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Expanded Tuition Remission for Graduate Student Employees

Aug 11, 2020

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To: All Graduate Students
From: Marc Kagan and Claudia Shacter-deChabert
Subject: Contractual Rights on Tuition Remission for post-5th Year Graduate Students
Replies to: [email protected]

In the last contract round, the PSC won four semesters of Level 3 tuition remission for graduate students who have completed ten semesters of enrollment. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you get this benefit.

  • You must be working in any of the PSC-represented positions listed in our contract. The most common ones are Adjunct or Non-Teaching Adjunct. The number of hours you work or credit-hours you teach, or at which campus your work is based, are irrelevant.
  • If you qualify, don’t pay your “bill!” The tuition charge will show up on your CUNY First statement until shortly before the beginning of the semester.
  • According to GC administration, “as a matter of regulatory mandate, financial aid awards cannot disburse to student accounts more than 10 days before the semester begins.”
  • Similarly, the GC will not “see” your employment until the HR department at your employing campus posts your employment into CUNY First.
  • If you took an approved leave of absence, and are now in your 11th – 14th semester of enrollment, regardless of when you began the program, you are eligible for this benefit.
  • If you have out-of-state residence or are at Level 1 or 2, your tuition is reduced by the amount of the Level 3 in-state tuition – currently $1235/semester. It is to your interest to advance to Level 3 before the beginning of a semester, if at all possible.
  • If you have problems, you should first talk to the Office of Financial Aid; please also let us know if they persist and your contractual rights are being violated.
  • If you are in your 15th or later semester of enrollment, PSC continues to challenge CUNY’s claim that you are not eligible for this benefit. Our position is that every graduate student is entitled to four additional semesters of tuition remission, and we are awaiting a contractual arbitration date on this dispute.
  • Unfortunately, you will need to pay your bill; we advise you keep copies of those payments. You will receive reimbursement if we prevail.

In Solidarity,
Your Grievance Counselors,
Marc Kagan & Claudia Shacter-deChabert

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