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University adopting new policy on graduate student tuition

by Karen A. Grava - April 6, 2009

The University will implement a policy of charging 60 percent of allowable in-state tuition for graduate students to grants that support the stipends for students assigned to them.

The policy will be effective with new grant proposals and renewals submitted after July 1, Provost Peter J. Nicholls announced recently.

Budgeting partial tuition on all grants that permit such charges is expected to result in revenue of up to $2.5 million, which will be used to support research programming, Nicholls says.

The policy will be reviewed in summer 2012.

“I have engaged in discussion with members of the Senate Executive Committee as to the amount of a tuition charge and the method of its calculation,” says Nicholls. “We have had a good exchange and recognition of each other’s point of view that has enabled me to shape a reasonable policy.”

Nicholls says the policy brings the University into conformity with the practice at most other major research institutions and is necessary in light of state budget cuts.

“Taking into account the very serious fiscal challenges that the University faces in the immediate future, I have decided we must implement a policy of recouping a portion of tuition from grants,” he says.

Nicholls will work with the University Senate’s Executive Committee on the formulation of a review/appeal process and on a transparent and fair process for the distribution of revenues received under this program.

He notes that an ad hoc committee established to consider the fiscal and other impacts of such a policy was concerned the University’s generous stipend levels and benefits already make UConn somewhat expensive in terms of the cost of hiring graduate students, and worried that adding tuition to grant budgets would exacerbate the situation.

Based on that, he says, it was decided to include just a portion of the tuition and also to review the policy in three years.

Nicholls says he is grateful to members of the committee, particularly co-chairs Suman Singha, senior vice provost and vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School, and Eric Schultz, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, for developing a very thorough report on the proposed tuition charges.

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