Colleagues, I am interested in how other public research universities cover the cost of tuition for nonresident graduate assistants. AT UMaine we consider the differential between resident and nonresident tuition to be an institutional scholarship. However, as nonresident graduate enrollment has increased sharply, the budget for the differential account has not kept up with the cost. The CBO forecasts tuition revenue based on the full nonresident tuition rate being assessed to graduate assistants and is reluctant to change the model.
At Mines, as well as the other PhD-granting Colorado institutions, the differential tuition is picked up as a scholarship for one year, after which the RA or TA is expected to become a Colorado resident for tuition purposes. This is primarily driven by the fact that the State imposes a 45/55 resident/nonresident FTE ratio on the entire institutions (undergraduate and grad), not including international students who always get the differential picked up if an RA or TA.
At Oakland University, our Board of Trustees approved us to classify GAs as residents, so the tuition rate is at the in state rate. We have other groups who can qualify for in state tuition, even though they are not residents; however, for those other groups we utilize the scholarship model.
The same is true at U of Alabama as at Oakland; our state tuition laws allow us to reclassify GA’s as in-state for tuition purposes. We didn’t do it until about 5 years ago; but it has really helped with our scholarship budgeting, to have made that change. These issues are controlled by state laws, at state institutions – at my former institution we had no such option.