Graduate Tuition

Resources on the Incentive-Based Budget Model for Graduate Tuition

Current State

The “graduate model” is actually comprised of two models: the Graduate Tuition Revenue (GRTR) model and the Master’s Enrollment Incentive Program (MEIP).  Before the MEIP was created, the Graduate Model included enrollments and revenue that are now part of the MEIP.  Now, the Graduate Model is the revenue distribution model for all PhD and non-MEIP participating masters programs.  Masters programs may choose which model in which to participate.

Funding for both models comes from tuition and Nonresident Supplemental Tuition (NRST) revenue paid by graduate academic students.  Any growth in these funds is directed to the central campus, Dean’s Offices (where, in the case of graduate groups, the Dean is the designated Lead Dean), the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS), and individual graduate programs (both departments and graduate groups).  How those funds flow to each depends on the student level, type of fund, and which model a program is in.  Table 1 below shows the fund flow to each, with the primary difference being that the MEIP model directs more tuition and NRST to the Deans and programs than to the Provost.  PhD revenue flow was unaffected by the introduction of the MEIP.

Tuition revenue includes a return to aid (RTA) component, set by the Regents, which, for graduate students, is a minimum of 50% of Tuition returned to students in the form of financial aid.  In both models, this flows through the Office of Graduate Studies (and sometimes through the central campus) to be allocated to programs. 

Table 1. Current Graduate Revenue Distribution by Model
Model Revenue Level Share to Central Campus Share to Deans

Share to Programs (via OGS)

Graduate Model Tuition Masters 67% (including Return to Aid) 33% 0%
    PhD 67% (including Return to Aid) 33% 0%
  NRST Masters 50% 0% 50%
    PhD 100% 0% 0%
MEIP Tuition Masters 10% 40% 50% (return to aid)
  NRST Masters 20% 80% 0%

Investments in graduate education in recent years have focused on improving graduate student support programs and funding.  These programs and the investments made are shown in Table 2.  No changes to these programs are planned.  

Table 2.  Graduate Student Support Investments Since 2014-15
Investment Program Description
$1.3M Graduate Program Fellowship Allocation

Funds in the form of a living allowance (stipend), fees and tuition, and NRST fellowships.

$1.5M Graduate Student Internal Fellowship In addition to funding living allowance (stipend), fees and tuition, and NRST fellowships, may also support research and travel.
$2.3M NRST Fellowship Program Non-competitive fellowship for students in their 4th and 5th years after advancing to candidacy.
-$600K Dean's Commitments Many fellowships given according to various criteria.  Some were reduced to invest in the campuswide programs above.
$4.5M Total  

Options Under Consideration

Both the EY report and Graduate Council have raised concerns about the model not emphasizing teaching and the difficulty or disincentive that may exist in assigning faculty to teach graduate courses, either as opposed to undergraduate courses or in graduate groups outside the faculty member’s department.  Additionally, the campus’ long-standing interest in growing graduate enrollment, mostly in masters, has had, and may continue to have, influence over how best to allocate graduate tuition.

Two analyses are underway for the graduate model:

  • Transition all master’s programs to MEIP rather than on an opt-in basis
  • Incorporate a metric for graduate teaching effort into the Graduate Model

Simplifying the existing Graduate Model is currently in the Solicit Feedback phase.

Step 3, Solicit Feedback, is highlighted in a six-step process including Project Scoping, Data Gathering & Analysis, Solicit Feedback, Revise Analysis, Decide on Changes, and Implement.

MEIP for all master's programs and incorporation of graduate teaching are currently in the Data Gathering and Analysis phase.

Step 3, Solicit Feedback, is highlighted in a six-step process including Project Scoping, Data Gathering & Analysis, Solicit Feedback, Revise Analysis, Decide on Changes, and Implement.


For more information, contact the Budget Office.

Resources (PDFs):