Funding Policies and Guidelines
- Required Paperwork
- Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of Tuition Scholarships
- Teaching/Graduate Assistantships (TAs/GAs)
- GA/TA Title Designations
- Appointment of GA/TA Positions
- Stipend Amounts
- Dividing GA/TA Lines
- Supplementing Base Stipend Levels
- GA/TA Insurance Benefits
- I-9s and Other Payroll Forms
- GA/TA Registration and Performance Requirements
- GA/TA Employment Requirements
- Renewal/Continuation of GA/TA Awards
- Termination of GA/TA Appointment
- Taxation of Stipends
- Graduate Student Employees Union
- Unit-Funded Teaching/Graduate Assistantships (TAs/GAs)
- Research Project Assistantships (RPAs)
- Dissertation Fellowships
- Provost's Doctoral Fellowship Summer Program
- Binghamton Foundation Fellowships
- Dr. Bhagwan Gajwani Fellowship
- Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowship for Graduate Students
- Appointment of Fellows
- Tuition Scholarships for Fellows
- Expectations and Limitations for Fellows
- Taxation of Fellowship Stipends
- Student Assistant Employment
- Federal College Work Study Employment
- G1/G2/G3/G4 Levels
- Overload Policy for Funded Students
- Payment of Fees for ABD Students
- Federal Financial Aid
- Graduate Tuition Opportunity Program (GTOP)
- Taxation of Stipends
- Graduate Student Employees Union
A variety of funding opportunities are available to graduate students attending Binghamton University: teaching assistantships (TAs), graduate assistantships (GAs), research project assistantships (RPAs), scholarships, fellowships, adjunct lecturer positions, and other part-time and federal work study positions. Questions regarding funding that are not answered below should be directed to the funding manager of the student's department or school or to the Graduate School at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terms and Conditions of GA/TA Employment
See the Funding section of the Graduate School Forms website.
Terms and Conditions for Accepting a Tuition Scholarship
See the Funding section of the Graduate School Forms website.
Establishing New York State Residency if Not International Student
Payment of Bill
Student Time Sheets
Graduate/teaching assistants are required to complete one time record per semester, recording any work time missed due to illness. The time record can be found on the Office of Human Resources website and is sent out to the GA/TA listserv each semester. All completed GA/TA records should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources after each semester.
Student time sheets for both the Federal College Work Study payroll and the temporary service student assistant payroll are required to be submitted, completed and signed, as per the published schedule, to the Office of Human Resources by noon on Friday following the end of the pay period with the exception to early deadlines. See current SA/FCWS payroll calendar. The student employment payrolls operate on a lag payroll schedule. Note that it takes up to three weeks before a Federal College Work Study or student assistant employee's first payment is issued (providing time sheets have been handed in on time). After the first payment, subsequent payments will be made on a bi-weekly basis and will cover the prior two weeks of service.
Late submission of time sheets may result in delayed payments.
Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of Tuition Scholarships
Tuition scholarships are available to qualified students. They are by definition scholarships and do not require students to work in exchange for the payment of tuition. Currently all GA/TA and RPA positions who meet minimum stipend levels may qualify for a full or partial tuition scholarship. Federally funded graduate assistantships, all fellowship recipients, and certain externally supported students may also receive tuition scholarships. Fast-track / combined degree ("3+2" or "4+1" students) may not receive University funded tuition scholarships.
All graduate tuition scholarship recipients are required to accept and agree to the specific terms and conditions stated below. No graduate student will be provided with a tuition scholarship without first signing and returning the Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of the Tuition Scholarship. It is primarily the graduate program's responsibility to obtain the student's signature retain a copy of the Terms and Conditions.
Graduate students holding tuition scholarships are required to be registered full time in a degree program. To be registered full time, G1 (first-year doctoral students with a baccalaureate degree and less than 24 credits or any student in a master's program) must register for 12 credits; G2 students (second-year doctoral students with only a baccalaureate degree and more than 24 credits); G3 (doctoral students with a master's degree but not ABD) and G4 (ABD) students must register for 9 credits. Registration must be completed before the first day of classes each semester. Continuing students must register during the "advance registration" period. Students who resign from assistantships/fellowships in mid-contract or who allow their registration to drop below full time may become liable for repayment of tuition scholarship awards.
Tuition scholarships are merit-based. Recipients of tuition scholarships must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0. A GPA lower than 3.0 results in probation; students on probation are not eligible to receive tuition scholarships. In addition, students must be making satisfactory progress toward degree.
Tuition scholarships will not be awarded for pursuit of multiple degrees at the same level, serially or concurrently, or for pursuit of a master's degree at BU when a student is currently, or has previously been, enrolled in a doctoral program at BU with tuition scholarship support.
Payment of Student Accounts Bill
Recipients of tuition scholarships are responsible for all mandatory student fees. Thus, even students with tuition scholarships are required to return their bills to the Office of Student Accounts prior to the due date stated on the semester bill. As an alternative, students may pay their semester bill online. Failure to pay the semester bill on time will result in late fees and penalties. Regardless of assistance by graduate programs with students' registration, adding/dropping, proper credits, and so forth are the student's responsibility.
Federal Financial Aid
All domestic graduate students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) form. The annual deadline for completing the FAFSA is April 1. See also the Office of Financial Aid and Records FAFSA webpage.
All tuition scholarship support is used to establish financial aid loan and Federal Work Study eligibility. Students who have applied for financial aid assistance should be aware that a tuition award and/or a fellowship award does affect the amount of loan eligibility. For more information about student financial aid eligibility or other financial aid related questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Student Records.
New York State Residency
Tuition scholarship support normally covers tuition costs at the rate billed to New York State residents. Non-New York State residents must establish residency at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes for that given semester or pay the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. To establish residency, visit the Student Accounts Office to submit an application. Students who wish to appeal their residency determination may file an appeal with the University Residency Appeals Committee (information available from the Student Accounts Office.) Exceptions to this requirement can be made for students who are not eligible to become residents of New York State, such as international students on temporary visas (F and J) visas.
Immediately upon arrival in the Binghamton area, it is the responsibility of the tuition scholarship recipient to take every appropriate action necessary to establish residency, so that he/she can be determined to be a NYS resident prior to the first day of the third enrolled matriculated semester. For the first two enrolled matriculated semesters, tuition scholarships are funded at the rate appropriate for the recipient's residential status (e.g., in-state or out-of-state). Beginning with the third enrolled matriculated semester, tuition scholarships are funded at the in-state rate and the recipient is responsible for payment of the difference between the in-state and out-of-state rates.
Pennsylvania residents who commute to Binghamton University can request an out-of-state tuition scholarship from their academic unit, or the unit offering the tuition scholarship, if they can demonstrate that relocating to New York would be unreasonable. Exceptions for Pennsylvania residents are normally approved if the student can show that he/she owns property in Pennsylvania, or has children attending a Pennsylvanian school. If approved, the tuition scholarship will cover the out-of-state tuition.
- Masters' candidates may receive a tuition scholarship for a maximum of 4 semesters.
- Doctoral students who enter a graduate program with a master's degree in the same field may receive a maximum of 8 semesters of support.
- Doctoral students who enter a doctoral program with a bachelor's degree may receive a maximum of 12 semesters of support.
- Some graduate programs have additional limits.
Tuition for Overloads
Except where the graduate program specifically in writing requires students to overload, the tuition scholarship for G2 & G3 graduate students will typically cover only 9 credits. Tuition for G2, G3, and G4 students who wish to take more credits may be required to pay for all credits above the standards stated previously.
Each academic program is authorized to employ a specific number of graduate/teaching Assistants (GA/TAs). These positions are funded by an annual SUNY allocation and all recipients are represented by the Graduate Student Employee Union (GSEU). Each GA/TA position (or "line") includes a base academic-year stipend and may be accompanied by a full tuition scholarship for fall and spring semesters. Base (minimum) stipend levels can vary by discipline but must abide by minimums set in place by GSEU. The academic year stipend is processed in the form of a biweekly paycheck by the Office of Human Resources.
Graduate assistants (GAs) generally complete research and/or provide administrative aid; they may also teach. Teaching assistants (TAs) provide some type of classroom support, either by teaching, leading discussion sections, grading, or preparing classroom materials. Half-time assistantships typically require approximately 10 hours of work per week or a .25 Full Time Equivalent (FTE). Full-time graduate/teaching assistants are expected to invest approximately 20 hours per work week (.50 FTE) on GA/TA employment (for both semester and academic year appointments), it is recommended that the remainder of the their time be spent in making progress toward degree completion. As a result, any additional work assignment by any full-time (20-hour) GA/TA is generally prohibited and would require exceptional circumstances and explicit approval from the Graduate School prior to the commencement of performing any duties.
Any request for permission to work must be accomplished through the Petition for GA/TA Dual Employment and must include the 20-hour GA/TA work schedule, the proposed work schedule of the second assignment, and approval of the GA/TA supervisor. Incomplete forms will not be considered.
All applicants to graduate programs are considered for assistantships. No separate application form is required. To ensure consideration for assistantships, applicants must submit their application by the published application deadline. Application and funding deadlines vary by department. Graduate programs award stipends on a competitive basis, with academic merit the primary criterion, to degree-seeking students.
The graduate program or school to which the applicant is seeking admission makes decisions on the awarding of stipends. The department or school notifies applicants as soon as possible after decisions are made. Assistantships to new and continuing students are made on a competitive basis, normally for a period of one academic year. The program's graduate committee determines the procedures and criteria for new awards as well as for the renewal of awards in subsequent academic years.
For students who receive assistantships, an offer letter will clearly provide the stipend amount, the appointment dates, and other important details about the appointment. To accept a teaching or graduate assistantship, the student must sign and return the terms and conditions paperwork in a timely manner. TA/GA positions cannot be "transferred" if a student opts to transfer to a different graduate program. TAs/GAs have a responsibility to the program that has hired them to fulfill their obligations to the hiring department. In the event of program change, the hiring department has the option of terminating the TA/GA position or of expecting the student to complete all obligations through the end of a given semester. TAs/GAs contemplating a change of program should discuss such considerations openly with their TA/GA supervisor and the program directors for both programs.
GA/TA Title Designations
While designation of the title TA or GA is determined by the graduate program, it should be noted that both titles have implications for the Graduate School as well as the specific graduate program beyond the specific duties assigned. For example, TAs are credited with .250 faculty "full-time equivalency" (FTE); thus, four TAs are the equivalent of one faculty FTE. This affects faculty/student ratio, teaching loads, etc. TA lines need to appear in the course file and the resulting Course and Section Analysis (CASA) report. For this reason, TAs are expected to have teaching responsibilities that equate to 15-20 hours per week, while GAs who also contribute 15-20 hours per week do not normally have any teaching duties and are not entered into the course file.
Appointment of GA/TA Positions
Award of TA/GA positions is merit-based and competitive. Students must have ≥ 3.0 GPA and no outstanding Incompletes (I), Withdrawals (W), or No Credit (NC) courses. Awards can be made to degree-seeking students only. Fast-track/combined/accelerated degree ("3+2" or "4+1") students may not receive University-funded tuition scholarships as part of their appointment.
The GSEU requires that each graduate department post in a public area the specific guidelines governing the selection of recipients of TA/GA positions.
Once decisions are made about which students will receive TA/GA positions, the graduate program sends an offer letter to each individual selected. The decision regarding which students receive TA?GA positions is at the discretion of the graduate program. However, the students must meet the "terms and conditions" stated in the assistantship and tuition scholarships forms. Furthermore, G1 and G2 students should not be assigned as instructor of record, and graduate students should not be teaching assistants for graduate courses. The Graduate School abides by the Council of Graduate Schools resolution stipulating that all offers made to prospective graduate students for the upcoming fall semester must remain valid until April 15 of the current year. No graduate department at Binghamton University should set an earlier deadline for offers to be accepted or denied. Any offers not accepted by April 15 may be rescinded and may be re-offered to other qualified applicants.
The assistantship offer letter normally includes two copies of the Terms and Conditions for GA/TA Employment, the Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of the Tuition Scholarship and the confidentiality statement. To accept the offer, the applicant must sign and return both sets of documents. Once the graduate department has received signed acceptances, it can then appoint the student to the TA/GA payroll and an appointment letter is then sent to the prospective student.
To appoint a TA or GA as an employee, payment must be arranged through the use of the Human Resources Hiring Form. This form should be completed by a trained user. This appointment form requests fairly comprehensive information about each TA/GA, as required by the University's payroll system). In order to provide all information, graduate programs are encouraged to use the Student Information Form available from the Graduate School. It is recommended that this form be sent to prospective TAs/GAs along with their offer letter, so that all information is available at the time of appointment.
In addition, the department/academic unit must submit electronic copies of the offer letter and any future revisions to the Graduate School and Human Resources by emailing them to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.The offer letter is used to certify funds for international students. It is a legal contract between the University and the student, and must be added to the student's electronic record.
Please visit the Human Resources website for more detailed information on TA/GA employment
In addition to Graduate School policies, TA/GA appointments must also comply with the stipulations outlined in the Graduate Student Employees Union contract.
For the 2016-2017 academic year, the minimum stipend that a TA/GA working 20 hours per week can be paid is $9,385 for the academic year ($4,693/semester). TAs/GAs working 10 hours per week must be paid stipends of at least $4,693 for the academic year ($2,346/semester). This contract also stipulates that TA/GA positions cannot be divided into anything less than one-half appointments.
In order to be eligible for insurance benefits, TAs/GAs must be paid a minimum of $4,693 50% FTE per semester or $2,346 25% FTE per semester.
All TAs/GAs who are on the state payroll at the time a raise is negotiated will automatically receive the raise as stipulated by the contract. When these students are reappointed in subsequent years, they may not be paid any amount less than the amount they were earning at the end of the previous academic year unless their title and duties change. Please contact Human Resources prior to making the offer for specifics.
*Article 6.21 in 2009-2016 contract
Dividing GA/TA Lines
Departments may assign more than one student to a given TA/GA line, splitting the line into a fall appointment and a spring appointment. In this case, the two appointees are each expected to maintain a full 15- to 20-hour per week workload during the semester appointed.
Dividing one line among four students (with each working half-time for only one semester) is typically not acceptable.
Supplementing Base Stipend Levels
Graduate programs that wish to increase TA/GA stipend levels may do so through supplemental salary increases paid from departmental resources. Normally these supplemental funds are charged to IFR or department accounts. It is, however, important to understand that any raises that are negotiated while these students are on the payroll will be negotiated based on the total amount the student is receiving. Thus, if a graduate department intends to supplement a graduate student's funding in a future academic year, it must be prepared to increase the supplemented amount by the amount of any negotiated raises.
Example: The base stipend for Department X is $8,100. Department X wishes to pay a particular student $9,000. Department X supplements the student an additional $900. If a GSEU raise of 3% is negotiated, the student's new salary level goes from $9,000 to $9,270. If the department wishes to appoint the student for the next academic year, the student must be paid $9,270.
To supplement a TA/GA's stipend level, complete the TA/GA HR hiring form, providing the base stipend amount in the "Stipend Amount" field. Then, use the comments section to describe the additional amount that is to be added to the base, the total stipend, and the account to which the supplement is to be charged.
As an alternative to supplementing TA/GA salaries, graduate programs can offer merit-based fellowships to graduate students. These fellowships can be provided at any funding level and are normally paid to the student in two lump sums. Fellowships can be paid to all full-time matriculated graduate students, whether or not they are also awarded a TA/GA position. Fellowships are not subjected to GSEU-mandated raises.
TA/GA Insurance Benefits
As members of the Graduate Student Employees Union, TAs and GAs are entitled to participate in a health insurance plan. However, enrollment is not automatic; eligible students must enroll for the plan using a form available from Employee Benefits in the Office of Human Resources in Couper Administration Building 244.
Visit the Human Resources website for more detailed information.
I-9s and Other Payroll Forms
Students cannot be placed on the payroll (or issued payroll checks) until they have completed a federal I-9 form
All graduate students working on campus must complete a federal I-9 Form. U.S. citizens must show two forms of identification (e.g., birth certificate, driver's license with photo, passport). International students must show current passports and visas. This must be done in person. Since the typical lag time from appointment of a TA/GA to first paycheck is nearly one month, the University encourages departments to emphasize the importance of the I-9 form to all of its prospective new TAs/GAs. The I-9 form must be recertified any time there is a break in service (including summers). Returning TAs/GAs who have an I-9 on file with the Human Resources Office will simply need to have the I-9 recertified; this can be done without student coming again to the office if the documents used to complete the original I-9 have not yet expired. However, international students must be present their original documents for recertification.
TAs and GAs must present identification and submit their I-9 forms to the Human Resources Office prior to beginning their assistantship duties. For more information, call the Payroll Office at 777-2122.
RPAs employed by the Research Foundation should present identification and submit their I-9 forms to the Research Foundation's Personnel/Payroll Office (AD 208).
GA/TA Registration and Performance Requirements
Graduate students supported by University funding are required to be registered full-time in a graduate degree program. To be registered full-time, Level 1 (first-year master's) students must register for 12 graduate credits. Level 2 (second-year master's) students, and Level 3 and 4 (doctoral) students must register for 9 graduate credits. Registration must be completed before the first day of classes each semester. Continuing students must register in advance. Students must not have a grade of Withdrawn or No Credit that causes registration to drop below full-time in a semester when University funding was received. Students should not have Incomplete grades.
Assistantship awards are merit-based. Students must be making satisfactory progress toward degree completion. Recipients of University funding must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0. A GPA of less than 3.0 results in probation; students on probation are not eligible to receive University funding. In addition, a GPA below 3.0 may also result in loss of this award.
GA/TA Employment Requirements
Recipients of TAs/GAs are assigned duties in support of teaching or research. These responsibilities normally require, on average, between 15 and 20 hours per week. The specific duties of the assignment may be outlined by the graduate program but must fit within the more general University-defined GA/TA position definitions.
TAs/GAs are committed on a full-time basis, dividing their time between their assistantship duties and the pursuit of a graduate degree. Recipients of TAs/GAs may not simultaneously hold other appointments in the university, regardless of the source or amount of funding. In exceptional circumstances, a student may request to take on a minimal additional responsibility that will require no more than five hours of service weekly for a limited number of weeks. Such requests must be approved by the Graduate School. If approved, payment is from departmental funds paid through the extra service mechanism. Please note, for any work being done outside of the primary TA/GA department, a Petition for Approval of TA/GA Dual Employment is required to verify that the additional duties will not interfere with degree progress and must be signed by the director of the graduate program. In addition, for all on campus extra service requests, Human Resources requires the extra service funding department to complete an extra service request form, as well as a Pay Extra Service HR Form to process payment. Both forms can be found on the Human Resources website.
Renewal/Continuation of GA/TA Awards
Awards are renewed on a merit and competitive basis and are granted for a maximum of two semesters at a time. Renewal or continuation of assistantship awards for second and subsequent semesters will be contingent on availability of funds and operational needs as well as on satisfactory performance of assistantship duties and satisfactory academic progress. Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 and not have outstanding Incompletes or Withdrawals while funded by the University. A lower GPA will result in probation. Students on probation are not eligible to receive renewed or new offers of funding. Eligibility for university funding is also limited by department policy.
Termination of GA/TA Appointment
If it is necessary to terminate a TA/GA appointment if a student fails to meet the registration and performance requirements after the student has accepted the terms and conditions of the TA/GA contract, it is the graduate program's responsibility to cease all funding and notify the other relevant offices (International Student and Scholar Services, the Graduate School, Human Resources, the Research Foundation, etc.). To officially terminate employment for a TA/GA before the end of their TA/GA contract, please submit an HR separation form.
When a GA/TA position is vacated, the graduate program may decide to refill the position for the rest of the semester, as long as the termination date and beginning date for the new GA/TA do not overlap (thus avoiding paying two students on the same line at the same time). The new GA/TA is entitled to all stipend dollars not paid to the original GA/TA.
Typically, only one tuition scholarship per semester per GA/TA line (position) is provided. Thus, when a GA/TA position is terminated, the graduate program may decide whether to allow the original GA/TA to maintain the tuition scholarship for the remainder of the existing semester or to transfer the tuition scholarship to the replacement. If a GA/TA's tuition scholarship is terminated, the student will be held responsible for repayment of the tuition scholarship. Note, however, that this assumes that the GA/TA registered and attended classes; no tuition indebtedness occurs if a student does not register.
Taxation of Stipends
Since the 1986 revisions to the tax laws, stipends for assistantships (GA/TA/RPA) and fellowships are considered taxable, although academic expenses may be deducted from fellowship awards. Graduate students receiving assistantship stipends must file a federal W-4 Form and similar NYS form in the University's Human Resources Office (if TA or GA) or the Research Foundation's Personnel/Payroll Office (if RPA) before employment begins. Unless other arrangements are explicitly made, withholding tax is deducted from all graduate, teaching, and research assistantships. Withholding tax is not deducted from fellowship awards, but fellowships are taxable, and recipients should consult with tax advisors.
Graduate Student Employees Union
Graduate students who are awarded state-funded teaching or graduate assistantships and who hold titles of TA (Teaching Assistant) or GA (Graduate Assistant) belong to the bargaining unit represented by the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU). Only students in these two categories are in the bargaining unit. Others--including graduate students on fellowships, externally funded internships, research project assistantships (RPAs), and interns --are not represented by a union.
Unit-Funded Teaching/Graduate Assistantships
Academic departments and administrative offices across campus may use a variety of sources (e.g., department or IFR funds) to appoint a graduate student as a Teaching and/or Graduate Assistantship (GA/TA), provided the assistantship duties fall within the University's description for such positions. Assuming minimal stipend standards are met (see "Salary Standards" below), students appointed as a GA/TA may be eligible for tuition scholarships for the term of appointment. These GA/TAs will be members of the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU) and will be eligible for GSEU health benefits, reduced parking rates, and other GSEU benefits.
Both Teaching and Graduate Assistants must be admitted as a degree student to a Binghamton University graduate program. Assistants must be registered full time and must be in good academic standing (with a GPA of 3.0 or better) throughout the period of employment. Appointees must also read and sign the Terms and Conditions for GA/TA Employment and confidentiality statement, which provides the complete requirements for employment.
Departments/administrative offices that wish to support a GA/TA must also be willing to comply with the salary standards set forth below (which comply with the GSEU contract). In addition, if a department/administrative unit wishes to continue the appointment of a specific student in future academic years, the department must be willing to provide support for all GSEU negotiated increases. (Historically such increases have been negotiated at approximately 3% to 3.5% annually.
Teaching Assistant (TA): The primary focus of a Teaching Assistant (TA) is on classroom teaching. The TA will normally be:
- the instructor of record for one or more specific classes, or responsible for conducting laboratory or discussion sessions for one or more specific classes, or
- responsible for assisting the instructor of record in a large lecture class or a class that involves both lecture and discussion/laboratory sections
Depending on the program, TAs may also be asked to:
- assist faculty in classroom preparations and presentations,
- grade classroom assignments,
- provide individual student lessons,
- hold office hours to assist students in the class(es) to which the TA is assigned,
- assist in preparing tests and other class materials,
- conduct laboratory exercises.
Graduate Assistant (GA): The Graduate Assistant (GA) normally provides assistance to a graduate program or to faculty within the program. GAs are not normally assigned to a specific course. The GA may be responsible for any or all of the following tasks:
- hold office hours to assist and/or advise undergraduate students in the discipline,
- oversee general/public labs not related to a specific class,
- provide faculty with support in preparing publications,
- support faculty research efforts.
GA/TAs supported by departments/administrative units will be expected to work the standard 15-20 hours expected of all other GA/TAs in academic programs. If fewer hours are required, students may be appointed as a half-time GA/TA. Graduate students are not normally permitted to work more than 20 hours/week during the academic year. In exceptional cases, GA/TAs may be paid extra funds through the Extra Service payment option. However, Extra Service should be used only for short-term extra duty; Extra Service cannot be used as a means of increasing the regular work week by more than 20 hours. Students receiving a tuition scholarship may not receive extra pay for extra work without prior approval of Graduate Director.
In order to be eligible for a full (100%) tuition scholarship, Teaching and/or Graduate Assistants supported by departments/administrative units must be appointed as full time and be paid at or above the minimum salary requirements as outlined previously under "Stipend Amounts."
Half-time appointments are eligible for a 50% tuition scholarship.
Appointing a Unit-Funded GA/TA
Once a suitable graduate student is selected for the GA/TA position, please refer to the "Appointment of GA/TA Positions" section and follow the instructions outlined.
Research Project Assistantships (RPAs)
Grant funding can provide support for Research Project Assistants (RPAs). RPAs are normally provided an academic-year (ten-month) stipend with the amount determined by the grant Principal Investigator. RPAs may be eligible for a tuition scholarship. RPAs work approximately 15-20 hours/week on research.
RPAs are selected by the graduate program using the same criterion as is used for selecting GA/TAs. To be eligible, the student must meet the basic criteria for GA/TA appointment, including full-time registration in a degree program and GPA equal to or greater than a 3.0.
Graduate students supported by grant and contract monies that flow through the Research Foundation may be eligible for a full tuition scholarship provided that the students' academic achievement, and stipend level, meet the minimum standards and the grant or contract PI has complied with the Tuition Scholarship Reimbursement Policy for Grants and Contracts. All tuition scholarships paid to graduate Research Project Assistants (RPAs) are paid via the appointing department's tuition scholarship allocation which is assigned by the Dean's office of each school. Tuition scholarships are merit-based and competitive. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better, have no outstanding incompletes, no grades of withdrawal, or No Credit (NC) grades, while supported by a tuition scholarship, as well as maintaining good academic standing, and making good progress toward the degree.
Appointment of the Tuition Scholarships for RPAs
In order to be eligible for tuition scholarship, RPAs must be paid stipends of at least $9,385/academic year for 20 hours of work service (or $4,693 per semester). RPAs working 10 hours a week must be paid minimum stipends of $4,693/academic year (or $2,346 per semester). RPA stipend levels should be equivalent to or greater than the standard GATA stipend levels of each discipline.
Arrangement for the RPA stipend must be made through the Research Foundation Personnel/Payroll Office. It is the responsibility of the grant PI or graduate program to complete all necessary RF appointment paperwork in order to assure that the student is place on the RF payroll. Please contact the RF Personnel/Payroll Office (777-4264) for questions concerning direct deposit, income tax withholding, and I-9 requirements.
Termination of RPA Appointments
When it is necessary to terminate an RPA position, it is important that the student's departmental dean's office be notified immediately so that the tuition scholarship may also be terminated.
If an RPA has held the RPA position for at least the first 9 weeks of the semester, the PI may decide whether or not to allow the student to maintain the tuition scholarship for that semester. In the event that the tuition scholarship is continued for the existing semester, the PI or graduate program may not assign a tuition scholarship to the replacement.
A variety of merit-based fellowship opportunities exist for graduate students at Binghamton University. Fellowship recipients are paid a monthly stipend that varies depending on the type of fellowship. Fellows may be eligible for a tuition scholarship. Normally fellows are expected to be in residence during the fellowship; but travel for the work of the fellowship is permissible. If the fellow will be off campus for more than a month of the fellowship, a written plan and schedule of work should be discussed with the faculty advisor, and the plan should be approved by and filed with the Graduate Director.
Depending on availability of funds, some dissertation fellowships (DF) are offered each year to outstanding doctoral students who have been advanced to candidacy and who show exceptional merit. DF fellowships are offered for one or two semesters (and are not renewable). DFs provide each recipient with a stipend equal to the base GA/TA stipend for the recipient's program. Including the DF time, recipients must not exceed the maximum number of years of funding; 12 semesters if entered with BA/BS, 8 semesters if entered with MA/MS.
Recipients of a dissertation fellowship must have ≥3.0 GPA, no outstanding Incompletes, no Withdrawals, and no NC grades (No Credit). Students must have good academic standing and be making satisfactory progress toward degree.
Provost's Doctoral Fellowship Summer Program
Some doctoral programs receive an allocation of Provost's Summer Fellowships to use in recruiting the strongest applicants to their doctoral programs
The fellowship program is funded in partnership between the Provost's Office and the
school or doctoral program. The Provost's Office will provide $3,000 for each fellowship;
the program or school will provided $1,000. The Provost's Summer Fellowship of $4,000
is offered on top of other funding, including any other summer funding offered to
all funded graduate students; it does not replace department or program summer funds,
but supplements them.
As long as the student makes good progress toward the PhD degree, the award will provide a summer fellowship of $4,000 per year for four years beginning in the summer between the first and second academic years; each summer, the academic program will provide $1,000 of this amount. Please ensure that the fellow completes the degree within the fellowship period (4 years) and receives good mentoring, professional development, and appropriate counseling about the job market.
To arrange for the award distribution for an approved Provost's Doctoral Fellow, the graduate program must complete the online Provost's Doctoral Summer Fellowship & Enhancement Appointment Form submitted via GradLink.
Binghamton Foundation Fellowships
A number of miscellaneous fellowships are made available through charitable gifts solicited by the Binghamton Foundation. Application and selection procedures vary depending on the type of award. Contact the Binghamton Foundation (777-2011) for more information on graduate fellowship opportunities. The Graduate School normally provides a tuition scholarship for such fellowships provided they meet minimum funding guidelines. Normally a full (100%) tuition scholarship is provided for fellowships of at least $8,100/academic year; a half (50%) tuition scholarship is provided for fellowships paid at a rate of at least $4,122/academic year.
Dr. Bhagwan Gajwani Fellowship
The Dr. Bhagwan Gajwani Fellowship is awarded to a new applicant to Binghamton University who has received a degree from the MS University of Baroda in India. The fellowship provides the recipient with an annual stipend for the first year. Selection is made by a committee selected by the Graduate School. For full details visit the Dr. Bhagwan Gajwani Fellowship section of the Graduate School website.
Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowship for Graduate Students
Binghamton University is committed to supporting all students. One means is through the Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowship for Graduate Students, named for a former president of the university (1975-1990), and funded by the State University of New York and an endowment fund. Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowships are merit-based and designed to recruit and support students who have been admitted to graduate study and contribute to the diversity of the student body. The funding package includes academic year stipends, full tuition scholarships, guaranteed award periods, research and travel opportunities, and other benefits. For full details visit the Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowship for Graduate Students section of the Graduate School website.
Appointment of Fellowships
Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellows and Gajwani Fellows are selected and appointed directly by the Graduate School. Other fellowships are handled differently, depending on the individual fellowship. The custodian for all fellowships awarded through the Binghamton Foundation will receive a packet of materials that provides guidance on how to arrange for payment of the stipend. Questions can also be directed to the Graduate School.
Tuition Scholarships for Fellows
The Graduate School normally provides a tuition scholarship for fellowships provided they meet minimum funding guidelines. Normally a full (100%) tuition scholarship is provided for fellowships of at least $8,100/academic year; a half (50%) tuition scholarship is provided for fellowships paid at a rate of at least $4,122/academic year. Permission to appoint a tuition scholarship must be obtained from the Assistant Dean of the Graduate School. Recipients must have ≥3.0 GPA, no outstanding Incompletes, no Withdrawals, no grade of NC (No Credit), good academic standing and be making satisfactory progress toward degree.
To appoint a tuition scholarship for a fellow, complete the "Appoint a Fellow, ORC or Other with Tuition" form, submitted via GradLink.
Expectations and Limitations for Fellows
Fellows receiving tuition scholarships are required to abide by the Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of the Tuition Scholarship. In addition, fellows are expected to devote themselves full-time to the pursuit of their graduate degrees. Fellows are not permitted to hold other positions.
Fellowship recipients are not covered under the GSEU bargaining unit, and no insurance benefits are provided to fellows. Fellowship recipients are encouraged to purchase the University's student health plan through the Student Accounts Office. Fellows who are paid stipends through the Research Foundation may also purchase the Research Foundation's insurance plan at full cost.
Taxation of Fellowship Stipends
Although withholding tax is not deducted from fellowship stipends, they are considered taxable income and must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Academic expenses (such as books and fees) may, however, be tax deductible by individuals.
Student Assistant Employment
Another methodology to hire and pay students at the University is by virtue of the temporary service student payroll, as a student assistant employee. In order to be eligible for this employment, the student must be an enrolled student at the University (or another SUNY unit if a summer hire). It is recommended that a student assistant employee not work in excess of 20 hours per work week during the academic year, nor exceed the maximum hourly wage of $19.39 per hour. Student assistant employees in good academic standing may work up to 29 hours per work week. The 29 hours per work week limit applies at all times, including when classes are not in session and summer. The hourly rate paid to these student employees should conform to the range of acceptable hourly wages in place by virtue of state and federal regulations.
Federal College Work Study Employment
The major objective of the Federal College Work Study program is to provide eligible students with an opportunity to secure financial assistance by placing them in positions they are qualified to fill at the University. The money they earn must fit within the federal grant allocations made by the Office of Financial Aid and Student Records on campus. Cooperation from all parties involved in requesting, assigning and supervising work-study students not only meets the objectives of that program but also reduces the amount spent in temporary service payments for student employees. In addition, the employment experience is often an important way that students learn skills later applied in the workplace. Students must meet certain financial aid requirements to be employed within this program and when approved, are generally given a set dollar allocation or award (maximum hourly rate they may earn is $19.39 per hour).This represents the maximum amount of money the student may earn for their period of eligibility. Within this, departments may hire Federal College Work Study student employees to accomplish a range of work within their areas. The Office of Financial Aid and Student Records, the department that the student is employed with, as well as the Office of Human Resources are responsible for assuring that students do not exceed their allotted work study awards. Additionally, the departments are allocated an annual budget for Federal College Work Study expenditures and are responsible for assuring they do not go over that budget throughout each budget year.
This program is open only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States. To apply, file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application and the Graduate School's Work Study application.
Federal College Work Study participants earn an hourly wage and can work up to 20 hours per week. Recipients must have ≥3.0 GPA, no outstanding Incompletes (I), no Withdrawals (W), no grade of NC (No Credit), and be making satisfactory progress toward their degree.
What is a G1 Student?
- Any student in a program code that grants only master's degrees.
- Any student in a doctoral granting program who has not yet completed 24 credit hours in residence.
What is a G2 Student?
- Any second-year student who does not yet hold a master's degree but has completed 24 credit hours in residence.
What is a G3 Student?
- Any student in a doctoral granting program who has completed the requirements for the master's degree and has begun to complete doctoral coursework.
What is a G4 Student?
- Any doctoral student who has been officially advanced to candidacy (ABD)
Full-Time Registration Requirements for Funded Students
- G1 funded students must always register for 12 credits to be considered full time.
- G2, G3, and G4 funded students must always register for 9 credits to be considered full time.
Overload Policy for Funded Students
Students receiving tuition scholarships are expected to register full time. Because G1 students must take 12 credits (the maximum chargeable tuition amount), they may overload at no additional cost; thus, there are no special requirements for G1 students.
G2, G3, and G4 Students
G2, G3, and G4 students are considered full time at 9 credits. Thus, taking more than 9 credit hours constitutes an overload for funded students. G2, G3, & G4 students who register for more than 9 credit hours will be billed for all credits above 9, unless an overload is approved by the graduate program. Overloads will be approved only when it is demonstrated that the additional credit hours are applicable to the degree program requirements and are essential for completion of the degree in a timely manner.
Payment of Fees for ABD Students
Funded students who qualify as ABD (officially all-but-dissertation) and "CC" (coursework completed) may register for only 1 credit and use the "Full-Time Work Toward Degree Form" in order to maintain full-time status. Funded ABD and CC students may take other courses (e.g., regular courses, seminars, independent study, any other non-thesis or non-dissertation research courses) but are required to pay fees for any such courses. The "one-credit-fee for up to 9 thesis/dissertation credits" policy does not apply to self-funded students.
In order to qualify, students must meet all of the following qualifications:
- Must qualify as an ABD or CC student.
- Must be receiving a full (100%) tuition scholarship.
- Must be a G2, G3, and G4 student registered for 9 credits.
Federal Financial Aid
Aid for Degree Students
U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States who are enrolled in degree-granting programs at Binghamton University may be eligible for federal aid administered by Financial Aid Services (Student Wing Rm 119). To be considered for financial aid, a Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) must be filed by April 1 for the fall semester or November 1 for the spring semester.
Graduate students can receive up to $20,500 in a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and additional aid from the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan.
Complete information about grants, loans, and employment, including the Federal College Work-Study program and the University's Job Opportunity Program are available from the Financial Aid Services Office.
Aid for Non-Degree Students
Non-degree graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may apply for financial aid for up to one year, provided that they take at least six credits per semester and can verify that the courses they take would be applicable to a graduate degree at Binghamton University.
To apply for non-degree aid, students must obtain a financial aid form for non-degree students (available from the Office of Financial Aid and Student Records) and have the form signed by the appropriate director of graduate studies and a representative of the Graduate School. The director of graduate studies who signs this form attests that the courses chosen will apply toward a graduate degree in the program.
Help With External Funding
Binghamton University is a member of COS. This allows all students, faculty, and staff access to COS's searchable database of grant and fellowship opportunities by logging on from a University server or proxy server at http://www.cos.com/. COS provides information on funding in all disciplines and features several features such as user profiles and funding alerts. The Technology Training Center (TTC) will provide workshops in searching COS and getting the most out of this service. For more information on TTC workshops, see http://training.binghamton.edu.
Graduate Tuition Opportunity Program
The Graduate Tuition Opportunity Program (GTOP) pays partial tuition for qualified minority students. Former EOP or SEEK or HEOP students may qualify for tuition scholarships through this program. For more information or to apply, contact the Graduate School. Download a copy of the Graduate Tuition Opportunity Program application.
For information about subsidized and unsubsidized loans, visit the Office of Financial Aid and Student Records website.
Taxation of Stipends
Since the 1986 revisions to the tax laws, stipends for assistantships and fellowships are considered taxable, although academic expenses may be deducted from fellowship awards. Graduate students receiving assistantship stipends must file a federal W-4 Form and similar NYS form in the University's Human Resources Office or the Research Foundation's Personnel/Payroll Office before employment begins. Unless other arrangements are explicitly made, withholding tax is deducted from all graduate, teaching, and research assistantships. Withholding tax is not deducted from fellowship awards, but fellowships are taxable, and recipients should consult with tax advisors.
Graduate Student Employees Union
Graduate students who are awarded state-funded teaching or graduate assistantships and who hold titles of TA (Teaching Assistant) or GA (Graduate Assistant) belong to the bargaining unit represented by the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU). Only students in these two categories are in the bargaining unit; others--including students on external or internal fellowships, research project assistants (RPAs), and interns--are not represented by a union.
Tuition scholarships and stipends do not cover fees.
All required fees must be paid by the beginning of semester. Advanced students who have completed all required coursework or who are officially all-but-dissertation (ABD) may be eligible for reduced fees.