Assistantships (TAs). A few students receive Research Assistantships (RAs), Consulting Assistantships (CAs), or Graduate School Assistantships (GSAs). A few other students have Graduate Out-of-State Tuition Waivers (GOOSTWs) or Regent’s Out-of-State Tuition Waivers (ROOSTWs).

Graduate Students who are supported at 4/9-th time are currently paid $18,851 per academic year (AY) if they do not already hold a master’s degree (of any kind), and $20,032 per AY if they do. Students supported for the academic year are paid August through May with prorated payments in August and May. Summer support is available, but is not guaranteed for everyone who was supported during the AY.

The Franklin College of Arts and Science provides the TA funds to the Department to support the teaching assistants. These appointments are usually at the 4/9-th time with associated duties averaging about 18 hours per week. Duties vary from course to course, and from instructor to instructor, but may include conducting lab/tutorial sessions and/or grading of assignments.

A TA position is sometimes elevated to a Graduate TA (GTA) position when a TA is asked to take the responsibility of teaching a lower- or an upper-level undergraduate class (e.g., STAT 2000, MSIT 3000, or STAT 4210) independently. The pay for a GTA is the same as for a TA, except during the summer semester, but GTAs are not given additional TA duties. Teaching your own class is an excellent experience, no matter what professional direction you ultimately choose to pursue.

Towards the end of each semester, the students in the courses for which you serve as a TA are given an opportunity to evaluate your performance. These evaluations are read by the Graduate Coordinator and they become a part of your academic folder in the department. If you are a TA for STAT 2000 or MSIT 3000, the respective Coordinators also read your evaluations. All the TAs must abide by the University’s policy on being a TA. This policy covers teacher training requirements such as STAT 7770, as well as English language training and proficiency requirements.

Essential Skills

As a TA, you are expected to attend every meeting scheduled for your duties, especially for the large-lecture courses. On occasion, such as for writing-intensive courses, you may also be expected to attend the course.

You must be on time for your duties, including all labs. Often the student who is in lab before you is waiting for you before s/he leaves the lab.

You must respect the time and the effort of the instructor(s) you assist, your fellow students, and the students you are responsible for.

If any situation arises which you do not know how to handle, be sure to seek advice from the instructor you assist, the Graduate Coordinator, and/or the Associate Head.

RAs are usually supported from funds from research contracts or grants from outside the Department. Duties involve assisting one or more faculty or scientists in their research. Often such a student combines these duties with dissertation research.

Each year, the Graduate School awards a number of assistantships (GSAs). These awards are made competitively to new students and to finishing doctoral students. These are highly competitive awards! Nominations are made each year by the Graduate Coordinator, and the number of awards made depends on the funding available that year. Winners of these awards receive a slightly higher monthly stipend and have a greatly reduced workload.

The Graduate School provides a very limited number of Out-of-State Tuition Waivers (OOSTWs) for students who are not on Assistantships. The Graduate Coordinator nominates students each year in the Spring. Students who receive an OOSTW must have a minimum combined (old-style) score of 1100 on the GRE, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.3, and a minimum graduate GPA of 3.5. These are awarded by the Regents of the University System of Georgia through the Graduate School, and through the Office of International Education.

If you are an unsupported MS student who is writing a thesis, and have completed all of your coursework, then you are eligible for a Graduate OOSTW. Please see the forms page on the Graduate School web site for an application for this tuition waiver.

If you are an unsupported PhD student who has been Admitted to Candidacy, then you are automatically granted a Graduate OOSTW.

Policy on Continuation of Assistance

Financial support tends to be awarded competitively, especially for new students. It is the Department’s policy to continue your financial support once you have received it, provided that funds are available, that you are making satisfactory progress towards your degree, and that you are performing your duties in a satisfactory manner. MS students are typically supported for 2 years; PhD students are typically supported for 5 years if they entered the program without an MS degree.

If you are receiving financial assistance through the University, then you must obtain permission from the Department in order to take on additional employment. International students are restricted in their employment options by their visa requirements. No full-time student may work for UGA for more than 50% time (20 hours a week). Additional restrictions will apply when the assistance originates from outside the University. Some major professors will also have their own sets of restrictions.

State Farm Insurance Company’s Modeling and Analytics Graduate Network Program

Beginning in Fall 2014, the Fortune 50 company State Farm Insurance starts a new program in the Department to train statisticians for jobs within their company. The Modeling and Analytics Graduate Network (MAGNet) Program will hire students primarily in the Master’s program in Statistics to work for 20 hours a week on their data problems. During the Summer, this will be a full-time internship.

State Farm takes applications from students who have been accepted into the MS program in Statistics. State Farm pays tuition and an hourly salary to students who are chosen for the MAGNet program, and students will spend 20 hours a week in State Farm’s MAGNet lab downtown, working under the supervision of a State Farm analyst on problems of specific interest to State Farm. Once students satisfactorily complete the program, they will be expected to work for State Farm for at least two years.

This program is open only to students who are already citizens or permanent residents of the US, since other students are prohibited from such a working arrangement by their F1 visas.

Tutoring Opportunities

Many of our graduate students offer private tutoring services for extra money. The amount charged per hour varies according to English capabilities but rates tend to be $15-25 per hour. The staff in the Department Main Office keeps a list of graduate students who are interested in tutoring, as does the STAT 2000 Coordinator. Occasionally, opportunities for tutoring will be emailed directly to the graduate student alias.

Note that you may NOT charge for helping students who are in courses for which you are a TA! Doing so is a serious breach of ethics and will result in you losing your assistantship.

If you do not have visa restrictions, you may look for a job with the several tutoring businesses in Athens. Search on the terms “tutoring athens ga” to get a list of current tutoring businesses which might be hiring.

There are also organizations on campus which hire tutors. Two of these are the Division of Academic Enhancement and the University of Georgia Athletic Foundation (click on “Hiring Information”). You must apply to become a tutor with either of these entities, and you must also be careful that you are not being paid to work more than 20 hours per week if you are also on any Assistantship support.

Teaching and English Language Training Requirements

All students who receive a Teaching Assistantship (TA) are required by the Graduate School to register for some kind of teacher training course. For the University at large, that course is GSRC 7770. Our own STAT 7770 satisfies this requirement and thus substitutes for GSRC 7770.

The University’s TA Policy contains these expectations as well as the expectations for anyone who was required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. Because your TA duties are so closely tied to this policy, retention of your assistantship depends upon your taking the appropriate courses and re-taking the TOEFL or IELTS for a score that meets the University’s policy. After completing your LLED sequence, you must submit a new TOEFL or IELTS score every 6 months until you have met the University’s minimum criteria. The Department will reimburse you for the cost of the exam only when your score meets the University’s minimum criteria.

All supported students are required to enroll in hours of STAT 8910, STAT 8920 and STAT 8930. These courses satisfy the Department’s Research Skills requirement.

Extensions of Departmental Assistantships

Financial assistance is usually granted to MS students for a period of 2 years, and to PhD students for a period of 5 years.

If you require more time to complete your degree, and you have been making satisfactory progress towards your degree, then you and your research advisor together may request that the Graduate Coordinator extend the duration of your support beyond this period. If you do not have a research advisor, then there should be no reason for your support to be extended (barring some unforeseen circumstance).


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