Penn State Graduate School Penn State Penn State Graduate School

Graduate Student Support Matrix

Updated October 13, 2014

Types of Graduate Support


Graduate Fellowship

  • Prestigious awards – varying sources/sponsors
  • Duty-free – no expectation for services to be provided by student
  • Typically include tuition, stipend, and health insurance. They are support packages.
    • To be considered a fellowship, award must provide level of support equal to or greater than Grade 12 half-time Graduate Assistant appointment, tuition, and insurance
    • Graduate Assistantship, Fellowships Tuition rate applies
    • 80 percent of insurance cost paid by source
  • Processed as Fellowship appointments in IBIS (with exception of external direct to the student) 

Graduate Assistant

  • Services expected – research, teaching, or service – with hours determined by type of appointment ( ¼ , ½, ¾ )
  • Typically includes tuition, stipend, and health insurance
    • Graduate Assistant tuition rate applies
    • Insurance cost covered in fringe benefits
  • Processed as a Graduate Assistantship appointment in IBIS

Graduate Scholarships/Awards

  • Scholarships or other dollar awards
  • Payable through ISIS as aid for student
  • Tuition at the full rate for student (Graduate Assistant tuition rate is NOT available)
  • Insurance is a separate cost payable by student

Graduate Research Awards

  • Monetary support for graduate students for expenses related to conducting research, which is considered part of their graduate program requirements. These awards do not support tuition or stipend, but are to assist with out-of-pocket costs for conducting required research for the thesis or dissertation, which otherwise would necessarily be personally borne by the student. Depending on the program, costs to conduct research can be significant.
  • May include legitimate research-related expenses including, but not limited to: travel, equipment, lab supplies, use of the Survey Research Center, statistical consulting, research subject payments, and publication costs.
  • Currently processed in various ways depending on the endowment source – through ISIS as award to student, reimbursement of travel through ERS, or direct payment of expenses through IBIS. See FN10 for more details.

Note: There are also post-doctoral appointments which are noted in PR03. These are not graduate student appointments, but are noted here for clarification:

Post-Doctoral Fellow

  • Fellow is here to observe and work with a faculty mentor. There are no specific duties.
  • These are not taxable to the fellow.
  • Coded as P10 TAXM – Post-Doc Fellow and paid on object code 0395.
  • University-benefit eligible.

Post-Doctoral Scholar

  • Scholars are employees who do have specific duties to perform.
  • Coded as Q10 MNTH – Post-Doc Scholar and paid on object code 0125
  • University-benefit eligible

Matrix of Graduate Support

Facebook Facebook LinkedIn LinkedIn Twitter Twitter