Frequently Asked Questions
The Master's in Higher Education Administration program is cohort based, and admittance to the program does not guarantee you will receive an offer for a Graduate Assistant position. A core component of the program is practical application, gained through participation in a Graduate Assistantship at KU (or another local higher education institution). Students who do not receive an offer for a Graduate Assistant position and who do not work full-time in higher education administration will not be admitted.
How much are graduate assistants paid?
Compensation packages vary somewhat from position to position. Most Graduate Assistants from out-of-state will have their tuition reduced to the in-state rate. Most first-year 50% (~20hr/week) Graduate Assistants will make $500 biweekly, while 72.5% (~29hr/week) time graduate assistants will make $739.50 biweekly. Graduate assistants in the Department of Student Housing also receive an apartment and meal plan, so their biweekly pay is reduced. Other sites may also pay slightly differently.
Are scholarships available?
The Higher Education program has some limited scholarship opportunities available to students. All applicants to the program will be considered for recruitment scholarships (to be given by the ELPS department faculty). Criteria will be based on academic merit combined with fit in the program. In addition, applicants should complete a FAFSA form and submit it to the Financial Aid and Scholarships by March 1st in order to be considered for a KU Tuition Grant. In the second year of the program, all full time students are encouraged to apply for School of Education Scholarships. These scholarships are based on both academic merit and financial need. Typically our students compete well for these funds and are offered scholarships (ranging in amounts from $500 to $5,000). Completing the FAFSA in year two will also increase one's odds of receiving a School of Education Scholarship along with a KU Tuition Grant.
How much is tuition at KU?
Graduate Assistant positions at KU are granted an in-state tuition waiver. Positions that are not eligible for this waiver with our off-campus partners are indicated in the position information and usually include a larger salary or stipend to make up for this difference. For specific information about tuition rates at KU visit the Financial Aid & Scholarships website and click on Graduate students in Education for Kansans (or nonresident for the off-campus partner positions).
How much contact will I have with students?
All of the assistantships feature a great deal of student contact. Graduate assistants are most often “front line” staff who work with students on a daily basis.
What jobs are expected of me as a graduate student?
This varies widely by graduate assistantship site. Graduate assistants are an integral part of each office’s operations, and can expect to counsel students, coordinate programs, and collaborate on a variety of projects. The goal of the assistantship is to compliment the academic program, so responsibilities may evolve as students proceed through the program. The position descriptions on this web site provide detailed expectations for each assistantship.
How are graduate assistants paid? Do they get paid extra for work over breaks or summer?
Graduate assistants fill out a time sheet every two weeks for the hours they work. 50% Graduate Assistants should work at least 20 hours a week, while 72.5% graduate assistants work 29 hours per week. Each department handles break periods differently, some allow graduate assistants to increase their hours to be paid more and some do not. Some assistantships require summer work, while others provide the option, and others do not offer summer work opportunities.
How long am I allowed to keep this position?
Most assistantships are one-year appointments. Some prefer a two-year commitment. The position descriptions on this web site provide details. Students who wish to change assistantship sites for their second year may interview with new offices.
Are there any opportunities for me to develop projects or conduct research?
This type of activity is highly encouraged. One of the reasons that many offices hire students from the Higher Education Master’s program is their ability to bring their classroom learning to work. Conducting assessment projects or other research based on what you have learned will be of great benefit to the office and the student.
Who is my supervisor? Will I be assigned a mentor? Who do I go to if I have questions or concerns?
The contact person listed with the position description is typically the graduate assistant's supervisor in that area. The Higher Education Student Association (HESA) also has a program called Link-Up, where each student is assigned a mentor from professional staff. The students and mentors attend HESA luncheons together and discuss the student’s plans for the future. Students will also find an extensive support network for their questions or concerns. Fellow students, supervisors, colleagues, faculty members, and others are all devoted to the students’ success.
What are the chances of securing a full time position in the office as a result of my assistantship experience?
Many graduates of the Higher Education Master’s program have found employment at KU. Many others have found employment elsewhere in higher education. The Master’s program has a 100% placement rate.