- Policy Statement
External fellowships are awarded by non-university entities and may provide for tuition only, stipend only, or a combination of both. This policy describes how funding from external fellowships is integrated into the overall funding plan for regularly enrolled students. The combination of University funding with external fellowship funding varies by division and by the value of the award.
- Who is Affected by this Policy
This policy applies to all Ph.D. students who receive external fellowships within their regular program length.
A student within the defined program length who is in residence and is pursuing degree-related work, completing requirements, and making sufficient academic and/or research progress as specified by the department or program and the Graduate School. .
In Absentia Enrollment
A registered student within the defined program length who is pursuing degree-related work, but is NOT in residence for greater than half the term.
External fellowships are awarded by non-university entities for which the sponsor selects the student from a national or international competition. These fellowships typically consist of a tuition component and/or a stipend component. The funds may be paid directly to the student or to the University to be administered on behalf of the student. External fellowship awards vary considerably in terms of amount, duration and restrictions.
Tuition and Fees
The University sets a standard tuition rate for the academic year, and it is applicable to all graduate students in regular enrollment status. All graduate students are required to enroll in the Student Health Plan (SHP). The SHP fee is included in the required tuition and fees.
Financial support includes a cost of living component referred to as a stipend, which is intended to cover the estimated living expenses of a single graduate student. A stipend may be paid over 10 months or 12 months, depending upon a student’s division and/or type of support. Students are provided summer funding if they are actively engaged in research.
A University Fellowship is a fellowship awarded to new and continuing students in the humanities and social sciences departments. A University Fellowship provides full tuition and a stipend for a 12-month period.
First Year Fellowship
A First Year Fellowship is a fellowship awarded to new students in the natural sciences and engineering departments. A First Year Fellowship includes full tuition and a stipend for the 10-month academic year.
Assistantship in Research (AR)
An AR is an appointment granted by a department in which a graduate student performs research in return for a tuition and stipend (paid as salary) contribution.
Assistantship in Instruction (AI)
An AI is an appointment in which a graduate student provides teaching in return for a tuition and stipend (paid as salary) contribution. An AI appointment may include some combination of classroom teaching, laboratory supervision, and grading in undergraduate courses.
Honorific Fellowships are endowed fellowships that provide funding to students displaying the highest scholarly excellence in graduate work during the year. Students must be nominated by their department to be considered for an Honorific Fellowship. These fellowships provide full tuition support and a stipend in excess of the base stipend rate.
Graduate students may receive funding from external fellowships, many of which confer valuable distinction and prestige on the recipient. Graduate students who are recipients of external awards must comply with the following:
- Students awarded an external fellowship must accept and utilize the award in the first year the external fellowship is available.
- Students are responsible for understanding the terms of, and ensuring compliance with, the specific requirements and/or restrictions of their external award.
- Students must complete an External Fellowship Form which includes uploading a copy of the award letter for any external fellowships received. They should provide specifics of the award to the Graduate School annually to ensure that the award is properly recorded and administered.
The funding policy regarding external fellowships for regularly enrolled students varies by value of the award and by division. In general, fully funded fellowships may not be held concurrently. Students who are eligible for more than one award will receive the one that represents the highest amount.
Combination of University Funding with External Fellowships
External fellowships that provide a stipend equal to or greater than the student’s base stipend amount (which varies by division) are referred to as qualifying external fellowships. These qualifying external fellowships may not be held concurrently with fellowships from the University or with research support. If an external fellowship does not provide for full stipend and/or tuition support, the balance of financial support for the student will come from other sources of University or departmental funding, to ensure that the student receives full financial support.
The criteria and funding policies for qualifying external fellowships differ by division and are outlined below:
Humanities and Social Sciences
In the humanities and social sciences divisions, an external fellowship is considered to be a qualifying external fellowship if its stipend is equal to or greater than the 12-month University Fellowship stipend (or prorated for 10 months depending on the duration of the external award). If this is the case, the external fellowship substitutes for University funding for the duration of the external award, and the student is entitled to bank one year of University funding (for 10 months prorated or 12 months) to be used in the first year of DCE status. For external fellowships that do not provide the full stipend amount (for 10 months prorated or 12 months), the student retains the external award, holding it concurrently with a University Fellowship stipend up to the Honorific Fellowship stipend rate. If the external fellowship does not provide for full tuition, then the Graduate School will supplement the external tuition to cover the full tuition rate. If a student is in absentia status and receives an external award, the student may opt to either 1) supplement the award up to the Honorific Fellowship stipend rate or 2) bank a year of funding to be used in the first year of DCE status. Both options are calculated on either a 10-month or 12-month basis in conjunction with the duration of the external fellowship.
Natural Sciences and Engineering
In the natural sciences and engineering divisions, an external fellowship is considered to be a qualifying external fellowship if its stipend over the 10-month academic year is equal to or greater than the Assistantship in Research (AR) rate. If this is the case, the student receives the full value of the award, which replaces the AR stipend, for the duration of the external award, and the student receives a $4,000 benefit for each year of the external award.* For external fellowships that do not provide the full stipend amount over the 10-month academic year, the external stipend will be supplemented with a First Year Fellowship or Assistantship in Research (AR) stipend (paid as salary), with the combined stipend amount not to exceed the AR stipend rate. If the external fellowship does not provide for full tuition, then the difference will be covered by a tuition supplement from either a First Year Fellowship or an Assistantship in Research. Students who hold an Assistantship in Instruction (AI) appointment in combination with an external fellowship receive the full value of the AI stipend as well as the full value of the external stipend award, with no adjustments. However, the tuition support allocated to the AI appointment may be adjusted to reflect the value of a tuition contribution from the outside award.
*Multiple fellowships cannot be held concurrently. Students in the natural sciences and engineering divisions who receive qualifying external fellowships and are also the beneficiaries of Centennial, Wu, or Upton Fellowships do not receive all of the incentives associated with both awards. In these cases, students receive as a benefit the monetary value of the premium associated with the named Centennial, Wu, or Upton Fellowship. This premium is the amount by which the named stipend amount exceeds the base stipend amount. First year Wu and Upton recipients will continue to receive the $3,000 up-front award in their first year of study, as outlined in their offer of admission.
External Fellowships Combined with Assistantships in Instruction
Students who are on full fellowship funded by external funding may undertake assignments for assistantship in instruction up to a total of six hours over the course of the academic year, with a maximum appointment of a three-hour AI in any given term (a three-hour AI is equivalent to a ½ AI appointment for one term). A full fellowship is defined as a fellowship that covers a student’s academic year stipend in full. Certain outside fellowships may have specific limitations on teaching or other remuneration. It is the student’s responsibility to know and abide by the policy conditions of an outside funding source.
Students on full fellowship who hold an AI appointment receive the full value of the AI stipend on top of the funding received from the outside entity with no adjustments.
- Procedures (if applicable)
Students are required to complete an External Fellowship Form which includes uploading a copy of the award letter. Any questions relating to external fellowships can be forwarded to GSFinance@Princeton.edu.
- Related Documents/Pages/Forms (if applicable)
- Roles and Responsibilities
Dean of the Graduate School
Oversees Graduate School policies and associated procedures.
Finance and Administration
Administers DCE funding policy.
Completes the External Fellowship form which includes uploading a copy of the award letter and ensures compliance with the terms of the individual award.