Ohio University

Graduate Student Senate, University leaders work together to help graduate students save money on fees

Published: February 11, 2020 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University graduate students with full-time appointments are saving money on their student fees this year and will save even more in the next academic year thanks to a collaborative initiative from the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) and University leaders. 

This initiative will allow graduate students with full-time appointments to save $162 per year, compared to the fees in place in the 2017-2018 academic year.  

“Graduate Student Senate is glad to see that President Nellis and University administrators are so committed to supporting graduate students,” GSS President Dareen Tadros said. “The general fee buydown is a result of collective effort of the administration, GSS members and the executive team from this year and the past years. Our Senate is always committed to improving the experiences of Ohio University graduate students in every way possible.”

During the 2017-2018 academic year, Graduate Student Senate proposed that the University increase the graduate student fee buydown, which subsidizes a portion of the general fee for graduate students with full-time appointments, by moving the $40 health insurance subsidy into the buydown.  

President M. Duane Nellis, Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration Deb Shaffer and additional University leaders supported the proposal, which was designed to positively impact a greater number of graduate students.  

During the 2018-2019 academic year, GSS proposed to continue to increase the fee buydown and decrease graduate student costs. President Nellis, Shaffer and University leaders supported this proposal as well, and surpassed the initial ask of a $26 from GSS by providing a buydown increase of $31 per student per semester. 

Recently, the University administration, working in conjunction with GSS, has secured a third consecutive year of buydown increase for graduate students of $10 per student per semester, which will take effect in academic year 2020-2021. 

This amounts to a total investment of an estimated $250,000 by the University to decrease these fees. 

 “I appreciate Graduate Student Senate’s thoughtful work on this this proposal,” President Nellis said. “We are always looking for ways to assist our students, and we are proud to be able to decrease fees for graduate students in this manner.” 

GSS Environmental and Plant Biology Department Representative Brett Fredericksen said he was encouraged by the cooperation GSS received from University leaders with the proposal.

“Last year my colleagues and I wrote out a five-year planned aimed at changing the fee buydown to help cut some costs for graduate students. While we understand these changes don’t remove all the burdens facing graduate students, I am more than pleased with the efforts and cooperation displayed by the President and his administration on this issue. I’m excited to see how else GSS and the President’s office can work together in the future,” Fredericksen said.

GSS leaders work with University officials throughout the year in order to advocate for issues of importance to graduate students at Ohio University. For additional information, please visit the Graduate Student Senate webpage.