EmailsQuick Explainer

Quick Explainer: Tuition Waiver for Master’s students

If you missed our previous quick explainers: living wagehealth careprotection for international & immigrant workersCops off Campus, and Strike Vote #RealTalk

Also, scroll down to see a solidarity message from Tech Workers Coalition NYC.

What we have now 

  • A small percentage of Master’s grad workers do receive full tuition remission in our current contract (article IV, section F has fee and tuition waivers). The contract does not specify the conditions in which graduate workers would become eligible for these waivers, and decisions about who is eligible for these waivers are made at the discretion of the university.
  • In our 2001 contract (article IV, section F), all Graduate Assistants, for the term of their appointment, had fees waived for tuition and maintenance of matriculation, which means we are asking for something grad workers in our unit once already had.

What NYU is offering

NYU has repeatedly rejected our proposal for full tuition and fee waivers for all graduate workers without explanation or consideration of precedents. NYU’s refusal to negotiate on tuition waivers especially impacts master’s students in our bargaining unit, who take on huge amounts of debt and struggle to make ends meet while working for the university. NYU’s continued dismissal of the demands of Master’s workers is unacceptable.

What we’re asking for

  • Our current proposal sets the waiving of registration, maintenance of matriculation, student life and tuition fees as one of the terms of graduate employment.
  • Graduate workers pursuing master’s degrees incur NYU’s high tuition costs, and the compensation they receive from the university for their work does not come close to meeting these mounting expenses. The financial burden is even higher for international or immigrant Master’s workers who are frequently excluded from financial aid opportunities reserved for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

How this compares to other grad workers at other universities and NYU employees 

  • Graduate employees at several U.S. universities — the University of Michigan, the University of California system, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the University of Maryland — receive tuition remission and fee waivers.
  • A lot of current NYU employees receive tuition remissionThis includes admin workers at NYU covered by the UCATS contract, and even full-time faculty and their spouses, partners, and children! 


If you worked a unit bargaining position in 2020 or are working this semester (includes J-term 2021) you are eligible to vote in the strike vote and should have received a ballot. The email was from “Local 2110” and would have been sent to your NYU email (search “Local 2110” in your inbox).

Eligible to vote but never got an email? Reach out to

And check out our strike hub for more info!

TWC NYC supports GSOC-UAW Local 2110 in their strike authorization vote. We know just how crucial graduate workers are throughout academia. Paying those workers less than a livable wage and withholding basic needs such as health care, family care, and immigration status protections is unacceptable. NYU collects massive tuition fees and must compensate its graduate workers fairly, while treating the bargaining committee equitably. Failing to do so not only hurts its students and workers, but it also limits this type of important labor to the very privileged few.
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