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titleMajor Updates In Progress

As we all know, much has changed since Fall 2019! We are working hard behind the scenes to bring this page up to date - thanks for your patience and flexibility.

You can "watch" this page to be notified of important updates - see instructions on the Collab Access page.

Dear Colleagues,

In the Fall of 2019, we created this collaborative resource to share information about the campus’s strategic efforts to reform the graduate student funding model. We are now augmenting this to encompass all major  communications about this topic, organized chronologically in the table below. The FAQ resource can also still be found here.


For a chronological list of documents and communications, please see Graduate Funding Reform - Documents and Communications.  
The same documents and communications are linked as pertinent in the topics and FAQ below. 

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titleChronological Table List of Documents and Communications



Link to Resource

August 6, 2019

Recommendations from the Senate-Administration Workgroup on Graduate Funding 

October 14, 2019

Graduate Student Funding Update (Memo from EVC and Graduate Dean to Campus) 

November 8, 2019

Graduate Student Funding Reforms: An Update (Memo from EVC and Graduate Dean to Campus) 

November 22, 2019

Review of the Senate Administration Workgroup on Graduate Funding Report (Memo from Maripat Corr, Chair of Academic Senate, to EVC)

Link to report: Graduate Funding Workgroup Report Response 11-22-19 (2).pdf

January 15, 2020

Letter, and one-page executive summary, from Graduate Dean to EVC re: The Graduate Division’s Proposed Next Steps in light of Senate Recommendations, and one-page executive summary of this letter

Link to letter: EVC ltr re Senate Grad Funding 01.15.20.pdf

Link to one-page Executive Summary: Graduate Student Funding Reform--Summary for Deans & Chairs.pdf

February 23, 2020

Summary Grid: Increasing Graduate Support at UC San Diego (created by the EVC’s office)

Link to Grid: Grad Support Summary 2020-02-21 (1).pdf

February 24, 2020

Supporting UC San Diego Graduate Students (Memo from EVC and Graduate Dean to Campus) 

February 28, 2020

Notice to Students: Summer Employment Opportunities for Graduate Students 

November 3, 2020Update - Proportional Funding Split for Graduate Tuition & RemissionUpdate - Proportional Funding Split for Graduate Tuition & Remission
February 2, 2021Email Update on Graduate Student Funding for Chairs and Directors of Departments and Programs, College Provosts and Department Business Officers

(--sent directly to the recipients.) This update summarized the plans for graduate funding reform in the areas of Block Grant and TA Allocation, and were the product of extensive consultations with the programs as well as a diverse focus group of department chairs and program directors, and conversations with deans and divisional budget officers.

NOTE: Program-specific allocation of Block Grant as well as the divisional value of TA Load was shared separately with each respective Dean.

We appreciate the efforts of all the campus partners who have collaborated in this revision of graduate resource allocation methods, which we hope will enable us to better support our graduate students in the coming years.

Constantly Updated

Frequently Asked Questions

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titleAnswers to Frequently Asked Questions

Q&A items were originally posted on October 25, 2019. Updates to original items were made and additional items were added on November 3, November 7, December 10 2019, and March 6, 2020 as noted below. We have also now organized the questions by topic. Please check back periodically for more updates and additions.


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titleArchive - FAQ Last Updated March 2020
Table of Contents

Overarching questions

Q1.1: The memo seems to imply that all doctoral students are guaranteed five years of financial support, immediately. Is that true? (added on 11/7/19)

A1.1: No. As the opening sentence of the memo says, “We are… working toward a model (emphasis added) where all Doctoral students would be admitted with five years of guaranteed financial support.” The guarantee of five years of financial support does not begin immediately. We intend to reach that goal at some point in the future and to involve academic units and Senate Leadership in planning the implementation.

Q1.2: It does not seem like we will have adequate resources to both fund current students and admit a new class. Should we be suspending admissions? (added on 11/3/19, revised 11/7/19)

A1.2: The university does not intend to reduce support for graduate student funding. The graduate student funding reforms aim to help UC San Diego programs boost cohort diversity, strength, stability, and size. Departments should continue whatever they have done historically to make determinations about the appropriate size of their incoming cohort of students.

Q1.3: I understand that there was a workgroup on how the campus allocates Block Grant and Teaching Assistant funds. What is the status?

A1.3: The workgroup has submitted a report which is being reviewed by the Academic Senate and the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs’ Office.  Stay tuned...

Q1.4: What is the overall implementation plan? (added on 3/6/20)

A1.4: The overall plan of implementation for all graduate funding reform, including what has already been accomplished, is summarized in the Summary Grid.

Questions about tuition/fee source

Q2.1: My department has been supporting a student as a 25% Teaching Assistant plus support from Block Grant. The Teaching Assistant tuition and fee pool has been paying all of the tuition and fee costs. Now it will be paying only a proportion. Where will the rest of the tuition and fee payments come from? Can the Teaching Assistant tuition and fee pool savings be added to the department’s Block Grant to help support the student?

A2.1: Yes. The university does not intend to spend less in support of Doctoral and MFA students. Because the same funding source is used for both the TA and Block Grant tuition and fees, we intend to rebalance the budget for these two allocations. Reconciliation of these matters will happen at the program level with input from deans and departments. 

Q2.2: Does the requirement that The cost of the tuition and fee payments and other benefits will be charged proportionally across the funding sources of the student’s support” mean that if a student is supported on a 25% Teaching Assistant appointment and a 24.99% Graduate Student Research appointment that the Teaching Assistant funding and the grant funding will each be charged approximately half the cost of the tuition and fee payments and other benefits? What if my grant cannot afford the cost?

A2.2: The TA funding and the GSR funding would each be charged approximately half the cost of the tuition, student services fee, health insurance fees, and potentially other campus fees. Where allowable, grants should be submitted with budgets that include the proportional cost of tuition, fee payments, and other benefits. As a transition, faculty who experience budget challenges due to this change should make their department aware. We are committed to working with deans and departments to find a reasonable solution where there are gaps.

Questions about 50% equivalent funding

Important note (added 12/10/19):

The original October 14th memo
Minimum Support Guarantee

The original October 14, 2019 memo indicated "Effective winter quarter, Doctoral and MFA students must be

supported at

supported at a minimum of the equivalent of a 50% Teaching Assistantship.

The minimum

The minimum may be met by a combination of appointments and/or fellowships.


The student’s home department is responsible for monitoring their

level of

level of support. The Graduate Dean has the authority to grant

limited exceptions

limited exceptions to this policy when deemed appropriate and in the

best interest

best interest of the student."

The November 8th, 2019 update memo distributed

to deans

to deans, department chairs, assistant deans, department business officers, and graduate coordinators,


added an important clarification which reads, "However, at the suggestion of divisional partners, we are adding language to clarify the precise meaning of the first sentence so that it now reads, 'Effective winter quarter (2020), Doctoral and MFA


students who were admitted with a guarantee of support must be supported at the minimum of the equivalent of a 50% Teaching Assistantship.



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titleOur department is eager to arrive at the point where every doctoral student is admitted with a promise of 50% support for 5 years.
However, we are not there yet. Some of our current students were admitted with a promise of support for fewer than 5 years. Must the department retroactively change the support packages of all existing students to be 5 years at 50%?
 (added on 11/7/19) 

No. The reform requires that any student whom the department has committed to support during a given quarter be supported at a minimum level of 50%

— and we will work with units to find ways to cover any gaps

There is no requirement to retroactively change the length of time for which a given student will be supported. Our goal is to work toward a future where every new student will be admitted with a 5-year support package.


Added on 11/17/19, updated 8/23/21

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titleDo these reform efforts imply that a Doctoral or MFA student will be guaranteed full funding past their fifth year? And do departments now have to fully fund students who have exceeded the original funding commitment they received from their departments at the time of their admission (what we call “post-admissions support commitment students”)?
(revised 11/7/19)

The spirit of these reforms is that the university will work over time toward a model where all Doctoral students would be admitted with five years of guaranteed graduate financial support. As has always been the case, departments are encouraged to work with post-admissions support commitment students who remain eligible for funding to identify funding opportunities.

The university policy on graduate student support time limits has not changed.

Q3.3: What is the expectation/obligation (if any) to fund students for summer?

A3.3: At this time the minimum support level applies only to the academic year. 

Q3.4: Does this reform now mean that a student will automatically be funded at the “50% Teaching Assistant level” even if they do not work? (revised 11/7/19)

A3.4: No. The intention is that students with established commitments of support will receive a combination of graduate financial support equivalent to that of a 50% TA appointment. The mix of all funding sources should add up to at least the equivalent of a 50% TA appointment. The reform does not involve completely replacing TA appointments with fellowship funding.

Q3.5: Does the minimum level of support requirement mean that if a student has a 25% Teaching Assistant appointment they will be paid a stipend equivalent to what they would earn with a 50% appointment, even if they only work at the 25% level?

A3.5: No. The percentage of effort for a given TA appointment must match the level of the appointment. Supplemental fellowship funding should not be considered part of the employment appointment. The reform efforts make no change to the employment rules for TA or Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) or other employment opportunities for students.

Q3.6: Does the requirement that Doctoral and MFA students must be supported at a minimum of the equivalent of a 50% Teaching Assistant” mean that students must be employed as a 50% Teaching Assistant?

A3.6: No. The idea is that the total support from any and all sources should be at least equivalent to that of a 50% Teaching Assistant appointment, including the associated tuition and fee benefit, for the academic year. As of October 2019, the minimum support amount is $2,435/month for 9 months.

Q3.7: Can the requirement that Doctoral and MFA students must be supported at a minimum of the equivalent of a 50% Teaching Assistant” be met by support from outside the Campus? 

A3.7: Possibly. The Graduate Division will consider exception petitions for students who have outside support. These situations will be examined on a case-by-case basis.

Q3.8: What happens if a unit only has Teaching Assistant opportunities for their students and the student does not want to work at 50% time? (revised 11/7/19)

A3.8: If a student does not wish to work 50% time, The Graduate Division will consider an exception petition from the student (the process for this is forthcoming), so long as it is clear that the student understands the implications of not being funded at a 50% level, and that doing so is in the best interests of the student.  

If a unit only has TA funding and a student elects to not accept this type of funding, then the student will need to explore other funding opportunities that might exist across the university.

Q3.9: Item 3 of the memo says, “Effective winter quarter, Doctoral and MFA students must be supported at a minimum of the equivalent of a 50% Teaching Assistantship.” My department only has TA opportunities to offer me. I don’t want to work as a TA. Does that mean that my department must nonetheless find another way to fund me at “50% level” even if I reject the funding opportunities offered to me? (added on 11/7/19)

A3.9: No. TA opportunities are the main avenue by which many departments are able to fund graduate students. Students who are offered these opportunities may certainly choose to decline them.  However, the departments are not obligated to fill a funding gap that is created when a student declines the funding opportunities extended to them.

Q3.10: What happens if a student is offered a Teaching Assistant opportunity outside of their home department and declines the opportunity? (added on 11/7/19) 

A3.10: If a student elects to decline this type of support, then the student will need to explore other funding opportunities that might exist across the university and/or apply for extramural funding. The home department is not obligated to find the student other opportunities.

Q3.11: Does the minimum support level apply to students on an academic Leave of Absence or who are “In Absentia” status?

A3.11: Students on an academic Leave of Absence are not eligible for graduate student financial support from the university. Exceptions for students who are In Absentia will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Proposed support levels should be included with In Absentia requests using The Graduate Division’s In Absentia App in the Student Database

Q3.12: Is it allowable to reduce the minimum level of support if a student is not making satisfactory progress towards their degree? (added on 11/7/19)

A3.12: No. If a student is still in the program, but having academic difficulty, the department may not reduce the minimum level of support.  If a student’s lack of progress causes them to be separated from the program, support ceases at the point where the student is separated from the program.

Revused on 11/17/19

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titleProportional Split of Tuition & Fees

October 14, 2019 announcement:

"Graduate students remain eligible for tuition and fee payments and other benefits according to the criteria of their appointment(s). The cost of the tuition and fee payments and other benefits will be charged proportionally across the funding sources of the student’s support."

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titleWill one-off stipends be factored into proportionality? If yes, how would this work given that they can be added at any time?

FY 2021-22: Stipends will not be included; the first phase is employment only.

Future State:  The workgroup is still reviewing mechanics, including consideration of the new SIS system.

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titleDoes proportional split apply to all MFA and doctoral students, or only those within their guaranteed support period?

The proportional split applies to all graduate students, regardless of degree aim or whether they are within the guaranteed support period.

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titleFunding Models & Resource Allocations

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titleWill there be fungibility across graduate funding sources (BG, TAFTE, TAHI/TAFE (if applicable), GSGEI)?

Yes, with two considerations:
1) graduate funding models must be used for direct graduate student support;
2) GSGEI includes a minimum amount of the funding that must be allocated to faculty who have paid fees from their grants.

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titleWill any reconciliation across fund sources be necessary?

You will not be required to reconcile across fund sources; of course, reconciliation in the aggregate will be necessary to quantify carry-forward/deficit (with appropriate remediation plans)

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titleWill TAHI/TAFE be redistributed to Divisions/Departments?

The decentralization of TAHI/TAFE will begin in 21-22. Money will be distributed to Divisions at the rate of 1 resident tuition & fee coverage (including "fee balance") per 50% TAship.

Per the terms of the ASE contract, all ASEs employed at 25% or greater time must receive 1 TAHI/TAFE. Units will be responsible for managing their TAHI/TAFE allocation in accordance with their teaching needs. In some cases, they may need to supplement their TAHI/TAFE allocation with additional department/program funds (for instance, if employing readers, or 25% ASE appointments of any kind).

On the other hand, students employed as ASEs in multiple units simultaneously will have a portion of their TAHI/TAFE proportionally paid by each unit.

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titleAre non-student tutors (who do not incur T/F) considered when allocation TAHI/TAFE to units, or is it on the basis of salary dollars alone?

TAHI/TAFE is not allocated on the basis of appointment type - it is allocated on the basis of the TAFTE allocation.  If a unit employs non-student tutors, the TAHI/TAFE money that is not expended on these individuals can be used to support other individuals (for instance, those hired as readers, or those hired at less than 50% time).

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titleIf TAHI/TAFE will be redistributed, how is the additional work of this process on department staff being considered (which may be greater if the complexities are greater, including students opting out of health insurance)?

Anything we can share (formulas, templates, spreadsheets, diagrams) will be made public, so that we can help to streamline efforts as much as possible.

Process improvement is ongoing - for both the current state, and in the future state design considerations for SIS.

This question assumes there will be additional workload on staff. The changes will need to be in place for at least a couple of fiscal years before we can analyze the full impact - including both workload increase and efficiencies realized. If there are any material changes in the workload that merit a change in the divisional support model, they should be discussed with your Divisional Dean.

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titleWill any money be added into the system to address the centralized over-spending of TAHI/TAFE?

The TAHI/TAFE budget is based on the TAFTE budget. The total TAFTE budget will not be increased*. The TAHI/TAFE will be calculated based on the number of FTE budgeted in the TAFTE model.

The recalculation of TA load (replacing PRC) was meant to be budget neutral, which meant no change overall in FTE. Any increase to the TAFTE budget will include TA salaries and TAHI/TAFE will increase or decrease proportionally.

*When undergraduate enrollment increases, the EVC Resource Management team will work with the Chancellor to review budgets. Undergraduate course enrollment drives TA funding - including FTE, salary, and remission benefits.

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titleIf TAHI/TAFE will be redistributed, what will the process be for using those funds? (i.e., will they be entered into the FSRT?)

Fee payment and remission requests will be entered into the FSRT, with modifications (more information coming soon!)

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titleIf TAHI/TAFE will be redistributed, how can we ensure that the "right" department gets the right amount? This is pertinent for units that hire TAs with outside home departments, or for those whose grads routinely TA for outside departments

The TAHI/TAFE allocation will follow the TAFTE formula, since the unit that hires the TAs will be responsible for the payment of TAHI/TAFE.

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titleTask Forces & Workgroups

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titleHolistic Graduate Funding Task Force (Summer '21)

coming soon!

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titleGrad Summer Support Implementation Task Force

coming soon!

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titleProportional Split Workgroup

coming soon!

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titleSenate-Administration Workgroup on Graduate Funding (2018-19)

coming soon!

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titleGraduate Funding Resource/Allocation Models

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titleBlock Grant

coming soon!

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titleGSGEI (Graduate Student Growth and Excellence Initiative)

For more information, please see EVC Resource Administration > Budget & Financial > Graduate Student Growth and Excellence Initiative Model

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titleMGI (Masters Growth Incentive)

For more information, please see EVC Resource Administration > Budget & Financial > Masters Growth Incentive Program Model

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titleTA FTE (Teaching Assistant (FTE) Allocation Model)

For more information, please see EVC Resource Administration > Budget & Financial > Teaching Assistant Allocation Model

titleDecentralization of TAHI/TAFE

Effective FY 2021-22, the Teaching Assistant Allocation Model will include resources to cover resident tuition, health insurance, and full campus fees for each 50% TA calculated by the model (ie, every 1 FTE = 2 50% TAs).

Please stay tuned for updates to the EVC resource pages above and FAQs found below on this page.

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titleDiversity Fellowships

coming soon!

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titleStudent-initiated Fellowships

coming soon!

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titleTraining Grants

coming soon!

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titleFaculty-initiated Sponsored Research Grants

coming soon!

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titleGraduate Financial Support Payments

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titleEmployment & Tuition Remission

coming soon!

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coming soon!

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titleSpecial Exceptions & Waivers

coming soon!

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titleNeed-Based Financial Aid

coming soon!