The Pennsylvania State University The Graduate School at Penn State

Types of Graduate Support

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Assistantships

The most common form of graduate support, teaching and research assistantships, include a stipend, tuition remission, and a subsidy for medical insurance. Recipients are assigned to a faculty adviser who supervises the experience. Graduate assistants support undergraduate instruction or undertake research projects. A specified time commitment of 10-30 hours per week is required depending on the unit (a half-time/20 hour per week commitment is typical). Appointments are available only to graduate students who are registered for courses and enrolled in degree programs.

Fellowships

Fellowships are highly prestigious financial support packages that typically include a stipend, tuition remission, and a subsidy for medical insurance. They derive from University or outside awards. Unlike assistantships, they do not have a required work commitment; they are duty-free. Recipients must be enrolled in degree programs and be registerered full time. Fellowship recipients are not permitted to accept employment without obtaining approval from the unit and/or agency supporting the fellowship.

Traineeships

Training grants are derrived from agencies outside the University and are intended to support specific student learning experiences in core curricular areas and research methods. Institutional awards, typically under the direction of a faculty principal investigator, afford funding to support selected students with stipends, tuition grants-in-aid, and often include a subsidy for medical insurance.

Scholarships

Scholarships are financial awards that support graduate study. Most are awarded by colleges, graduate programs, or outside funding agencies and are based on academic merit. Some awards factor in financial need or other grantee-specified criteria.

Loans

Educational loans are available through the Office of Student Aid and eligibility criteria apply. For details about student loan options, visit the Office of Student Aid's Loans page.

Employment

Opportunities for work are available on campus in a variety of locations. Visit the Office of Student Aid's Employment page for information or the University's Job Opportunities website to begin your search.

 

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