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Graduate Student Support Competition (GSSC) Information & Frequently Asked Questions

Information related to the Graduate Student Support Competition.


The Graduate School Support Competition (GSSC) is an annual exercise conducted by the Graduate School and graduate programs. The Graduate School uses this exercise to allocate WARF and Chancellor’s funds to graduate programs to enhance recruitment, retention, and student services. Service-based pricing programs do not qualify for GSSC funding.

Each fall semester, graduate programs complete the GSSC application to request GSSC funding for the upcoming fiscal year. GSSC applications are reviewed by a committee that makes a final determination on GSSC allocations. After a decision is made, the Graduate School will email an official allocation letter to the program. All allocated funds are expected to be used within the fiscal year. 

How GSSC Funds Can Be Used

Student Support & Recruitment

  • Prospective PhD student recruitment, 
  • Lab rotation stipends, 
  • Student travel for research or conferences, 
  • Scholarships for summer support,
  • Welcome checks for incoming students, 
  • Graduate school application fees, and/or 
  • Enhancement of RA stipends (WARF funds for student support cannot be used to enhance TA or PA stipends) 
  • Fellowships

    • GSSC funds can be used to fund fellowships at the Graduate School fellowship rates. The fellowship period (academic year, semester, summer, annual) is determined by the program.

      Fellowships must include stipend, fringe benefits, in-state tuition, and segregated fees. 

      Other fees (e.g., international student fees, office document fees and course-related fees) are not included. Programs are responsible for administering any fellowships allotted by the GSSC (other than the second year of a two-year fellowship). Dissertator fellowships should not be payrolled until after the student attains dissertator status. 

      Note that dissertators who will be eligible to use the second year of their two-year fellowship in AY 2023-24 are not included in this allocation and should not be payrolled through your department. The Graduate School’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Funding will be in communication with you regarding any students who elect to use the second year of their two year fellowship.

Program code 9 should be used for any financial aid, including fellowships, application fee grants, and welcome checks. Program code 4 should be used for prospective student recruitment, including RA stipends, conference expenses, and research-related travel. For more information on which program code to use, please visit the Division of Business Services website.

Please contact the Fellowships Manager at if you are uncertain whether a certain expense can be charged to GSSC funds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can we use the funds to pay for the visit of a prospective student's guest(s)?

A: No. Funds should be spent directly on recruitment activities for prospective students, not on any guests.

Q: Can we use the funds to fund graduate student’s research?

A: No. Funds can be spent on research related travel but not on research related expenses.

Q: Are programs that only offer master’s degrees eligible to receive GSSC funding?

A: Terminal master’s programs can receive GSSC funds to be used for recruitment but not fellowships or student support. We make an exception for master’s programs that have a formal bridge established to a PhD program. Students entering the bridge program are considered to be PhD-bound and master’s programs can apply for GSSC funds to support them.

Q: Are Graduate Research Scholars (GRS, Advanced Opportunity Fellowships - AOF) Fellowships distributed through the GSSC?

A: No, GRS fellowships are distributed through the GRS communities.

Q: What are the fellowship stipend rates?

A: The approved fellowship stipend rates and total cost of fellowship for FY2024 and FY2025 are listed below. Graduate School-supported fellowships cannot be provided at a lower stipend rate but programs may choose to supplement fellowships with departmental/grants/other appropriate funding to raise the stipend rate.

Non-dissertator FY24 Fellowship Rates
Academic  Annual  Semester  Summer 
Stipend $24,545 $30,000 $12,272.50 $8,182
Estimated Fringe*  $5,940 $7,260 $2,970 $1,980
Tuition and Fees (current tuition rates) $12,289 $14,593 $6,145 $2,304
ESTIMATED TOTAL $42,774 $51,853 $21,387 $12,466

Dissertator FY24 Fellowship Rates
Academic  Annual  Semester  Summer 
Stipend $24,545 $30,000 $12,272.50 $8,182
Estimated Fringe*  $5,940 $7,260 $2,970 $1,980
Tuition and Fees (current tuition rates) $3,456 $5,160 $1,728 $1,704
ESTIMATED TOTAL $33,941 $42,420 $16,971 $11,866

Non-dissertator FY25 Fellowship Rates
Academic  Annual  Semester  Summer 
Stipend $26,506  $32,396  $13,253  $8,835 
Estimated Fringe*  $7,077  $8,650  $3,539  $2,359 
Estimated Tuition and Fees** $12,658  $15,031  $6,329  $2,373 
ESTIMATED TOTAL $46,241  $56,077  $23,121  $13,567 

   Dissertator FY25 Fellowship Rates
Academic  Annual  Semester  Summer 
Stipend $26,506  $32,396  $13,253  $8,835 
Estimated Fringe*  $7,077  $8,650  $3,539  $2,359 
Estimated Tuition and Fees** $3,560  $5,315  $1,780  $1,755 
ESTIMATED TOTAL $37,143  $46,361  $18,571  $12,949 

*Fringe benefits rate increased by 2.5% each year to allow for contingencies. Current fringe benefits rates can be found on RSP's website:

**Tuition rates are 3% higher in FY25 to allow for contingencies. See the Tuition Rates Workbook for current rates.

Q: What is a two-year fellowship?

A: Two-year fellowships are a tool that some programs have historically used in recruitment. They provide one academic year of fellowship before the student attains dissertator status (usually their first year in the program) and one academic year of fellowship after they attain dissertator status. Programs that had two-year fellowships in their FY24 allocation are eligible for two-year fellowships for FY25. Two-year fellowships will likely not be available in future cycles. 

For any other questions you may have about the GSSC, please contact the Graduate School's Fellowship Manager at

KeywordsGSSC, Graduate Student Funding, Funding Competition, Fellowships, allocations, funding   Doc ID87254
OwnerAbbey T.GroupGraduate School
Created2018-10-26 12:49:22Updated2024-05-07 12:40:50
SitesGraduate School
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