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FAQ for Current Students

Q: How do I arrange travel to conferences etc?
A: AST has some funds to support student travel, but if you are a GRA check with your advisor first. Well before the trip, verify with your advisor or (if you are a first year) the Program Director that funds are available to cover the cost. Usually, travel tickets should be purchased through RIT – ask the AST Staff Assistant (Cheryl Merrell) to make the arrangements (when you have the OK from your advisor/AST Director).  Check with the Director if in doubt.

Q: How do I get reimbursed for travel?
A: On your return, fill out a Travel Expense Report (TER) and give it to Cheryl for processing. Make sure you keep receipts from your trip. 

Q: Are taxes taken out of my paycheck?
A: If you work as a teaching assistant, yes. If you work as a research assistant, no, and you will have to pay these taxes when you fill out your taxes. If you are an international student, you will have taxes taken out of your paycheck.

Q: How do you obtain proof of income?
A: If you get paid by Payroll, you can print out paystubs. If you get paid by Accounts Payable, you must obtain a letter from Cheryl or Accounts Payable on RIT letterhead.

Q: Where do my paychecks come from?
A: If you are a TA, you get paid by Payroll. If you are an RA, you get paid by Accounts Payable.

Q: How do I obtain IDL?
If you would like to install this software on your computer, enter your authentication information, select the ITT VIS software to download, and operating system type below, and you will be given instructions on how to proceed.

Q: How do I print on campus?
A: You can print from your personal computer with the help of these websites to the black and white printer on second floor (Guppy):

Q: Do I need a parking permit to park on campus?
A: Yes, you can obtain it at the parking office or on the Parking webpage.  

Q: How do I get access to CIS servers?
A: You’ll need a UNIX account. Please talk to Jim Bodie (

Q: Beyond the AST program, what kinds of educational resources/training are available to me?
A: The  Graduate School runs workshops on various topics.

Q: What is my affiliation as an AST student?
A: AST is part of the School of Physics and Astronomy, so your affiliation is:
School of Physics and Astronomy, Rochester Institute of Technology

If you are also a member of one of the research centers, you can add this too, e.g.:
School of Physics and Astronomy and Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics, Rochester Institute of Technology