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Graduate Student Research Assistant Cost Estimates

[This page includes compensation (below), tuition and health care costs.]

GSRA Compensation for Fiscal Year 2013-2014

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.

Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses Rates

Effective September 1, 2013, 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 $18,554 per term.

25% Appointment
Per term: $4,638.50
Per academic year (2 terms): $9,277


50% Appointment
Per term: $9,277
Per academic year (2 terms): $18,554


College of Engineering Rates

Minimum rate of: $18,600 for academic year appointments

50% Appointment
Per term: $9,300
Per academic year (2 terms): $18,600

Source: memo from Engineering, Associate Dean for Research.


Flint campus rate

Effective September 1, 2013, the minimum full-time equivalent stipend rate for four (4) calendar months for Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRAs) on the Flint campus will be $13,184 per term.


Tuition Waiver

A GSRA with a 25% or greater appointment fraction will pay no tuition (i.e. 100% tuition waiver).

Source: Academic Human Resources memo



Resident (In-State) Tuition and Fees: FY 2013-2014

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). 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.

All Students, including Engineering

Fall Term:  $10,406

Winter Term:  $10,406

Spring-Summer Term:  $4,872

Spring-Summer HALF Term:  $4,872

Note: Rates are determined by the Office of Budget & Planning, 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 2013-14 [xls]

These average tuition figures include fees.

GSRAs with candidacy status

Tuition charges for these students are not averaged, but are charged at the established rates. The Rate Tables on the Registrar's website state the candidacy cost for 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.


Health Care Benefits

GSRAs with appointments of 25% or greater are eligible for health care benefits under GRADCARE rather than the University staff benefits program. Costs are listed at this Benefits Office web page.


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 1/01/2013 - 12/31/2013

Under GRADCARE, the monthly premiums for 2013 are:
Grad student only: $214
Grad Student + 1 adult: $428
Grad Student + 1 adult and children: $591
Grad student + child or children: $377

GRADCARE Plan 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014

Under GRADCARE, the monthly premiums begining in 2014 are:
Grad student only: $TBA
Grad Student + 1 adult: $TBA
Grad Student + 1 adult and children:$TBA
Grad student + child or children: $TBA

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

Payments to Graduate Student Assistants are considered to be "reasonable compensation" for the performance of services rendered to the University in connection with research or teaching assignments. As such, these payments are subject to federal and state income taxes. The tuition waiver, however, is considered to be in excess of the reasonable compensation and is granted as a fringe benefit in the form of a non-taxable qualified tuition reduction under section 117(d) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Although federal and state taxes are not withheld by the University from fellowship payments made to United States citizens and resident aliens, the portion of the fellowship above tuition and fees is taxable to the individual, based on changes in the IRS code that occurred as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. For non-resident aliens, taxes are withheld at the rate of 14% on the full fellowship amount unless the individual is from a tax treaty country and submits a Form 1001.


For detailed information on the Graduate Student Assistantship Program appointments and other concerns, see the UM Human Resources web pages on the GSRA program (in the Academic and Staff Services section under Academic Services) at: For detailed information on the Graduate Student Assistantship Program appointments and other concerns, see the UM Human Resources web pages on the GSRA program (in the Academic and Staff Services section/ Graduate Students) at: http://www.umich.edu/~hraa/acadhr/grads/gsra/


Last Reviewed: 08/16/2013