Tuition Remission: How is it calculated?

Tuition remission is a benefit to graduate students holding a Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, or Program/Project Assistant appointment to help alleviate the cost of tuition. The tuition charges, although not segregated fees, are waived for eligible graduate students.

As part of this program, tuition remission surcharge is a policy to help recoup the waived tuition costs by University and Wisconsin State Statute. The tuition remission surcharge is calculated based on the percentage of stipend charged/student’s level of work, and is automatically allocated to the funding source(s) where the assistant is appointed.

Tuition Remission Semester Rates:

  • Through Spring 2015 – $4,000
  • Fall 2015 – Spring 2016 – $5,000
  • Fall 2016 – Spring 2017 – $6,000

The Facts:

  • Tuition remission is typically not charged for summer sessions. Posting in the summers months usually adjustment caused by appointment changes or salary cos transfers.
  • Tuition remission is charged each month of the semester for 4 ½ months at the end of each month.
  • The semester is September – ½ of January and ½ of January – May,
  • A set amount is charged each month.
  • The allocation of tuition remission is cumulative across the semester, even though a set amount is being charged monthly. Because of this, it’s possible to transfer one month of salary to another project, yet see the tuition remission charge for that month reduced by more or less than the charge that originally posted. The amount of tuition remission that moves depends on other aspects of the student’s appointment (i.e. how many other projects are they payrolled on and at what appointment percent).
  • Tuition remission is tied to salary. It cannot be transferred by itself unless it is unallowable on a project. If salary is being transferred, tuition remission is also transferred.

The Math:

    • To calculate the tuition remission, you first need to know what the student’s total salary for the semester will be.
      • For fall semester this will be the total salary paid for September through the first half of January.
      • For spring semester it will be the total salary for the second half of January through May.
    • Next determine how much of the total salary for the semester will be paid on each project to which the student is appointed. Then, for each project, divide the student’s salary on that project by the total semester salary. This amount (convert to) is the percentage of tuition remission that should be applied to a particular project. To figure the dollar amount take the percentage times the current tuition remission rate for the semester.
    • Example: Jane Smith was payrolled on projects B and C for the spring semester. Jane’s total semester salary was $6,930. She was paid $3,465 on each project, which is 50% of her total semester pay, so tuition remission was charged to each project at 50% of $4,000, or $2,000 per project. The department wants to move $400 of her March salary off project B to departmental 101-4 funds. To calculate the tuition remission that should be allocated to projects B and C after the transfer is processed:

      Total salary = 6,930
      Project B salary = 3,465 – 400 = 3,065
      Project C salary = 3,465

      % of salary on Project B = (3,065/6,930) = .4423 = 44.23%
      % of salary on Project C = (3,465/6,930) = .5 = 50%
      % of salary on 101-4 = (400/6930) = .0577 = 5.77%

      Tuition remission on Project B = 44.23% (4,000) = $1,769.20
      Tuition remission on Project C = 50% (4,000) = $2,000
      Tuition remission on 101-4 = 5.77% (4,000) = $230.80

    The above numbers reflect how tuition remission should be charged based on salary for the semester. Since Project B was already charged $2,000, tuition remission on this project will be reduced by $230.80 when the salary transfer is processed.

    WISDM also has a great Tuition Remission Search tool that provides a clear detail of salary and tuition remission charges by student, project, and semester. To access the tool, go to Main Menu>Appointments>Tuition Remission Search.

    For questions regarding tuition remission, please contact Cameron Somsen at cameron.somsen@wisc.edu, 890-4691 or Sandy Fowler at sandy.fowler@wisc.edu or 262-3947.

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