Supporting Fulbright-Sponsored Students

 

What is Fulbright?

  • Fulbright is the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.
  • The Fulbright Foreign Student Program offers opportunities for highly qualified foreign graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study, conduct research, and/or teach their native language in the U.S.
  • The Foreign Student Program is built on the concept of cost-share; very rarely are students fully funded.

 

Fulbright Foreign Student Program at OSU

Background:

  • Effective fall 2020, OSU implemented a minimum institutional cost-share guarantee equivalent to the resident rate for all successful Fulbright applicants.
  • To qualify for the in-state rate, the Fulbright program must provide maximum $1385 MMR (monthly maintenance rate) without reductions for the length of the Fulbright award.
  • International students attending OSU are required to show a $2040 monthly living allowance; as such, the student must secure “top-up” funding to the Fulbright grant in amount of $655/month.
  • The goals of OSU’s institutional cost-share guarantee are to support the objectives and cost-share spirit of Fulbright, increase international Fulbright enrollment, and limit staff FTE spent on negotiating cost-share for individual applicants.

 

New Fulbright Application Process for 2022-23

The Graduate School is using a new process in an effort to minimize negotiations between OSU and the sponsoring agency. Wherever possible, we will request detailed funding information for each applicant from the respective Fulbright Placement Officer before forwarding the academic pre-evaluation to the graduate program. This will give departments a better idea of the cost-share expected. Once the graduate program has decided to accept the student, they will submit the DAFA with information regarding the departmental cost-share offer. Information regarding acceptance and cost-share will then be sent to the Fulbright Placement Officer. Upon approval of the cost-share offer from the Fulbright Placement Officer, the letter of admission will be issued.

 

Funding

The type of funding (OSU cost-share) necessary may vary depending on the sponsoring agency, the student’s country of origin and the individual applicant.

  • Students must meet OSU cost of attendance requirements ($2040 per month for AY 2022-23).
  • Some students may also need tuition support.
  • If a student is not on an appointment through OSU (fellowship or assistantship), they will be subject to mandatory health insurance rates. The health insurance subsidy provided by Fulbright is insufficient to cover those costs.

To address these funding challenges and to streamline the process, we are offering the following three funding options for 2022-2023:

  1. Graduate Assistantship
  2. Alternatively-Funded Graduate Fellowship Program
  3. Acceptance without Funding Offer

Funding Option 1: Graduate Assistantship

Appointment Level for 2022-2023:

  • .38 FTE plus Fulbright Stipend
  • .49 FTE without Fulbright Stipend

Considerations:

  • Best option when recruiting highly competitive applicants.
  • May reduce amount of funding Fulbright provides, in particular tuition support, as GA appointment must cover tuition and fee remission with same fund source.
  • In order to stretch/utilize Fulbright tuition support, the assistantship can be provided for 1-3 terms over academic year, in conjunction with option 2 (alternatively funded fellowship) for other terms not on GA appointment.

Funding Option 2: Alternatively Funded Fellowship

OSU allows the Alternatively-Funded Graduate Fellowship Program as a mechanism for a number of externally funded fellowships that students receive. If students can meet up to the minimum stipend rate and have guaranteed tuition support, they can be put on a graduate fellowship appointment.

While on appointment, students receive the resident tuition rate (already guaranteed as part of the Fulbright cost-share agreement) and they and their dependents are eligible for the subsidized Graduate Employee Health Plan.

For 2022-23, the Graduate School (Nick Fleury) will issue and process the appointment. We will use the academic unit’s top-up letters (stipend support and/or tuition support) that were provided as part of the admissions process as a financial guarantee to set up the appointments.

Given the admissions and immigrations requirements for Fulbright-sponsored students, these letters must be reviewed by Belinda Barnes, Director of Enrollment Management Operations, prior to issuance. This review may include comments, updated language requirements, or multi-year offer language, subject to the needs of the student.

To expedite this process, please route these letters of offer as follows in DocuSign:

  1. Belinda Barnes – Add an initials field to first page of document for Belinda and also add Belinda as a recipient to the Envelope as a signer.
  2. Dean, Department Head, Graduate Program Director, or Principal Investigator – Needs to Sign
  3. Student – Needs to Sign
  4. Nick Fleury – Receives a Copy

Considerations:

  • Graduate Fellowships are 100% appointments through HR (students cannot be employed in any other way; e.g. hold a partial assistantship or even a student worker job).
  • Stipend and/or tuition support are scholarships and have to be directly applied to the student’s account. They cannot have stipulations beyond academic progression and Fulbright sponsorship.
  • Fund source used for top-up must allow student support.
  • Scholarships, beyond tuition and fees covered, are subject to NRA (non-resident alien) tax rate for most international students (typically 14%). Tax will be deducted before the student receives the funds; therefore programs may consider offering more than the minimum top-up amount.

Reminder: Students can be under the alternatively-funded fellowship one term and be appointed as a graduate assistant in another term. These cannot be simultaneous appointments, but you can alternate terms between appointment types; Nick will need to know the terms that students are on the fellowship because he will handle the letter of appointment as well as the processing of the appointment. Graduate assistantship appointments for one or more terms must be handled through HR/Benny Hire processes under the academic unit.

Funding Option 3: No Funding Offer

Acceptance without institutional funding offer is an option.

  • In this case, the Fulbright Placement Officer must document full-funding for the student; including equivalent monthly stipend of $2,040 to meet OSU’s requirement for cost of attendance needed for in-state tuition rates.
  • Students will be subject to mandatory health insurance through Student Health Services.

Consideration:

  • Without a funding offer, the academic unit accepts that it is unlikely that the student will attend OSU and will instead choose an institution that can offer financial support.

 

Expectations for Length of Funding

Length of funding needed for admission and issuance of visa documents for Fulbright students:

  • 3 years for Master’s
  • 5 years for Doctoral

(Some programs may be permitted to provide funding for only two or four years, respectively, if they can document that the degree can be completed in that time.)

 

Contacts:

Marigold Holmes | Office of International Services Assistant Director for Sponsored Student Programs

Patrick McBrien | Graduate School International Admissions Coordinator

Nick Fleury | Graduate School Director of Financial Support

Marit Legler | Graduate School Special Programs Enrollment Manager