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Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) Cost Estimates

This page includes GSRA costs for:

GSRA Stipend/Compensation

(Updated for AY2015-2016 on July 8, 2015)

Note: These are minimum recommended levels and can be set higher, based on the policies of individual schools and colleges. Please verify with your unit.

Graduate Student Research Assistants

Effective September 1, 2015, the minimum full-time equivalent stipend rate for four (4) calendar months for Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRAs) on the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses will be $19,304 per term. See below for the College of Engineering and for UM-Flint.

U-M Campus   100%  Appointment   50%  Appointment  25%  Appointment
U-M Ann Arbor &




U-M Ann Arbor
College of Engineering


UM-Flint $13,717.17



Tuition Waiver

A GSRA with an appointment of 25% or more will pay no tuition (i.e. 100% tuition waiver).

GSRA Tuition and Fees: FY 2015-2016

(Updated for FY2015-2016 on July 20, 2015)

To facilitate the preparation of budgets, sponsored projects are charged average tuition rates regardless of the number of credit hours for which the GSRAs are enrolled. The appointing unit typically provides tuition remissions equal to the non-resident differential for out-of-state graduate students who are appointed as GSRAs. Resident tuition and fees are charged to sponsored accounts on the basis of the per term figures established by the Board of Regents (subject to any tuition fellowships, as described below).

All Students

  • Fall, Winter Term 2015-2016 (General Campus, each semester):  $10,748
  • Fall, Winter Term 2015-2016  (Engineering only, each semester):  $10,822
  • Spring-Summer Term 2016 (General Campus and Engineering):  $4,640
  • Spring-Summer HALF Term 2016 (General Campus and Engineering): $4,640

Note: Rates are determined by the Office of Budget & Planning (OBP), which in recent years has analyzed actual enrollment by GSRAs by term, including numbers and credit load patterns, and adjusted rates accordingly.

Spreadsheet from OBP for 2015-16 [xls] (updated July 8, 2015)

GSRAs with candidacy status

Tuition charges for GSRAs with candidacy status are not averaged, but are charged at the established rates, which vary by school and college. 
Please see the U-M Office of the Registrar's Tuition Tables for the candidacy cost for each of the school and colleges.

Tuition Fellowship

Project Directors should check with their Dean's office to determine if their unit is participating in the tuition fellowship program. Each School or College will determine the level of the tuition fellowship to be provided and the conditions under which such tuition fellowships will be awarded (e.g., appointment level of the GSRA). The resident (in-state) tuition that remains after the fellowship is applied must be included as a charge to the sponsor. Since Schools and Colleges must provide the funds for the tuition fellowships from their annual budget allocations, the Dean's office should verify/approve if the tuition fellowship is to be cost-shared and thus, the level of charges to be included in the sponsor's budget.

GSRA Health Care Benefits

(Updated for 2015)

GSRAs with appointments of 25% or greater are eligible for GradCare health care benefits rather than the University staff benefits program. The University cost of GradCare up to $591 per month through December, 2013 and $TBA per month thereafter may be underwritten by the sponsored project in the case of a GSRA or by participating training grants.

GradCare Plan 1/01/2015 - 12/31/2015

Effective January 1, 2014, Under GRADCARE, the monthly premiums beginning in 2014 are:

 Grad student only:


 Grad Student + 1 adult:


 Grad Student + 1 adult and  children:


 Grad student + child or  children:


A graduate student enrolled in GradCare during a Winter Term and the following Fall Term will also be eligible for coverage during the Summer Term.

Taxes on Salaries and Fellowships or Tuition Waivers

Stipends/Compensation payments to GSRAs are subject to federal and state income taxes because they are deemed "reasonable compensation" for University work in connection with research or teaching assignments.

Tuition Waivers are granted as fringe benefits in the form of a non-taxable qualified tuition.

U-M Human Resources' web pages provide detailed information on the Graduate Student Assistantship Program appointments and other concerns.


Constance Colthorp
Communications Manager
(734) 647-4587