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Money Matters

Money matters

Your stipend/salary

All university employees get paid on the 10th and 25th of the month. (If those days fall on a weekend or a bank holiday, you'll be paid on the closest business day.) The first pay day of the academic year is on October 10th.

Almost all payments (both from the university to you and from you to the university) are done electronically these days. Once you have a bank account, be sure to sign up for direct deposit: it will save you a trip to the bank to deposit your check. You might also sign up for Web Check payment, which allows you to pay your tuition electronically from your bank account.

The typical stipend/salary only provides 11 months worth of support. (This is not true only of graduate students—professors also only get 11 months of pay.) Unless you have arranged funding for 12 rather than 11 months per year, you will not be paid on September 10th or September 25th. This period is the break between summer and fall quarters. Save your money to cover expenses during this period! You will not receive "backpay" for this period on October 10th.

Tuition

If you take the standard 10 credits, then, after your tuition exemption (which your get from your assistantship), your tuition will be $[an error occurred while processing this directive] per quarter. (It's a little less in summer quarter.) The university now sends all bills electronically, so watch your e-mail. If you are late on your tuition, you'll have to pay a penalty. In addition, certain services will be unavailable to your while you have outstanding debts.

Tuition is usually due on the 3rd friday of the quarter. In fall and spring quarter this falls a couple of days after you get paid. (In particular, your fees for fall quarter will be due shortly after you receive your first paycheck on October 10th.) In winter, it usually falls between paychecks, so budget accordingly.

The first tuition bill you get from the university each quarter is usually enormous as the financial aid will not yet have been dispersed to your account. Don't panic!! Check myUW closer to the due date for the updated balance. If for some reason your tuition bill doesn't drop to number shown above, check with [an error occurred while processing this directive]. Summer quarter tuition is less.

You can also pay your tuition with an electronic check using the Web Check system.

Banking

There are several banks in the university district—Washington Mutual, Bank of America, Wells Fargo. Most offer a student checking account that can be opened for a minimal amount. You should open a local bank account as soon as possible. This helps you establish residency, which leads to lower tuition rates.

Beware of minimum balances...

Your TA/RA/GSA/VIGRE stipend doesn't allow you to live like a king! If you have some money left over after paying rent, utilities, tuition, car insurance, etc., consider saving it. When an unexpected expense arises, you don't want to have to use your credit cards...having savings will help.

Taxes

Students typically do not have complicated tax returns. There are, however, a few things you should know.

  1. When you start working at the UW, be sure to fill out a W-4 form. The W-4 form allows you to have less taken out of your paycheck each month if you meet certain criteria (e.g., have children).
  2. You will receive your W-2 form from the UW sometime in January.

The tax rules for international students are different from those for domestic students. The International Student Office offers tax workshops around tax time to help international students with the taxes.

If you are supported on a fellowship (e.g., VIGRE), your paychecks are not subject to withholding. You still must pay taxes on that money, however. In fact, the IRS requires that you make payments towards your taxes throughout the year. There are two ways to do this:

  • You can file estimated taxes. Consult the IRS web site for details.
  • You can file a W-4 form to arrange for a specific amount of withholding each month.

Employee Self-Service

The Employee Self-Service (ESS) web site allows you to see and to change a lot of your payroll information. You can set up Direct Deposit here, change withholding, see tax records, etc. You can also access ESS via MyUW.