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Master's Enrollment Incentive Program (MEIP)

Master's Enrollment Incentive Program (MEIP)

Principles

UC Davis has long been interested in growing its graduate enrollment.  In developing the initial proposal for the MEIP, staff in Graduate Studies, campus leadership, and Budget and Institutional Analysis (BIA) considered several principles for a new enrollment growth incentive model:

• Facilitate growth in graduate master’s enrollment

• Establish a financial framework for considering different enrollment strategies for master’s students

• Expand funding for graduate student fellowships

• Support creation of new graduate programs

• Recognize that expanded or significant levels of master’s education is not feasible in all disciplines

• Simplify revenue allocations and clarify financial incentives

• Achieve an academically healthy balance between undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, and professional education in the context of other campus activities and initiatives

Description of the Funding Model

This funding model allows graduate groups and programs that offer masters degrees to opt-in to a budget model that will provide greater financial resources to the program than the base graduate budget model, if the program grows master’s enrollment. Building on our experience with the current model and various previous master’s revenue pilot programs (all discontinued), this incentive will provide access to greater funding allocations for incremental increases in master’s enrollment.

The opportunity to opt-in to the incentive is available annually. Email Steven Albrecht with your interest in enrolling and include a brief statement about your future enrollment plan. Staff in Graduate Studies and Budget and Institutional Analysis (BIA) are available to assist programs in assessing this opportunity by providing data and modeling specific to their program.

Funding, Allocations, and Uses

For the incremental tuition and NRST revenue increase (based on the number of Masters students over the established base-enrollment at opt-in), the allocation is distributed as follows:

Tuition:

  • 10% to the Provost. Used for leadership decisions and campus investments.
  • 50% return-to-aid amount for graduate student support made available to programs via Graduate Studies. Allocated in banner (like GPFA) and may be used as stipend fellowships (or "living allowance"), Tuition & Fee fellowships, and/or Nonresident Supplemental Tuition (NRST) fellowships. These fellowship funds cannot be used to bring students to campus for pre- or post-admissions recruitment visits, research costs, or to fund student appointments such as research and teaching assistantships. No expectation of research or teaching effort can be tied to these funds.
  • 40% to the graduate program's Lead Dean (with a percentage to be shared with the program per previously established Dean/program agreement). These funds can be used for any expenses associated with graduate education, including faculty-related expenses (i.e. salaries, benefits, start-up), facility costs, various forms of instructional support (i.e., TAs and staff), and program administration.

NRST:

  • 20% to the Provost. Mostly used to fund graduate student support NRST allocations and increased GSR buy-down for 2nd & 3rd year international students.
  • 80% to the graduate program's Lead Dean (with a percentage to be shared with graduate program per previously established Dean/program agreement). These funds can be used for any expenses associated with graduate education, including faculty-related expenses (i.e. salaries, benefits, start-up), facility costs, various forms of instructional support (i.e., TAs and staff), and program administration.

Tools and Links

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Steven Albrecht, Graduate Studies. 

GS and BIA have also jointly developed the following FAQ to address questions raised about the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is base enrollment for the Master’s Enrollment Incentive program determined?
  •  If your student enrollment FTE has increased over the three years prior to enrollment, your enrollment for the academic year prior to enrollment will be used as your base enrollment. If not, then your 3-year average enrollment will be used as your base enrollment. Enrollment will be based on the program’s 3-quarter average full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment based on the campus enrollment census data (taken the 3rd week of every quarter).  The FTE will be adjusted to account for dual enrollment and part-time status.
  • How are dual majors counted?
  • Full time students with a dual major in your master’s program are counted as 0.5 FTE. Part-time students with a dual major in your master’s program are counted as 0.25 FTE. The calculation is the same regardless of which major the student enrolled in first or whether his or her majors are both masters or a masters and a Ph.D.
  • Why is the program only getting partial credit for students enrolled in dual majors?
  • To ensure that allocations do not exceed revenue collected and that both programs receive equal credit for that student’s enrollment.
  • Who determines if a student is part-time?
  • Fee-paying status is determined by the Office of the Registrar based on specific criteria
  • How are CalVet waiver recipients counted?
  • A student who is eligible for a CalVet waiver is counted in the appropriate fee-payer status to which they would otherwise be attributed (i.e., Full-time, Part-time, or Dual-Major).  While the university does not receive tuition revenue from these students, for the purposes of the MEIP, revenue will be allocated to programs  so that there is no disincentive to admit these students.
  •  Does the master's incentive allocation change previous funding allocations to my program?
  • No. Opting in does not affect any previous base budget allocations to your program.  Allocations will be incremental changes over the program funding level prior to opting in to the master’s incentive tuition model. Opting in does not affect any previous base budget allocations to your program. 
  •  How does the Master’s Enrollment Incentive Program affect Graduate Program Fellowship Allocation (GPFA)?
  • Master’s enrollment growth above the opt-in baseline does not increase the GPFA (block grant funding) to a program.
  • Is the funding generated by the incentive program one-time funding?
  • No. Funding is provided as base (ongoing) funding so that programs will have the same level of funding at the beginning of the next year.  An incremental adjustment to this base funding would be made annually to reflect enrollment changes per the model.  This adjustment could be positive of negative.  For example, if, after a program opts-in to the incentive model, program enrollment or the percentage of non-resident students declines from the prior year, then funding will be withdrawn at the same per student rate so that the revenue may be properly allocated to other programs.  If enrollment declines to a point that it is lower than the enrollment when the program opted-in to the incentive, the program will receive zero MEIP funding for that year.
  • When will we get the new funds generated by the newly enrolled master's students?
  • Since funding is determined by actual three quarter average enrollment at the time of the official enrollment census, incremental funds will not be provided until after the third quarter census is finalized.  For example, if enrollment increases by 5 students at the beginning of the 2017 academic year, funding associated with those students would be allocated around May 2018.  This is within the same fiscal and academic year the increased enrollment occurred. Costs can be incurred against this revenue source during the same year the program has increased enrollment.  If expenditures are made prior to the revenue allocations, it will be important for the program and Dean’s Office to make an estimate of anticipated revenue under the incentive based on known enrollment information.
  • If a master's student in one of these programs receives a fellowship or TA/GSR appointment, does this impact the amount of revenue allocated to the program for this student?
  •  No. The allocation of revenue collected by the University to academic units is a completely separate process from any type of financial aid or fee remission provided to a student.  Whether or not an individual student is selected for a fellowship, TA or GSR appointment (in any program/unit), has no effect on the tuition funds allocated to programs through the budget model, either through the current model or the Master’s Enrollment Incentive Program.