Skip to main content

The Graduate College Handbook

for students, faculty and staff – August 2017

B. Campus Fellowship and Traineeship Policies

1. Registration for Fellows and Trainees 5. Taxability of Stipend
2. Award Periods 6. Taxability of Tuition and Fee Waivers
3. Concurrent Awards 7. Thesis Deposit/Graduation for Fellows
4. Concurrent Appointments  

Fellowship appointments are reviewed in the Graduate College. Students admitted on limited status due to grade point average or a bachelor's degree not comparable to that at this university or current students on academic probation or dismissal status should not be appointed to fellowships or traineeships  unless there is some extraordinary justification for doing so.  In submitting the appointment documentation, the department must provide the justification and the Graduate College will determine whether the student is eligible.  Non-degree students are not eligible for fellowships or traineeships.

A fellowship is defined as an award providing a stipend for living expenses at the established minimum or higher and demanding no services in return. Fellowship awards count against student loan eligibility. In questionable cases, the Graduate College will decide whether an award is a fellowship.

Traineeships are research fellowships that are awarded to provide educational training in particular disciplinary areas and provide a stipend for living expenses. Traineeship awards count against student loan eligibility. In questionable cases the Graduate College will decide whether an award is a traineeship. 

The full tuition and fee policy for fellows and trainees can be found in chapter 7.D.
 
Fellows with questions about this policy should contact the Graduate College Fellowship Office at GradFellowships@illinois.edu.

  1. Registration for Fellows and Trainees:
    Fellows are required to register during each semester of the appointment. Students receiving courtesy waivers are not required by the Graduate College to be enrolled full-time in the terms in which they receive a courtesy waiver.
     
  2. Award Periods:
    The standard award period for an academic year fellowship is August 16 to May 15. The standard award period for a fall fellowship is August 16 to December 15; the standard award period for a spring fellowship is January 16 to May 15.
     
  3. Concurrent Awards:
    Fellows are prohibited from holding two major awards concurrently (fellowship, traineeship, grant, tuition payment award or comparable support from any government agency, state, federal or foreign, or from any foundation, corporation or similar organization). Any award offer should be reported immediately to the Graduate College Fellowship Office, where the determination will be made whether the two awards may be held concurrently.
     
  4. Concurrent Appointments:
    Unless otherwise restricted by campus policy or the granting agency or unit, fellows may, at the discretion of their department and with the prior approval of the Graduate College, carry an assistantship or graduate hourly appointment of up to 50 percent time. Any offer should be reported to the Graduate College Fellowship Office, where the determination will be made whether the appointment can be held concurrently with the fellowship. Please see www.grad.illinois.edu/faculty-staff/toolkits/nih_admin for information about guidelines for concurrent appointments for trainees.  
     
  5. Taxability of Stipend:
    Fellowship stipends may be subject to income taxes. For U.S. citizens, permanent residents and foreign national resident aliens for tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ruled that universities are not responsible for withholding or reporting income taxes on fellowship payments. Taxability of the fellowship payment is a matter between the fellow and the IRS. Therefore, no income taxes are withheld from fellowship payments. Fellows do not receive a Form W-2 for their fellowship income nor does the University report the fellowship payment to either the state or federal government. For more information on the taxation of fellowships, consult IRS Tax Topic 421 - Scholarship and Fellowship Grants.

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that universities withhold taxes from the fellowship payments to international students on temporary visas who are classified as non-resident aliens for tax purposes. International students may be able to claim a treaty benefit that exempts the fellowship payment from income tax withholding. All students on temporary visas must schedule a tax status review appointment with the University Payroll Service Center to determine their tax residency status and whether they qualify for tax treaty benefits. At this appointment, University Payroll determines residency and tax status classification. Fellowship stipend payments will be taxed at the highest possible rate until after the tax status review process is completed. For additional information and links to tax forms, see the Tax Information Web page. For more information on taxation for international Fellows, consult IRS Publication 519: Tax Guide for Aliens (PDF).
     

  6. Taxability of Tuition and Fee Waivers:
    For information about the taxability of tuition and fee waivers associated with fellowships, see the Tuition Waiver Policy.
     
  7. Thesis Deposit/Graduation for Fellows:
    Students with fellowship or traineeship appointments must notify the Graduate College Fellowship Office in advance of thesis deposit as it may result in a change in the terms of the fellowship award, including termination.

    For students who are depositing a thesis, the fellowship end date is determined considering multiple factors. These include:

    • degree conferral date
    • deposit deadline
    • deposit date
    • policies of the fellowship sponsor
    • original award period
    • payroll processing dates

    This may mean that the fellowship would end effective the date of deposit.

    For each degree conferral date there is a window of time within which a student may complete the deposit process and keep a fellowship or traineeship until the end of the standard award period for that semester, as described below.

    The deposit window of time begins on the doctoral degree final exam deadline date and ends on the deposit deadline date for the degree being conferred. Degrees are conferred in May, August and December. See the academic calendar at www.grad.illinois.edu/general/calendar/current for conferral dates.

    The applicable dates for 2017-2018 are:

    December 2017 degree conferral

    • For doctoral candidates, the fellowship would end effective December 15 if the thesis is deposited between November 17 and December 8.
    • For master’s candidates, the fellowship would end effective December 15 if the thesis is deposited between November 17 and December 15.

     May 2018 conferral

    • For doctoral candidates, the fellowship would end effective May 15 if the thesis is deposited between April 6 and April 20.
    • For master’s candidates, the fellowship would end effective May 15 if the thesis is deposited between April 6 and April 27.

     August 2018 conferral

    • For doctoral candidates, the fellowship would end effective August 15 if the thesis is deposited between June 29  and July 13.
    • For master’s candidates, the fellowship would end effective August 15 if the thesis is deposited between June 29  and July 20.

    An exception to the fellowship end date policy may occur when a student deposits a master’s thesis, but continues as a doctoral student with funding approval from the sponsor.

    In all cases, the Graduate College Fellowship Office determines the fellowship end date.