Guidelines for Graduate Tuition Fellowships

* These guidelines are for graduate assistants whose appointments begin during or after the Fall 2013 semester. Graduate assistants whose appointments began before Fall 2013 should proceed to the next section with the heading Guidelines (for GAs beginning before Fall 2013).

As a demonstration of its commitment to graduate education and to the critical role that graduate assistants play in supporting the university's research, teaching, and outreach missions, Auburn University provides Graduate Tuition Fellowships to its graduate assistants who meet or exceed specific requirements. The fellowships are administered through the Graduate School. There is no application process associated with this program. All contact and any questions concerning availability of assistantships should be directed to specific academic departments or the deans' offices of the respective academic colleges or schools. Questions pertaining to the Graduate Tuition Fellowship Program that are not answered fully by the material below or by the FAQs should contact the Graduate School.

The Policy

Students with a qualifying assistantship1 appointment of 0.33 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) or higher will automatically receive a Graduate Tuition Fellowship that pays resident and non-resident tuition and the student services fee (no more than 15 attempted hours per semester) for all attempted hours2 each semester during which the qualifying assistantship is held until a maximum level of support has been received. Students with a qualifying assistantship appointment of 0.25-0.32 FTE will receive tuition support totaling 50% of in-state tuition rates. University funded in-state tuition support will be limited to 110% of the number of hours required for a graduate degree. Exceptions to this limit can be provided with documentation of the academic need and demonstration of good stewardship of the support already provided, with the approval of the graduate dean. Students may keep up with the amount of support available to them by logging onto the Graduate Tuition Fellowship System (GTUFS) on AU Access. This online system is useful to graduate assistants for keeping a record of the support used and remaining. Students are charged a Graduate Assistant Enrollment fee3 each semester in which their fellowship is used.

  1. An assistantship is qualified for a full Graduate Tuition Fellowship regardless of the type (teaching, research or other) under the following conditions:
    1. The Fellow has a minimum appointment of .33 FTE (i.e., at least 13.2 hours per week).
    2. The Fellow is in the assistantship for the full semester (no later than the 8th class day [5th class day in Summer semester], through the last day of classes).
    3. The Fellow receives an assistantship stipend greater than or equal to the minimum set by the Provost ($808/month for academic year 2016-17).
    4. The Fellow is a degree-seeking student (although provisionally accepted students are eligible for their first semester).
    5. The Fellow is in good academic standing (cumulative graduate GPA of at least 3.0). Students on academic probation lose the benefit of the full tuition waiver.  Non-resident students on probation retain the out-of-state waiver, but both non-resident and resident students on probation lose the resident tuition waiver and must pay tuition at the in-state rate.  When the student is again in good academic standing, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, the full tuition waiver will again be awarded.
    6. The Fellow is registered for at least 1 hour, but not more than 15 hours, of course work. 
  2. Attempted hours are defined as any hours for which the university charges tuition or fees, regardless of level (undergraduate versus graduate) or grade type (graded, pass/fail, or ungraded). The fellowship, however, does NOT pay for distance education courses or any of their related fees.
  3. The Graduate Assistant Enrollment fee is $563 per semester for the 2016-17 academic year.

When the support available to students through the tuition fellowship program is exhausted, they will continue to receive a waiver for the non-resident portion of tuition as long as they maintain their assistantship.

Graduate assistants who have received a 0.33 FTE or higher assistantship for two semesters of a given academic year and are not on assistantship for the third semester will receive tuition support during that corresponding third semester.

Examples

A doctoral student continuously supported with a qualifying assistantship is in a program that requires a minimum of 65 hours to complete. The maximum Graduate Tuition Fellowship support available to this student is 110% of 65 hours, which is 71.5 hours. If the student has not completed the degree in 72 supported hours and he/she retains an assistantship, tuition and fees will be charged at in-state rates thereafter. 

A master's or specialist degree student continuously supported with a qualifying assistantship is in a program that requires a minimum of 33 hours. The maximum Graduate Tuition Fellowship support available is 110% of 33 hours, which is 36.3 hours. After 36 supported hours, tuition and fees are charged to students holding a qualifying assistantship at in-state rates. 

Limitations

Distance education: The Graduate Tuition Fellowship does NOT pay for courses for which a distance education fee is charged.  

Number of degrees: Tuition support will be provided for one of the following:

  • One master's degree or recognized dual-degree master's program;
  • One PhD degree; or
  • One master's degree plus one PhD degree within the same or a complementary field.

Number of semesters: Students must be enrolled each semester they receive the tuition fellowship, but they are not required to be enrolled full-time. No student will receive more than 12 semesters of support while remaining a master's student, even if they have taken less than the maximum number of hours for which they are eligible, given their degree program. Likewise, no doctoral student will receive more than 24 semesters of support (inclusive of master's study supported at Auburn).

Students Supported on Extra-Mural Fellowships

A number of departments have students supported on extra-mural fellowships that perform duties as a requirement of their degree programs that are equivalent to the duties performed by graduate research assistants. Their work contributes directly to the performance of research in the laboratory in which they are assigned and to the overall University research mission. As such, it is University policy to treat such fellowships as the equivalent of graduate research assistantships for the purposes of the Graduate Tuition Fellowship Program.

However, these students are not automatically included for the program. Therefore, each Semester, each department with such fellowships should supply the list of fellows to the Graduate School so that they may receive the Graduate Tuition Fellowship.

Review the 2013 Fellowship Policy for more information about the policy changes effective Fall 2013.

* These guidelines are for graduate assistants whose appointments began before the Fall 2013 semester. Graduate assistants whose appointments begin during Fall 2013 or later should use the previous section with the title Guidelines (for GAs beginning Fall 2013 or later).

As a demonstration of its commitment to graduate education and to the critical role that graduate assistants play in supporting the university's research, teaching, and outreach missions, Auburn University provides Graduate Tuition Fellowships to its graduate assistants who meet or exceed specific requirements. The fellowships are administered through the Graduate School. There is no application process associated with this program. All contact and any questions concerning availability of assistantships should be directed to specific academic departments or the deans' offices of the respective academic colleges or schools. Questions pertaining to the Graduate Tuition Fellowship Program that are not answered fully by the material below or by the FAQs should contact the Graduate School.

The Policy

Students with a qualifying assistantship1 will automatically receive a Graduate Tuition Fellowship that pays resident and non-resident tuition and the student services fee (no more than 15 attempted hours per semester) for all attempted hours2 each semester during which the qualifying assistantship is held until a maximum level of support has been received. This maximum is directly linked to the minimum number of hours required by the curriculum in which the student is enrolled. For master’s and specialist students on assistantship, the maximum tuition fellowship support available is the minimum program3 plus 10 hours and for doctoral degrees, the maximum amount of support from the tuition fellowship is the minimum program plus 20 hours. Students are charged a Graduate Assistant Enrollment fee4 each semester in which their fellowship is used.

  1. An assistantship is qualified for the Graduate Tuition Fellowship regardless of the type (teaching, research or other) under the following conditions:
    1. The Fellow has a minimum appointment of .25 FTE (i.e., at least 10 hours per week).
    2. The Fellow is in the assistantship for the full semester (no later than the 8th class day [5th class day in Summer semester], through the last day of classes).
    3. The Fellow receives an assistantship stipend greater than or equal to the minimum set by the Provost ($612/month for academic year 2016-17).
    4. The Fellow is a degree-seeking student (although provisionally accepted students are eligible for their first semester).
    5. The Fellow is in good academic standing (cumulative graduate GPA of at least 3.0). Students on academic probation lose the benefit of the full tuition waiver.  Non-resident students on probation retain the out-of-state waiver, but both non-resident and resident students on probation lose the resident tuition waiver and must pay tuition at the in-state rate.  When the student is again in good academic standing, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, the full tuition waiver will again be awarded.
    6. The Fellow is registered for at least 1 hour, but not more than 15 hours, of course work.
  2. Attempted hours are defined as any hours for which the university charges tuition or fees, regardless of level (undergraduate versus graduate) or grade type (graded, pass/fail, or ungraded). The fellowship, however, does NOT pay for distance education courses or any of their related fees.
  3. The minimum program consists of the basic requirements of the program in question for course work, along with Graduate School minimums for thesis hours (in thesis option master’s degrees) and dissertation hours. The minimum is specified for each degree program and is a matter of public record. Students may keep up with the amount of support available to them by logging onto the Graduate Tuition Fellowship System (GTUFS) on AU Access, Student Info tab. This online system is useful to graduate assistants for keeping a record of the support used and remaining.
  4. The Graduate Assistant Enrollment fee is $563 per semester for the 2016-17 academic year.

When the support available to students through the tuition fellowship program is exhausted, they will continue to receive a waiver for the non-resident portion of tuition as long as they maintain their assistantship.

Non-Alabama students holding assistantships that qualify for the tuition fellowship for two consecutive semesters, but not the next semester, will automatically receive a waiver of the non-resident portion of tuition for that unsupported third semester. If the waiver does not show up on the student's account, the student should contact the Graduate School.

Examples

A doctoral student continuously supported with a qualifying assistantship is in a program that requires a minimum of 65 hours to complete. The maximum Graduate Tuition Fellowship support available to this student is 65 + 20 = 85 hours. If the student has not completed the degree in 85 supported hours and he/she retains an assistantship, tuition and fees will be charged at in-state rates thereafter. 

A master’s or specialist degree student continuously supported with a qualifying assistantship is in a program that requires a minimum of 33 hours. The maximum Graduate Tuition Fellowship support available is 33 + 10 = 43 hours. After 43 supported hours, tuition and fees are charged to students holding a qualifying assistantship at in-state rates. 

Limitations

Distance education: The Graduate Tuition Fellowship does NOT pay for courses for which a distance education fee is charged.  

Number of degrees: Students with qualifying assistantships will automatically receive the tuition fellowships for one degree or for two linked degrees. It they change curricula or begin another graduate degree, the fellowship support previously received will be subtracted from the support available.

Example 1: A student completes a master’s degree in route to the doctorate in same discipline. The total amount of fellowship support available to the doctoral student is calculated as (a) the minimum doctoral program plus (b) 20 hours minus (c) the number of hours of tuition support provided while a master’s student.

Example 2: A student has undertaken a dual-master’s degree program that is recognized in the university curriculum as a joint degree. If the minimum program for the dual degree is 54 hours, the maximum amount of fellowship support available to the joint master’s degree student is 54 + 10 = 64 hours.

Example 3: A student begins a master’s degree in one discipline but changes to another master’s program before completing the degree. If the first degree required a minimum of 33 hours, and if the student received 15 hours of tuition fellowship support before changing to a program requiring a minimum of 30 hours, the maximum amount of tuition fellowship support available to the student in his/her second degree program is 30 + 10 - 15 = 25 hours.

Number of semesters: Students must be enrolled each semester they receive the tuition fellowship, but they are not required to be enrolled full-time. No student will receive more than 12 semesters of support while remaining a master’s student, even if they have taken less than the maximum number of hours for which they are eligible, given their degree program. Likewise, no doctoral student will receive more than 24 semesters of support (inclusive of master’s study supported at Auburn).

Students Supported on Extra-Mural Fellowships

A number of departments have students supported on extra-mural fellowships that perform duties as a requirement of their degree programs that are equivalent to the duties performed by graduate research assistants. Their work contributes directly to the performance of research in the laboratory in which they are assigned and to the overall University research mission. As such, it is University policy to treat such fellowships as the equivalent of graduate research assistantships for the purposes of the Graduate Tuition Fellowship Program.

However, these students are not automatically included for the program. Therefore, each Semester, each department with such fellowships should supply the list of fellows to the Graduate School so that they may receive the Graduate Tuition Fellowship.

The Graduate Tuition Fellowship System (GTUFS) provides Auburn University graduate students with a record of their Graduate Assistantship and Tuition Fellowship Program (tuition waiver).

GTUFS shows students the number of hours taken toward their degree as of the current semester, the number of hours allowed under the tuition waiver, and the number of tuition hours remaining to be covered by the waiver.

In order to access GTUFS:

Log-In to AU Access

Click-on the Student Menu option of the My Academics tab

On the "Student" tab, click Graduate Tuition Fellowship System (GTUFS)

If you have any questions, contact Julie Reece in the Graduate School (334-844-2125).


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