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Graduate Tuition Assistance Pool (TAP)


To establish the conditions under which student positions are eligible for graduate tuition assistance

Applies to: 

Graduate students on the KU Lawrence and Edwards campuses and students supported on national/international fellowships on the KU Lawrence Campus

Table of Contents: 
  1. Payment of tuition
  2. Eligibility: Graduate Tuition Assistant Pool (TAP)
  3. Ineligibility: Graduate Tuition Assistant Pool (TAP)
  4. Split-Funded GRA appointments
  5. KUMC GRAs
  6. Application deadline
Policy Statement: 
  1. Payment of tuition

    The appointing KU unit is expected to fund the full cost of Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) tuition consistent with the Benefits for GTA/GRA/GAs policy.

    The full cost of tuition for graduate research assistants must be included in all proposals, renewals, and contracts as part of the budget proposal when such support is permitted by the granting agency or source of funding.

  2. Eligibility for the Graduate Tuition Assistance Pool (TAP)

    When not permitted by the funding source, GRA tuition support may be granted by the TAP. Eligibility for the TAP is determined by the availability of tuition support from the funding source, the source of salary support, the availability of TAP funds, enrollment requirements, and the student eligibility requirements listed below. In order to be eligible for the TAP, the GRA must meet all of the following requirements:

    1. be enrolled in a doctoral degree program;
    2. meets the requirements for holding a GRA appointment;
    3. and have at least one of the following:
      1. at least a .40 FTE GRA appointment;
      2. a combined GTA/GRA or GA/GRA appointment with .40 FTE or above;
      3. an externally-funded fellowship, as defined in the external-funding section of this policy.

    Tuition support from the TAP may not exceed nine (9) credit hours in a given semester or six credit (6) hours in the summer term. Students are limited to a maximum of ten (10) semesters of support from the TAP. Students who have completed the required eighteen (18) credit-hours of post-comprehensive enrollment, and are therefore eligible to enroll in only one (1) credit-hour of “dissertation,” are limited to one (1) credit-hour per semester of tuition support from the TAP.

    External funding:

    Externally-funded tuition support is defined as any circumstance in which the source of the salary for a GRA is from a research project funded by an agency external to the University of Kansas. External funding agencies may include, but are not limited to, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Education (DOE).

    It is expected that externally-funded graduate research assistantships and fellowships will provide tuition support. The source of the GRA or Fellowship salary is one determinant for TAP eligibility.

    Tuition support from the TAP is available to externally-funded GRAs in the following circumstances:

    1. the funding agency does not provide tuition support;
    2. the funding agency provides only partial support of tuition;
    3. the GRA position is funded entirely from Kansas state dollars budgeted for GRAs in the Tertiary Oil Recovery Project (TORP), the Biodiversity Institute (KUBI/BI), the Institute for Policy and Social Research (IPSR), the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS),
    4. or the student is appointed as a GRA in the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis (CRMDA), and conditions (a) or (b) apply.

    If a GRA salary is supported from an externally-funded government grant that supports tuition but does not cover tuition rate increases over the duration of the grant, the TAP will cover the difference in tuition between past and current tuition rates.

    For research training grants from the NIH and NSF in National Research Service Awards (NRSA), Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT), or Graduate Stem Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12), assistance from the TAP will be only for that amount of the tuition not covered by the training grant.

    A GRA is not eligible for support from the TAP if external funding for tuition is available from the grant that is supporting the student, or permitted by the granting agency that is supporting the student’s work, and would cover tuition and campus fees up to full time enrollment. If a GRA receives compensation from such an externally-funded grant and the student salary or tuition was not originally budgeted in the grant, the University requires that the grant be re-budgeted or that the tuition support be identified from alternative sources.

    Internal KU funding:

    If the GRA salary is funded entirely from a KU General Research Fund award (either a competitive or new faculty award), then the GRA is eligible for TAP support.

    Students who have a salary or stipend at least equivalent to the minimum GTA salary (i.e., for .5 FTE as determined in the current GTA Memorandum of Agreement) from a national or international fellowship that supports either no tuition or only partial tuition are eligible for the TAP to cover their full tuition or the difference between the tuition portion covered by the fellowship and their actual tuition costs.

  3. Ineligibility for the TAP

    The following circumstances describe when a GRA position is not eligible for tuition support from the TAP:

    1. Commercial Entities:

      A GRA position funded by industry, business, or commercial partnerships is not eligible for TAP support and is expected to have tuition funded by the awarding entity.

    2. State dollars:

      A GRA position paid entirely from startup funds, release funds, shrinkage or other departmental funds (funds originally budgeted for another purpose) is not eligible for TAP support.

    3. KUEA Funds:

      A GRA paid entirely through KU Endowment Association (KUEA) is not eligible for TAP support and the KUEA funding must include the cost of tuition.

    4. Overhead Support:

      A GRA position paid entirely from returned overhead funds is not eligible for TAP support.

  4. Split-Funded GRA appointments

    GRAs who are paid from split funds that are both eligible and ineligible for tuition assistance are eligible to have that proportion of their tuition paid from the TAP that represents the proportion of funding support they are receiving from a TAP-eligible funding source. Graduate students who have a split appointment as a GTA/GRA are similarly eligible for a proportional amount of tuition support from the TAP.

  5. KU Medical Center GRAs:

    Students who are enrolled in a KU Lawrence Campus (KULC) doctoral program and who are employed as a GRA on the KU Medical Center (KUMC) Campus are eligible for the TAP. The student’s KULC academic department should submit the TAP request and include proof of the GRA appointment on the KUMC campus.

  6. Application Deadline

    Requests for graduate tuition assistance from the TAP are preferably submitted sixty (60) calendar days prior to the first day of classes for each semester/term. The final deadline for submission of TAP requests is thirty (30) calendar days after the first published class day of each semester.


Graduate Studies

Approved by: 
Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Approved on: 
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Effective on: 
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

Graduate Research Assistants add to the vitality of the research community at the University of Kansas. It is the University’s responsibility to help ensure that graduate students attain their academic goals in a reasonable amount of time and move on to the next stage in their careers, whether to another advanced degree program or to professional employment. In addition, departments and schools are encouraged to seek federal and private funding that supports the training of graduate students on the campus. When a student is offered a research assistantship, the assistantships must contribute to the graduate training experience of the student. The current policy is active beginning June 1, 2013.

Graduate research assistant, Tuition assistance pool
Change History: 

11/03/2015:Removed broken link.

06/07/2015: Updated contact information.

09/12/2014: Technical updates, including formatting of links, addition of 'Lawrence' and 'Edwards' as campuses which the policy applies to, addition of the text for policy Purpose, and correction of minor typos.

06/01/2013: Updates became effective as current policy

03/22/2013:Reviewed and updated by the Office of the Provost and Graduate Studies

07/23/2009: Initially approved

Academic Categories: 
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