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Tuition Remission Practice

Tuition Remission Practice

Current Policy

Federal regulations allow tuition remission to be charged as a direct cost to sponsored projects provided: (1) the individual is conducting activities necessary to the sponsored agreement; (2) tuition remission and other support are provided in accordance with established educational institutional policy and consistently provided in a like manner to students in return for similar activities conducted in non-sponsored as well as sponsored activities; (3) during the academic period, the student is enrolled in an advanced degree program at the institution or affiliated institution, and the activities of the student in relation to the federally-sponsored research project are related to the degree program; (4) the tuition or other payments are reasonable compensation for the work performed and are conditioned explicitly upon the performance of the necessary work; and (5) it is the institution's practice to similarly compensate students in non-sponsored as well as sponsored activities. Tuition remission may be charged on an average rate basis.

The University of Oklahoma-Norman campus direct charges tuition remission costs for graduate assistants on sponsored projects on an average cost basis reflecting the graduate assistant average number of credit hours enrolled annually and the proportion of graduate assistants with Oklahoma residency. For planning and budgeting purposes, rates are set for three years based on historical rates of increase in resident and non-resident graduate tuition for the preceding 10-year period, as well as any projected rebalancing of tuition and fee rates. Tuition charges are exempted from Facilities and Administrative (F&A) or Indirect Costs (IDC).

The rates applied are in accordance with Title 2 in the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), subtitle A, chapter II, and they are subject to any statutory or administrative limitations. The rates cover tuition only and no fees.

 

Budgeting Rates for Graduate Tuition Remissions

The rates in this agreement are for use on grants, contracts, and other agreements with the Federal Government and other sponsoring agencies and organizations. 

From

To

Rate

July 1, 2020

June 30, 2021

$1,051 per month

July 1, 2021

June 30, 2022

$1,051 per month

July 1, 2022

June 30, 2023

$1,076 per month

July 1, 2023

until amended

$1,076 per month

Effective Date for Current Practice

Effective February 1, 2021, the tuition remission charge rate is $1,051 per month. 

Grants submitted prior to February 1, 2021 will continue to be subject to the agreement in place at their time of award. The previous rate agreement will remain in effect until the sponsored project expires, the sponsored project is renewed, or the sponsored project budget is revised.

Application of Tuition Remissions Across Multiple Accounts

For qualified graduate assistants with appointments that are spread across multiple accounts, the monthly tuition remission charges for each account are prorated based on the percentage of the graduate assistant's total FTE. For appointments over 0.5 FTE, the percentages are first scaled to 0.5 FTE and then the tuition remission charge is prorated across the multiple accounts.

Account Codes for Qualified Graduate Research Assistants

521551 - Graduate Research Assistant, sponsored project submission date current/after January 1, 2018 
521561 - Graduate Research Assistant, tuition remission disallowed by sponsor 
521571 - Graduate Research Assistant, sponsored projects pre-January 1, 2018

When does the new tuition remission policy go into effect? 
Effective February 1, 2021 all routed proposals will be subject to the new monthly tuition rate. 

What if a sponsor doesn't allow tuition remission? 

If a sponsor disallows tuition remission by policy, tuition remission will not be budgeted or charged. The investigator is responsible for using the appropriate appointment code for GRAs appointed on such grants. While appointed as a 0.5 FTE GRA funded by sponsors that do not allow tuition remission, the student will still receive a tuition waiver in accordance with standard tuition waiver policies (https://ou.edu/gradcollege/funding/graduate-assistantship/tuition-waivers). If a sponsor requires (Mandatory only) cost share, the tuition may be entered in the budget as cost share from the Graduate College provided the sponsor has not specifically noted it as not allowed for cost share.

May I include additional funds in my proposal for tuition and/or fees?

If the sponsor is Federal, additional tuition and/or fees may not be included in the proposal budget and the tuition remission must be calculated based on the policy formula unless the sponsor accepts actual cost projections. If the sponsor is for-profit or non-profit then yes, provided they have not disallowed it in the solicitation or other posted guidance.


What if a graduate assistant's appointment is split between two or more accounts? 
For qualified graduate assistants with appointments that are spread across multiple accounts, the monthly tuition remission charges for each account are prorated based on the percentage of the graduate assistant's total FTE. For appointments over 0.5 FTE, the percentages are first scaled to 0.5 FTE and then the tuition remission charge is prorated across the multiple accounts. 

What if my proposal budget crosses two or more fiscal years? 
If a proposal budget period crosses fiscal years, the highest monthly tuition remission rate for that budget period will be budgeted. However, only the actual tuition rate for each fiscal year will be charged as appropriate. 

I submitted a proposal prior to February 1, 2021 which fell under a previous tuition remission policy. The sponsor is now asking for a revised budget; will the revised budget fall under the new tuition remission policy? What about supplements?
Yes. All new/renewal/revised proposals submitted after February 1, 2021 will fall under the new tuition remission policy. Exceptions to this policy will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Dean of the Graduate College and the Executive Director of the Office of Research Services. Supplements are considered an extension of the current award and therefore follow the award parameters.

Will the tuition remission policy apply to graduate assistant appointments on departmental E&G accounts? 
The rate is for grants, contracts, and other agreements with the Federal Government and other sponsoring agencies and organizations (xx5xxxxxx accounts). Tuition remission is not charged for graduate assistantship appointments on most other accounts. 

I want to include a graduate assistant in my budget for summer salary support, but the graduate assistant will not be enrolled in classes during the summer. Will tuition remission still be budgeted for the graduate assistant? 
Yes. Tuition remission should be budgeted at the current monthly tuition remission rate any time there is graduate assistant salary budgeted. Tuition remission is charged on an average or pooled basis, not on a student-specific basis. Additionally, Graduate College policy states that students working on their thesis or dissertation over the summer should be enrolled. 

If the graduate assistant I want to include in my budget already has a .50 FTE appointment, can I budget a supplemental pay for the graduate assistant and avoid budgeting the current monthly tuition remission rate? 
No. Any time graduate assistant salary is budgeted, the current monthly tuition remission rate should be budgeted as well. Graduate assistant appointments over 0.5 FTE (up to 0.7 FTE) require Graduate College approval, and other forms of pay must not be used to bypass this FTE requirement for graduate assistants. Refer to the question above related to graduate assistant appointments that are split between two or more accounts.

If my graduate assistant was not appointed for a full month, should I be charged for a full month (e.g., appointment ended May 15th but charged for the whole month of May)?

Yes, any partial month is charged as a full month.  The tuition remission calculation is an averaged rate that assumes, among other things, that there will be students with partial months. The University of Oklahoma-Norman campus direct charges tuition remission costs for graduate assistants on sponsored projects on an average cost basis reflecting the graduate assistant average number of credit hours enrolled annually and the proportion of graduate assistants with Oklahoma residency. For more information about tuition remission, visit the ORS website.