The School offers financial aid to a limited number of incoming students in the form of Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA). GRA positions cover the cost of tuition (less some student fees) and pay a small monthly stipend. There are usually only 5-8 GRA positions available to entering students. GRAs spend their time assisting faculty with research, course preparation, literature reviews, and other tasks. In addition, individual faculty and research institutes often hire GRAs to work on specific projects funded through external grants and contracts. In 2003-04 there were 14 GRAs funded through external sources. Students are sometimes hired on an hourly basis, without tuition coverage.