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Graduate Funding FAQs


Following is a compilation of the most frequent inquiries to the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration. If you review this information and do not find the answers you need, please email

Q:    How do I apply for a graduate assistantship?

At Penn State, graduate assistantships are awarded by academic departments. Contact the department in which you are currently enrolled or are applying for admission to inquire about the availability of assistantships.

Q:    Do I receive health insurance with my graduate assistantship or fellowship?

Students on full fellowships, i.e., receiving tuition and stipend, and students on assistantships are eligible for an 80 percent University subsidy of the annual student premium cost for the Penn State Graduate Assistant Graduate Fellow Health Insurance Plan. Penn State also provides a 70 percent annual premium subsidy for eligible dependents of graduate assistants and fellows. Contact the Student Insurance Office at (814) 865-7476.

Q:    As a non-degree graduate student, am I eligible for funding?

No, only degree-seeking graduate students are eligible for financial aid through the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration and from most other sources of University support.

Q:    How do I receive a tuition waiver?

Penn State does not offer tuition waivers. Tuition grants-in-aid generally are attached to teaching or research assistantships and fellowships. All assistantships are offered directly by the college in which the degree plan of study is housed.

Q:    Do I pay taxes on my fellowship?

Penn State does not withhold taxes from fellowship stipends. The Payroll office should be consulted on any questions regarding withholding from student stipends. Although taxes are not withheld, these monies may be taxable according to federal guidelines. Please see IRS publications #970 and #505 or contact a tax accountant for additional information.

Q:    How do I apply for a student loan?

Information about student loans, and how to apply for financial aid, is available through the Office of Student Aid.

Q:    Can I receive an emergency loan?

Emergency loans are available through the Office of Student Aid. There are established eligibility criteria for these loans. Contact the Office of Student Aid at (814) 865-6301.

Q:    How many credits do I have to take while receiving a fellowship or assistantship?

While you are appointed as a fellow, you need to register for at least 9 credits during fall, spring, and summer (with summer enrollment dictated by academic program requirements and the funding sponsor). Graduate assistants should review the assistantships information page to determine the appropriate number of credits. Please note, you must be registered as a degree-seeking student to receive any financial support.

This page was generated on May 24, 2024 at 9:52 PM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.