How and why does biweekly gross pay change?

Date: March 2021


Dear Deans,

I am a Ph.D. student working as a GRA this school year. I noticed in my recent payslips in Workday that the biweekly gross pay decreased from $1,573.45 in last semester to $1,541.98 this semester. I do not think my funding source has changed. I am not complaining about such a small change, but I am curious about how and why it changes?


Counting Every Dollar


Dear Counting Every Dollar,

I can certainly understand why you would notice a change in your paycheck! I checked with the University Payroll office to verify that your stipend was processed correctly and confirmed that it was. Stipend rates are set for each academic semester. The current standard rate is $28,036 for the academic year or $14,018 per semester, and you will indeed receive this full amount for both your fall and spring assistantships. 

The reason for the slight change is that the spring appointment period began on January 6th and continues through May 20th. Because assistantships are paid on a semi-monthly schedule (usually paid on the 15th and 30th of each month) your first and last paycheck will be for a partial pay period. The Workday system adjusts the semi-monthly pay amounts slightly based on the number of weekdays in those first and last partial pay periods. So, your last stipend check in May will reflect the difference and bring your total stipend for spring up to $14,018.

Thanks for raising this question. I’m sure others were curious as well.



Jason Kahabka
Associate Dean for Administration