Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) working on a sponsored project are paid according to CU Boulder’s GRA Salary sheet found in our Frequently Needed Information. These are AY semester contract rates based on full-time employment for a GRA, which is 50% time during the academic year. The salary rates are negotiated annually between departments and the Graduate School, and any deviation must be approved prior to proposal submission by the Graduate School.

All graduate students working during the academic year must receive tuition remission according to CU Boulder’s official Tuition Rates. The 9+ credit hour rate is used for graduate students working 50% time. A reduced rate will be applied for graduate students committing less time (e.g. the 5 credit hour rate for GRAs working 25% time) according to the Graduate Student Appointment Manual.

Your Proposal Analyst will help you determine the appropriate salary, tuition and fees to charge for any graduate students included on your sponsored project budget. For additional information, view the Memorandum of Understanding with Regard to the Method Used to Budget Tuition on Sponsored Project Proposal Budgets.

Mandatory Fees for Graduate Students on Sponsored Projects

As announced in CU Boulder Today on November 5, 2021, CU Boulder will begin remitting mandatory fees for graduate students on assistantship appointments. The source of funding for mandatory fees will be based on source of funding for the positions.

  • General-funded positions: The campus will be covering the cost of fees for all general-funded positions.
  • Gift and auxiliary-funded positions: Starting with Fall 2022 any positions funded by gift or auxiliary funds will be expected to cover fees from those sources.
  • Fund 30 and Fund 12-funded positions: For all RAs supported by fund 30 (sponsored projects) or fund 12s, the campus will cover the cost of fees until Fall 2023 term and then fees will be covered by the funding source.
  • See the Graduate School FAQs for additional information.

For sponsored projects (Fund 30s), the Office of Contracts and Grants will begin including Mandatory Student Fees in new sponsored project proposal budgets for all eligible graduate research assistant positions scheduled to begin Fall 2023 and thereafter on a project. Budgeting of Mandatory Student fees will follow these processes:

  • The student fees will be included for all graduate student appointments 20% or greater. 
  • Each unit’s OCG Proposal Analyst will assess the fees needed on proposal budgets, according to the rate sheets provided by the Bursar’s Office. 
  • Mandatory Student fees are exempt from indirect cost (F&A). 
  • Inflation in out years beyond Fall of 2023 will be included at the same rate as that of tuition as provided by the Office of Budget and Fiscal Planning.

In cases for current awards or awards proposed prior to this change that include an eligible graduate research assistant position in Fall 2023 and thereafter, the PI and department may choose to:

  • Rebudget sponsored project funds to cover the mandatory fees, within the limits of the award terms and conditions (contact OCG Grant or Contract Officers for requirements and questions); OR
  • Cover the fees with other funding sources.

For questions about the change in mandatory fee remission for graduate student, contact the Graduate School at For questions about proposal and award budgeting for fees, contact your OCG Proposal Analyst, Grant Officer, or Contract Officer at