2020-21 Graduate Student Assistantship and Fellowship Stipend Rates
Effective August 21, 2020
|Definition||Minimum Standard 9-Month Stipend||Summer Stipend ¹||Average Hours/Week for Standard Appointment²||Additional Hours Per Week Permitted|
|TA||An academic appointment in support of the teaching of a course of 15 to 20 hours per week, averaging no more than 15 hours per week for the base stipend as established by the Board of Trustees. The assignment is usually in the student's major field or a closely related one. TAs are awarded full tuition credit and a stipend.||$28,036||Not required, but if offered must be $9,345 for 13-week term or appropriately prorated||15||5|
|GA||An academic appointment requiring 15 to 20 hours a week, averaging no more than 15 hours per week for the base stipend as established by the Board of Trustees. Graduate assistants receive full tuition credit and a stipend.||$28,036||Not required, but if offered must be $9,345 for 13-week term or appropriately prorated||15||5|
|RA||An academic appointment for research that is not directly thesis-related, 15 to 20 hours per week, averaging no more than 15 hours per week for the base stipend as established by the Board of Trustees. RAs are awarded full tuition credit and a stipend.||$28,036||Not required, but if offered must be $9,345 for 13-week term or appropriately prorated||15||5|
|GRA||An academic appointment focused on thesis or other degree-related research of a type that is required from all candidates for the degree. Because a student devotes considerable time to dissertation research, the time spent on research connected with the project is expected to be significant. GRAs are awarded full tuition credit and a stipend.||$28,036||Not required, but if offered must be $9,345 for 13-week term or appropriately prorated||A student’s time spent on research connected with the project is expected to be significant.||8|
|University Fellowship||An arrangement in which financial support is given to a graduate student to pursue his or her degree without any obligation on the part of the student to engage in teaching and/or research in furtherance of the university's academic mission. Generally, fellowships are merit-based awards. Continued financial support is contingent upon the student maintaining satisfactory academic progress as defined by the graduate field and Graduate School.||$28,036 (Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences) |
$32,321 (Physical Sciences & Engineering and Life Sciences)
|$5,907, if summer funding is offered with fellowship||N/A||8|
 Weekly hours spent on summer appointments must comply with University Policy 1.3, and stipend rates must meet the Board of Trustees mandated minimum (nine-month) stipend rate, prorated for the number of weeks of the summer appointment. The length of the summer appointment (number of weeks) is determined by the Principal Investigator, department, unit, college, or other source of funding.
 The maximum academic-year stipend amount that a graduate student may receive when any portion of the stipend comes from Cornell any funds held at Cornell (university accounts, college accounts, department accounts, unit accounts, or Principal Investigator sponsored funds) is $47,073. The increase may be from the same funding source as the basic stipend (an “adjustment”) or from a different source (a “supplement”). The limit applies to support from any combination of fellowships or assistantships when part of the stipend is paid from funds held at Cornell. There is no restriction on summer stipends and fellowships.
Prorated Stipends for Non-Standard Appointments
Minimum stipend rates for non-standard appointments classified as graduate assistantships (TA, GA, RA, or GRA) must be proportional to the board-approved stipend. Examples are provided in the table below.
Partial assistantships must include tuition proportional to the stipend. That is, if a student receives a partial TAship with 50% stipend for the semester, the hours must be limited to 7.5 or less per week and he or she must receive 50% tuition for that semester in addition to the stipend. Awards that do not provide tuition and stipend in amounts proportional to the hours expected of a regular assistant are not assistantships and should not be portrayed as such.
Examples – Adjusted Stipend Rates for Non-Standard Appointments
|7.5 hours||20 hours
|Academic Year (nine months)||$28,036.00||$14,018.00||$37,381.33|
|Summer (three months)||$9,345.33||$4,672.67||$12,460.44|
Assistantships for Professional Degree Students
Students who are enrolled in professional degree programs are ineligible for assistantships outside of their graduate field of study, unless the Director of Graduate Studies for the student’s program requests an exception based on the student gaining experience directly supporting the student’s ability to teach the subject matter of the profession. Requests for exceptions must be approved by both the dean of the Graduate School and the dean of the college in which the professional degree program is housed. The college that administers the professional degree in which the student is enrolled is responsible for payment of the full tuition. Professional degree students may be appointed as Graduate Teaching/Research Specialists.
Graduate Teaching/Research Specialists
Students in the professional degree programs may be appointed as Graduate Teaching/Research Specialists (GTRS). The GTRS is not an assistantship; GTRSs receive a stipend in proportion to the percent time of their appointment as compared to a full-time graduate assistantship but not tuition and health insurance. Hours are limited to no more than 10 per week. Before a program may begin using the GTRS title, approval must be given by the Graduate School.