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Graduate Student Support Plan

The Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP) is the support package offered through the Graduate School through which most of NC State's qualifying graduate students on RAs and TAs receive health insurance (at no cost to the student), tuition for a specified number of semesters, and a stipend.


You are eligible for GSSP support when you receive a minimum stipend level of a TA/RA appointment, are admitted into the Graduate School in full graduate standing, and register for a specified minimum number of credits in the fall and spring semesters. In the Fall of 2020, our typical TA/RA stipend will be $25,500/yr. The GSSP clock begins ticking the first semester of enrollment in a graduate program and continues ticking until completion of the degree. The clock temporarily stops for students with an approved Leave of Absence. If you are a domestic student, you must also establish NC state residency by the fall semester of your second year.

Students on GSSP must also be in good academic standing with a 3.00 GPA or higher. Your TA/RA requires 20 hours of teaching or research per week and you must maintain full-time enrollment. That means you should not be otherwise employed. The reason for this position is to encourage students to work on degrees rather than part-time jobs, and to ensure that additional employment pertains to the degree and is pre-approved by the department.

Students supported through GSSP must register for 9+ credit hours of approved graduate coursework (> or = 500-level courses in major or related disciplines respectively; note that audited courses do not count) each semester during the qualifying semesters. You must register correctly by posted registration deadlines or you will either receive a FULL tuition bill along with cancellation of your GSSP benefits, or you will face cancellation of your schedule and GSSP benefits.

See the GSSP Site for detailed information about the requirements and benefits. For questions concerning eligibility for insurance and tuition benefits under the GSSP, contact the Chemistry Graduate Office,


To maintain continuing coverage under GSSP, you will GENERALLY  need to register for a minimum of 9 credit hours  during semesters 1-3 for Master’s students, semesters 1-6 for doctoral students who already have a previous Master’s, and for semesters 1-8 for all other doctoral students. That credit limit will drop to 3 credits in later semesters. For more information see the registration page.

The Graduate School’s definition of full-time is:

  • Full-Time: To be full-time, students must be enrolled in at least 9 hours per semester. If they have accumulated or will accumulate sufficient hours to meet the degree requirements (a minimum of 30 and 72 for master’s and doctoral degrees, respectively), they will be considered full-time until they complete their thesis or dissertation provided they enroll for at least 3 credit hours.

Payroll & Direct Deposit

All graduate students on departmental assistantships (teaching or research) are considered employees of the Chemistry Department at North Carolina State University. Each must carry out the duties assigned by the advisor and/or lab coordinators. An assistantship is a position held by a student who provides teaching and/or research assistance at NC State University and receives the GSSP (Graduate Student Support Plan). Performance of service is required to receive payment. Students on assistantships are on a biweekly pay schedule and when first hired, will be paid on a two-week lag and typically receive a smaller check due to the way the biweekly cycle falls. DO NOT BE ALARMED IF YOUR FIRST CHECK IS SMALLER THAN ANTICIPATED.

Enrollment in NCSU’s Direct Deposit program is mandatory for all employees. To enroll in the Direct Deposit Program or to make changes to your current banking information, log into the MyPack Portal, and go into Employee Self Service>Payroll and Compensation>Direct Deposit Enroll/Update. Enroll as soon as your TA/RA gets fully approved in the HR system and you see the Employee Self Service module appear in MyPack Portal.

Tax Matters

Visit the NCSU Human Resources Payroll site for information on taxes. You can review and change your Federal (W4) and State tax withholding (NC-4) certificates by accessing MyPack Portal> Employee Self Service> Payroll and Compensation> NC4/W4 Tax application. You can also access PDFs of your checks and paystubs as well as your W2s.

International students will have to meet with the NC State Foreign National Tax Specialist to complete the paperwork necessary to set up tax withholding correctly. See the OIS site on Taxes and Other Legal Matters for additional information.