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Matching Tuition

The Graduate School’s Matching Tuition and Fee Award Program provides fee authorizations for graduate students who receive a competitive stipend from a funding agency that does not provide funds to cover tuition and fees. 

The Graduate School uses this program to make strategic investments in graduate education. The MTFA Program is a pre-approval program designed to strategically leverage Ohio State University resources to enhance the likelihood for the successful funding of competitive external research grants, training grants, and fellowships that support graduate students along with other aspects of graduate education.  The pre-approval of these competitive applications to external funding agencies represents investment in the form of fee matches.

 Funds are limited and not all requests can be approved. The Graduate School does not provide support for countries seeking matching funds to enhance international opportunities.

  • Graduate programs seeking a Matching Tuition and Fee Award must secure the Graduate School's  Pre-approval as early as possible when seeking outside funding for graduate student support.
  • Colleges must submit a priority statement, award/grant announcement, and budget to the Graduate School with each request.
  • Funding for specific students should be sought after the grant/external funding proposal has been pre-approved by the Graduate School and the proposal has been approved by the funding source.
  • All Graduate School deadlines must be followed

Find more information below concerning:

  • Student Eligibility
  • Additional Information
  • Pre-Approval Request
  • Student-Specific Request
  • Choosing an Appointment Type
  • External Fellowships


Graduate School Fee Match Guidelines

Graduate School Fee Match Guidelines

Guidelines and additional information on the Matching Tuition and Fee Awards Program (MTFA) and Fulbright Foreign Student Program Recruitment Fee Match.


Student Eligibility

Proposed students included in student-specific requests must:

  • be in good academic standing in the Graduate School,
  • be enrolled full-time in a master’s or doctoral program,
  • be making satisfactory progress toward that degree, and
  • not have excessive credit hours (over 175 semester hours)

An award may be terminated if a student does not continue to meet the above criteria or any other conditions specified by the Graduate School or by the funding agency.



Additional Information

The Matching Tuition and Fee Award program provides tuition and fees for graduate students (including out-of-state tuition). Fees such as COTA, student activity, and recreational fees are not covered.

Award Terms and Conditions. Students who receive a Matching Tuition and Fee Award must:

  • be enrolled according to minimum credit hour requirements based on the student’s appointment (e.g. Fellow, GRA-GS Match, External)
  • be engaged in a project that is relevant to their research; and
  • not hold any other employment or appointment 

Nomination Process

As of Autumn 2021, the Graduate School has launched a new online MTFA system. All previously submitted pre-approval requests must be verified to submit future student-specific requests. Please log into the new system and approve or deny the information associated with your pending requests. 

New requests to the Graduate School are submitted online in the Graduate School’s MTFA System. Applying for a Matching Tuition and Fee Award is a three-step process:

  1. Pre-Approval Request

    The pre-approval process allows the Graduate School to determine if it will match a potential award, in general.

  2. Funding Verification

    Departments must submit verification of the grant award by submitting the grant and award numbers listed in Workday that are connected to the request.

  3. Student-Specific Request

The Graduate School attempts to provide pre-approval decisions before the funding agency’s award decision has been made. Programs must submit a Funding Verification in the MTFA system by providing the grant and award numbers from Workday. For individual student awards, such as a Fulbright, programs must send the Graduate School the student’s award documentation, including the award amount and conditions.

Pre-Approval Request

Pre-approval requests are reviewed on a rolling basis but must be submitted to the Graduate School at least two weeks before the funding agency’s proposals are due.

To apply, log into the Graduate School MTFA system and follow the steps for "Entering a New Pre-Approval Request" in the MTFA System Guide for Submitters (Link Needed).

After submission of a pre-approval request, an approval workflow will be initiated.  First, the Graduate Studies Chair for the department will review, followed by a College-level approver.  Ultimately, the Graduate School will review the request and programs will receive notification of approval or denial in the MTFA system and via email.  

Student-Specific Request

If a proposal has been pre-approved and funded, programs are responsible for submitting a student-specific request for each student to receive a fee authorization each term. Student-specific requests are submitted online by the third Monday in July (autumn), the third Monday in November (spring), and the third Monday of April (summer).  The MTFA system moves to the following term after these deadlines and late requests will not be able to be reviewed.  Student-specific requests must be submitted at the beginning of each academic year regardless of the number of support years approved.

Requests for retroactive fee awards will not be considered.


Choosing an Appointment Type

Depending on the award’s requirement, students may be appointed as a Fellow, Trainee, GRA-GS Match, or N/A—External Fellow. Many federal awards do not allow students to be appointed as fellows or trainees. It is the graduate program’s responsibility to determine the appropriate appointment type with the Office of Sponsored Programs, include this on the student-specific request, and ensure the student is appointed correctly.  The student’s appointment is connected to the minimum credit hours in which they must enroll, as well as how their fee authorization is applied.

External Fellowships

Students who receive their stipends directly from a funding agency are considered External Fellows. The process for requesting a Tuition and Fee Award for these students is the same, but there are some administrative differences:

  • Fee authorizations are applied manually by the Office of the University Bursar each term; and
  • External fellows do not receive the student health insurance premium subsidy; and
  • External fellows are not appointed in Workday. Programs wishing to provide a supplement to an external award should contact the Graduate School to obtain permission and instructions for how to do so.
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