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  • 1.  tuition on grant budgets

    Posted 11-16-2021 13:34
    This is more of a research administration question than a Cayuse question, but I'm pondering - and I'm bringing my question to the sages.

    Tuition on grant budgets:  I have always, at various schools, budgeted for grad-student tuition on grant budgets when a GA is involved.  It's either a direct cost or it's an easy "get" for cost-share.  What happens to that money on the back-end has never bothered me - until it had to bother me, because we need a slightly more robust policy, shall we say.

    One way to think about this is that tuition is applied at post-award to a particular student's - one involved on the grant-funded project, of course- Bursar account.  I can't see how this would be workable down in the weeds, but I suppose it's theoretically possible.

    Another way to think about it is that it goes into a pool and..... good grief, what happens from there?  I seriously don't know.  Obviously, tuition is waived for the students involved, but really.... where do those exact dollars go?

    Yet another way to think about it is that if budgeting for tuition isn't improving the lives of graduate students at the university then we could just not budget for tuition for GA's  in grant budgets OR make the students pay tuition.  We just treat it as foregone revenue and waive tuition costs for all students with approved GA-ships.

    The thing is.....  the way we currently do things, that tuition money is coming into the University and going somewhere.  I have to figure out whose pockets I am unlining if I start to advocate for path 3.  What I want is the most agile, streamlined administrative process that makes things easier for PIs and students - which is to say, I want a research-supportive culture somewhat resembling nirvana, and these are the next shenanigans I am contemplating in the service of that ideal ;)

    What do other universities do about budgeting for tuition?  And, if you budget for tuition, where does it go within the organization?


    Andrea Buford
    Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
    Oakland University

  • 2.  RE: tuition on grant budgets

    Posted 11-17-2021 05:31
    Hi Andrea,

    When we do this, the PI processes an internal movement of funds to the student account for the individual.  It is specific and directly connected to the award.


    Charna Howson
    Director of Sponsored Programs
    Appalachian State University

  • 3.  RE: tuition on grant budgets

    Posted 11-17-2021 08:09
    Hi Andrea,
    I believe that tuition goes to the place it always goes, no matter if it is grant funded or paid by the student, which is the University.  Path one is what I am familiar with, whether it is a grad or undergrad student, the Bursar needs to be a part of the equation to balance the dollars with financial aid or other types of aid/scholarships going to the student. Path 3 is likely taking money from the Deans to invest in graduate programs.

    Angela Rochat
    Executive Director of Research
    Loyola Marymount University