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Minimum Graduate Assistant Stipends to Rise by 20%

The Graduate School is excited to announce that Chancellor Plowman has authorized the investment of $1M in recurring funds to elevate our graduate assistant minimum stipends. This money will be used to increase the stipends of our lowest paid graduate assistants. In fact, this investment will allow us to elevate our minimum stipend levels by 20%.

This is the third major infusion of resources into graduate student stipends since 2018. In fall 2018, a $1M investment was used to raise minimum stipends by 20%. This was followed by $500K in targeted increases in fall 2019. This year’s commitment of funds to this important priority demonstrates the administration’s ongoing commitment to support our graduate student workforce.

Graduate assistants add to the richness of our campus in many ways. As a part of our teaching force, graduate teaching assistants/associates (GTAs) help educate undergraduate students and assist with our retention and graduation efforts. Equally important, our graduate research assistants (GRAs) are essential in advancing the university’s research mission.

There are just over 1650 graduate assistantships that receive central fee waivers. The university pays the tuition for these students so that neither the student nor the department have to bear these costs. Departments, colleges or, in some cases non-academic units, pay the stipends for these students. All students in central fee waiver positions who are currently making below the new minimums will be given a pay increase to reach the new levels. Departments will provide information about this increase to affected students.

Questions related to this investment can be directed to me at GradSchoolDean@utk.edu or to the Graduate School’s Business Manager, Sharon Foy, at sfoy1@utk.edu.