Graduate Assistant Mandatory Fee Coverage Plan

The Office of the President, Office of the Provost, the Graduate School, and the Graduate Student Council closely collaborated, with support by the Office of the Vice President for Research, to create the 2022 Graduate Assistant Mandatory Fee Coverage Plan.

Using a phased-in approach to implementation, graduate assistants appointed as graduate teaching assistants (GTAs), graduate support assistants (GSAs), or graduate research assistants (GRAs) will receive 100% coverage of all mandatory graduate student fees by the 2025-2026 academic year (AY). Partial mandatory fee coverage will begin in Spring 2023 with increases every academic year.

  • Spring 2023: 50% mandatory fee coverage
  • AY 2023-24: 50% mandatory fee coverage
  • AY 2024-25: 75% mandatory fee coverage
  • AY 2025-26: 100% mandatory fee coverage

Because the mandatory fees will be covered rather than being reduced, waived, or eliminated, the graduate community will continue to have access to the important services funded by fees.

CSU deeply values the contributions of our graduate assistants to the academic and research enterprises of our University. The coverage of mandatory fees is one way to recognize these contributions and improve the lives of our graduate assistants.


The frequently asked questions section below will continue to be updated as the plan is implemented. Updated: 01-10-23

Only CSU Graduate Assistants (i.e., Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Support Assistants, and Graduate Research Assistants) and GRA-Predocs  are eligible for mandatory fee coverage through the 2022 Graduate Assistant Mandatory Fee Coverage Plan. Mandatory fees will be covered only in semesters when actively contracted as a GA or actively using GRA-Predoc funds (e.g. on tenure). 

Graduate students without a graduate assistantship appointment (e.g., non-appointed students, self-supporting or student hourlies) will not be eligible for mandatory fee coverage. Hourly workers are not included in this plan because they are temporary employees and hence are not contracted. 

During the phased approach to mandatory fee coverage, the GA will be responsible for the balance of their fees.

GA mandatory fees cannot be eliminated or forgiven and will be covered through other budgeting processes (as detailed in the “How will mandatory fee coverage be implemented?” question on this webpage).

Covered mandatory fees include the General Fees, University Technology Fee, University Facility Fee, and the University Alternative Transportation Fee. The Immigration Service Fee is charged each semester (including summer if employed as a GA for summer) for international GAs will also be covered. Some partial-fee paying GAs (5 credits or fewer) are also charged the Health Network Fee and the Counseling Fee. These two fees will be covered for partial-fee paying GAs when relevant.

GA mandatory fee payments will continue so that we can ensure funding for resources benefiting the graduate community remain in place. These fees fund services that are an essential part of graduate student success.

All student fees, including graduate assistant mandatory fees, pay for a large portfolio of services that support students in their personal, academic and professional lives. GA mandatory fee allocations allow the continuation of these services.

Fees are allocated to services such as: The CSU Health Network, which provides medical and mental health services; Student Legal Services; multicultural counseling; assistance for students with disabilities; resources and consultation related to renting and affordable housing; the Student Rec Center; the Career Center services; and many other offices and programs that offer student resources, counseling and support.

Yes. GAs appointed for less than 0.5 FTE will also receive the full GA Mandatory Fee Coverage.

Logistically, the GA Mandatory Fee Coverage will be implemented via the Business and Financial Systems Campus Portal.

The mandatory fee coverage for GTAs and GSAs will ultimately be covered from the university’s base budget, and the mandatory fee coverage for GRAs will ultimately be covered from the sponsored projects that support the assistantship stipend and tuition. The website for the Office of Sponsored Programs includes a webpage, Guidance: Student Support on Sponsored Projects, with FAQs, additional resources, and details. The CSU internal SEVIS fee for international GAs will ultimately be covered from the university’s base budget for GTAs, GSAs, and GRAs. During the phase-in coverage period, the mandatory fee coverage for GTAs and GSAs and the CSU internal SEVIS fee for international GAs will be covered from a combination of one time funds and base budget as the mandatory fee coverage is transferred to base budget funding over multiple years. Mandatory Fee Coverage for GRAs will be funded by one time funds for existing sponsored projects where mandatory fees have not been budgeted, and this will continue until existing projects sunset.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, approved budgets for sponsored projects that include GRAs must include a bundled line item for “Tuition and Mandatory Fees.” If GRAs are supported on a sponsored projects budget submitted after Jan. 1, 2023 that does not include the tuition and mandatory fees in the budget, the mandatory fee coverage will be the responsibility of the unit.

A formal policy document outlining the GA mandatory fee coverage is under development. GA offer letters, contracts, and the GA benefits webpage reflect the intended policy around GA mandatory fee coverage until the formal policy can be approved.

President Miranda’s announcement at the Fall Address emphasizes the commitment by the Graduate Student Council, the Graduate School, student groups, faculty, staff and University Administration to improve graduate assistant compensation and the overall graduate experience. This marks a significant step forward after two years of focused efforts to cover mandatory fees for graduate assistants.

While covering mandatory fees is one component in helping reduce the financial burden of graduate assistants, Colorado State University is aware of the growing cost of living in Northern Colorado and across the nation, and we are deeply concerned about the financial impact on our graduate students and the entire CSU community. While we continue to overcome COVID-related budget deficits and balance competing priorities, we are moving to build a budget for the upcoming Fiscal Year (FY2023, which starts in July) that better supports the breadth of our mission as a public institution, and the required scope of investments in our people, impact, innovation and operations. 


For questions or concerns regarding the 2022 Graduate Assistant Mandatory Fee Coverage Plan, please email the Graduate School at