Funding Principles for Graduate Units

Through the 2021 Memorandum of Agreement with CUPE 3902, Unit 1, the University agreed that every student in the funded cohort who is a bargaining unit employee will receive a funding letter from their graduate unit annually. Graduate students must receive this letter between August 15th and September 30th of each academic year. If a student in the funded cohort becomes a bargaining unit employee after September 30th of that academic year, the graduate unit will provide a funding letter no later than 30 calendar days after the start of their appointment.

For details on the information that the University has committed to providing in each funding letter and in the publication of departmental funding practices, please see the decanal memo “Annual Funding Letters for Graduate Students” (August 11, 2021).

While the commitment in the Collective Agreement only applies to members of the CUPE 3902, Unit 1, the School of Graduate Studies nevertheless encourages graduate units to provide the same funding information to all of their graduate students who are in the funded cohort through an annual funding letter. To further improve funding transparency, we recommend that graduate units also inform students about their funding policies so that students understand the terms and conditions under which their funding is provided.

In addition to providing funding transparency, SGS encourages units to:

  • Provide consistent pay: Strive to make living stipend payments consistent so that students receive similar payments on a month-to-month basis, net of tuition support.
  • Consider institutional tuition funding deadlines: Align tuition funding payments to students with University tuition payment due dates so that students have the money funds available to pay their tuition in a timely, stress-free manner, free of service charges, (i.e. pro-rate tuition support payments so the full tuition amount is issued to the student or applied to their fees account in full by April 30th).
  • Review total funding issued upon completion and at the start of leaves of absence:  Upon program completion and at the start of leaves, assess the value of funding issued to ensure sufficient tuition funding has been provided to cover the full cost of the student’s tuition, in addition to the appropriate level of pro-rated living stipend (e.g. students completing their studies in the winter session should receive the full value of the total fall/winter tuition, incidentals, and healthcare, plus the appropriate percentage of living stipend based on their registration period).