Tuition Policy

Tuition remission for salaried RAs should be budgeted and spent in proportion to their effort on sponsored projects.

Graduate students may be supported in a variety of ways: on fellowship stipends, on salaried employment appointments as Research Assistants (RAs) or Teaching Fellows (TFs) (paid under object code 6140), or in hourly research positions  (paid under object code 6110).  Each appointment is treated slightly differently in the proposal budget and has slightly different post-award implications.  Remember that tuition remission is exempt from overhead and falls under Other Direct Costs.

Salaried RAs:

  • RA compensation is in exchange for work performed, and, for salaried RAs paid under object code 6140, may take the form of salary and tuition remission. The percentage tuition remission budgeted should match effort percentages calculated from the student's salary distributions.  These percentages of effort must be certified on a quarterly basis. 

TFs supplementing their salary with a RA position:
Ideally, departments (as opposed to grants) pay tuition for TFs while they are teaching. If a TF chooses to supplement their salary with sponsored research effort, the following rules apply:

  • IF a TF has a simultaneous RA appointment to supplement a TF salary AND if tuition remission is paid as part of RA compensation, tuition remission must ALSO be provided as part of the TF appointment in the same ratio as the RA and TF salaries.  The remainder of tuition paid by the department is referred to as "tuition support" rather than tuition remission.

    Therefore, if a student with a TF appointment is being budgeted as a salaried RA with tuition remission on the grant,  the budget preparer should ensure that funds are available for tuition support in the department funding the TF appointment.

  • If the TF appointment pays the student's entire salary, a faculty grant may not be used to pay tuition remission.


  • A "Stipend" is money paid to the student for living expenses as part of a scholarship or fellowship, not in exchange for work performed.
  • Supplemental salary may be provided from a grant (but a federal grant cannot be used to supplement a federal stipend).
  • Tuition remission may be paid from the grant as well, but only if some amount of RA salary is also paid from the same source. All compensation charged to federal research awards, whether it is paid as salaries and wages or as tuition remission, is subject to effort reporting.  In order to meet this requirement without including tuition remission payments explicitly on salary certification forms, the allocation of tuition remission costs on research awards must match the distribution of work effort as reported through salary charges.

OSP Tuition Policy
For information on University policy with regard to tuition