Annual Funding Checklist for PhD Students in the Physical Sciences Division

Annual Funding Checklist for PSD Students

Autumn Quarter

Before the quarter starts (all students)

  • Review the funding letter that you receive from your Student Affairs Administrator (SAA). Immediately communicate with your SAA about any questions you may have.
  • Update your addresses in my.uchicago.edu, including your physical address
    • It is important we have accurate contact information for you in the event of an emergency
    • If you do not sign up for direct deposit, a check may be mailed to your physical address. Inaccurate addresses could result in a delay in receiving your funding
  • Update your addresses in Workday
    • If you do not sign up for direct deposit, a check may be mailed to your physical address. Inaccurate addresses could result in a delay in receiving your funding
  • Sign up for direct deposit in both Workday and my.uchicago.edu (US bank account needed)

At the start of Autumn Quarter (all students)

  • Students on stipend: Check your bank accounts (if you signed up for direct deposit) or mail (if you received by mail) to ensure you received the amount you expected to receive based on your funding letter. Report any issues to your SAA immediately.
    • If you are being supported on a stipend, you should receive a once/quarter lump sum amount at the beginning of the quarter
  • Students on assistantship (TA/RA): Sign up for direct deductions (strongly encouraged)

Before Friday of 3rd week (all students)

  • Take action to enroll in or waive the University Student Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP)
    • The University requires all active students to have adequate insurance coverage. Students may either enroll in U-SHIP or waive by demonstrating proof of comparable coverage. If you do not take any action, you will be automatically enrolled in U-SHIP and your student account will be charged.

At the end of the first full month of the quarter (students on assistantship)

  • TA/RAs: Pay attention to the expected payment dates provided by your Student Affairs Administrator and check your account/mail to ensure that you received your funding on the expected payment date. Report any issues to your SAA immediately

Winter Quarter

  • If you have had any changes of address, update in both Workday and my.uchicago.edu
  • Review your funding letter for information about your Winter Quarter funding (Please note some departments will include information about funding for Winter and Spring in the funding letter you receive in Autumn, so review your Autumn letter or any subsequent communications you receive).
  • Review your accounts on the days you expect to receive payments and report any issues to your SAA immediately

Spring Quarter

  • If you have had any changes of address, update in both Workday and my.uchicago.edu
  • Review your funding letter for information about your Spring Quarter funding (Please note some departments will include information about funding for Winter and Spring in the funding letter you receive in Autumn, so review your Autumn letter or any subsequent communications you receive).
  • Review your accounts on the days you expect to receive payments and report any issues to your SAA immediately
    • For TA/RA: you will receive your final payment for Spring Quarter at the end of June after the quarter has ended

PhD Funding Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between direct deposit and direct deduction?

Direct deposit authorizes the University to deposit your funding directly in your bank account. Signing up for direct deposit means you are changing the way you receive your funding (paper check vs digital deposit). Please note direct deposit requires a US bank account.

Direct deduction authorizes the University to withhold a portion of your funding from your payments to cover costs on your student account bill.

Students in TA/RA positions receive funding to cover the cost of U-SHIP (if you choose to enroll) and the department’s portion of the Student Services Fee. Direct deduction means that (1) you will not need to pay a lump sum prior to the date of your first payment and (2) you are authorizing the University to withhold a portion of your payment to cover the cost of the insurance and fees, and (3) enrolling in direct deductions will prevent a Bursar hold from being placed on your account if you do not want to pay the full amounts for insurance and fees prior to receiving your first payment. 

How do direct deductions work?

Your department provides funding for U-SHIP and a significant portion of the Student Services Fee. You will receive this funding as part of your monthly payments and need to remit funds back to the University.

You can do this two ways: paying a lump sum in the first few weeks of the quarter or signing up for monthly deductions.

Student 1 chooses to pay lump sum

  • Bill due date is before receiving first payment as TA/RA
  • Student pays the entirety of insurance + fees out of their own pocket
  • Because there are no direct deductions, the student’s monthly payments will be for higher amounts
  • It may be helpful in this scenario to think of it as the department reimbursing you for the payment you made early in the quarter

Student 2 signs up for direct deductions

  • Bill due date is no longer relevant; the bill will be paid over the course of a quarter
  • Student pays nothing for insurance or fees prior to receiving first payment
  • Because there are direct deductions, the student’s monthly payments will be reduced by [(Total of insurance + fees)]/3 each month
  • In this scenario, you are paying down your bill as you receive funding

How do I know how much will be withheld each month with direct deductions?

First, calculate your monthly payments by dividing your total quarterly funding by three. This is your monthly gross payment before taxes.

Add the quarterly cost of insurance to the quarterly Student Services Fee and divide by three ((Insurance + Fees)/3). This is the amount that will be withheld from your payment each month if you enroll in direct deductions.

Monthly gross payment before taxes (minus) amount that will be withheld = total monthly payment before taxes.

How do I sign up for direct deduction?

You need to take action each Autumn for direct deductions. Students can sign up for direct deductions through my.uchicago.edu.

  • Sign in to my.uchicago.edu
  • Click on the “Finances” tab at the top
  • Select/hover over “Account”
  • Select “Direct Deduction Enroll” and follow the instructions on screen

There is generally a deadline around first week of the beginning of Autumn Quarter. Students who sign up by this deadline will be signing up for nine deductions (one per month for Autumn, Winter, Spring quarters). This usually means that three deductions happen per quarter – one from each payment.

How does waiving U-SHIP impact my funding?

Students who waive U-SHIP will not receive funding for the cost of U-SHIP (since there are no charges to cover). This will not impact your base funding or the funding for your Student Services Fee.

I have questions about taxes. What should I do? 

Students with questions about taxes should contact UChicagoGRAD at gradhelp@uchicago.edu