When a Principal Investigator (PI) requests support for an academic year stipend for a Research Project Assistant (RPA) from an external sponsor, the PI must also request the average cost of tuition from the sponsor. Only The Graduate School can waive the requirement of requesting the tuition from the sponsor. If the sponsor funds the PI's request, then the PI must pay the full-time in-state tuition for in-state students and the average cost of tuition for out-of-state students, with the RPA registering for 12 credits per academic year semester. If the student is G2 or G3, the student must register for 9 credits, and if G4 (ABD), then 1 credit. Academic year RPAs on grants for which tuition funding was approved by the external sponsor must have tuition payment from the grant, and in turn, The Graduate School provides tuition scholarships for RPAs. RPAs receiving tuition scholarships must meet the standard terms and conditions of tuition scholarships. If the student is a first-year, domestic, out-of-state student, The Graduate School will cover the difference between the grant tuition payment and the out-of-state tuition bill; if the student is classified as international, The Graduate School will cover the difference between the grant tuition payment and out-of-state tuition bill. If the RPA is a doctoral student and has exceeded the four-year eligibility for Graduate School TA/GA stipends and tuition scholarships, the RPA is still eligible for tuition scholarship from The Graduate School for a 5th year and, if necessary, 6th year, provided that the student meets the standard terms and conditions of tuition scholarships and that a grant pays tuition. When a grant pays full-time registration in-state tuition or the average cost of out-of-state tuition, the department/school/PI, depending on the arrangement, receives an allocation from other accounts, at the rate of $3,000 per AY RPA if registered at 12 credits per semester or $2,500 if registered at 9 credits per semester. At the discretion of the department/school/PI, these funds can be used to support graduate students. If the student is officially ABD or master's course-complete, the registration requirement is one credit per semester, the grant must pay the full amount of the tuition bill, and there will be no re-allocation to the department/school/PI.
For current grants and contracts, tuition payments must cover the RPA's tuition bill, or if out-of-state, the amount budgeted on the grant or contract, which would be the "average cost of tuition" rate at the time the grant or proposal was submitted.
Effective Date: September 1, 2012
Changes in practice regarding tuition scholarships for research project assistants:
*As posted 10-15-2010, and so prior to the above date, the average cost of tuition was $10,430.
Continuation in practice:
If the contract/grant requires cost sharing and there is insufficient institutional support other than tuition scholarship monies to meet the cost sharing requirement, then with prior approval of the cognizant Chair, Dean and the Dean of The Graduate School a partial or full tuition scholarship(s) may be given if the contract/grant is funded. Documentation of sponsor policy on cost share is required. Normally, units will be expected to cover such cost sharing with the unit's tuition scholarship "tuition allocation."
If a sponsor has a universal written policy that prevents the sponsor from paying for tuition costs, an official copy of the Sponsors' current policy will need to accompany the proposal submitted to Sponsored Program Development.
Any exceptions to requesting tuition from a sponsor must be approved by The Graduate School prior to submission of the proposal to the sponsor (using the Request for Exception Form). The completed form must be received at least five working days before submission to the sponsor. Submit the form to the Assistant Dean of Budget and Funding in The Graduate School, or to the Vice Provost and Dean of The Graduate School.
Starting May 1, 2002, all proposals for funding to external sponsors submitted through the Research Foundation will be required to request tuition support for all of the Research Project Assistants (RPAs) supported on the sponsored project during the academic year. As outlined below, from May 1, 2002-April 30, 2003, this tuition will be 75% of the cost of in-state tuition. Effective May 1, 2003, the budgets will need to include 100% of the in-state tuition. Effective March 1, 2009, the budgets will need to include "average cost of tuition." Whenever the tuition rate is increased, the "average cost of tuition" will be increased accordingly, and that will go into effect for grant and contract proposals on the same date as the tuition increase.
All project budgets must include 100% of the cost of in-state Graduate tuition. If an International student is to be supported on the project, The Graduate School will provide a Tuition Scholarship that will cover the difference between this amount and the cost of out-of-state tuition. All sponsors, including New York State, will be expected to cover 100% of in-state graduate tuition.
When grants and contracts pay at least the in-state tuition, the University will release other funds as follows:
Part One: Distribution of Funds to Academic Programs and the University Budget
Part Two: Allocation of Funds to Support Academic Units
Released funds placed in a Research Foundation Tuition Scholarship account will largely be used to support the graduate programs that generated these revenues through their contract and grant efforts. A smaller portion will be directed to support the needs of graduate students in other academic units on campus. These funds will be allocated as follows.
Graduate students paid as Research Project Assistants (RPAs) for the academic year may receive a tuition scholarship when their stipends meet the minimum standards established by The Graduate School, and when the grant or contract provided tuition funds to the University (or had this tuition requirement waived). All tuition scholarships provided to graduate Research Project Assistants (RPAs) are paid via The Graduate School's tuition scholarship fund; thus, all RPAs must meet all Graduate School terms and conditions in order to receive a tuition scholarship. These terms are outlined below.
All tuition scholarship recipients:
**Since RPAs are not limited in the number of semesters they can be employed as an RPA, there may be instances when a grant budget includes tuition for an individual who has received more than the maximum allowable semesters of tuition scholarships. In that case, the Principal Investigator should contact Sponsored Funds Administration to request that the funds included in the budget for tuition to cover such an RPA be paid directly to the Office of Student Accounts rather than distributed according to the existing cost-sharing agreement. Where possible, the RPA should be advised to register full time. However, when the total tuition collected is less than the actual tuition costs for full time registration, the RPA may be permitted to register for less than full time status (i.e., less than 9 or 12 credits, based on level) assuming this would not violate any visa requirements that may be applicable.
Last Updated: 7/18/12