OSU Graduate Tuition Remission Allocation Model

1. All graduate students with superior records in their undergraduate and/or graduate work and who meet the following criteria are eligible to hold a graduate assistant appointment (see page 21, Graduate Catalog 1999-2000):

  1. Be a regularly admitted, provisionally admitted, or tentatively admitted graduate student at Oregon State University.
  2. Be enrolled as a full-time graduate student at Oregon State University, completing a minimum of 12 credits of state-supported instruction each term.
  3. Be making satisfactory progress toward an advanced degree.
     

2. Eligible graduate students (see item #1 above) may hold one of three types of appointments:

  • Graduate Teaching Assistants provide instructional support through leading lecture, lab, or recitation sections; grading; preparation of materials; or other activities directly related to the educational mission of the unit.
  • Graduate Research Assistants provide support in field, laboratory, or research work appropriate to the discipline, in support of the unit's mission;
  • Graduate Fellows are awarded tuition waiver or other scholarship funds for which specific duties or work effort are not required. The Graduate School is provided tuition support budget in the form of waivers; for purposes of this policy, the terms remission and waiver may be used interchangeably, but in all cases refers to tuition support provided for the specific appointment type.

Units are responsible for appointing Graduate Assistants appropriately as a condition of continued authority to award tuition remissions and stipends.

3. University units eligible to award tuition remissions to graduate assistants include all academic colleges including the Graduate School and interdisciplinary degree programs reporting to the Dean of the Graduate School.

4. University units eligible to fund graduate assistant stipends include all academic colleges including the Graduate School, interdisciplinary degree programs reporting to the Dean of the Graduate School, research centers and institutes reporting to the Vice Provost for Research, and administrative and student support units. However, research centers and institutes reporting to the Vice Provost for Research and administrative and student support units may only award tuition remissions for graduate assistants indirectly by supplying the stipend dollars to a unit eligible to award tuition remissions as specified in item #3 above. The eligible unit (see item #3 above) in turn will be responsible for recruiting the student and making the award offer. An alternate option for research centers, institutes, administrative units, and student support units would be to hire graduate students directly on student wages.

5. The OSU Graduate Tuition Remission Model will be phased in over a two year period. For 2000-01, Graduate Teaching Assistants or Graduate Research Assistants (see #1 above for eligibility criteria) with appointments of at least 0.20 FTE per term with the stipend paid by an eligible university unit (see #3 above) from OSU general funds will receive tuition remission from the University assessed at the resident rate. For 2001-02, the minimum FTE will be increased to 0.25.² For Fall 2016-17, the minimum FTE is .30.

6. Graduate Fellows (see #1 for eligibility criteria) whose stipends are paid by an eligible university unit (see #3 & 4 above) via approved OSU Foundation funds dedicated to graduate fellowships and which provide a stipend value equivalent to that provided by at least a 0.49 FTE graduate assistantship as specified by the minimum recommended stipend guidelines published annually by the Graduate School may receive a tuition remission waiver upon the recommendation of the unit and the approval of the Graduate School.

7. Graduate Fellows (or Trainees) whose stipends are paid by an eligible university unit (see #3 & 4 above) or directly by the institution via competitive training grants and/or portable external fellowships (e.g. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship) in which cost of education allowances fall short of meeting the tuition needs of fellows or trainees, and whose stipends provide a stipend value equivalent to that provided by at least a 0.49 FTE graduate assistantship as specified by the minimum recommended stipend guidelines published annually by the Graduate School, may receive a tuition offset not to exceed the amount of the cost of education allowance shortfall upon the recommendation of the unit and the approval of the Graduate School. Full graduate tuition may be cost shared for some training grants or fellowships, regardless of the education allowance, if such cost sharing has prior approval of the Graduate School and the Research Office.

8. Graduate Teaching Assistants or Graduate Research Assistants (see #1 for eligibility criteria) holding an appointment of at least 0.20 FTE per term in 2000-01 and .25 FTE in 2001-02² with the stipend paid from grant or contract funds where the funding agency does not pay tuition as determined by agency policy and enforced for all awards made by the funding agency may receive a graduate tuition remission assessed at the resident rate if cost sharing of the tuition has received prior approval. Effective in 2016-17, the minimum FTE requirement for tuition remission is .30.

9. Graduate students, including international students, who are not supported by any other sources may be awarded a Laurels Scholarship for full or partial tuition remission or full or partial non-resident differential tuition waiver upon recommendation of the unit and with the approval of the Graduate Dean. Laurels Scholarships will be allocated to programs by the Graduate School to individual programs on an annual basis via a competitive selection process. Laurels Scholarships shall be limited to an amount not to exceed 10% of the total graduate tuition remission pool in a given year. The goal for use of these funds is that at least half of the funds will be allocated during the graduate student recruiting phase and committed by April 15 each year.

10. The Graduate School will retain a tuition remission and waiver fund, the amount not to exceed 5% of the total allocation to tuition remission and waivers. The Graduate Dean will have authority to award tuition remissions to eligible students (see #1 above) who do not fall into the categories provided by items #5 through #9 above if doing so meets other institutional interests in diversity, enrollment goals, faculty productivity, student retention, or student success. The number of such discretionary awards normally will be no greater than 5% of the total full time graduate student enrollment.

Tuition Remission Policies

1. The Graduate School will be responsible for conducting a review of these policies annually in consultation with the Provost and Executive Vice President, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, deans, directors, and others with direct responsibility for graduate assistants.

2. The OSU Graduate Tuition Remission Allocation Model takes effect as of fall term, 2000, and pertains to the three academic terms and summer session.

3. Initial authorization of tuition remission commitments from general funds will be based on a combination of the following estimates:

  • Estimates of current fiscal year commitments to general fund tuition remissions in each unit, as of February 1 each year.
  • Estimates of cost share commitments to graduate tuition from general funds in each unit as of February 1.
  • Estimates of growth in general fund tuition remissions based on known increases in stipend budgets to provide instructional and research support for the following fiscal year.

This initial allocation will be modified at the closing of each fiscal year, such that the net expense in each unit is zero, and the net expense to the Vice President for Finance and Administration's office for tuition remissions paid from the general fund is zero.

4. Tuition remissions for all eligible students, including graduate assistants on appointments of at least a 0.20 FTE in 2000-01 and 0.25 FTE in 2001-02 and .30 FTE in 2016-17, from any source, as well as waiver support on formal Graduate Fellowship appointments, will be assessed at resident rates.²

5. For graduate assistants whose stipends are paid from more than one grant or fund type, the tuition remission or the tuition charged to each funding source/type will be calculated in proportion to the stipend amount paid from each source. If a grant is required to cost share tuition, only the pro-rata share will be charged, consistent with OMB Circular A-21.

6. With the exception of item #4 above, tuition remission is provided only in full amount to students who meet the eligibility criteria described elsewhere in this document. Remission is provided on a per-term basis so support for part of an academic year is possible.

7. OSU general fund tuition remission will be allocated to units in dollars, not "slots." Tuition remission dollars will be earmarked for this specific expense category and cannot be transferred to any other part of a unit's budget.

8. In February of each year, the Graduate School will be responsible for providing an annual estimate of the tuition remissions to be awarded from Graduate School budgets in the following fiscal year based on the criteria in #1 above. This estimate will provide useful guidelines for graduate recruiting.

9. The Graduate School will provide an annual report on the use and distribution of tuition remission from Graduate School waiver funding sources.

10. Non-resident tuition differential waivers associated with grants and contracts and other sources of funds are not capped.

Accounting and Management Procedures

1. Tuition remission will be treated as a form of financial support to graduate assistants.

2. Units will be provided with an initial budget allocation for tuition remissions. Funds will be allocated in this way for planning purposes and to provide the ability to track tuition remission investments and assess the return on investment in regard to the guiding principles specified in this document.

3. Funds from the tuition remission allocation may not be used for any purpose other than paying for tuition remission.

4. Units will be charged directly for tuition remission once each term.

5. At the close of the fiscal year, any unused tuition remission allocations will be returned to the Vice President for Finance and Administration. Funds will be distributed to those units with negative balances in their tuition remission accounts. The result of each of these is that tuition remission accounts will be funded at exactly the amount needed for the fiscal year.

¹ One full tuition FTE is derived by dividing direct tuition expense by the total cost of resident graduate instructional fees for 3 terms (e.g. for 1998-99 $5352 is 1.00 tuition FTE). That is, a tuition FTE does NOT represent an individual student; therefore, these figures do not reconcile with headcount.
² Note that the action to increase minimum FTE to .25 FTE has been deferred.
3 Note that effective 2016-17, the minimum required FTE for a Graduate Assistant Appointment at OSU has increased to .30. Graduate Assistant appointments less than .30 FTE are no longer allowed. Lower FTEs may be used with multiple department appointments for an individual student but the total FTE must be at least .30.