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General Guidelines

The Office of Graduate Education and Life sets the University policies for tuition waivers. Colleges, with approval from Graduate Education and Life, can set policies that are more (but not less) restrictive than the university policy. Changes in waiver policy must receive approval from Graduate Education and Life. 


  • By default, waivers cover University tuition. Students are responsible for paying College tuition and University fees. 
  • Each college can determine if waivers apply only to university tuition or to both university tuition and college tuition (i.e., colleges or departments may provide a scholarship for college tuition; college tuition itself may not be waived).
  • Students receiving waivers should be in good academic standing (i.e., not on academic probation). Graduate students who have been admitted provisionally may hold an assistantship or receive merit waivers if available and approved by their college dean.
  • A graduate student on academic probation must have permission from their college and Graduate Education and Life to continue to hold an assistantship or to receive tuition waivers.
  • Waivers can only be used for graduate/professional courses (400-level and above). 
  • Tuition waivers are only to be used to support courses that are on the student’s approved plan of study and/or are part of the approved degree curriculum. 
  • Certificate programs taken in conjunction with a graduate degree may allow for waiver of tuition, with the approval of the College.
  • With the exception of employees eligible for graduate tuition waivers, students solely in graduate certificate programs and non-degree seeking students are not eligible for tuition waivers.
  • Some programs and courses restrict students’ use of graduate tuition waivers. These restrictions are described more fully on the Graduate Education and Life website in Restrictions on Use of Waivers
  • Programs/colleges/schools are responsible for sending changes or updates to their restrictions of waivers to Graduate Education and Life as they occur. Programs are required to disclose and regularly update student eligibility for seeking assistantships or receiving tuition waivers. 
  • Students who are seeking graduate assistantships or different types of tuition waivers (such as merit-based, employee-based, or special program waivers) should confirm that the program of enrollment will permit tuition waivers. 
  • The units that intend to hire students as graduate assistants are also responsible for being aware of and adhering to any restrictions placed on these waivers.
  • Graduate Education and Life will oversee compliance with tuition waiver policies related to GPA, enrollment, student health insurance coverage, and the correct use of assistantship positions (waiver type, stipend etc.).


  • Waiver forms must be submitted each term. 
  • Tuition waiver submitters must read the guidelines on who must complete, approve and submit the form for each type of waiver.
  • Waiver forms should be submitted well ahead of the first student billing date for each academic term so that students will not be billed or assessed late fees for University tuition (if possible).
  • Employee waiver forms must be initiated by the student employee who is requesting the waiver.
  • Assistantship, fellowship and merit waiver forms must be submitted by appropriate University staff members (not by students).