Financial Aid

There are many options offered by the Department of English to fund your education.  Find out which one is right for you.

Graduate assistantships

Composition Graduate Teaching Assistantship

The English Department awards financial aid to a limited number of well-qualified students primarily in the form of graduate assistantships. Nearly all of the students who receive graduate assistantships are assigned to:

  • teach ENG 105 (Critical Reading and Writing in the University Community)
  • perform additional work such as tutoring in the university writing center

In addition, graduate assistants are required to take ENG 601 (the TA Practicum) during their first semester of teaching and to meet regularly with a mentor during the same semester.

Nonnative speakers of English are not normally considered for assistantships in their first year, unless they have scored 104 on the TOEFT iBT or 7.5 on IELTS.

Competition for graduate assistantships is very strong. To be eligible for a graduate assistantship in the Fall semester, you must be accepted into the program of your choice and have completed your graduate assistantship application and submitted it to the English department by the posted deadlines.

GA applicant screening begins on February 1 for appointments starting in the next Fall semester and continues until April 15 or until all positions are filled. Students who wish to receive priority consideration should have all application materials in by February 1st, including the graduate program application if they are seeking program admission as well. 

If you are a current graduate student in English and are applying for a GTA position and are obtaining new letters of recommendation, you can print out the GA letter of Recommendation Request form which contains the confidentiality waiver and provide it to your recommenders.

Program in Intensive English Teaching Assistantships

The Program in Intensive English (PIE) Position Overview


Graduate students who are awarded PIE assistantships receive more than financial support; they also receive extensive training and experience in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in an intensive English setting. In turn, graduate assistants bring a variety of skills, backgrounds, and perspectives to the teaching of ESL.

A graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) in the PIE represents a 20-hour-per-week commitment, which typically involves the following:

Six classroom hours of teaching ESL per week. There are 6 levels of instruction in the PIE and a variety of classes offered at each level. GTAs will have an opportunity to teach different classes during their time in PIE.

  • Participation in regularly scheduled curricular area meetings (weekly), level meetings (biweekly), professional development sessions (4-5 times per semester), scoring of achievement tests (2-3 times per semester), and exit testing (1 time per semester).
  • One office hour weekly to meet with students. 

To apply, please download and complete the application and return it to

Save and submit your application and materials, including statement,

as 1 document named PIE_Lastname_Firstname

and submit as an email attachment to Yvette Schmelzle at


Financial aid

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For information on the various financial resources available including graduate assistantships, visit the Graduate College.

For information on financial aid, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.


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Tuition waivers

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A limited number of tuition waivers are available to out-of-state or in-state students who can demonstrate financial need.

If you are an out-of-state student and wish to present yourself as a candidate for one of these awards, please download the English Department tuition waiver form.

For the first consideration, please be sure that supporting materials and your completed application forms for graduate assistantships or tuition waivers are returned to the following address before February 15.

English Department
Composition Office
PO Box 6032
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ 86011