Principles and Policies for the Allocation and Award of Graduate Tuition Scholarships
Graduate Tuition Scholarships (GTS) are awarded to individuals in recognition of their status as students at the post-baccalaureate level. Tuition scholarships carry no work obligation and cannot be used as compensation for work of any kind.
GTS allocations to academic and administrative units at UB, should not exceed, in total, the GTS allocation that UB receives from the state (SUNY).
The highest priority use of our GTS allocation should be to provide tuition scholarships to those post-baccalaureate students who are concurrently employed at UB in the payroll titles of teaching, graduate or research (project) assistants and who meet the institution’s eligibility guidelines (e.g., time and credit hour limits, etc.) for the receipt of a tuition scholarship.
Units receiving a state GTS allocation will be responsible for the amount of any over-expenditure of their GTS allocation on an annual basis. The Office of the Provost will recover over-expenditures after the actual GTS expenditures by unit have been calculated for the fiscal year.
As the beneficiaries (financial and otherwise) of achieving their graduate enrollment targets, academic units should be responsible for funding any tuition scholarships that they award, to otherwise unsupported students for the purpose of enrollment stimulation.
Undergraduate students and UB employees, other than TAs, GAs and RAs, should not receive tuition scholarships from UB’s GTS allocation.
Institutional Policies and Related Guidelines:
Teaching, graduate or research assistants must be matriculated post-baccalaureate students who are able to devote their full attention to their graduate program. Every graduate student holding an assistantship, must be in good standing in a degree-granting program and must maintain full-time or certified full-time registration status throughout the period of the assistantship.
Graduate students must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours during each fall and spring semester (a minimum of nine credit hours if the student concurrently holds a teaching, graduate or research assistantship) or have “certified full-time status” from the Graduate School in order to be considered full-time students by certain outside agencies/organizations (e.g., lending institutions, health insurance carriers, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, etc.).
Only those TAs, GAs and RAs paid on a bi-weekly stipend basis (as opposed to an hourly paid basis) are eligible to receive tuition scholarships concurrent with their assistantships.
Tuition scholarships awarded to students holding less than full assistantships should be in an amount proportional to the assistantship.
Tuition scholarships may be used only to address tuition costs incurred during the regular academic year (i.e., the fall and spring semesters). Tuition scholarships may not be used to offset summer session tuition costs or any fees or charges other than the tuition.
Tuition scholarships may not be used to offset the tuition costs associated with any course that will not be applied to a student’s graduate degree program (e.g., undergraduate courses not approved for graduate credit; courses taken to fulfill only graduate or professional advanced certificate program requirements; English Language Institute (ELI) courses with the exception of ESL 512, Communication for Foreign TAs).
Tuition scholarships are normally awarded for one semester or academic year at a time and are renewable subject to institutional time and credit hour limits, available funding and a student’s satisfactory academic progress.
Non-residents who are eligible to do so (e.g., domestic out-of-state students, etc.) and who are awarded graduate tuition scholarships, should pursue in-state residency status as soon as possible. In cases where students do not comply with this expectation and have no valid reason for not doing so, units may limit the tuition scholarship amount to the in-state rate, in subsequent semesters.
Graduate Tuition Scholarships are limited in time, to four semesters for students enrolled in a master’s degree program. Students enrolled in a doctoral degree program are eligible to receive tuition scholarship support for a maximum of eight semesters, including any semesters of such support while enrolled in a master’s program.
A student my not receive tuition scholarship support for credits in excess of the minimum required for his/her degree program. Although there are variations among graduate programs in terms of minimum required credit hours, normally this limit represents a total of 72 hours for a PhD program. Transfer credits that are applied to an individual student’s degree program, will be deducted from the normal credit hour limit that otherwise applies.
Students may petition for extension of the normal time and credit hour limits for tuition scholarship support. However, if approved for a given semester, such an extension will normally provide for only one credit hour of tuition support. This extension does not guarantee additional tuition scholarship funding to the unit.
Credit hour limits do not represent entitlements to tuition scholarship support for that number of credit hours. Instead, these limits refer to the total number of credit hours applied to the degree, regardless of whether those credit hours consist of transfer credits, unsupported credit hours, credits underwritten by tuition scholarships, credits supported from other sources or any combination thereof.
Tuition scholarships will not be awarded for pursuit of multiple degrees at the same level, serially or concurrently (e.g., a second master’s degree from UB), or for pursuit of a master’s degree at UB when a student is currently or has previously been, enrolled in a doctoral program at UB with tuition scholarship support.
Administrative (non-academic) units may not award graduate tuition scholarships to otherwise unsupported graduate students.
Since many administrative (non-academic) units do not have access to the academic records and past funding histories of individual graduate students to ensure compliance with applicable institutional policies and funding limits, administrative units are encouraged to verify the eligibility of individual students with the Graduate School, prior to making a tuition scholarship award.
Individual exceptions to the institutional time and/or credit hour limits (only) for graduate tuition scholarships, must be approved by the cognizant dean, vice president or vice provost. Additional approval by the Graduate School is required in all cases involving students supported through administrative (non-decanal) units. These exceptions do not guarantee additional tuition scholarship funding to the unit.
Office of the Provost, University at Buffalo, September 2004