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Graduate Assistant Tuition Policy


The University of Alabama will pay in-state tuition of eligible graduate assistants who satisfy the following conditions:

  1. Admitted as a degree candidate and enrolled in Graduate or Law School

  2. Appointed as a Graduate Teaching, Research, or Administrative Assistant and assigned to a permanently budgeted position line designated for that purpose

  3. Paid in accordance with the approved institutional pay scale

  4. Maintain a B average grade (3.0) throughout the appointment (please see exceptions to this rule below)

  5. Assigned to activities under the supervision of the Office for Academic Affairs or the Alabama Productivity Center

  6. Have a Memorandum of Appointment on file in the appointing department, and

  7. Must begin the appointment prior to the last day to add or drop a class.

Assistants who meet these criteria and who are assigned duties of 0.50 FTE or more may receive tuition support equal to their tuition. This tuition will be paid from designated permanently budgeted tuition lines, which have been established by Academic Affairs in each college.

Those assistants assigned to duties of less than 0.50 FTE will receive tuition support at the ratio of assigned FTE to 0.50 FTE. Total tuition support is limited in all cases to full tuition for nine hours or the actual cost, whichever is less.

Requirements to maintain a B grade average will  apply to students with unconditional (regular) admission status only after earning 12 semester hours. (The former policy placed an unconditionally admitted student on academic warning after as few as 6 semester hours.)

Students with conditional admission status, in addition to students with regular admission, may hold any type of assistantship i.e. the B average grade requirement does not apply whilst they are on conditional status. All other conditions apply. However, a graduate teaching assistant holding conditional admission status who obtains a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0 prior to meeting the condition of admission will not be allowed to retain the teaching assistantship during the next term of enrollment. For example, if a conditional admit takes nine credits during the first semester of enrollment and obtains a 2.5 GPA that student may continue to take courses to meet the condition (a 3.0 average on the first 12 hours), but will not be allowed to retain the teaching assistantship. The student would be permitted to hold a research assistantship.

As indicated above, only graduate assistants paid from permanently budgeted lines will qualify for tuition support from this program. For those assistants paid from sources other than permanently budgeted positions, the source of funds used to create the position should also provide the tuition support.

During summer term, students who are appointed to assistantships under this program are not required to enroll in classes.

Please note that the following students may not hold an assistantship:

  1. Non-degree students,

  2. Students on academic warning.

Students who have provisional language admission are eligible to hold only externally funded research assistantships.

Only graduate students are allowed to hold graduate assistantships. Students who have not yet earned a baccalaureate, even if they are participating in programs such as the University Honors Program, are not allowed to hold graduate assistantships.


For those students who are appointed as assistants under the above conditions and who have out-of-state residency status tuition support will be given on the same basis. The same limits apply in respect of the amount of tuition support available i.e. maximum nine hours or actual cost, whichever is greater. However, only those out-of-state resident assistants with FTE 0.25 and above will be eligible for out-of-state tuition support.

A special tuition break exists for out-of-state resident students for the interim and summer terms where they are appointed graduate assistants during the preceding spring semester. Regardless of whether or not they hold an appointment in the interim or summer terms, they will be entitled to receive tuition awards for the summer term that will reduce their out-of-state tuition charges. The amount of the award will be based upon the FTE level of their spring assistantship. The student will be liable for the full amount of base or in-state rate tuition charges under his arrangement.


The Provost publishes minimum stipend rates for graduate assistantships before the start of each academic year. Only assistantships paid at or above the minimum rate qualify for tuition support.

For graduate assistants paid from restricted funds, self-supporting budgets, soft money budgets, and auxiliary budgets, the source of funds used to create the position must also provide the tuition support.

If students are eligible for tuition support from third parties, those parties will be billed first. If the support from this program and a third party exceeds the total cost of tuition, the student is not eligible to receive a cash payment for the excess amount.

Qualifying criteria as set out above also apply without exception to all non-permanent awards.


Generally, all students who have provisional language admission status must complete the English Language Institute’s Intensive English Program with a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the advanced levels (Levels 4, 5, and 6) or earn a score of at least 550 on the TOEFL before they may hold any form of assistantship.  However, those students who do have provisional language admission status may be approved to hold an assistantship that is externally funded through a contract or grant.   

All non-native speakers of English must successfully complete the University’s International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) before they can hold a teaching assistantship (category 4005 and 4001 occupation codes).


Generally, the terms and conditions of the agreement will apply to determining the tuition entitlement for graduate assistants. Federal requirements stipulate that all policies and qualifying criteria for other assistantship types will also apply to Sponsored Program awards.

In-state tuition support is available from grant funds – permanent budgets are not available to cover in-state tuition not provided by the contract or grant.

Tuition support for out-of-state graduate assistants paid from contracts and grants will be charged to those contracts and grants. If the funding agency’s policy will not include sufficient budget for out-of-state tuition charges, in these special cases the Graduate School will give tuition support to reduce the tuition charges to the in-state rate.

To maintain comparability with other graduate assistants, students supported under contracts and grants will be entitled to receive the same break for interim and summer out-of-state tuition where they held a graduate assistantship during the previous spring semester



    (1) GA held for Fall, Spring, and Summer terms:       (2) GA held for Fall and Spring, NOT Summer term:
    Fall, Spring, and Summer       Fall and/or Spring   Summer
Residence   FTE % UA pays % student pays   Residence   FTE % UA pays % student pays   FTE % UA pays % student pays
AL     0.50 100% 0%   AL    0.50 100% 0%     0.50 0% 100%
AL     0.25 50% 50%   AL    0.25 50% 50%     0.25 0% 100%
AL     0.10 20% 80%   AL    0.10 20% 80%     0.10 0% 100%
OS     0.50 100% 0%   OS    0.50 100% 0%     0.50 100% of diff. between AL & OS rate 100% of AL rate
OS     0.25 50% 50%   OS    0.25 50% 50%     0.25 50% of diff. between AL & OS rate 100% of AL rate plus 50% of diff. between AL & OS rate
OS     0.10 20% of AL rate only 80% of AL rate plus 100% of diff. between AL & OS rate   OS    0.10 20% of AL rate only 80% of AL rate plus 100% of diff. between AL & OS rate     0.10 0% 100%


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The University of Alabama | Graduate School | Administration | Site Index | Contact | 09/18/2014