Graduate tuition credit scholarships are given for different reasons, and fall into different categories accordingly. The various categories are discussed below in the order in which they are treated in Trustee Document T79-093B.
Tuition Credit for Academic Excellence
A tuition credit scholarship is granted to all students who have achieved a level of academic excellence established by departments and recognized by the awarding of a half-time or greater Graduate Assistantship, Associateship, Fellowship or Traineeship with a current (AY 22-23) minimum earnings of $6,205.40 for a single semester.
Eligible Appointment Types: A Graduate Assistantship or Associateship may take the form either of a Teaching Assistantship or Associateship, Research Assistantship, Project Assistantship, Assistant Resident Director, working or non-working Traineeship, working or non-working Fellowship or Intern Assistantship which serves as a learning experience directly associated with the student's academic discipline. Examples of these functions are given under "Types of Graduate Assistantships."
Sources of Funding: Graduate assistantships may be funded by extramural sources such as grants, contracts, or from revenue based trust funds.
Inappropriate Job Duties: Graduate students who perform "service" functions for remuneration must be hired on an hourly basis and do NOT receive tuition credit or health fee deferments. Examples of "service" functions are clerical duties or other work that does not professionally enhance and provide educational value towards the student's academic goals. On the other hand, graduate students with professional job duties must be hired on Graduate Assistantship Appointments. Student hourly appointments are processed on the Graduate Student Personnel Action forms through the Graduate Assistantship Office.
Active Status: Only students with "active" graduate status, including Continuous Enrollment (Program Fee) and Provisional Status may qualify for tuition credit for assistantships. Undergraduates, post baccalaureate students, non-degree students as well as students enrolled through Continuing Education are NOT eligible for tuition credit in this category.
Minimum Earnings: Tuition credit scholarships for assistantships are granted only to assistants and associates who receive a stipend equal to at least half the current minimum full-time (FTE) assistantship stipend. For Academic Year 22-23, the minimum earnings necessary for a tuition credit scholarship to cover both the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters is $12,410.80. This amount may be paid either over the two semesters or all in one semester. In practice, therefore, a stipend of $6,205.40 for one semester will suffice for that semester; a stipend of $12,410.80 for one semester (either fall or spring) will qualify for a tuition credit for BOTH fall and spring of this academic year. Tuition credit can neither be applied retroactively to a previous academic year nor carried over to a subsequent academic year.
Summer Session : Tuition credit for summer session enrollment of thesis or dissertation credits are also granted to Graduate Assistants and Associates who earn at least (for Summer 22) $4,246.20 during the summer in which the student is enrolled for thesis or dissertation credits. Or alternatively, if this summer qualifying amount ($4,572.40 for AY 23-24, or $4,246.20 for AY 22-23) is earned above and beyond the amount necessary for qualifying for a tuition credit in one or both of the preceding academic semesters, then credit of tuition for summer session enrollment of thesis or dissertation credits will be granted.
Tuition Credit for Non-Working Fellowships and Non-Working Traineeships
Tuition credit for fellowship and traineeship recipients, who are not required to work, are not automatic and will be given only when the fellowship or traineeship terms do not include provisions to pay the tuition . The original award letter must be submitted to the Assistantship Office for determination of tuition credit applicability.
Tuition Credit for Externships
Courtesy Tuition Credit
The majority of graduate students entitled to tuition credit in this category are international students who are enrolled under reciprocal student exchanges, sponsored by recognized agencies, or other contractual agreements.
Only eligible graduate student employees in the GEO bargaining unit are provided with health fee exemptions for Basic Health, Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP), and the Student Family Health Plan. All three health plans are administered over two plan periods: fall, which runs from August 1 through January 31 and spring, which runs February 1 through July 31. For the academic year 22-23, the minimum earnings necessary for health fee exemptions that cover the 12-month health plan period, August 1 through July 31, is $12,410.80. However, if a student earns a stipend of half that amount ($6,205.40), he or she will receive a full plan year of the SHBP fee exemption and a single plan period of the Basic (and Family, if elected) fee exemption. The semester in which the earnings take place will determine the plan period in which the Basic (and Family) fee exemption(s) take place. Earnings to qualify for health fee exemptions are cumulative beginning with the first payroll date of summer and ending with the last payroll date of the spring semester. Summer earnings must always be applied forward.
It is the responsibility of principal investigators of fellowship and training grants to provide the Graduate Assistantship Office with verification and description of duties of appointed students for consideration of health benefit eligibility. Without such verification, the Graduate Assistantship Office will assume that the fellowship or traineeship does not require work, and the student appointee will be coded "not eligible" for the health benefit.