The Research Office

Wilson Hall
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-2762
(248) 370-4111

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Graduate Tuition Assistance

Graduate Student Tuition Assistance: The GReAT Award
Graduate Research Assistantship Tuition (GReAT) Awards support tuition for graduate students whose work can be shown to support faculty research. GReAT is a competitive program that provides supplemental tuition support to Oakland University (OU) graduate students working with OU faculty. GReAT was developed to assist faculty with providing tuition to their graduate research assistants under various circumstances, including: cost sharing that is mandated by sponsors; proposals to sponsors that do not allow tuition costs; budgets for which the sponsors impose a cap on the dollar amount requested; and for research that does not have external funding support, but has the promise of future funding. In each of these situations, the principal investigator must provide the stipends for the graduate students who receive GReAT funding.  GReAT awards will not replace student funding support from external funders. Faculty seeking a GReAT award for a graduate student should submit the GReAT Tuition Form.

Other sources of tuition funding at OU include the Graduate Study Assistantship Program, new program budgets, department and non-academic unit funds, and King-Chavez-Parks (KCP) Future Faculty Fellowships.

The criteria to qualify for the GReAT tuition award include the following:

  1. The GReAT award is to provide tuition support for a full-time (8 credits hours/semester per OU policy) graduate research assistant (GRA).
  2. The GReAT award allows up to 16 credit hours per student per academic year.
  3. The GRA must maintain at least an overall 3.0 GPA and satisfactory academic progress.
  4. The faculty adviser/mentor or unit head must provide evidence that the GRA is, or will be, receiving stipend support to conduct research during the period of GReAT support.
  5. The GReAT application has to be submitted by the faculty adviser/mentor or unit head. 
  6. Teaching Assistants (TAs) and recipients of any other scholarships are not qualified for GReAT.
  7. If cost sharing is required by the funding agency, the principal investigator must request tuition matching on The Research Office Electronic Proposal Routing Application (EPRA).
  8. To continue receiving a GReAT award, the PI must submit the application every academic year in order to secure the existing student.

What is a graduate research assistant (GRA)?
A GRA is an OU full-time graduate student that meets OU’s graduate assistantship program requirements.

How to apply?
The faculty adviser/mentor or unit head must submit a completed GReAT Tuition Form and email it to

Can GRA students receive the GReAT tuition award without a stipend?
The stipend must be part of the GA agreement, see OU GA Policy Guidelines;, and the stipend funding source must be identified (criterion #4 above).

When are the application deadlines?

Fall Semester:
Submission Deadline: 2nd Monday of March (or May*)
Graduate Study Review & Approval: 4th Monday of March (or May*)
ORA Recommendation: 1st Monday of April (or June*)

Winter Semester:
Submission Deadline: 2nd Monday of September
Graduate Study Review & Approval: 4th Monday of September
ORA Recommendation: 1st Monday of October

*Applications submitted in response to the later deadline, usually for newly admitted students, are subject to availability of funds that have not already been awarded during the regular submission periods.

What’s next after the tuition award announcement?
The PI’s department prepares a letter of offer and the GA agreement. After all required signatures are obtained, forward them to ORA.

How will the tuition payment be handled?
After ORA receives and approves the letter of offer and GA agreement, they will be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Study to process the tuition payment.

Does GReAT support the summer term?
Consistent with GA Policy Guidelines, GReAT does not support the summer term.

Can an unused GReAT award be carried over to the next year?
No, an award cannot be carried over to the next budget year per university policy (concerning general fund expenditures); therefore, the GReAT application must be resubmitted (criterion #8 above).

What if the PI has to change student after receiving the award announcement?
The PI has to submit the GReAT application form for the new student and notify ORA this is replacing awarded student. A justification is required.

Does GReAT support no-cost extension grants?
It is required to submit the GReAT application, since GReAT does not automatically support no-cost extensions on grants.

What if the GRA has not been identified and the application deadline passes?
On the GReAT application form, specify “new student TBD” in “Student Name” field.

Can I use GReAT award to cover existing funded external grant's and contract's GA(s)?
It has to be reviewed and approved by ORA grant officers.

Additional questions?
Contact Shamon Murdock at or (248) 370-2557.