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Funding Policies and Guidelines – The Graduate School Manual

A variety of funding opportunities are available to graduate students attending Binghamton University: Teaching/Graduate Assistantships (GA/TAs), Research Project Assistantships (RPAs), Fellowships, Adjunct Lecturer employment, and various other employment positions (including the federal College Work Study program). Questions regarding funding that are not answered below should be directed to the funding manager of the student's departmental school, or can also be addressed through the Graduate School office at 777-2239. The Graduate School office is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. during summer months).

Required Paperwork

Terms & Conditions of GATA Employment

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Terms & Conditions for Accepting a Tuition Scholarship

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FAFSA Application

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I-9 Form

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Establishing New York State Residency If Not International Student

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Payment of Bill

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Policy of Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of Tuition Scholarships

Tuition scholarships are available to qualified students. They are by definition scholarships and do not require students to work in exchange for the payment of tuition. Currently all GA/TA and RPA positions who meet minimum stipend levels may qualify for a full or partial tuition scholarship. Federally funded graduate assistantships, all fellowship recipients, and certain externally supported students may also receive tuition scholarships.

All graduate tuition scholarship recipients are required to accept and agree to the specific terms and conditions stated below. No graduate student will be provided with a tuition scholarship without first signing and returning the Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of the Tuition Scholarship. It is primarily the graduate program's responsibility to obtain the student's signature retain a copy of the Terms and Conditions.


Registration/Performance Requirements

Graduate students holding tuition scholarships are required to be registered full time in a degree program. To be registered full time, G1 (first-year doctoral students with a baccalaureate degree and less than 24 credits or any student in a master's program) must register for 12 credits; G2 students (second-year doctoral students with only a baccalaureate degree and more than 24 credits); G3 (doctoral students with a master's degree but not ABD) and G4 (ABD) students must register for 9 credits. Registration must be completed before the first day of classes each semester. Continuing students must register during the "advance registration" period. Students who resign from assistantships/fellowships in mid-contract or who allow their registration to drop below full time may become liable for repayment of tuition scholarship awards.

Tuition scholarships are merit-based. Recipients of tuition scholarships must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0. A GPA lower than 3.0 results in probation; students on probation are not eligible to receive tuition scholarships. In addition, students must be making satisfactory progress toward degree.

Tuition scholarships will not be awarded for pursuit of multiple degrees at the same level, serially or concurrently, or for pursuit of a master's degree at BU when a student is currently, or has previously been, enrolled in a doctoral program at BU with tuition scholarship support.

Payment of Student Accounts Bill

Recipients of tuition scholarships are responsible for all mandatory student fees. Thus, even students with tuition scholarships are required to return their bills to the Office of Student Accounts prior to the due date stated on the semester bill. As an alternative, students may pay their semester bill online. Failure to pay the semester bill on time will result in late fees and penalties. Regardless of assistance by graduate programs with students' registration, adding/dropping, proper credits, and so forth are the student's responsibility.


Federal Financial Aid

All domestic graduate students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) form. The annual deadline for completing the FAFSA is April 1. See also Financial Aid's FAFSA page.

All tuition scholarship support is used to establish financial aid loan and Federal Work Study eligibility. Students who have applied for financial aid assistance should be aware that a tuition award and/or a fellowship award does affect the amount of loan eligibility. For more information about student financial aid eligibility or other financial aid related questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid Services at (607) 777-2428 or email

New York State Residency

Tuition scholarship support normally covers tuition costs at the rate billed to New York State residents. Non-New York State residents must establish residency at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes for that given semester or pay the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. To establish residency, visit the Student Accounts Office to submit an application. Students who wish to appeal their residency determination may file an appeal with the University Residency Appeals Committee (information available from the Student Accounts Office.) Exceptions to this requirement can be made for students who are not eligible to become residents of New York State, such as international students on temporary visas (F and J) visas.

Immediately upon arrival in the Binghamton area, it is the responsibility of the tuition scholarship recipient to take every appropriate action necessary to establish residency, so that he/she can be determined to be a NYS resident prior to the first day of the third enrolled matriculated semester. For the first two enrolled matriculated semesters, tuition scholarships are funded at the rate appropriate for the recipient's residential status (e.g., in-state or out-of-state). Beginning with the third enrolled matriculated semester, tuition scholarships are funded at the in-state rate and the recipient is responsible for payment of the difference between the in-state and out-of-state rates.

Pennsylvania residents who commute to Binghamton University can request an out-of-state tuition scholarship from their academic unit, or the unit offering the tuition scholarship, if they can demonstrate that relocating to New York would be unreasonable. Exceptions for Pennsylvania residents are normally approved if the student can show that he/she owns property in Pennsylvania, or has children attending a Pennsylvanian school. If approved, the tuition scholarship will cover the out-of-state tuition. 



  • Masters' candidates may receive a tuition scholarship for a maximum of 4 semesters.
  • Doctoral students who enter a graduate program with a master's degree in the same field may receive a maximum of 8 semesters of support.
  • Doctoral students who enter a doctoral program with a bachelor's degree may receive a maximum of 12 semesters of support.
  • Some graduate programs have additional limits.

Tuition for Overloads

Except where the graduate program specifically in writing requires students to overload, the tuition scholarship for G2 & G3 graduate students will typically cover only 9 credits. Tuition for G2, G3, & G4 students who wish to take more credits may be required to pay for all credits above the standards stated previously. 



Teaching/Graduate Assistantships

Each academic program is authorized to employ a specific number of Teaching/Graduate Assistantships (GA/TAs). These positions are funded by an annual SUNY allocation and all recipients are represented by the Graduate Student Employee Union (GSEU). Each GA/TA position (or "line") includes a base academic-year stipend and usually is accompanied by a full tuition scholarship for fall and spring semesters. Base (minimum) stipend levels can vary by discipline. The GSEU-State of New York contract also sets minimum stipend levels.

Over 100 graduate/teaching assistantships are awarded each year to degree-seeking students (except students in combined degree or "3-2"/"4+1" programs). Award of GA/TA positions is merit-based and competitive. Assistantships provide recipients with an academic year (ten-month) stipend with amount depending on discipline and degree. GA/TAs may also be awarded a tuition scholarship. Full time Graduate/Teaching assistants are expected to work 15-20 hours/week during the term of their appointment (semester or academic year). Half-time assistantships typically require 10 hours of work per week.

Graduate Assistants (GAs) complete research and/or provide administrative aid. Teaching assistants (TAs) provide some type of classroom support, either by teaching, leading discussion sections, grading, or preparing classroom materials. Graduate Programs award stipends on a competitive basis, with academic merit the primary criterion.

All applicants to graduate programs are considered for assistantships. No separate application form is required. To ensure consideration for fall semester assistantships, applicants must submit their application by the published application deadline. Application and funding deadlines vary by department.

The graduate program or school to which the applicant is seeking admission makes decisions on the awarding of stipends. The department or school notifies applicants as soon as possible after decisions are made. Assistantships to new and continuing students are made on a competitive basis, normally for a period of one academic year. The program's graduate committee determines the procedures and criteria for new awards as well as for the renewal of awards in subsequent academic years.

For students who receive assistantships, an offer letter will clearly provide the stipend amount, the appointment dates, and other important details about the appointment. To accept a teaching or graduate assistantship, the student must sign and return the Terms and Conditions paperwork in a timely manner. GA/TA positions cannot be "transferred" if a student opts to transfer to a different graduate program. GA/TAs have a responsibility to the program that has hired them to fulfill their teaching/research obligations to the hiring department. In the event of program change, the hiring department has the option of terminating the GA/TA position or of expecting the student to complete all obligations through the end of a given semester. GA/TAs contemplating a change of program should discuss such considerations openly with their GA/TA supervisor and the program directors for both programs.


GA/TA Title Designations

While designation of the title TA or GA is determined by the graduate program, it should be noted that both titles have implications for the Graduate School as well as the specific graduate program beyond the specific duties assigned. For example, TAs are credited with .250 faculty "full-time equivalency" (FTE); thus, four TAs are the equivalent of one faculty FTE. This affects faculty/student ratio, teaching loads, etc. TA lines need to appear in the course file and the resulting Course and Section Analysis (CASA) report. For this reason, TAs are expected to have teaching responsibilities that equate to 15-20 hours per week, while GAs who also contribute 15-20 hours per week do not normally have any teaching duties and are not entered into the course file.

Appointment of GA/TA Positions

Award of GA/TA positions is merit-based and competitive. Students must have >= 3.0 GPA and no outstanding Incompletes Withdrawals, or No Credit (NC) courses. Awards can be made to degree-seeking students only and cannot be awarded to fast-track / combined degree ("3+2" or "4+1" students).

The GSEU requires that each graduate department post in a public area the specific guidelines governing the selection of recipients of GA/TA positions.

Once decisions are made about which students will receive GA/TA positions, the graduate program sends an offer letter to each individual selected. The decision regarding which students receive GA/TA positions is at the discretion of the graduate program. However, the students must meet the "terms and conditions" stated in the assistantship and tuition scholarships forms. Furthermore, G1 & G2 students should not be assigned as instructor-of-record, and graduate students should not be teaching assistants for graduate courses. The Graduate School abides by the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution stipulating that all offers made to prospective graduate students for the upcoming fall semester must remain valid until April 15 of the current year. No graduate department at Binghamton University should set an earlier deadline for offers to be accepted or denied. Any offers not accepted by April 15 may be rescinded and may be re-offered to other qualified applicants.

The assistantship offer letter normally includes two copies of the Terms and Conditions for GA/TA Employment, the Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of the Tuition Scholarship and the confidentiality statement. To accept the offer, the applicant must sign and return both sets of documents. Once the graduate department has received signed acceptances, it can then appoint the student to the GA/TA payroll and an appointment letter is then sent to the prospective student.

To appoint a TA or GA as an employee, payment must be arranged through the use of the Human Resources Hiring Form. This form should be completed by a trained user. This appointment form requests fairly comprehensive information about each GA/TA (which is required by the University's payroll system). In order to provide all information, graduate programs are encouraged to use the Student Information Form available from the Graduate School. It is recommended that this form be sent to prospective GA/TAs along with their offer letter, so that all information is available at the time of appointment.

In addition, the department/academic unit must submit electronic copies of the offer letter and any future revisions to the Graduate School and Human Resources by emailing them to and offer letter is used to certify funds for international students. It is a legal contract between the University and the student, and must be added to the student's electronic record.

Please visit for more detailed and up-to-date information on GA/TA employment


Stipend Amounts

In addition to Graduate School policies, GA/TA appointments must also comply with the stipulations outlined in the Graduate Student Employees Union contract. The minimum stipend that a GA/TA working 20 hours per week can be paid is $8,586 for the academic year ($4,293/semester). GA/TAs working 10 hours a week must be paid stipends of at least $4,293/academic year (or a minimum of $2,147 per semester). This contract also stipulates that GA/TA positions cannot be divided into anything less than one-half appointments. In order to be eligible for insurance benefits, TAGAs must be paid a minimum of $4,293 per academic year.

All GA/TAs who are on the state payroll at the time a raise is negotiated will automatically receive the raise as stipulated by the contract. When these students are reappointed in subsequent years, they may not be paid any amount less than the amount they were earning at the end of the previous academic year.

Dividing GA/TA Lines

Departments may assign more than one student to a given GA/TA line, splitting the line into a fall appointment and a spring appointment. In this case, the two appointees are each expected to maintain a full 15- to 20-hour/week workload during the semester appointed.

Dividing one line among four students (with each working half-time for only one semester) is typically not acceptable.

Supplementing Base Stipend Levels

Graduate programs that wish to increase GA/TA stipend levels may do so through supplemental salary increases paid from departmental resources. Normally these supplemental funds are charged to IFR or department accounts. It is, however, important to understand that any raises that are negotiated while these students are on the payroll will be negotiated based on the total amount the student is receiving. Thus, if a graduate department intends to supplement a graduate student's funding in a future academic year, it must be prepared to increase the supplemented amount by the amount of any negotiated raises.

Example: The base stipend for Department X = $8,100. Department X wishes to pay a particular student $9,000. Department X supplements the student an additional $900. If a GSEU raise of 3% is negotiated, the student's new salary level goes from $9,000 to $9,270. If the department wishes to appoint the student for the next academic year, the student must be paid $9,270.

To supplement a GA/TA's stipend level, complete the GA/TA HR hiring form, providing the base stipend amount in the "Stipend Amount" field. Then, use the comments section to describe the additional amount that is to be added to the base, the total stipend, and the account to which the supplement is to be charged.

As an alternative to supplementing GA/TA salaries, graduate programs can offer merit-based fellowships to graduate students. These fellowships can be provided at any funding level and are normally paid to the student in two lump sums. Fellowships can be paid to all full-time matriculated graduate students, whether or not they are also awarded a GA/TA position. Fellowships are not subjected to GSEU mandated raises.


Insurance Benefits for GA/TA

As members of the Graduate Student Employees Union, TAs and GAs are entitled to participate in a health insurance plan. However, enrollment is not automatic; eligible students must enroll for the plan using a form available from Employee Benefits in the Office of Human Resources (AD 244).

Visit for more detailed and up-to-date information.

I-9s and Other Payroll Forms

Students cannot be placed on the payroll (or issued payroll checks) until they have completed a federal I-9 form

All graduate students working on campus must complete a federal I-9 Form. U.S. citizens must show two forms of identification (e.g., birth certificate, driver's license with photo, passport). International students must show current passports and visas. This must be done in person. Since the typical lag time from appointment of a GA/TA to first paycheck is nearly one month, the University encourages departments to emphasize the importance of the I-9 form to all of its prospective new GA/TAs. The I-9 form must be recertified any time there is a break in service (including summers). Returning GA/TAs who have an I-9 on file with the Human Resources Office will simply need to have the I-9 recertified; this can be done without student coming again to the office if the documents used to complete the original I-9 have not yet expired. However, international students must be present their original documents for recertification.

TAs and GAs must present identification and submit their I-9 forms to the Human Resources Office prior to beginning their assistantship duties. For more information, call the Payroll Office at 777-2122.

RPAs employed by the Research Foundation should present identification and submit their I-9 forms to the Research Foundation's Personnel/Payroll Office (AD 208).


GA/TA Registration Requirements

Teaching and Graduate Assistants (GA/TAs) are required to be registered full time in a degree program. To be registered full time, G1 first-year post-baccalaureate without master's students and students in terminal masters programs must register for 12 credits; G2 (second-year without master's) students in doctoral-granting programs, G3 (with master's but not ABD), and G4 (ABD) students must register for 9 credits. Registration must be completed before the first day of classes each semester. Continuing students must "advance register".

GA/TA Employment Requirements

Recipients of Graduate/Teaching Assistantships are assigned duties in support of teaching or research. These responsibilities normally require, on average, between 15 and 20 hours per week. The specific duties of the assignment may be outlined by the graduate program but must fit within the more general University-defined GA/TA position definitions.

GA/TAs are committed on a full-time basis, dividing their time between their assistantship duties and the pursuit of a graduate degree. Recipients of Graduate/Teaching Assistantships may not simultaneously hold other appointments in the university, regardless of the source or amount of funding. In exceptional circumstances, a student may request to take on a minimal additional responsibility that will require no more than five hours of service weekly for a limited number of weeks. Such requests must be approved by the Graduate School. If approved, payment is from departmental funds paid through the Extra Service mechanism. Please note, for any work being done outside of the primary GA/TA department, a Petition for Approval of GA/TA Employment is required to verify that the additional duties will not interfere with degree progress and must be signed by the Director of the graduate program. In addition, for all on campus extra service requests, Human Resources requires the extra service funding department to complete an extra service request form, as well as a Pay Extra Service HR Form to process payment. Both forms can be found on the Human Resources website.


Renewal/Continuation of GA/TA Awards

Awards are renewed on a merit and competitive basis and are granted for a maximum of two semesters at a time. Renewal or continuation of Assistantship awards for second and subsequent semesters will be contingent on availability of funds and operational needs as well as on satisfactory performance of assistantship duties and satisfactory academic progress. Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 and not have outstanding Incompletes, or Withdrawals while funded by the University. A lower GPA will result in probation. Students on probation are not eligible to receive renewed or new offers of funding. Eligibility for university funding is also limited by department policy.

Termination of GA/TA Appointment

Should it be necessary to terminate a GA/TA appointment after a student has been appointed, it is the graduate program's responsibility to cease all funding and notify the other relevant offices (ISSS, the Graduate School, Human Resources, the Research Foundation, etc.). To officially end employment for a GA/TA that is being separated (terminated) before the end of their appointment, please submit an HR separation form.

When a GA/TA position is vacated, the graduate program may decide to refill the position for the rest of the semester, as long as the termination date and beginning date for the new GA/TA do not overlap (thus avoiding paying two students on the same line at the same time). The new GA/TA is entitled to all stipend dollars not paid to the original GA/TA.

Typically, only one tuition scholarship per semester per GA/TA line (position) is provided. Thus, when a GA/TA position is terminated, the graduate program may decide whether to allow the original GA/TA to maintain the tuition scholarship for the remainder of the existing semester or to transfer the tuition scholarship to the replacement. If a GA/TA's tuition scholarship is terminated, the student will be held responsible for repayment of the tuition scholarship. Note, however, that this assumes that the GA/TA registered and attended classes; no tuition indebtedness occurs if a student does not register.

Taxation of Stipends

Since the 1986 revisions to the tax laws, stipends for assistantships (GA/TA/RPA) and fellowships are considered taxable, although academic expenses may be deducted from fellowship awards. Graduate students receiving assistantship stipends must file a federal W-4 Form and similar NYS form in the University's Human Resources Office (if TA or GA) or the Research Foundation's Personnel/Payroll Office (if RPA) before employment begins. Unless other arrangements are explicitly made, withholding tax is deducted from all graduate, teaching, and research assistantships. Withholding tax is not deducted from fellowship awards, but fellowships are taxable, and recipients should consult with tax advisors.


Graduate Student Employees Union

Graduate students who are awarded state-funded teaching or graduate assistantships and who hold titles of TA (Teaching Assistant) or GA (Graduate Assistant) belong to the bargaining unit represented by the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU). Only students in these two categories are in the bargaining unit. Others--including graduate students on fellowships, externally funded internships, research project assistantships (RPAs), and interns --are not represented by a union.

Unit-Funded Teaching/Graduate Assistantships

Academic departments and administrative offices across campus may use a variety of sources (e.g., department or IFR funds) to appoint a graduate student as a Teaching and/or Graduate Assistantship (GA/TA), provided the assistantship duties fall within the University's description for such positions. Assuming minimal stipend standards are met (see "Salary Standards" below), students appointed as a GA/TA may be eligible for tuition scholarships for the term of appointment. These GA/TAs will be members of the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU) and will be eligible for GSEU health benefits, reduced parking rates, and other GSEU benefits.

Both Teaching and Graduate Assistants must be admitted as a degree student to a Binghamton University graduate program. Assistants must be registered full time and must be in good academic standing (with a GPA of 3.0 or better) throughout the period of employment. Appointees must also read and sign the Terms and Conditions for GA/TA Employment and confidentiality statement, which provides the complete requirements for employment.

Departments/administrative offices that wish to support a GA/TA must also be willing to comply with the salary standards set forth below (which comply with the GSEU contract). In addition, if a department/administrative unit wishes to continue the appointment of a specific student in future academic years, the department must be willing to provide support for all GSEU negotiated increases. (Historically such increases have been negotiated at approximately 3% to 3.5% annually.


Title Definitions

Teaching Assistant (TA): The primary focus of a Teaching Assistant (TA) is on classroom teaching. The TA will normally be:

  • the instructor of record for one or more specific classes, or responsible for conducting laboratory or discussion sessions for one or more specific classes, or
  • responsible for assisting the instructor of record in a large lecture class or a class that involves both lecture and discussion/laboratory sections

Depending on the program, TAs may also be asked to:

  • assist faculty in classroom preparations and presentations,
  • grade classroom assignments,
  • provide individual student lessons,
  • hold office hours to assist students in the class(es) to which the TA is assigned,
  • assist in preparing tests and other class materials,
  • conduct laboratory exercises.

Graduate Assistant (GA): The Graduate Assistant (GA) normally provides assistance to a graduate program or to faculty within the program. GAs are not normally assigned to a specific course. The GA may be responsible for any or all of the following tasks:

  • hold office hours to assist and/or advise undergraduate students in the discipline,
  • oversee general/public labs not related to a specific class,
  • provide faculty with support in preparing publications,
  • support faculty research efforts.


Time Commitments

GA/TAs supported by departments/administrative units will be expected to work the standard 15-20 hours expected of all other GA/TAs in academic programs. If fewer hours are required, students may be appointed as a half-time GA/TA. Graduate students are not normally permitted to work more than 20 hours/week during the academic year. In exceptional cases, GA/TAs may be paid extra funds through the Extra Service payment option. However, Extra Service should be used only for short-term extra duty; Extra Service cannot be used as a means of increasing the regular work week by more than 20 hours. Students receiving a tuition scholarship may not receive extra pay for extra work without prior approval of Graduate Director.

Salary Standards

In order to be eligible for a full (100%) tuition scholarship, Teaching and/or Graduate Assistants supported by departments/administrative units must be appointed as full time and be paid at or above the minimum salary requirements as outlined previously under "Stipend Amounts." 

Half-time appointments are eligible for a 50% tuition scholarship.


Appointing a Unit-Funded GA/TA

Once a suitable graduate student is selected for the GA/TA position, please refer to the "Appointment of GA/TA Positions" section and follow the instructions outlined.  


Research Project Assistantships (RPAs)

Grant funding can provide support for Research Project Assistants (RPAs). RPAs are normally provided an academic-year (ten-month) stipend with the amount determined by the grant Principal Investigator. RPAs may be eligible for a tuition scholarship. RPAs work approximately 15-20 hours/week on research.

RPAs are selected by the graduate program using the same criterion as is used for selecting GA/TAs. To be eligible, the student must meet the basic criteria for GA/TA appointment, including full-time registration in a degree program and GPA equal to or greater than a 3.0.

Graduate students supported by grant and contract monies that flow through the Research Foundation may be eligible for a full tuition scholarship provided that the students' academic achievement, and stipend level, meet the minimum standards and the grant or contract PI has complied with the Tuition Scholarship Reimbursement Policy for Grants and Contracts. All tuition scholarships paid to graduate Research Project Assistants (RPAs) are paid via the appointing department's tuition scholarship allocation which is assigned by the Dean's office of each school. Tuition scholarships are merit-based and competitive. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better, have no outstanding incompletes, no grades of withdrawal, or No Credit (NC) grades, while supported by a tuition scholarship, as well as maintaining good academic standing, and making good progress toward the degree.

In order to be eligible for tuition scholarship, RPAs must be paid stipends of at least $8,586/academic year for 20 hours of work service (or $4,293 per semester). RPAs working 10 hours a week must be paid minimum stipends of $4,293/academic year (or $2,147 per semester). RPA stipend levels should be equivalent to or greater than the standard GATA stipend levels of each discipline.


Payroll Forms/Requirements

Arrangement for the RPA stipend must be made through the Research Foundation Personnel/Payroll Office. It is the responsibility of the grant PI or graduate program to complete all necessary RF appointment paperwork in order to assure that the student is place on the RF payroll. Please contact the RF Personnel/Payroll Office (777-4264) for questions concerning direct deposit, income tax withholding, and I-9 requirements.

Termination of RPA Appointments

When it is necessary to terminate an RPA position, it is important that the student's departmental dean's office be notified immediately so that the tuition scholarship may also be terminated. 

If an RPA has held the RPA position for at least the first 9 weeks of the semester, the PI may decide whether or not to allow the student to maintain the tuition scholarship for that semester. In the event that the tuition scholarship is continued for the existing semester, the PI or graduate program may not assign a tuition scholarship to the replacement.



A variety of merit-based fellowship opportunities exist for graduate students at Binghamton University. Fellowship recipients are paid a monthly stipend that varies depending on the type of fellowship. Fellows may be eligible for a tuition scholarship. Normally fellows are expected to be in residence during the fellowship; but travel for the work of the fellowship is permissible. If the fellow will be off campus for more than a month of the fellowship, a written plan and schedule of work should be discussed with the faculty advisor, and the plan should be approved by and filed with the Graduate Director.


Dissertation Fellowships (DF)

Depending on availability of funds, some dissertation fellowships (DF) are offered each year to outstanding doctoral students who have been advanced to candidacy and who show exceptional merit. DF fellowships are offered for one or two semesters (and are not renewable). DFs provide each recipient with a stipend equal to the base GA/TA stipend for the recipient's program. Including the DF time, recipients must not exceed the maximum number of years of funding; 12 semesters if entered with BA/BS, 8 semesters if entered with MA/MS.

Recipients of a dissertation fellowship must have >=3.0 GPA, no outstanding Incompletes, no Withdrawals, and no NC grades (No Credit). Students must have good academic standing and be making satisfactory progress toward degree.

Provost's Doctoral Fellowship Summer Program

Some doctoral programs receive an allocation of Provost's Summer Fellowships to use in recruiting the strongest applicants to their doctoral programs

The fellowship program is funded in partnership between the Provost's Office and the school or doctoral program. The Provost's Office will provide $3,000 for each fellowship; the program or school will provided $1,000. The Provost's Summer Fellowship of $4,000 is offered on top of other funding, including any other summer funding offered to all funded graduate students; it does not replace department or program summer funds, but supplements them.

As long as the student makes good progress toward the PhD degree, the award will provide a summer fellowship of $4,000 per year for four years beginning in the summer between the first and second academic years; each summer, the academic program will provide $1,000 of this amount. Please ensure that the fellow completes the degree within the fellowship period (4 years) and receives good mentoring, professional development, and appropriate counseling about the job market.

To arrange for the award distribution for an approved Provost's Doctoral Fellow, the graduate program must complete the on-line "Provost's Doctoral Summer Fellowship & Enhancement Appointment Form" submitted via GradLink.


Binghamton Foundation Fellowships

A number of miscellaneous fellowships are made available through charitable gifts solicited by the Binghamton Foundation. Application and selection procedures vary depending on the type of award. Contact the Binghamton Foundation (777-2011) for more information on graduate fellowship opportunities. The Graduate School normally provides a tuition scholarship for such fellowships provided they meet minimum funding guidelines. Normally a full (100%) tuition scholarship is provided for fellowships of at least $8,100/academic year; a half (50%) tuition scholarship is provided for fellowships paid at a rate of at least $4,122/academic year.

Dr.Gajwani MS University Fellowship

The Gajwani Fellowship is awarded to a new applicant to Binghamton University who has received a degree from the MS University of Baroda in India. The fellowship provides the recipient with an annual stipend for the first year.

Applications for the fellowship are available at; selection is made by a committee selected by the Graduate School.


Clifford D. Clark Minority Fellowships

Binghamton University is committed to supporting all students. One means is through the Clifford D. Clark Underrepresented Minority Graduate Fellowships, named for a former president of the university (1975-1990), and funded by the State University of New York and an endowment fund. Clark Fellowships are merit-based and designed to recruit and support students who have been admitted to graduate study and contribute to the diversity of the student body. The funding package includes academic year stipends, full tuition scholarships, guaranteed award periods, research and travel opportunities, and other benefits. For full details visit the Clark Fellowship web page.

Appointment of Fellowships

Clark Fellows and Gajwani Fellows are selected and appointed directly by the Graduate School. Other fellowships are handled differently, depending on the individual fellowship. The custodian for all fellowships awarded through the Binghamton Foundation will receive a packet of materials that provides guidance on how to arrange for payment of the stipend. Questions can also be directed to the Graduate School.

Tuition Scholarships for Fellows

The Graduate School normally provides a tuition scholarship for fellowships provided they meet minimum funding guidelines. Normally a full (100%) tuition scholarship is provided for fellowships of at least $8,100/academic year; a half (50%) tuition scholarship is provided for fellowships paid at a rate of at least $4,122/academic year. Permission to appoint a tuition scholarship must be obtained from the Assistant Dean of the Graduate School. Recipients must have >=3.0 GPA, no outstanding Incompletes, no Withdrawals, no grade of NC (No Credit), good academic standing and be making satisfactory progress toward degree.

To appoint a tuition scholarship for a fellow, complete the "Appoint a Fellow, ORC or Other with Tuition" form, submitted via GradLink.


Fellow Expectations and Limitations

Fellows receiving tuition scholarships are required to abide by the Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of the Tuition Scholarship. In addition, fellows are expected to devote themselves full-time to the pursuit of their graduate degrees. Fellows are not permitted to hold other positions.

Fellowship recipients are not covered under the GSEU bargaining unit, and no insurance benefits are provided to fellows. Fellowship recipients are encouraged to purchase the University's student health plan through the Student Accounts Office. Fellows who are paid stipends through the Research Foundation may also purchase the Research Foundation's insurance plan at full cost.


Taxation of Fellowship Stipends

Although withholding tax is not deducted from fellowship stipends, they are considered taxable income and must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Academic expenses (such as books and fees) may, however, be tax deductible by individuals.

Federally-Funded College Work Study Program

Several federal Work-Study positions are available on campus for graduate students who qualify on the basis of financial need. This program is open only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States. To apply, file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application and the Graduate School's Work-Study application

Work Study participants earn an hourly wage and can work up to 20 hours/week. Recipients must have >=3.0 GPA, no outstanding Incompletes, no Withdrawals, no grade of NC (No Credit), and be making satisfactory progress toward their degree.


What is a G1 Student?

  • Any student in a program code that grants only master's degrees.


  • Any student in a doctoral granting program who has not yet completed 24 credit hours in residence.

What is a G2 Student?

  • Any second-year student who does not yet hold a master's degree but has completed 24 credit hours in residence.

What is a G3 Student? 

  • Any student in a doctoral granting program who has completed the requirements for the master's degree and has begun to complete doctoral coursework.

What is a G4 Student?

  • Any doctoral student who has been officially advanced to candidacy (ABD)

Full-Time Registration Requirements for Funded Students

  • G1 funded students must always register for 12 credits to be considered full time.
  • G2, G3, & G4 funded students must always register for 9 credits to be considered full time.


Overload Policy for Funded Students

G1 Students

Students receiving tuition scholarships are expected to register full time. Because G1 students must take 12 credits (the maximum chargeable tuition amount), they may overload at no additional cost; thus, there are no special requirements for G1 students.

G2, G3, & G4 Students

G2, G3, & G4 students are considered full time at 9 credits. Thus, taking more than 9 credit hours constitutes an overload for funded students. G2, G3, & G4 students who register for more than 9 credit hours will be billed for all credits above 9, unless an overload is approved by the graduate program. Overloads will be approved only when it is demonstrated that the additional credit hours are applicable to the degree program requirements and are essential for completion of the degree in a timely manner.

Payment of Fees for ABD Students

Prior to the fall semester 1998, funded students were permitted to be certified as full time by registering for between 1 and 4 credits. During that time, students were responsible for all fees assessed, but could contain expense by registering for only 1 credit. In the fall of 1998 it was deemed in the best interest of the institution - in terms of maximizing funds allocated from SUNY system - for all students receiving a tuition scholarship to be registered full time. Students who had previously been registering for 1 credit were now required to register for 9 credits.

Funded students who qualify as ABD (officially all-but-dissertation) and "CC" (coursework completed) may register for any number of thesis or dissertation research credits up to 9 credits and only pay the mandatory student fees for one credit. This policy is established in order to prevent an undue financial liability for students funded with a full tuition scholarship who might otherwise register for only 1 credit in order to maintain full-time status. Funded ABD and CC students may take other courses (e.g., regular courses, seminars, independent study, any other non-thesis or non-dissertation research courses) but are required to pay fees for any such courses. The "one-credit-fee for up to 9 thesis/dissertation credits" policy does not apply to self-funded students.



In order to qualify, students must meet all of the following qualifications:

  • Must qualify as an ABD or CC student (see definition below).
  • Must be receiving a full (100%) tuition scholarship.
  • Must be a G2, G3, & G4 student registered for 9 credits.

"CC" Status

To qualify for "CC" status, a graduate student must have completed all coursework requirements for the degree. This coursework must have been completed by the first day of classes of the semester in which the student is to be designated as "CC." Coursework is to be considered complete only when a grade has been assigned for each course; coursework is not considered complete when the grade recorded is "Incomplete."

"ABD" Status

ABD means "all-but-dissertation". To qualify for "ABD" status, a graduate student must have been officially advanced to doctoral candidacy. To be advanced to candidacy, the graduate student's program office must have submitted to the Graduate School the "Recommendation for Advancement to Candidacy for Doctoral Degree" form. which verifies that all course-work, number of credits required, required exams, excluding the dissertation defense, have been completed.

Policy Limitations

  • Fees assessed on 10-12 credits are not included in this policy and are the responsibility of the student.
  • Students who are simultaneously completing their master's degree and beginning PhD coursework do not qualify for "CC" status. The only time a master's student qualifies for this status is if the student is a "terminal" master's student (i.e., not continuing on at Binghamton University for the PhD) and is in a position to take only one credit of thesis research in order to complete the master's thesis.
  • The last date for preparation of a CC/ABD letter is the day before the first day of classes in the semester that the fee will be reduced.
  • Only standard mandatory student fees are covered; the international student insurance fee, the optional insurance fee, and any late fees or reinstatement fees are not covered under this arrangement.


Procedure for Certifying Status

  • Certification of status is the responsibility of the graduate program. It is important to review the student's record carefully to make sure that he/she meets the requirements for the given status. The graduate program must notify the Graduate School of each student's status; this is done by completing the appropriate "CC/ABD" area on the appointment form. If certification was overlooked at the time of appointment, graduate directors may send an email to the Graduate School verifying a student's status.

Federal Financial Aid

Aid for Degree Students

U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States who are enrolled in degree-granting programs at Binghamton University may be eligible for federal aid administered by Financial Aid Services (Student Wing Rm 119). To be considered for financial aid, a Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) must be filed by April 1 for the fall semester or November 1 for the spring semester.

Graduate students can receive up to $20,500 in a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and additional aid from the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan.

Complete information about grants, loans, and employment, including the Federal College Work-Study program and the University's Job Opportunity Program are available from the Financial Aid Services Office.


Aid for Non-degree Student

Non-degree graduate students who are U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents may apply for financial aid for up to one year, provided that they take at least six credits per semester and can verify that the courses they take would be applicable to a graduate degree at Binghamton University.

To apply for non-degree aid, students must obtain a financial aid form for non degree students (available from the Financial Aid Services Office located in the Student Wing, Rm 119) and have the form signed by the appropriate director of graduate studies and a representative of the Graduate School. The director of graduate studies who signs this form attests that the courses chosen will apply toward a graduate degree in the program.

Help With External Funding

Binghamton University is a member of COS. This allows all students, faculty, and staff access to COS's searchable database of grant and fellowship opportunities by logging on from a University server or proxy server at COS provides information on funding in all disciplines and features several features such as user profiles and funding alerts. The Technology Training Center (TTC) will provide workshops in searching COS and getting the most out of this service. For more information on TTC workshops, see


Graduate Tuition Opportunity Program

The Graduate Tuition Opportunity Program (GTOP) pays partial tuition for qualified minority students. Former EOP or SEEK or HEOP students may qualify for tuition scholarships through this program. For more information or to apply, contact the Graduate School. Download a copy of the Graduate Tuition Opportunity program (pdf, 163KB).


Taxation of Stipends

Since the 1986 revisions to the tax laws, stipends for assistantships and fellowships are considered taxable, although academic expenses may be deducted from fellowship awards. Graduate students receiving assistantship stipends must file a federal W-4 Form and similar NYS form in the University's Human Resources Office or the Research Foundation's Personnel/Payroll Office before employment begins. Unless other arrangements are explicitly made, withholding tax is deducted from all graduate, teaching, and research assistantships. Withholding tax is not deducted from fellowship awards, but fellowships are taxable, and recipients should consult with tax advisors.


Graduate Student Employees Union

Graduate students who are awarded state-funded teaching or graduate assistantships and who hold titles of TA (Teaching Assistant) or GA (Graduate Assistant) belong to the bargaining unit represented by the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU). Only students in these two categories are in the bargaining unit; others--including students on external or internal fellowships, research project assistants (RPAs), and interns--are not represented by a union.


Tuition scholarships and stipends do not cover fees.

All required fees must be paid by the beginning of semester. Advanced students who have completed all required coursework or who are officially all-but-dissertation (ABD) may be eligible for reduced fees.


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Last Updated: 4/16/14