Graduate Student Tuition on Research Awards
Graduate student salaries and tuition costs are allowable costs
on sponsored projects and are often a required cost.
Graduate students may be employed as Research Project Assistants
to perform necessary work on research projects. Compensation for
Research Project Assistants must include salary and tuition
Budgeting Tuition Remission on Research Awards
Principal investigators (PI) who appoint a Research Project
Assistant to their research projects must include a line item in
the direct cost budget proposal for tuition remission based on the
university five year projected tuition schedule. If a sponsor does
not allow tuition, the proposal must include a commitment from the
PI, department, or school/college to cover tuition costs.
Proposals and budgets for non-competing renewals that include
salary costs for a Research Project Assistant must also include a
budget for graduate tuition costs based on the current five year
projected tuition schedule. When no-cost extensions are requested,
the PI must consider the five year projected tuition schedule when
planning to employ a Research Project Assistant during the extended
period; both salary and tuition costs will be assessed to the
The requirement to include graduate student tuition costs for
Research Project Assistants can be waived only with the approval of
the cognizant dean and Vice President for Research and Economic
Development (VPRED). A statement from the dean that tuition for the
Research Project Assistant will be supported by college, school, or
other institutional funds must accompany the proposal. When
appropriate and in accordance with the terms of the sponsor, the
tuition costs covered by other funding sources may be recorded as
cost sharing on the research award.
Graduate Student Eligibility
Graduate students receiving tuition remission from a research
project must have a bi-weekly (not hourly) appointment, be working
on the project, have a Research Project Assistant (or equivalent)
title, and meet the eligibility requirements listed in the
Student Employment Policy, including but not limited to
being enrolled for 9 credit hours or certified full time and
performing work related to their area of study.
Research Project Assistants must perform work for a specific
research award in order for their tuition remission to be charged
to the award.
Tuition Remission Rates
The projected tuition rates are in compliance with the State
University of New York (SUNY) tuition policy. The five year
projected tuition schedule will be revised annually by September
The five year projected tuition schedule will be reviewed
annually by the VPRED and approved by Academic Planning and Budget
Charging Tuition Remission to Research Awards
Graduate student tuition payments will be prorated, based on the
student’s appointment an charged to research awards for the
actual cost of tuition based on a full semester or a pro-rated
term. Budget revisions to the tuition category must be made in
accordance with the Facilities and Administrative Cost Recovery
and Distribution policy. Student fees are not included in the
five year projected tuition schedule or the tuition remission
process. Students may not be reimbursed directly for tuition
charges; all tuition remission payments will be in the form of a
credit to the student’s account.
According to federal regulations, tuition remission must be
consistently provided in a like manner to students in return for
similar activities conducted in non-sponsored as well as sponsored
activities. A decanal unit may choose to implement a policy stating
that all students may be reimbursed only the in-state tuition rate,
or they may choose to cover the actual tuition costs. Departmental
policies must be written and made available, treat all students
consistently, and may not be less restrictive than this policy.
In accordance with the terms of Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) Uniformed Guidance, tuition remission and other forms of
compensation paid as, or in lieu of, wages to students performing
necessary work are allowable provided that:
- the individual is conducting activities necessary to the
- 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
- 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
sponsored research project are related to the degree program
- the tuition or other payments are reasonable compensation for
the work performed and are conditioned explicitly upon the
performance of necessary work.
This policy applies to research awards administered by the
Research Foundation and University at Buffalo Foundation.
Principal Investigator (PI)
A University at Buffalo (UB) faculty
or staff member who bears responsibility for the intellectual
leadership of a project. The PI accepts overall responsibility for
directing the research, financial oversight, and compliance with
relevant university policies and sponsor terms and conditions.
Any externally funded research,
training, evaluative testing, or public service project directed by
UB faculty or staff as part of their university work that requires
the university to perform a specified program or deliver a
For the purpose of this policy, the
payment of part or all of the required tuition due for education
rendered as compensation for graduate students employed as Research
Project Assistants (or equivalent) and for performing work on
Academic Planning and Budget (APB)
- Annually review and approve the five year projected tuition
- Process payment of all tuition invoices approved by Sponsored
Projects Services (SPS).
- Add tuition remission to the Research Project Assistant’s
financial aid package to prevent over-awarding.
- Annually, by September 1, develop a five year projected tuition
schedule compliant with SUNY tuition policies.
- Forward the draft five-year projected tuition schedule to the
VPRED for review and to APB for approval.
- Include a line item for tuition remission based on the five
year projected tuition schedule in all research proposals that
include a Research Project Assistant (or equivalent)
- Complete a Graduate Student Remission/Scholarship
Verification Form for all graduate students appointed as a
Research Project Assistant to a research project, obtain dean or
vice president approval, and forward to Student Accounts.
Sponsored Projects Services (SPS)
- Submit to external sponsors only those research proposals that
include a line item for tuition remission (in the Other Direct
budget category) for each Research Project Assistant (or
equivalent) budgeted in the Personnel category. If tuition costs
are not included in the budget, the proposal must include a plan
approved by the cognizant dean to cover the tuition costs for each
Research Project Assistant (or equivalent) listed for salary
- Verify that all graduate student appointments to research
awards with the title of Research Project Assistant (or equivalent)
are accompanied by a completed Student Remission/Scholarship
- Review and approve invoices prepared by Student Accounts that
charge graduate student tuition costs to research awards.
- Forward approved invoices to Accounts Payable for
- Upon receipt of the Student Remission/Scholarship
Verification Form from the appropriate dean or vice president,
assign a positive service indicator to the student’s account
to prevent late fees or billing related holds while waiting for
- Provide the tuition remission amount to Financial Aid to
incorporate into the student’s aid package to prevent
- At the point of 100% tuition liability (the start of the fifth
week of classes), generate an invoice detailing the amount to be
charged to the research project and forward to Sponsored Projects
- Appointments of graduate students with the title of Research
Project Assistant (or equivalent) to research awards must be
accompanied by a copy of the completed Student
Remission/Scholarship Verification Form.
- The Department forwards the completed Student
Remission/Scholarship Verification Form to Student
- Upon receipt of the Student Remission/Scholarship
Verification Form, Student Accounts will provide the tuition
remission amount to Financial Aid to incorporate into the
student’s aid package.
- Financial Aid will add the tuition remission to the financial
aid package of the student as a placeholder to prevent
- At the point of 100% tuition liability, Student Accounts will
generate an invoice detailing each student’s actual tuition
costs and will forward the invoice to SPS.
- Upon receipt of the invoice, SPS will review for allowability
and if appropriate, approve the payment charging the research
project for the actual tuition costs indicated on the invoice.
- SPS will forward the approved invoice to Accounts Payable for
- Accounts Payable will generate payment and forward to Student
- Upon receipt, Student Accounts will apply the payment to the
Sponsored Projects Services
The UB Commons
520 Lee Entrance; Suite 211
Amherst, NY 14228-2567
Related Documents, Forms, Links
Updated to reflect that graduate student:
- tuition payments are prorated based on the student’s appointment
- titles eligible for tuition remission include Research Project Assistants and other equivalent titles.
||Full policy revision to reflect current requirements and processing practices.