Student Funding

Graduate Student Funding

Overview

Students are responsible for staying on top of their funding situation. We highly recommend students check their account balances/paychecks at least once a month, and always check their MyBill account well in advance of the graduate student final fee payment deadline. We also highly recommend students check in with their faculty member about their funding each quarter so they can understand how they are being funded. Mistakes do happen, and when students ask questions and bring issues to the awareness of the staff, those mistakes can usually be fixed quickly.

There are several ways to be funded at UC Davis, although many students will not receive a financial offer prior to starting.  The offer of admission and any offer of financial support are separate processes.  If you do not receive an initial financial offer that does not mean that you won’t have funding while here. Not all students will be funded (especially true for MS students). Many of our students will find partial funding, or full funding for select quarters. We highly encourage students to be proactive in seeking funding opportunities outside our department and outside campus.

If you are funded, your Major Professor is generally responsible for coordinating your funding, and letting the various staff members know what the funding plan is (and students should be in communication with their Major Professor as well). I highly recommend you have frequent and open conversations about your funding with your faculty so you understand the funding source, funding level, funding duration, and work expectations associated with your funding plan. We also encourage the use of the CEE Student Support Planning Worksheet for this purpose.

All funding is contingent on eligibility to receive the funding (more information and links below). Generally, eligibility includes: legal status to work and/or receive fellowships, prerequisites (such as TA orientation), full time enrollment, GPA, good standing, and satisfactory progress. In CEE, students can work between 25-49% during the academic year, and up to 100% in summer.

General information

 

Fellowships


Fellowships are highly prestigious financial support packages that typically include a stipend, tuition remission, and a subsidy for medical insurance. They derive from University or outside awards. 

  • External Fellowships

  • External fellowships are those offered by private foundations, government agencies, and corporations.  A variety of support is given, from one-time awards to multi-year support. You are strongly encouraged to apply for external fellowships on your own – information can be found here.

    Your faculty members can be a great source of help in thinking about which external fellowships to apply for. You are always encouraged to talk to your mentors about this. You can also keep a look out for external grants that you or your PI could apply for. If you help your PI find a fun grant, you might be able to work on it too!

    Graduate Studies also lists several search engines that can be useful in finding external fellowships. Also, the Office of Research have developed a video tutorial for getting started with the Pivot database. It can be accessed by following this link and clicking the "Search a Comprehensive Funding Database" dropdown option. 

  • Internal Fellowships
  • Fellowships are funds that you receive—and do not have to pay back—that are intended to support you as a student for you to fully engage in your academics and research. Fellowships may be in the form of tuition payments (funds paid directly toward the tuition costs) or as stipend payments (funds paid out to the student). There are campus-level as well as departmental fellowships.  Students must meet eligibility requirements to receive a fellowship.

    Campus Level Fellowships:
    - All new students who applied by the fellowship deadline are considered for the Campus Prospective Student Fellowships automatically with your application. A few select students will be nominated by the department for campus-level fellowships, which are extremely competitive.
    - Continuing students are HIGHLY encouraged to apply for campus-level fellowships each fall – I strongly encourage you take the time to see which of these you are eligible for. A list of available fellowships is on the Graduate Studies.


    Departmental Fellowships:
    All students (regardless of new or continuing, and which application deadline new students applied by) are considered for departmental fellowships. Departmental fellowships are decided on by our faculty in each research area. Our faculty generally take all their students and other funding into consideration as they allocate the department fellowships, and these fellowship funds are often combined with other funding. Our departmental fellowships are also sometimes called GPFA, MEIP, or Block Grant. Decisions on how to use department fellowship funds may be made at time of recruitment, over the summer, and/or throughout the year. 

Fall Fellowship Stipend (changes as of Fall 2021)

Fellowship Stipend Disbursement Dates

Regulations for Graduate Students Receiving Fellowships

Fellowship Direct Deposit: step-by-step directions

Academic Appointments

Students must be legally eligible to work to hold an academic appointment, and meet general eligibility requirements. Academic appointments 25% or greater come with partial or full fee remission (depending on appointment type) in addition to a salary. 

 

  • Graduate Student Researcher (GSR)
  • You might be hired by a particular faculty member (e.g., your major advisor) to engage in research. GSR positions pay a salary, and also provide full tuition and fee remission (in-state and NRST). GSR positions are more common for PhD and MS thesis (plan I) students.

    More information about GSRs can be found here.

    Our department’s GSR compensation plan can be found here.

  • Teaching Assistant (TA) and Reader

  • You can be hired by our department or by other departments for these positions. It is highly recommended you apply to other departments in addition to CEE. TA and Reader positions pay a salary, and provide partial in-state fee remission (all in-state fees except about $200). TA and Reader positions do NOT cover the Nonresidential Supplemental Tuition (NRST; also called out-of-state tuition). For TA positions inside CEE, the department will pay the small portion of in-state fees not covered by fee remission.

    Any student who wishes to be a TA during their studies at UC Davis must attend the TA Orientation. This is offered by campus each fall. There may be make-up sessions for CoE students in the winter and spring, but you are encouraged to sign up in the fall.

    Applying in CEE:
    If you are interested in being hired as a Teaching Assistant (TA) or Reader for our department, please complete the application each quarter you are looking for a position. The application link will be on the “Teaching Assistants and Readers” page of the current student website, and emailed out to the listserv each quarter. Please note that for our department, applicants will be considered when there are openings for TA and Reader positions. However, filling out the form does not ensure you will be offered a TA or Reader position (as we have many more students than positions available). Order of application submission does not factor into placement decisions, as long as you meet the deadline. Most of the time, the deadline will be 2–3 months before the start of the next quarter. You should also speak to your major professor, who can be an advocate for you in finding TA and Reader positions.

    Applying outside of CEE:
    You can also contact other departments about possible TA and readership positions if you are interested. Each department will have its own process for selecting TAs and Readers. I highly recommend looking at both the department’s website, as well as checking for TA and Reader job postings on Handshake.


    English Proficiency Requirements for TAs:
    Depending on your Undergraduate Degree, TOEFL, and/or IELTS scores, you may be required to pass the TOEP test at UC Davis prior to being employed as a TA (receiving a waiver for the TOEFL at time of admission does not automatically qualify you for a waiver of this requirement). Please be sure to read the policy on Language Proficiency Requirements for Appointment of Students to Teaching Assistant and Associate In __ Titles.

 

Getting Paid

  • Getting Started (first pay day)
  • Salary for academic appointments are paid in arrears (at the end of the month worked). If you are funded for fall quarter as a TA or GSR, the first payment (academic appointment salary) is generally November 1 (readers are biweekly-see below). 

    Some students may qualify for an emergency loan, short-term loan, graduate assistant loan, or the fall quarter graduate transition loan through the financial aid office to assist with your financial needs until payday.

    Starting in 2021, the fall fellowship has been shifted into 4 disbursement dates to allow earlier payment.

  • Pay Day

  • Academic Appointments

    For academic appointments (TA, Reader, GSR), you can look at the Payday Notice Calendar.

    Note: TA and GSR’s receive monthly pay. Readers receive biweekly pay (UNLESS you are a reader and a TA or GSR in the same quarter—then you will be paid monthly.)

    Your employment verification and the paychecks can be viewed in UC Path.

    Note: The paycheck is only available to “view” in UCPath a few days before payday. Check the “Processing Schedule” calendar from the above website for the “Pay statements on UC Path” date if you are really interested.

    SPECIFIC TO READERSHIP: you MUST fill out and submit a timesheet, OR YOU WILL NOT BE PAID. Readers are paid based on the number of hours submitted. For a 25% appointment, the department expects you to have a timesheet of about 10 hours per week (120 hours total). We ask that you manage your actual work time understanding there will be ebbs and flows in the quarter, and the readership position extends the full three months (though the quarter is only 10 weeks); the Graduate Program Coordinator will send out more guidance to readers at the beginning of each quarter. This is because your supervisor approving your timesheet is not the faculty member for the course you are working for, and we plan your funding based on the salary of a 120 hour/quarter position.

    Fellowships

    Stipends for internal fellowships are entered in the Banner Student Information System and routed through Student Accounting. The disbursement calendar can be found here (second half of the page).
    Note: after stipends have been entered, the stipend amounts, and refunds as they post, can be viewed in MyBill.

Other Important Funding Information and Terms

  • Graduate Student Final Fee Payment Deadline
  • You may get reminders about paying you fees early every quarter - most "fee payment deadlines" are Undergraduate deadlines.  Be sure to pay attention to when the Graduate Student Final Fee Payment Deadline is each quarter - you will find those dates on the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar
  • Direct Deposit
  • You are HIGHLY encouraged to sign up for direct deposit. You should do this twice: (1) for payroll (academic appointments) through UC Path, and (2) for student refunds through mybill  on the refunds tab.

    If you do not enroll in direct deposit:
    Paychecks (for academic appointments) will be mailed on payday to the address on file (not necessarily your current address).
    Fellowship stipend checks will be available to pick up at student accounting during regular business hours. 

  • Graduate Studies Emergency Grant Program

  • The Graduate Studies Emergency Grant Program provides support for graduate students experiencing unexpected challenges that impede their progress toward their degrees. Examples include:
    - Medical, dental, or other health emergencies  
    - Accidents and unexpected events such as natural disasters.
    - Expenses associated with family emergencies such as death in the immediate family

    Grants are for the direct use of enrolled students in academic graduate programs, including international and undocumented students, and their dependents.  Please visit the Graduate Studies Emergency Grant Program website for more information and to apply.

  • FAFSA/California Dream Act Application

  • All students eligible to fill out the FAFSA or the California Dream Act Application should fill it out EVERY YEAR. There are a few awards each year—as well as work/study opportunities—that require these applications.  More information can be found here.

  • Work Study

  • Work study for graduate students is a way for a student to be hired as a GSR that yields a cost savings for the hirer. In CEE, faculty apply for our departments allocated work study on behalf of their students, but can only do so if the student in question has demonstrated need (FAFSA).

  • Campus Fee Grant

  • Many students who complete the FAFSA will be offered a Campus Fee Grant and loans through financial aid. The UC Davis Campus Fee Grant is the only grant administered by the Graduate Financial Aid Office. It is a need-based award for students who establish and maintain sufficient financial need.  Please note, Campus Fee Grant funding is not guaranteed. The Graduate Financial Aid Office strongly recommends that every FAFSA filing student report all anticipated external and academic funding (Grants, Fellowships, TA ships, GSR’s etc.) to their office so they can accurately determine your financial aid eligibility. For example, if a Campus Fee Grant is paid to you for fall quarter and you receive a large amount of new fellowship funding in the winter quarter, you may have to repay the fall Campus Fee Grant. If you have any questions about the Campus Fee Grant, please contact the Graduate Financial Aid Office.

  • UC Path

  • UCPath is the payroll system for UC Davis. Your first point of contact for issues related to UC Path is the hiring department.  

  • AUSS-C

  • The shared-services HR unit our department uses is called AUSS-C. They are important when it comes to academic appointment positions (GSR, TA, Reader), and are positioned in between the department and UCPath.

  • Fee Remission

  • Academic appointments come with an employment benefit called fee remission. Depending on the type of employment, you may receive full or partial fee remission. More information is here.

  • Tax Resources

  • Student Accounting Tax Information
    GSA Legal, Patient, and Taxes
    Students in VITA UC Davis

Funding Related Systems and Who To Ask

Generally speaking, the key people involved with your funding will be:

  • Your Major Professor/ PI
  • Your departmental Account Manager (if you are hired on a grant or are spending money from a grant)
  • The Graduate Program Coordinator

Sometimes, staff from Financial Aid, Student Accounting, Graduate Studies (the entity responsible for coordinating internal and external fellowships), UC Path, AUSS-C, and others will be involved.

The Graduate Program Coordinator, Lauren Worrell, is a good first point of contact for most questions related to funding rules/policy, funding and payment issues, what you see on your bill, fee remission policies, etc.

UC Davis has three separate accounting systems: the Banner Student Information System (SIS), the Payroll System (UCPath), and the Kuali Financial System (KFS). Each of these three financial systems is used to deliver student support to academic graduate students.

The most common types of financial transactions applicable to academic graduate students are:

Financial Support Type

Payment Parameters

Who to follow up with if you have questions

Academic employment salary

Paid via the Payroll System and visible in UC Path. Not visible in SISWEB or MyBill. Does not impact your current year loan eligibility. Withholding tax deducted.

First, the graduate program coordinator or the account manager for the account you are hired on. Second, UC Path.

Academic employment remission

Paid via Banner and visible in SISWEB and MyBill. Lowers your loan eligibility. No withholding tax deducted.

First, the graduate program coordinator. Second, Student Accounting.

Stipend fellowships for US Citizens and Permanent Residents

Paid via Banner and visible in SISWEB and MyBill. Lowers your loan eligibility. No withholding tax deducted.

Graduate Program Coordinator

Stipend fellowships for Nonresident Alien students

Paid via Banner and visible in SISWEB and MyBill. Withholding tax deducted (if applicable).

Graduate Program Coordinator

Tuition & fee fellowships

Paid via Banner and visible in SISWEB and MyBill. Lowers your loan eligibility.

Graduate Program Coordinator

Nonresident supplemental tuition fellowships

Paid via Banner and visible in SISWEB and MyBill. Lowers your loan eligibility.

Graduate Program Coordinator

Educational loans

Paid via Banner and visible in SISWEB and MyBill. Lowers your loan eligibility.

Financial Aid

Campus fee grant

Paid via Banner and visible in SISWEB and MyBill. Lowers your loan eligibility.

Financial Aid

Reimbursement of authorized university travel expenses

Paid via MyTravel. Not visible in SISWEB or MyBill. No withholding tax deducted. Does not impact your loan eligibility.

Account Manager or Graduate Program Coordinator

Reimbursement of authorized supplies & equipment purchases

Paid via KFS; not visible in SISWEB or MyBill. No withholding tax deducted. Does not impact your loan eligibility.

Account Manager

Faculty Only

 

We are still under construction- please check back for updates!

Do you have suggestions/additions for our student funding resources page?  Contact Lauren Worrell at lkworrell@ucdavis.edu! 

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