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Graduate Award Process – Notes


  • ***Person taking over will need to request access to the following mailbox: 
    • All offer letters are sent out, returned through this account
    • All tuition remission forms are sent out through this account


  • Important Contacts:
    • Graduate Awards general inbox:
      • ALL signed TA letters and their corresponding tuition remission forms get sent to this email address for processing
      • ALL signed RA letters on DEPARTMENTAL accounts and their corresponding tuition remission forms get sent to this email address for processing
  • Sponsored Accounting general inbox:
    • ALL signed RA letters on SPONSORED accounts and their corresponding tuition remission forms get sent to this email address AND for processing
  • Marrika Flowers-Dorsey:; x2298 (Graduate Awards Coordinator)
  • Ellen Hobbs:, x1701 (Graduate Awards manager)




TA Award Process

  • Associate Char confirms TA offers and terms of support.

    Once a TA is confirmed, the process is:
  1. List it in spreadsheet
  2. Add data into mail-merge list, if using. If not, skip to 3.
  3. Generate TA letter filling in all required fields. Adjust as needed if not using mail merge file.
  4. Print TA letter to PDF.
  5. Send in email from phyacademics account with due date clearly listed in body of email. Include attachments related to GA benefits and responsibilities, EVS document, and insurance info (last one only once available). See prior emails sent from mailbox for samples.
  6. When student returns, note it in the grad info spreadsheet. Then:
    1. Generate tuition remission form to match support info
    2. Send copy of signed page + tuition remission form to



  • Planning letters:
    • AY 19-20 salary info
      • If it is a full-TA for full academic year: $26,010.00  (Aug 16-May 15) = 18 semi-pays of $1,445.00
      • only one term: Salary = $13,005.00 = 9 Semi-Pays of $1,445.00
      • you can even have half-TAs for one semester, which would mean 10 hrs/wk for 9 semi-pays ($722.50 per pay = $6502.5)
  • To determine tuition student will receive:
    • I have listed all tuition needs I am aware of in grad info spreadsheet for each of our students
    • When in doubt, consult the student and/or their academic advisor for their tuition needs before making the offer. All students can receive up to max 48 credits. 
    • Note: for summer, tuition is awarded through their Fall and Spring awards. So someone with a fall-only award, for instance, can get 12 credits of tuition in the form of 9 Fall, 3 summer if they prefer.
    • See department rules for more details about how tuition is awarded. Awards can be up to 24 credits per year for GAs, with amount per term given not to exceed what they need to fulfill program requirements. So if John Smith needs 6 credits more to be done, he shouldn’t be awarded more than 6 credits.
  • To determine the number of HOURS the student will work each week (when in doubt, confirm with Prof. Soderberg):
    • Full-TAS will work 20hrs/week
    • Half- TAs will work 10hrs/week
  • Start & end dates:
    • Full AY: Aug 16 – May 15
    • Fall only: Aug 16 – Dec 31
    • Spring only: Jan 1 – May 15
  • PAYROLL Start & end dates, in terms listing when checks will be received in letters
    • Full AY: Aug 31 – May 15
    • Fall only: Aug 31 – Dec 31
    • Spring only: Jan 15 – May 15
  • Number of pays per term: 9, full AY = 18
  • Response Date required for any TA, RA offer (technically): offer date + 15 days

I typically create a mail merge if it is a mass load of letters. If you would prefer to hand-enter in the info as opposed to using the mail-merge, you can still use the same templates but be careful to “save as” after replacing the merge fields so no information gets carried over via the mail-merge document.


  • Mailing the TA offers:
    • Using the “phyacademics” mailbox, open a new email.
    • In subject, list something along the lines of “TA offer for Academic Year 18-19”
    • You can feel free to follow the template of other letters I’ve sent from the PGA mailbox for the body. Make sure the due date is clearly stated. Tuition can be changed later with an adjustment petition should the student want to.
    • Mark the email as “!” (important)
    • Attach PDF offer letter along with :




  • Save to Teams in appropriate places
  • Naming convention requested to be used by grad school in 2014, and we’ve always follower sense that time: “SUID LAST NAME S.TA.L” <<< with “S.TA” implying “SIGNED”
  • Naming convention requested to be used by BM and RC: Last Name_First Name_(Position: RA/TA)_200519 (EX: Year month day: May 19, 2020)***




  • Preparing TA Tuition remission forms
  1. Fill in date, name, SUID, salary, tuition amount (spring and summer) and hours on the form
  2. In comments:
  • List any details that would be relevant to processor, ie, specify clearly if it is a fall or spring only award, if it is a half TA instead of a full, if there is no tuition – I always list it. No exact rules, just whatever might be helpful to Marrika for processing.
  1. Save as:
  • Naming convention***
  • I recommend you save in WORD and PDF form. The PDF will be the one you submit, but in case you need to make adjustments I found it easy to have both handy.



Submitting award to Graduate Awards office for processing:

AFTER student returns the signed letter, email

  • Attach signature page in pdf form + PDF form of corresponding sponsored tuition remission form (AKA “rec”)
  • Subject: AY19-20 Returning TA Acceptance: Name
  • Simple message in the email body is all that is needed, but Marrika asked to include name, SUID, and brief summary of award. See samples from phyacademics mailbox if you want more guidance.





RA Award Process

  • RA awards get confirmed by faculty who plan on supporting the students. They need to confirm:
    • Project
    • Duration of support (Fall and/or spring, full or half TA, etc).
      (I created a form to make this process super easy and lessen amount of emails. This form goes out directly to PI's. Listed under administrative forms.)
        • Process is same as TAs, once you have support dates+hours from faculty. Tuition is already listed in the spreadsheet for all students in my grad info sheet.


  • Preparing RA Letters (Mail-Merge option)
    • Same mail-merge file as TA, different sheet on bottom for RA letters.
    • Add new line at the end of the list (Note: I’ve separated them into fund-11 and fund 13s for ease of letter preparation, since the merge templates used will be different)
    • The letter you use for RA offers matter. There are templates for
      • RAs on departmental (11) projects with tuition award
      • RAs on department (11) projects with no tuition award (ABD)
      • RAs on sponsored (13) projects with tuition award
      • RAs on sponsored (13) projects with no tuition award (ABD)
  • Complete the mailmerge just like TA letters, or do by hand if preferred (I would only suggest this for smaller loads and individual cases)
  • Look over to ensure information entered in looks correct. It pulls it from the excel document you previously completed. If it looks good, save as a PDF:
    • Naming convention***




  • Mailing the RA offers out to students:
    • Same as TAs, basically. View samples in phyacademics mailbox for guidance as needed. The sent folder is broken down into TA, RA offer folders







  • Save just the signature page in PDF form to “signed acceptances” folder, with similar naming convention
  • Place email in Signed letter folder in Outlook




  • Preparing RA Tuition Remission forms (“recs”, “recommends”) on DEPARTMENTAL accounts
  1. There is a departmental rec template (similar to TA form but has RA options selected instead)
  2. Fill in date, name, SUID, salary, tuition amount (spring and summer) and hours on the form
  3. Treat comments just like departmental TA recs.
  4. Save as:
  • Naming convention***
  • I recommend saving in Word and PDF, just like TA forms.




  • Preparing RA Tuition Remission forms (“recs”, “recommends”) on SPONSORED accounts -- **trickier, look at examples for first few you fill out
  • Use sponsored template
  • Make sure drop down at top has correct year, update obvious name, date fields
  • Check offer type as applicable for case
  • Nominating Dept and location code is same for all RAs
  • Specify original or not. Most cases are yes (hopefully)
  • Almost always federal funds. Check in with BA or BM for end dates and project #'s if unsure.
  • Enter salary, chartstring info by term, and number of hours in table.
  • Make sure tuition is entered in. IF there is tuition, list the following chartstring on the form:
  • Tuition is rare on sponsored RA awards, since usually they are 3rd year+ grad students


  • Save as:
  • Naming convention***
  • Save in WORD and PDF form. The PDF will be the one you submit, and the word version will be used for adjustments if needed. There tend to be more adjustments to sponsored awards given the nature of funding; faculty move students around a bit more.





  • AFTER student returns their signed RA letter, email:
    • ONLY for RAs on DEPARTMENTAL accounts
    • BOTH & for RAs on SPONSORED accounts
    • For both emails:
      • Attach signature page in pdf form + PDF form of corresponding sponsored tuition remission form (aka “rec”)
      • Just like the TAs, a simple email message is all that is needed. Make sure the name, type of award in general and the name of the signed RA letter file is included.








Process for changing an award type:

  • Superseding letter
  • Revise original recommend(s) submitted if they originally held a full-year award (i.e., if they are swapping from a full-AY TA award to accept a spring-only RA in place of the spring portion, the original TA recommend will need to be adjusted to reflect fall-only)
      • ***This is especially important when tuition is involved!





Process for changing/reallocating tuition:

  • For TAs or RAs on departmental funds: A “reconfigure form” needs to be submitted to CAS, requesting the reallocation. Then once it is approved, CAS should forward the approval to Grad Awards and they will make the update.

 <<< directions to access site, password = gradawd


Under “Documents for Scholarships or Reconfigurations” – click “reconfigure form”



  • For RAs on sponsored funds: a revised sponsored tuition remission form is all that is needed to reallocate, increase, or decrease tuition. Form must be re-sent to both graduate awards and OSA
    • Note the revision on the form by increasing the “Revision” number, and describe in the comments what the revision is so it is obvious to those processing.
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