Tuition Scholarship Information

For Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Fellows

The Office of Graduate Funding has compiled the following list of questions frequently asked by graduate students regarding tuition scholarships and billing. Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice.

What are assistantships and fellowships?

An assistantship is an appointment in which graduate students pursuing an advanced degree engage in specified teaching or research duties. Assistantships carry a bi-weekly stipend and may cover tuition costs.

A fellowship is a non-service award made to academically superior graduate students to assist them in the pursuit of an advanced degree. Our Graduate School fellowships carry a biweekly stipend and usually cover tuition costs. All stipends are taxable income.

How do I apply?

Students wishing to be considered for assistantships and fellowships should inform the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) of the program to which they are applying. Or, students may send letters to the DGS, in care of the department, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506. There is no Graduate School assistantship/fellowship form, however some programs may have forms.

What scholarship opportunities are available?

Click here for a list of scholarship opportunities and application information.

What is the assistantship/fellowship application deadline?

Most fellowships and assistantships are awarded for the academic year, which begins in August. Most departments make appointment decisions for the next academic year between February and April. Students interested in an assistantship or fellowship are strongly urged to contact the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) no later than January 15 for the next academic year. Departments notify students of assistantship appointments and the Graduate School Office of Finance, Funding, & Analytics notifies students of fellowship appointments. Announcements are generally made by May.
Ethnically diverse students and women in under-represented areas applying for tuition scholarship and for a Lyman T. Johnson Fellowship are considered for spring, as well as academic year awards. For more information about these awards, see our Fellowships Page or call the Office of Finance, Funding, & Analytics at (859) 257-3261.

What is included in my tuition scholarship?

Tuition scholarships include the standard graduate tuition, Johnson Center fees and health fees; they do not include student specific fees, such as lab fees, course fees, program fees, music fees, distance learning course fees, or tuition charges above and beyond the standard graduate rate. These additional fees are the responsibility of the student and will appear on your billing statement. Part time students are generally not charged the student health fee, and you must request the health fee to be included on your bill at Student Account Services (18 Funkhouser Building) if you would like to use the Student Health Services.

Tuition scholarships for full assistantships (20 hrs per week) cover the full standard graduate tuition, and tuition scholarships for half assistantships (10 hrs per week) cover half the standard graduate tuition, regardless of the course load (a student with a half assistantship taking 3 hrs worth of classes will receive a tuition scholarship for half the standard graduate tuition for 3 hrs). A tuition scholarship for the out of state portion of the cost of the 2 credit 767 dissertation course (post-Qualifying doctoral students) is only provided to students who are not receiving any assistantship or fellowship funding.

Note: A half assistantship is equal to 10 hrs of work per week. An assistantship that requires 20 hrs per week but is only 1 semester (as opposed to a full-year assistantship) is still considered a full assistantship.

Do I have to be admitted before being considered for an assistantship or fellowship?

For scholarships & fellowships awarded by the departments, contact the Director of Graduate Studies in the program you intend to study. 

For Graduate School Fellowships and awards:

All applicants must be accepted by their program and The Graduate School and have an activated LinkBlue ID and email address to apply for any fellowship. LinkBlue IDs are provided in students' Graduate School admission letter. Applicants should expect at minimum one week between program admission and admission to The Graduate School, provided they meet the admission standards (Note: International Students take longer to process). Click here for information on your LinkBlue ID and how to activate it. All communications (including award notices) from the Office of Finance, Funding & Analytics will be sent to students' email addresses.

Post-baccalaureate (non-degree) students are not eligible for fellowship consideration, or for those tuition scholarships that accompany most assistantships.

Do I need letters of reference?

Most departments require letters of reference or recommendation, and many have their own recommendation form. Students should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in their intended program of study as to procedures for letters of reference.

Why would I receive a bill if I have a tuition scholarship?

If you receive a bill, it may be for the fees listed above that are not covered by the tuition scholarship.  Additionally, if you have a half assistantship, you will be responsible for part of the tuition.  You may also receive a current bill for charges from a past semester—in our billing system, payments on an account, including term specific payments such as tuition scholarships, are applied to the earliest charges before they are applied current charges.  Thus, if you owe a balance from a previous semester, it may appear that your entire tuition scholarship was not paid, because it was applied to the earliest balance. It is therefore a good idea to check your online account towards the end of each semester, just to be sure you don’t have any additional fees owed to the University.

When would I not qualify for a tuition scholarship?

Students that are on academic probation (GPA below 3.0) will have only one semester to raise their GPA to 3.0; if they remain on probation for a second semester, they will not receive a tuition scholarship. Additionally, if a student has an assignment that starts after the midpoint of the semester, or if the assignment is less than 4 months in length (per semester tuition is to be covered), they will not receive a tuition scholarship (with the exception of summer).

Are tuition scholarships available during the summer?

Students that are working as research assistants or graduate assistants for summer session will receive a tuition scholarship for the out-of-state portion of tuition for both summer sessions.  Full time assistantships (20 hrs per week) will receive a tuition scholarship covering their full out of state tuition, and half time assistantships (10 hrs per week) will receive a tuition scholarship covering half their out of state tuition.  In-state tuition scholarships are not available during the summer for research and graduate assistantships.

Fellows, please refer to your award letter for information regarding whether or not summer tuition is included.  Teaching assistants, please refer to your department, as the departments handle the summer teaching assistantships.

What should I do if I have a question about a billing statement?

If you have a general question about charges, please contact Student Account Services at 257-3406.

If you have a question in reference to your Graduate School tuition scholarship, check your online account at myUK. The billing statements are not as up to date as the website, and tuition scholarships that have been recently applied may not show up on your mailed billing statement. If you still have a question about your scholarship, contact the Graduate School Tuition Scholarship Officer at

Do I need to contact the Graduate School if I have a tuition scholarship and change my hours or late register?

Yes, you should contact the Graduate School if you have a tuition scholarship and change your hours or late register.

What should I do if I don’t receive a refund I’m expecting, or if I receive a refund I’m not expecting?

If you are expecting a refund and have not received it, check your address on myUK to be sure it is correct. Refunds are mailed to the residual/refund address in myUK. If you receive a refund you are not expecting, please contact the tuition scholarship officer at Students that receive incorrect refunds will still be responsible for the refund amount, so be sure to check with the Graduate School if you are unsure whether or not your refund is correct.

Important Notices Concerning Tuition Scholarships

The Graduate School Funding Office is charged with administering approximately 2,000 tuition scholarships for graduate assistants and fellowship holders each semester. These scholarships originate from a variety of sources, such as endowments, university scholarship accounts, and Research Challenge Trust Funds. Staff members of the Funding Office are charged with the fiscal stewardship of these accounts and work to see that as many students as possible receive scholarships, even though funding is limited.

  • Eligibility for tuition scholarships
    Students must be enrolled in a graduate program; post-baccalaureate students are not eligible. Graduate Assistants (TAs, RAs, GAs) placed on scholastic probation are not eligible to receive either an in-state or out-of-state tuition scholarship.  Students receiving any support from an outside entity, including but not limited to government sponsors and grants that include a Cost of Education allowance or similar, are not eligible for tuition scholarships through the Graduate School.  If an individual is readmitted to a doctoral program, and thus requires retroactive enrollment in the 2 credit 767 course for all fall and spring semesters between the semester of readmission and the last semester they had been enrolled in 767, the Graduate School will not provide a tuition scholarship for the out of state portion of tuition for the 2 credits of 767, and the student will be required to pay all tuition/fee costs associated with all of the semesters of retroactive 767 course enrollments.  If a student does not perform the work assigned for the Assistantship for the entire duration of the period for that semester stated in the GSAS form, or does not perform it at a level deemed to be satisfactory by the hiring unit, the tuition/fee scholarships associated with the Assistantship are subject to removal, with the student then being responsible for paying these charges.  A DGS seeking an exception to this policy should contact the Funding office with a request. 
  • Course exclusions for tuition scholarships
    Given the limited amount of tuition scholarship funds, tuition scholarship funds from the Funding office are not permitted for courses taken with an audit (AU) grade type or as pass/fail.  Tuition scholarships are also not intended for courses taken by doctoral students in addition to the 2 credit 767 course, or courses not required for the student’s graduate degree as indicated in the program’s Graduate Bulletin pages.  This policy is enforced for all graduate assistants (TAs, RAs, GAs) and fellowship awardees receiving tuition scholarships through the Funding office.  Graduate students should note that they are personally liable for tuition and fee charges associated with any of the above courses.  Graduate programs/colleges can also be financially responsible for these tuition costs if they approve any such courses or fail to monitor enrollment of their funded graduate students. This policy is not intended to preclude graduate students from taking remedial courses, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, required by their academic program and DGS.  Nor is this policy intended to preclude graduate students from taking courses to complete certificate programs, as long as the major professor, DGS, and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies endorse enrollment in certificate or undergraduate courses.  DGSs who wish to request exceptions to the tuition scholarship policy may send an e-mail, copied to their Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies (or similar Associate Dean in their college), to the Graduate School's tuition scholarship officer at
  • Student Recreation Fee (Johnson Center Fee) and Health Fee
    All students are charged a mandatory recreation fee each semester. This fee is covered by Graduate School tuition scholarships.


Important phone numbers

UK Student Account Services
GS Funding Office
UK Student Financial Aid