Costs

Among the most-asked questions about getting your graduate degree are, “What is it going to cost?" and, “Can I afford it?” Here at Ball State, we strive to make education affordable.

Tuition or Per-Credit-Hour Fees

These apply to all graduate students taking courses on- or off-campus, short-term, online, or through distance education.

The rate is different for Indiana resident and nonresident students.

Student Services Fee

This fee applies to students taking at least one main campus course.

Other Fees

  • Mandatory fees include health, recreation, technology, and transportation fees. These fees apply to students taking at least one main campus course and are dependent on the number of credit hours a student takes.
  • Program and course fees apply to some programs and courses such as those in the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning, MBA, and nursing. 

See Our Tuition and Fees

Aside from university costs, graduate students must also consider the cost of living.

Living in Muncie can be very affordable.

Learn more about what you can expect to pay to live in Muncie, Indiana.

Funding

For many, the decision to attend graduate school is a big one; more than the tuition costs and time, graduate school is an investment in your career and future. A number of options exist for those looking for guidance on how to fund a graduate education.

Maggie Cude's role as a graduate assistant not only helped her fund her master of arts in public relations—it taught her what it's like to work at a university, which is what she does as a professional today.
Read her story.

Graduate Assistantships

Our GA program is a great way to fund your education and has many advantages and other perks, but most importantly, it offers the opportunity to gain meaningful professional experience while pursuing your master’s or doctoral degree. We’ve heard from many GAs who say that their academic program opens the door for a job opportunity, but that their GA experience seals the deal.

Full-time GAs work 20 hours a week and receive a majority waiver of their tuition cost and a stipend determined by the department. Part-time assistants work 10 hours a week and receive a waiver for 55% of their tuition cost and a stipend. Both full-time and part-time graduate assistants also have to pay several fees. Read the sections below for detailed information.

The benefits of a graduate assistantship include:

  • a waiver of the majority of tuition; GAs are still required to pay a portion of tuition and fees each semester. See the Fee Remission section of this page for more information.
  • the possibility of tuition/fee remission in the summer. In order to be eligible for tuition/fee remission for the summer term, you must either have worked for both semesters of the previous academic year (Fall and Spring terms), or you must have worked the previous spring term and have been renewed for the following Fall term.
  • a stipend (amount is determined by your hiring department) deposited electronically and directly through the Office of Payroll and Employee Benefits on a biweekly basis (also during holidays and breaks).
  • University Bookstore discounts
  • Indiana resident tuition for your spouse or children while you are a graduate assistant

Additionally, all graduate students:

  • can access services at the Ball State Federal Credit Union
  • receive free tickets to regularly scheduled athletic events
  • receive free or discounted tickets to performances at Emens Auditorium, University Theatre, and more
  • qualify for a free Muncie Public Library card

Eligibility requirements for a graduate assistantship include:

  • for master’s students, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 on their undergraduate degree (or 3.0 in the latter half of previous degree).
  • for doctoral students, a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum graduate GPA of 3.2 on their master’s degree (if a master’s is required).
  • submission of official academic transcript(s)
  • regular (not probationary) acceptance into a graduate degree program
  • completion of bachelor’s degree for master’s graduate assistants
  • completion of master’s degree for most doctoral graduate assistants (check individual programs for specific requirements)
  • maintain good academic standing (no academic probationary status)
  • enrollment in at least 6 credit-hours per semester or 3 credit-hours in a five-week summer session
  • satisfaction of any additional department-specific prerequisites

The best place to start when looking for a graduate assistantship is to contact your program director. They can inform you about opportunities within your academic department or at other offices on campus. Individual units are responsible for hiring their GAs. The Graduate School does not assign or hire GA positions for other units.

Typically, most graduate assistantships start in the Fall Semester.

You can often find openings outside of your academic department via the Ball State Career Center. Visit the link below to see currently available GA postings:

Find Openings Through the Career Center

McNair Scholars

We are proud to offer additional benefits for previous McNair Scholars. The Graduate School has funds to support 8 graduate assistant positions for units hiring these students. The award is for one year and can be renewed for one additional year. McNair students should inquire with the hiring unit if there is an assistantship position available for them. If the hiring unit wishes to employ the student in an assistantship, they will make the request to the Graduate School for stipend and tuition support. McNair Scholars can also receive an application fee waiver by providing certification from their local McNair program director. Please mention your McNair Scholar status in your application.

TUITION AND FEE REMISSION

Ball State Graduate Assistants are eligible for partial tuition and fee remission through the Graduate Assistant Tuition and Fee Remission Program.

The amount of the remission is dependent upon Full-Time GA or Half-Time GA status.

Click the links below to view a summary description of the current program provisions.

2019-2020 FULL-Time GA Tuition and Fee Remission Program (PDF)

2019-2020 HALF-Time GA Tuition and Fee Remission Program (PDF)

CONTRACTS

Your assistantship contract must be signed before you can begin to receive your stipend. The Graduate School will email you with appropriate steps you need to take in order to sign your contract. For new students this email will contain important instructions on how to complete your employment verification.

Ball State University participates in the federal E-Verify program for employment eligibility. This process provides the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each new employee’s Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. The federal verification process must be completed by the third business day of work.

For Out-of-State and International Graduate Assistants
If you plan to arrive on campus during the Orientation Week, do not worry. It is all right to wait until that week to come to the Graduate School office and sign your contract. When you do come in, please make sure to bring with you all the necessary identification documents. Please note that all students will need a Social Security number to process their contract. International students must contact the Rinker Center for International Programs for more information about obtaining a Social Security number.

PAYROLL

Graduate assistants are paid their stipends biweekly. See the calendar of pay dates for the term you will be employed.

All employees are required to authorize electronic direct deposit of their paychecks. Direct deposit is a safe and secure way to have your pay deposited directly into your checking and saving account(s). Ball State will electronically transfer your pay into your choice of bank account(s); the money will automatically be deposited into your account(s) on payday.  See the Direct Deposit Authorization Form under Payroll Forms.

Direct deposit stubs will not be printed by the Office of Payroll and Employee Benefits. You can access your direct deposit payroll statement via myBSU.edu.

Be sure to learn how to properly record your hours when working as a graduate assistant by using the Kronos timestamp management system.  Browse to the University Human Resources System Guides page, click on the plus sign to the right of the word "Kronos" to see the available Kronos guides and review the document, Kronos Graduate Assistants and Student Employee Instructions.

ORIENTATION

In addition to the new student orientation website for all new students, the department or office that “houses” your assistantship may require you to undergo specific training or orientation sessions meant for GAs before the start of your contract.

TRAINING

Carefully review the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and sexual harassment policies before the start of your contract.

Both students new to Ball State and graduate assistants are required to complete harm-reduction training, in the form of EverFi. During your first term as a GA, you will also be required to complete a FERPA awareness course on Canvas. You will receive emails with instructions on how to complete the training, as well as reminders if it isn’t completed in a timely manner.

COURSE REGISTRATION AND WITHDRAWAL

Any reduction in credit hours during the semester may adjust the tuition and fee remission and affect financial aid. Also any holds on accounts will prevent assistantship payroll to be processed.

If a student intends to completely withdraw from a term, he or she should contact the Office of Retention and Graduation prior to withdrawal from the university.

Frequently Asked Questions – Review answers to some of the most commons concerns among graduate students.

For other questions regarding graduate and doctoral assistantships please contact:

Courtney Quinn
Secretary to the Associate Dean
Ball State Graduate School

Other Funding Sources

A graduate education funding approach other than a graduate assistantship may be best for your situation.  Consider the alternative funding sources listed below:

Many graduate students work on campus.

Graduate assistants may work up to only nine additional hours each week. Student employment in addition to an assistantship requires permission from the GA’s department and the associate dean of the Graduate School and a completed form.

Find a Job on Campus  download the permission form

Many employers offer education assistance to their employees.

These educational benefits range from providing tuition reimbursement or scholarships to financing select job-related course work. Speak with your supervisor or a human resources representative at your employer to pursue this option.

You may receive up to $5,250 in tax-free education benefits from your employer each year. The payments do not have to be for work-related courses.

Learn more about this tax savings.

Assistance for veterans is available; however, careful planning is necessary if you wish to have assistance apply toward your online or distance education enrollment.

Learn more about our veterans’ benefits.

If you are an Indiana resident age 60 or older, you may qualify for a 50 percent reduction in the cost of your Ball State tuition.

Learn more about the discount.

Are you still looking for ways to fund your graduate degree at Ball State?

Learn more about financial aid and scholarships.