The Graduate College Handbook of Policy and Requirements
for Students, Faculty and Staff - 2012
B. Campus Fellowship and Traineeship Policies
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 VIII.D.
- Registration for Fellows and Trainees:
Acceptance of a waiver-generating (VIII.D.2) fellowship or traineeship appointment carries with it the agreement that the student will pursue a full program of study while on appointment. During the fall and/or spring semester fellows are required to register for at least 12 hours during the semester of the appointment. A student with a twelve-month fellowship appointment is also required to register for at least four hours in an eight-week course during the summer. An audited course does not count toward the registration requirement for fellows.
For international fellows, each required or recommended ESL course taken as a result of the English as a Second Language Placement Test (EPT) or the English Proficiency Interview (EPI) will count as the equivalent of 4 graduate hours, even if the course credit is recorded as zero hours.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Taxability of Tuition and Fee Waivers:
For information about the taxability of tuition and fee waivers associated with fellowships, see the Tuition Waiver Policy.
- 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 each degree conferral date, the Graduate College has established end dates for fellowship support for fellowships falling with the standard award periods. The end date of a fellowship for a student depositing the thesis is determined considering multiple factors including:
- degree conferral date
- deposit deadlines
- deposit date
- the policies of the fellowship sponsor
- the original award period.
The applicable dates for 2012-2013 are:
- December 2012 degree conferral
- For doctoral candidates, the fellowship would end effective December 15 if the thesis is deposited between November 16 and December 7.
- For master’s candidates, the fellowship would end effective December 15 if the thesis is deposited between November 16 and December 14.
- May 2013 conferral
- For doctoral candidates, the fellowship would end effective May 15 if the thesis is deposited between April 5 and April 19.
- For master’s candidates, the fellowship would end effective May 15 if the thesis is deposited between April 5 and April 26.
- August 2013 conferral
- For doctoral candidates, the fellowship would end effective August 15 if the thesis is deposited between June 28 and July 12.
- For master’s candidates, the fellowship would end effective August 15 if the thesis is deposited between June 28 and July 19.
If a Fellow deposits earlier than the designated period, the fellowship end date will be based on the fellowship award period and the payroll processing dates. This may mean that the fellowship would end effective the date of deposit.
Exceptions include the following cases:
- Student deposits a master’s thesis with plans to continue as a doctoral student in the same program.
- Awarding organization’s fellowship policy calls for an end date that differs from the Graduate College policy dates.
Fellows with questions about this policy should contact the Graduate College Fellowship Office at GradFellowships@illinois.edu.