Faculty & Staff

GFS Policy Manual

GFS System

Matriculated graduate students with assistantships or fellowships, as well as postdoctoral scholars and non-matriculated grad students, must be paid through the GFS system.

This section includes information on:

What can and cannot be paid using GFS

GFS can pay the following for eligible graduate students and postdoctoral scholars:

  • Assistantship appointments, including both salary and Tuition Allowance/TAL (GFS automatically calculates TAL for assistantships)
  • Fellowship Tuition
  • Fellowship Stipends
  • A payment to offset the cost of the Cardinal Care premium (use the Fellowship Stipend panel and the "HLTHONLY" item type)
  • One-time stipend payments for specific purposes, for example, for books, computer supplies or other materials that the student will keep (as opposed to departmental purchases), or for prizes and other awards (use the Fellowship Stipend panel and the "stipend" item type).

Tuition payments for nonmatriculated graduate students, such as Visiting Researchers, can be processed through GFS. Such students, however, are not eligible for assistantship appointments.

When GFS cannot pay, use:

  • the Payroll system for hourly pay, including one-time salary payments and retroactive pay adjustments for assistantships entered after the start of the appointment
  • the Purchasing and Reimbursement systems for the reimbursement of education-related travel. The Travel Office will determine taxability of such payments (see Administrative Guide 5.4.2, Travel Expenses, Section 11, "Student Travel and Tax Issues).

GFS payments and taxes

For degree-seeking (matriculated) students, the tuition portion of fellowships and assistantships is exempt from tax. Nonmatriculated students are subject to tax on any tuition support received. Fellowship stipends and assistantship salaries are subject to tax. The amount of tax varies according to the student's total income, dependency status, treaty status for international students, and individual circumstances.

Assistantship salaries and nonmatriculated stipends paid to non-US citizens are subject to tax withholding.

Tax is not withheld from quarterly fellowship stipends paid to U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents. Students are responsible for making any estimated tax payments. Monthly stipends paid to Postdoctoral Scholars and nonmatriculated students will have tax withheld if the individual is not a US citizen and their home country does not have a tax treaty with the US.

For additional information about taxes, see the "Tax Information" page within the Student section of the Gateway to Financial Activities (Fingate).

Note: A fringe benefit rate will automatically be applied to any salaries paid to either graduate students or postdoctoral scholars. In addition, a "stipend surcharge" will be applied to any stipend payment to a graduate student from university, school or department funds (other than a stipend payment specifically for health insurance). No surcharge is collected on tuition payments. The funds collected through the application of these rates are used to provide Cardinal Care health insurance subsidy for graduate students, and additional benefits for postdoctoral scholars.

Approving Payments Entered in GFS

All lines entered in GFS must be approved in a separate university application, Workflow. The Workflow application sends an email notification to all identified approvers whenever a fellowship stipend, tuition, or assistantship line has been completed. GFS aid lines require both a Home Department and a Financial approval before they will disburse. These two approval roles are defined as follows:

   Home Department Approvers

  • Assure that the student's home organization and TAL Category are correct, i.e., that the correct "home department" is approving the aid
  • Assure that the aid being approved conforms to GFS policy, e.g.
    • assistantship appointments include the appropriate TAL
    • assistantships do not exceed 50% during the School year
    • assistantships are used to pay for work that is relevant to a student's academic program and that advances a student's academic or professional development
    • any termination/reduction/cancellation of aid has been properly documented.
  • Assure that the student is academically eligible for each quarter in which aid is being approved
  • Assure that the total amount of aid being given to a student conforms to university, school or departmental guidelines.

   Financial Approvers

  • Assure that the student is being paid from an appropriate source of funds
  • Assure that there is sufficient funding available for the period during which the aid is approved
  • Assure that the amount of the expense is appropriate.

Individuals who are authorized as GFS Financial Approvers must complete the Cost Policy tutorial on the university's accounting systems and chart of accounts.

If the individual completing a line of aid in GFS is also authorized to carry out either the Home Department or the Financial approval roles, that approval is automatically conveyed when the entry is completed in GFS. If an individual completing a line of aid is authorized as both a Home Department and a Financial approver, then no additional approvals will be required. Such individuals may however wish to designate another individual either for "FYI" advice or for additional approval.

GFS Disbursement Schedules

Once aid lines have been completed and approved, they will "disburse" to the system that will process the payment, i.e., either the Student Financials System for quarterly stipend and tuition payments, or the HR Payroll system for assistantship salaries or stipends for postdocs or non-matriculated students ("NM" stipends).

These different systems operate on different disbursement schedules.

  • Student Financials:
    Stipend payments to matriculated graduate students and tuition payments (both fellowship tuition and TAL) are processed by the Student Financials system nightly for the current year. Disbursements for prior years will automatically run on Fridays. The Student Financial Services department will then process either the stipend check or the payment to the student's account.

  • HR Payroll:
    Assistantship salary paylines disburse once each pay period (See the Controller's website for the disbursement schedule.)

    The Payroll department also processes stipend checks for Postdoctoral Scholars and non-matriculated graduate students. These checks are processed monthly, and are scheduled to be either direct deposited or delivered by the last calendar day of each month.

Correcting Transactions in GFS

The two systems involved in generating student support work differently in regard to the correcting lines that have already disbursed.

  • Student Financials:
    Corrections to stipend payments for matriculated graduate students and tuition payments (both fellowship tuition and TAL) are made in GFS. The GFS system retroactively processes the correction; no additional journal transactions or transfers are needed.

  • HR Payroll:
    Retroactive GFS corrections to assistantship salaries or to monthly stipends for Postdoctoral Scholars and nonmatriculated students are not automatically interfaced to the payroll system, and therefore require a two-step process - which processes to use depends on if money is owed to the student or if the student was overpaid:
    1. IF MONEY IS OWED TO THE STUDENT
      1. Submit One-Time-Payment (OTP) form to Payroll to add money to next paycheck, or you can submit GFS Off-Cycle Check Webform to create a Will Call Check, AND
      2. Correct GFS to assure consistency with the Oracle system, and to ensure future payments are processed correctly.
    2. IF THE STUDENT WAS OVERPAID
      1. Submit a HelpSU to Payroll, and include the gross amount that was overpaid and the pay periods that the overpayment occurred, AND
      2. Correct GFS to assure consistency with the Oracle system, and to ensure future payments are processed correctly.

GFS System Reports

Reports have been developed to assist department administrators and the Financial Aid Office. Data in the GFS system is retrievable using PeopleSoft "ReportMart1." Individuals who have "Read" access to GFS can see a list of reports prepared to meet departmental needs. Some of the available reports include:

  • Academic Approvers (to identify Home Department approvers)
  • Aid Awaiting Approval
  • GFS Aid reported for identified students
  • GFS Aid reported by source of funding

In addition, an Unapplied Aid Report provides information to departments and to the university as a whole to show where more support has been entered in GFS than the student is charged. For example, if a student has a departmental tuition fellowship which pays full tuition, and in Spring quarter the student also receives a 10% assistantship, the student could be credited with more tuition payments than are needed. The difference between the amount of tuition charged and the total tuition support received appears in the department's Unapplied Aid Report.

University policy instructs departments to use outside support first, Tuition Allowance (TAL) second, and school/department funds third.

Updated on June 16, 2014 9:28 AM