Out-of-State Tuition Waiver for External Fellowships, Traineeships, and Internships

In a limited number of cases, non-resident doctoral students not supported by GAs may be eligible to be classified at MSU’s in-state tuition rate. The categories outlined below recognize the need to attract and retain the best doctoral students at MSU, to increase the competitiveness of students and faculty who are applying for prestigious external awards, and to provide exemplary training in cross-disciplinary research and federally identified areas of national need. MSU provides a limited number of out-of-state tuition waivers to the Graduate School, which may be requested for fellowships, traineeships and internships that fall under the criteria described below.

Fellowships: An award given to support full-time coursework and/or research without expectations of specific work responsibilities. For the purposes of consideration for an out-of-state tuition waiver, a fellowship must meet the minimum stipend requirements established by the Graduate School, the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, and the Office of the Provost. That level will be reviewed prior to the fall semester of each academic year and approved by the Provost. The status of multi-year awards will be determined by the stipend in place at the outset of the initial period of the award.

Fellowships eligible for out-of-state tuition waivers fall into two categories:

1. University recruitment fellowships:  University-level recruitment fellowships (e.g., University Distinguished and Enrichment Fellowships) that are coordinated by the Graduate School and follow established criteria for nomination and selection. Students qualify for the in-state tuition rate only during the semesters in which the fellowship is their primary form of support; eligibility for in-state tuition when supported by the department or other unit depends on the form of support (e.g., graduate assistantship).

2. External fellowships applied for by the student: Externally funded fellowships that may qualify a student for an out-of-state tuition waiver must 1) be received by the student for support of her/his own research (either directly or through money allocated to MSU); 2) exceed a set minimum stipend level (currently $24,000). Students must have written their own proposals and be selected through a competitive process by a U.S. or international institution/agency/foundation. After a fellowship award is made by the external party, the department and the college associate dean must nominate the student following the procedures below.

Traineeships: A research fellowship supported by a larger educational training grant or by a federal agency that focuses on specific disciplinary areas and identified areas of national need.

1. Training grants: the Graduate School has a limited number of approved slots for assessing in-state fees for students supported on funded training grants with an MSU PI. PIs must work with OSP and the Graduate School Dean (or Dean’s designee) at the time of the proposal development to request those slots and to determine the budget accordingly.

2. External traineeships: certain agencies, foundations and national labs offer competitive opportunities for additional training opportunities (e.g., NIH Graduate Partnerships, NIH Medical Research Scholars Program, NINR Graduate Partnerships). Traineeships must meet a minimum stipend level of $27,000. Students must have written their own proposals and be selected through a competitive process by a U.S. or international agency, foundation or national lab. After a fellowship award is made by the external party, the department and the college associate dean must nominate the student to the Graduate School following the procedures below.

Internships: For the purposes of these policies, an internship is defined as a competitive opportunity for additional professional development provided by an external agency, foundation or institution. In order to be eligible for an out-of-state waiver, the funding for the internship must be paid to MSU and then provided by MSU to the student (e.g., NSF-GRIP). The internship must be awarded through a competitive selection process and be provided for at least the duration of one semester. Students must be nominated by the colleges for available slots following the same procedures established for externally-funded fellowships.

For all categories of awards, students must be enrolled as full-time students throughout the period of the waiver. They must be in good academic standing (as defined by MSU and the home department or program) and be making satisfactory progress toward their degrees. To be considered for a waiver, the student must be nominated by the department and supported by the college. Nominations should be sent to the Graduate School Fellowships coordinator as soon as possible after the student’s selection for the award. The nomination must include:

  • A copy of the official award letter from the external source along with the student’s name. The award letter must specify the dates of the award and the annual fellowship amount or monthly stipend.
  • Request for the specific semester or semesters for which the in-state tuition is needed, per the terms of the award
  • The faculty/ department/ college must provide a letter of commitment for funding the student on a graduate assistantship or fellowship after the external funds are exhausted until the student completes his or her degree.

The Graduate School will provide names of students selected for the out-of-state waivers to the Office of the Registrar by the date on which tuition is assessed for a given semester. Awards will be made until the number of slots available per academic year are filled.