I. 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 coordinated with University funding. The combination of University funding with external fellowship funding varies by division and by the value of the award.
II. 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 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 on a competitive or merit basis by non-university entities and are sponsored by both public and private agencies. They 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.
Graduate students may receive funding from external fellowships, many of which confer valuable distinction and prestige on the recipient.
The funding policy regarding external fellowships varies by division and by the value of the award. 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.
Coordination of University Funding with External Fellowships
This policy applies to external fellowship awards held by Ph.D. students within their regular enrollment period. Outlined below are the details of the policy by division:
Humanities and Social Sciences
Students with an external fellowship that provides a stipend equal to or greater than the 12-month University Fellowship stipend will retain the full external fellowship funding for the duration of the external award, and defer one year of University funding. The deferred University funding may only be used in the first year of DCE status. Eligibility criteria and benefits will be prorated for 10-month awards.
Students with an external fellowship that provides less than the full stipend amount hold the full external fellowship funding and receive additional funding from the University up to the total of the standard University Fellowship stipend plus $5,000. (If the stipend provided by the external fellowship is less than $5,000, the supplement would be equal to the external stipend.) If the external award period does not cover the standard 12 month award period, the student’s combined stipend will be determined by prorating the combined award over the period of overlap between the external and University awards. Regardless of the value of the award, if the external fellowship provides less than full tuition, the University will supplement the external tuition to cover the full tuition rate.
Students in in absentia status who have an external award may opt to EITHER 1) be supplemented up to the standard University Fellowship stipend plus $5,000 (per the conditions described above) or 2) defer 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.
For students in the Humanities and Social Sciences who receive a multi-year fellowship that provides an annual stipend that is at least 50% of the standard University Fellowship stipend rate and includes a minimum annual contribution towards tuition of 25%, the student is allowed EITHER to defer one year of University Fellowship funding to be used in the first year of DCE status OR to receive the $5,000 supplement in each year of the external award (per the conditions described above).
Natural Sciences and Engineering
Students with an external fellowship that provides a stipend over the 10-month academic year that is equal to or greater than the standard assistantship in research rate will retain the full external fellowship funding plus a $4,000 supplement. This will replace the standard University funding provided. Students will receive the $4,000 supplemental amount in each year that the external award is used during the regular enrollment period.*
First-year students with an external fellowship that provides less than the full stipend amount over the 10-month academic year will hold the full external fellowship funding, with the external stipend amount supplemented by the Graduate School up to the standard First Year Fellowship stipend rate plus $4,000. (If the stipend provided by the external fellowship is less than $4,000, the supplement would be equal to the external stipend.) For those first-year students who receive a University fellowship at admission that provides a stipend greater than the standard First Year Fellowship stipend (such as the Wu, Upton, or Centennial), the external fellowship stipend amount will be supplemented up to the standard First-Year Fellowship stipend rate plus $4,000 or the stipend rate offered at admission, whichever is greater.
Students in subsequent years of regular enrollment who receive an external fellowship that provides less than the full stipend amount over the 10-month academic year will hold the full external fellowship funding, with the external stipend amount supplemented up to the standard Assistantship in Research rate.
If an external fellowship provides less than full tuition, the difference will be covered by a tuition supplement from a First Year Fellowship, research, or teaching.
*Multiple fellowships cannot be held concurrently. Students in the natural sciences and engineering divisions who receive an external fellowship that provides a stipend over the 10-month academic year that is equal to or greater than the Assistantship in Research rate 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 funded fully by an external fellowship may undertake assignments for assistantships 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). 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 who are fully funded by an external fellowship and 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. However, the tuition support allocated to the AI appointment may be adjusted to reflect the value of a tuition contribution from the external award.
External Fellowship Requirements of Graduate Students
Graduate students who are recipients of external awards must comply with the following:
- Students must accept the external award and provide a copy of the award letter to the Graduate School.
- Students are responsible for understanding the terms of, and ensuring compliance with, the specific requirements and/or restrictions of their external award.
V. Procedures (if applicable)
Students provide the Graduate School a copy of the award letter for any external fellowship received and submit a completed External Fellowship Form with the specifics of the award. For multi-year awards, students should confirm the terms of the award annually with the Graduate School to ensure that the award is properly recorded and administered each year.
The External Fellowship Form can be found on the Graduate School website. The form includes a link to upload a copy of the award letter. Any questions relating to external fellowships can be forwarded to GSFinance@Princeton.edu.
VI. Related Documents/Pages/Forms (if applicable)
External Fellowship Form – a link to the form is found on the Graduate School website
VII. Roles and Responsibilities
Dean of the Graduate School
Oversees Graduate School policies and associated procedures.
Finance and Administration
Administers External Fellowship policy.
Completes and submits the External Fellowship form and provides a copy of the award letter to the Graduate School. Responsible for complying with the terms of the individual award.