Top Off Awards / Diversity Recruitment Bonus

Nomination Process

Deadline: 5:00 pm on Monday, March 8, 2021

The Graduate School Diversity Office is now accepting nominations for the “top off awards/diversity recruitment bonuses.” We are awarding a total of five top off awards at $3,240 each. For example, if your department funds an incoming graduate student at $16,000 for the academic year and your nominee is selected for a top off award, this brings the student’s total financial award to $19,240*. Graduate programs and/or departments can nominate more than one student; however, decisions will be made based on the strength of the nominee’s application materials and the rigor of the program’s diversity recruitment efforts.

*The “top off award/diversity recruitment bonus” is only awarded to the student for the first year.


  • Master’s and doctoral students are eligible.
  • Student must be from a historically underrepresented group in graduate education.
  • Graduate programs can only nominate a student who has been offered funding that makes them eligible to benefit from a 100% tuition benefit.
  • Nominee must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Individuals with HB 144 may be eligible. Contact for more information.
  • The nominee must intend to pursue their graduate degree as a full-time student.
  • University employees are not eligible.

Nomination Process:

All materials should be submitted as attachments to by the deadline above.

  • Complete the nomination form.
  • Forward nominee’s official transcripts, CV, and statement of purpose/personal statement from their AY application.
  • Submit a detailed explanation (no more than one page) of: 1) your program’s diversity recruitment efforts (e.g. include names/dates of recruitment fairs attended, scheduled recruitment weekends, number of students reached, existing recruitment partnerships, underrepresented populations you have targeted, etc.); 2) specify ways in which you have collaborated with the Graduate School Diversity Office to improve your program’s diversity recruitment efforts and how you have implemented those practices; and 3) describe how the nominee will contribute to the diversity of your program.

Faculty nominators and the Director of Graduate Studies will be notified via email of the nomination decisions by Monday, March 22, 2021. Funds will be transferred to the awarding department by August 1st.