This page is for graduate fellowships only. If you have questions about graduate assistantships, please visit Human Resources.
The definitions provided for the common terms are by no means exhaustive. These definitions are limited to the context of graduate appointments through Oregon State University. Terminology at other institutions and for other appointment types at OSU will vary from those defined below.
The minimum stipend level is the prevailing recommended minimum rate for .49 FTE graduate appointments as established annually by the Graduate School. During the 2023-2024 academic year, the rate is $2244 per month, or $6732 per term. It will be $2262 per month ($6786 per term) for the 2024-2025 academic year.
A fellowship must be an independent award, meaning that it can be identified as being awarded to a specific student based upon research, academic merit, and other qualities. Transparency is required as it must be a competitive selection process for the fellowship, so the Graduate School must be provided a notification (typically online) of the fellowship application and selection process, as well as requirements of the fellowship.
This fellowship would not qualify directly for an appointment at OSU, as university policy requires a graduate fellowship and/or traineeship with a stipend be administered in part or in full by OSU. When paid directly to the student, there is no mechanism to verify the award meets other fellowship policies. Students may still be appointed under the Alternatively-Funded Fellowship Program, but the Graduate School may not provide tuition support of any kind for students with these fellowships.
If the award does not meet OSU’s fellowship policies and conditions cannot be met for the Alternatively-Funded Fellowship Program, the student would be subject to tuition rates according to residency status and will not receive health insurance through OSU. It is still possible for the student to retain the award, but it will depend upon requirements provided in the award letter.
If the student is appointed on an assistantship, they cannot be appointed simultaneously to a fellowship. The assistantship will be responsible for wages, tuition, and benefits per the CGE contract. It is still possible for the student to retain the award (must be viewed as scholarship), but it will depend upon requirements provided in the award letter.
Each year, the Graduate School receives far more tuition support requests than waiver funding available. In order to make the tuition waiver funding available regardless of award type, the deadline of the third Monday in February (e.g. February 19, 2024) allows sufficient time for programs to identify potential student awardees, allows qualified fellowships to be used as recruitment tools, and gives the Graduate School time to connect with the central budget office if waiver requests far exceed the budget.
The tuition waiver deadline is firm (3rd Monday in February) for full consideration. Programs may still submit requests up until June 30 each year, but requests will only be honored in July if funding remains and on a first-come, first-serve basis. We encourage programs to submit by the posted deadline each year. Tuition support requests can be submitted without student information or full award information, but if a program expects an RFP to be issued, request waivers based upon expected student applicant numbers for the RFP.
Tuition support requests are still subject to the firm deadline and exception only by availability of funding. The Graduate School encourages programs to reach out to students to make sure they are aware that tuition support is subject to timely notice and cannot be guaranteed on qualifying fellowships unless the request meets the deadline.
The number of waivers depends upon the allocation from the central budget office. After providing Laurels block grants, Provost Fellowships, competitive fellowship awards through the Graduate School (e.g. Prestigious Diversity, Thurgood Marshall), and waivers to students in the NSF-Graduate Research Fellowship program and PNNL-OSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program, there is approximately $1,100,000 available for full academic year waivers, which equates to approximately 75 academic year tuition waivers.
The tuition support request form can be completed without having a student name and ID available. The survey will prompt you to enter in an expected date of when you will have the student information. The Graduate School realizes many awards are competitive and some students will not be successful in their external award applications. Please submit a request for every expected student applying for an external program and provide supporting paperwork, the URL for the external award, and/or the date of notification – each of these are prompts in the tuition support request form.
Fellowships with stipends provided by OSU Foundation endowments are commonly used by some colleges as recruitment tools for new graduate students. These fellowships are automatically administered by OSU with known account information and balances available. It is much easier to verify whether a foundation-supported fellowship meets fellowship policies, so the Graduate School is able to provide early notification on these requests. External requests take much longer to verify and by nature are not used as recruitment tools, so the latest possible deadline is used to confirm tuition waiver support.
Institutionally-funded fellowships, including those paid through OSU Foundation accounts and/or college funds, are paid on a quarterly basis corresponding to the OSU term schedule. Funds are disbursed using the Grants Reports and Reimbursement System (GRRS), referred to as OSU Reimbursement and Scholarship System. Externally-funded fellowships with grants administered by OSU will be paid monthly. Business Affairs handles distribution of payments to students, but are distributed monthly, in advance, as a vendor payment (Student Business Account). In either case, students are paid prior to the start of term/month, as a stipend.
OSU Foundation + Internal fellowship appointments are supported by institutional funds, typically from OSU Foundation accounts, but can be partially or wholly-supported by OSU indexes dedicated to supporting fellowship stipends. Training Grant/External fellowship appointments are supported by externally-funded sources, usually assigned a grant index through OSRAA. Any alternatively-funded fellowships, while not administered in part or in full by OSU, will be completed through the Training Grant/External process since they are externally funded.
The Office for Sponsored Research and Award Administration (OSRAA) must verify that the external award meets grant requirements, and that the award does support fellowship(s). Since the funding is coming from external funds, it will be set up on a research index with payments disbursed monthly to the current vendor address on file. Given various awards, including allowances specified in the award letter, contact Business Affairs to make sure expenditures meet requirements and are disbursed as appropriate to the fellow.
OSRAA and Business Affairs review depending upon the funding sources for both the stipend and tuition support.
Payment setup depends upon the source of the funding for the appointment:
The Graduate Employee Health Plan through PacificSource includes coverage for medical, dental, and vision services. Graduate Fellows are automatically enrolled in the PacificSource Health Plan or waive out with comparable coverage.
A fellowship appointment aligns with OSU academic terms, so an appointment can be made for one individual three-month term, and the maximum length is one year. One-year appointments can overlap OSU fiscal years, as outside granting agencies may use the federal fiscal year or the actual calendar year. The same form is used for appointment renewals when a student is supported by the same funds for a period that exceeds 12 months.
If the assistantship and fellowship do not overlap appointment dates, the appointment paperwork can be filed normally. If there is an overlap on dates, the prior appointment will need to be terminated so there is no overlap with both appointment types. Students cannot be appointed on both an assistantship and a fellowship. Fellowships are viewed as the equivalent of 0.49FTE positions, but are considered a 100% appointment. In other words, a fellow on appointment cannot hold any other positions at OSU simultaneously.
All OSU-funded appointments must coincide with the term periods, so appointments should start on the 16th of the month of the first term of appointment and end on the 15th of the month of the last term of appointment, not to exceed 12 months. Externally supported fellowships should follow the same term appointment schedule when possible, but since some fellowship award have specific dates assigned, these can be accommodated as needed to meet external grant requirements.
The appointment should be made for the duration the student will be funded by the fellowship award, whether internal funds to OSU or external funds administered by OSU. Term-by-term appointments are when the award is subject to external award timelines varying from OSU, or when a different student will receive a particular fellowship in subsequent term(s). Some appointments will also be over summer term.
Business center list. Appointment setup for fellowships now runs through HR Support Services, a function of Human Resources. For all other business centers, the email for processing is [email protected].
Stipend payments depend upon the source of the funding for the appointment, and can vary for tuition as well:
The fellowship appointment must be terminated when the position is not occupied by the student. The fellow appointment form is used for termination, and requires the same signatures as the original appointment to complete termination, e.g. Department, OSRAA, Business Affairs, Graduate School, and Human Resources.
Presently, OSU has a tuition plateau in most programs between 9 credits and 16 credits, which means the tuition rate is the same if you take anywhere between 9 and 16 credits. Some programs do charge per credit and other programs have a smaller tuition increase between 9 and 16 credits. Students are held responsible for any tuition and registration charges, if any, on their student account in excess of the tuition waiver provided for 12 credits.
Generally speaking, mandatory fees are not covered while students are on fellowship appointment unless stated in the fellowship letter of offer. For OSU Graduate Fellowships, the charges appear on the student account, and funds are used to cover tuition in the form of awards/scholarships. These funds have different forms of restrictions than a reversal of charges. Most students on OSU Graduate Fellowships are responsible for fees, as they are either not provided by the external granting agency or OSU funds cannot be used to cover fees. Students should refer to their letter of appointment and/or tuition scholarship letter to verify fee coverage.
Appointed fellows are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 credits each term (fall, winter, spring) and 3 graduate credits if also appointed in summer. Audit registrations, INTO-OSU courses, and course withdrawals do not count towards the minimum enrollment requirement. If a student withdraws from a course, the student will need to adjust the registration to meet the minimum enrollment requirement. In addition, the student will be responsible for any fees or tuition charged as a result of the enrollment change.
Programs may have specific degree requirements that either permit or do not allow Ecampus courses for requirements, but the Graduate School does not restrict Ecampus course enrollment. When the Graduate School is providing a full or partial-tuition waiver for a student on a fellowship, the 12 credits of least expense will be waived from the student’s account. In other words, students will be responsible for any charges to their account due to enrollment in more than 12cr, if applicable, and the Graduate School will waive on-campus credits prior to Ecampus credits, as on-campus courses have lower tuition rates.
The fellowship appointment must be set up by the Office of Human Resources by someone handling HR Support Services requests. Once a position is in place, tuition rate codes are typically updated three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays), and then will be reflected on the student account within two more business days.
Award notifications, particularly when federally-funded and requiring view of notifications, can delay the fellowship appointment process. When circumstances are outside the student fellow’s control, late charges on the student account can be reversed by Business Affairs. Health insurance is mandatory for fellows unless there is a waiver in place due to comparable coverage provided by another source. As fellows are required to have health insurance, coverage will be retroactively provided based upon the start date of the appointment. International students are more adversely impacted by late appointment setup due to student visa requirements, and may end up having to pay for double coverage during the setup term.
Since some fellowship award have specific dates assigned, these can be accommodated as needed to meet external grant requirements. Appointments can start with the grant cycle and be renewed as the award paperwork is received by OSRAA permitting re-appointment. Appointments can only be made for a maximum of 12 months at a time. Academic units are responsible for initiating new appointment and re-appointments, so check with the academic unit contact on appointment setup with a new or continuing award.
Summer session enrollment in three graduate credits is only required for students who have an appointment that overlaps summer appointment dates. The Graduate School does not provide direct tuition support for fellows with summer appointments (except Provost and Diversity Advancement), so tuition coverage must come from the external award, grant, academic unit, or paid directly by the student.