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University Support for Externally-Funded Graduate Fellowships

In cases where graduate students receive fellowship funding from outside agencies and tuition or other needed support are not covered or are covered at rates below Penn State’s costs and typical graduate support packages, supplementary support can be provided by colleges/departments/programs in accordance with PR03 at the unit’s discretion, with appropriate approvals, and to the extent funds are available within the unit to do so.

General Funds Grant-in-Aid may be used to support tuition for Fulbright Fellows at any stipend funding level if recipients are appointed in IBIS and the unit has sufficient GIA available. Approval outside the budget area is not required, i.e., Graduate School/Corporate Controller authorization is not needed.

General Funds Grant-in-Aid may be used as tuition support for externally-awarded fellowships appointed through IBIS in accordance with the following conditions:

  • The external fellowship is prestigious and competitively awarded by a bona fide sponsor, e.g., U.S. state or federal agency, 501(c)(3) or other recognized foundation, or Fortune 500 company. Non-competitive foreign government support of international students does not qualify. Foreign fellowships that meet the following criteria will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine true competitiveness and confirm legitimacy.
  • The stipend provided in the outside award is at a level equal to or higher than a Grade 12, ½ time assistantship;
  • Tuition is not fully supported by the funding agency;
  • The award source is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School or their designee;
  • The unit has sufficient Grant-in-Aid available to cover the commitment.

Other General Funds may not be used to fund fellowship tuition or stipends unless written exception is obtained from the Graduate School and the Corporate Controller. Insurance subsidies can be covered in accordance PR03, referenced above.


The applications for approval to utilize GIAs or other General Funds will be available in GURU (PDF). The fellowship recipient’s graduate program director must first verify the student’s eligibility status based on the outlined criteria. The college associate dean for graduate studies also must approve each application. Forms are due by September 15 for fall/spring or fall only requests and by February 1 for spring requests. Application Form GF1should be submitted to request use of GIAs. Application Form GF2 should be submitted to request use other General Funds.

The completed application and required supporting documentation must be submitted to the the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration. The Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration will notify the program and college of the outcome by email and copy the college’s financial officer on the determination.

This page was generated on June 16, 2024 at 6:50 PM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.