Graduate Education Task Force – Summer Update

Dear Campus Community:

During the spring semester, the university’s Graduate Education Task Force began its work to address issues facing graduate students, including improving compensation and enhancing services. We are writing to provide updates on plans to supplement the Tuition Reduction Benefit (TRB) during the 2019-20 academic year for students in high-need areas.

In its preliminary recommendations announced in May, the task force identified the TRB shortfall as among the most-immediate issues facing graduate students.

During the summer, we have been working with relevant campus offices to research and identify the students most in need of TRB support and the best methods for payment. Additional work is required before supplements can be distributed, and in the coming weeks we will be finalizing the plan for the TRB supplements and communicating it to students.

TRB supplements are the first effort to provide near-term support for students in need as the task force finalizes its recommendations and departments implement sustainable solutions. Additional support for students in need will be announced during the 2019-20 academic year.

Tuition Billing & TRB Supplement Timing

On July 30, the university will begin emailing tuition bills for the fall semester. Some graduate students will receive a bill for a portion of tuition not covered by the TRB. However, the university will identify qualifying students before the Sept. 3 tuition deadline. Students qualified to receive TRB supplements will be notified by email in the coming weeks along with the timeframe and method of payment.

TRB supplements will support select terminal degree students (Ph.D. and M.F.A. students) employed as teaching assistants (TA) and assistant instructors (AI) with lower levels of compensation and who pay a portion of their tuition.

Please note that students who pay tuition bills before receiving a TRB supplement will be refunded the amount of any overpayments.

Further Support

In addition to the TRB supplements, the university will be providing other support for students in high-need as the task force develops formal recommendations for long-term solutions.

Starting this fall, the Graduate School is providing funds for select departments and colleges to distribute one-time scholarships for students with lower levels of compensation and financial need. More information will be provided during the fall semester.

Addressing these funding challenges for graduate students is a top priority, and we have been working diligently with the campus this summer to ensure funding is invested in areas of highest need. We encourage you to share input with the Graduate Education Task Force as it works with the campus community to strengthen its graduate programs and further student success.

Thank you for your shared commitment to the quality of our programs and to our graduate students.


Dean of the Graduate School
Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
The University of Texas at Austin

Associate Dean of the Graduate School
Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History
The University of Texas at Austin

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