Investments in Graduate Study and Students
The University of Maryland has made historic investments in graduate students over the last five years. These include:
The minimum stipend was increased by over 26% in 2022, and by nearly 52% over the last four years. Total annual GA stipend expenditures are about $21 million higher than in FY18. The number of GAs on sponsored research rose by 10 percent.
The number of Flagship Fellowship increased from 40 to 70 per year starting in FY20; the fellowship amount was increased from $50,000 to $60,000; and the number of awards accepted doubled, from an average of 11 to 22 per year. The President’s Fellowship was created in FY23 with $400,000 per year in available funding; we made 40 offers and 14 awards for Fall 2022. We substantially increased funding to recruit URM doctoral students, offering $316,000 to Fall 2022 applicants.
Dissertation and Summer Research Fellowships
The number of Wylie Fellowship was increased from 50 to 70 per year starting in FY20. The number of Summer Research awards was also increased from 50 to 70 per year.
Beginning in FY20, we began to pay the full cost of student health insurance for students on full fellowships. Health insurance expenditures rose from $40,000 in FY19 to $95,000 in FY22.
In AY20-21, we provided tuition fellowships to international students who were able to begin or continue their studies but were unable to arrive on campus to accept a GA appointment; these tuition fellowships totaled $2.7M. In Fall 2020, we began to offer fellowships to Ph.D. students whose dissertation research was delayed by COVID and who had no source of funding. In all, about $4.4M was provided in FY21-FY22. The Provost has made available up to an additional $400,000 in FY23.
Incorporation of Fees Into Tuition
Beginning in AY22-23, certain mandatory fees totaling $515 were incorporated into tuition. These included the technology fee of $306, performing arts fee of $95, health center fee of $96 and student facilities fee of $18. Graduate students who receive tuition remission as part of a graduate assistantship or fellowship experience a net savings of $515 per year. Total financial benefit to graduate students is about $2 million per year.
Faculty-Student Research Award
Beginning in Fall 2000, we converted awards that provided funding to departments for release time for faculty to a new award that provides funding to support faculty research that directly involves graduate students, and which is often used to support students. Total funding is about $400,000 per year, of which roughly $300,000 per year goes to student support.
In response to student concerns about mental health needs, we added a staff position to ensure that students are matched with services, conduct group wellness sessions and monitor leaves of absence. The total cost of this position is about $110,000 per year.
Graduate Student Housing
The University received $5 million in State funding in FY23 to begin planning for a new graduate student housing complex. The complex will be built on the Leonardtown site and will provide housing for at least 800 graduate students.