Fellowship FAQs, Students

Fellowship Eligibility

How do I apply for a Fellowship?

Students do not apply for Graduate School fellowships. Graduate programs select students to nominate from among those who have applied to their programs by the program’s required deadline. The Graduate School’s fellowship program is a competitive process for students who will be new graduate students to Ohio State. Contact the department you are interested in and let them know of your intention to apply and your interest in being nominated for a Graduate School fellowship.

Fellowship Award Notification

My graduate program nominated me for a fellowship. When will I learn if I am awarded one?

The Graduate School will send fellowship awardees an email notification by the first week of March. Graduate programs will notify those students who did not receive a fellowship award. If you are awarded a fellowship, you must activate and be checking your OSU email address, which is your LastName.#@osu.edu that is assigned to you when you apply. The Graduate School will communicate with you only via your OSU email address. You will also receive your HR appointment paperwork at this email address.

I received an offer from my graduate program in addition to the Graduate School’s award letter. Do I have to choose between the two awards? Why is the stipend amount in my program’s letter different from the stipend in the Graduate School’s letter?

Graduate programs typically send their Graduate School Fellowship awardees a congratulations letter. This letter may also add to the Graduate School’s offer by supplementing the student’s fellowship stipend and/or adding years of funding (e.g., as a GTA or GRA). These awards are combined; students do not need to choose between the two.

I am in a Master’s degree program, but my award letter references dissertation year funding. How does this work?

Students who received a multi-year fellowship, but are in a Master’s degree program, will receive continuous funding for the number of years indicated in their letter.

Fellowship Details

Can I opt out of student health insurance if I am eligible for my parents’ or other person’s insurance?

Students should receive communication from the Student Health Insurance (SHI) office in early summer letting them know the process for opting out of the SHI. You may also check https://shi.osu.edu/.

Can I start my fellowship in the summer?

In general, only those students whose academic program begins in the summer may begin their fellowship in the summer. All other students must receive approval from their graduate program and the Graduate School to begin in the summer. If your program begins in the summer, regardless of your program’s start date, you will receive three consecutive terms of fellowship support. Your tenure will run from May–May.

Can I defer my fellowship and accept it later?

In general, fellowships must begin in the year in which they are awarded. Exceptions to this policy are rare and only granted for extraordinary circumstances. To request an exception, the Graduate Studies Chair must send a written petition to the Fellowship Office explaining the reason for the request.

For how many hours must I be enrolled to maintain my fellowship?

Fellows must be enrolled for 12 credit hours during the autumn and spring terms, and 6 credit hours during the summer term to maintain their fellowship.

Do I have to be enrolled over the summer to maintain my fellowship?

Fellows must be enrolled for 6 credit hours during the summer to maintain their fellowship. Credit hours completed during May session count towards the six-hour requirement.

I received an e-mail from financial aid informing me that I am authorized for a student loan. What does that mean?

The financial aid office informs all students of their eligibility (authorization) to receive a student loan should they wish to apply for one. This does not mean that you have received a loan or must accept one, only that you have the ability to apply for one up to the amount listed.

When will my fellowship show up in my financial aid award summary?

Financial Aid sends students a form when they complete their application for federal aid asking if they will receive a graduate fee authorization. If you did not return the form or know the status of your fellowship at the time you completed the form, Financial Aid will be able to include the fellowship in your award summary when it posts to your statement of account (i.e., once you enroll for the required credit hours).

Doctoral Quality Supplement

My graduate program notified me that it is considered a High or Strong Quality Doctoral Program and that I am eligible to receive a supplement to my stipend. How does this work?

Fellowship awardees enrolled in a graduate program identified as a High or Strong Quality Doctoral Program in the Doctoral Program Assessment and Plan (Graduate School, April 2008) are eligible to receive an annual supplement of $3,000. This $3,000 is paid in monthly installments during autumn and spring semesters. The Graduate School will provide this supplement for up to four consecutive years as long as the graduate program provides funding at its standard stipend level.

Fellowship Acceptance and Activation

How do I accept or reject my fellowship?

As soon as you make your decision, please respond to the Graduate School’s letter with your intention to accept or not by following the instructions provided in your fellowship award letter. It is also important to inform your graduate program of your decision.

If I inform the Graduate School of my decision to accept my fellowship, do I also need to accept my admission to Ohio State?

Yes, these are two separate processes. You will need to accept your fellowship as outlined in the previous question and you will need to accept your admission in the online Graduate Admissions portal.

I have accepted my fellowship. What are my next steps?

To activate your fellowship, you will need to complete the new hire paperwork that will be sent to your OSU email address by mid-summer by the Office of Academic Affairs HR Service Center. To receive this paperwork, you must have activated and be checking your OSU email address. After you complete your paperwork and your appointment is processed, you will then set up your information in the Employee Self Service site.

I need my OSU Employee ID to fill out my new hire paperwork. Where do I find it?

Your OSU Employee ID (Emplid) number is the same eight- or nine-digit number that you were assigned when you applied. This number will also appear on your Ohio State Buck ID. What should I do if I don’t have a local Columbus address for my HR paperwork? Students without a Columbus address at the time of completing their HR paperwork should list a temporary Columbus address, such as their graduate department or friend (with their permission), where they can receive mail until they have established a Columbus residence. As soon as students have a Columbus residence, they should make that change online in Employee Self Service.

How can I change my address?

You may change your address online in Employee Self Service (ESS). You received instructions for managing your information in ESS with your HR paperwork.

What should I do if I don’t have a bank account for direct deposit?

If you do not have an account at the time you complete your HR paperwork, your first paycheck will be sent to the Columbus address you listed in your new hire paperwork. You will need to establish a bank account for direct deposit by early September and submit that information to Employee Self Service.

How do I set up direct deposit?

You set up direct deposit by completing the form online in Employee Self Service (ESS). You received instructions for managing your information in ESS with your HR paperwork.

Is there a place where I can view my paystub and see what has been deducted each month?

You may view your paycheck detail in the online Employee Self Service.

Why can’t I access the Employee Self Service (ESS)?

If you are unable to access ESS, it is likely because your appointment hasn’t been entered in the HR system. Your appointment won’t be entered until you return all your HR paperwork. After you return your paperwork, it could take several days to a week or more for the HR Service Center to enter your appointment due to their heavy volume prior to a new academic year.

Stipend and Fees

When will I receive my stipend payments?

Your fellowship appointment runs for three consecutive terms beginning in mid-August (or mid-May for programs that begin in the summer). In August or May, your stipend will be for ½ month. September through July (or June through April), your stipend will be for a full month. Stipends are deposited the last working day of each month.

Am I responsible for any student fees? How do I pay these fees?

Fellows are responsible for the student fees listed below. These fees will be deducted from your stipend in equal installments from September through April. The fees are listed below.

COTA BUS $13.50


Am I eligible, as a fellow, to contribute to any retirement/pension plans?

Students who are on fellowship appointment only are not eligible to participate in any OSU retirement/pension plans. If the student later becomes appointed as a GAA/GRA/GTA or similar appointment, they will then be eligible to contribute to a retirement plan.

Ongoing Fellowship Management

How many hours must I be enrolled to maintain my fellowship?

You must be enrolled for 12 credit hours during the autumn and spring terms, and 6 credit hours during the summer term to maintain your fellowship.

Do I have to be enrolled over the summer to maintain my fellowship?

You must be enrolled for 6 credit hours during the summer to maintain your fellowship. Credit hours completed during May session do count towards the six-hour requirement.

Am I required to take classes during May session?

You are not required to take classes during May session, but any credits you take during this session will count towards your summer credit hour requirement.

What are the minimum and maximum hours I can take as a fellow?

Fellows must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours for the autumn and spring semesters and at least 6 credit hours during summer term. Students may not enroll for more than 18 credit hours in fall or spring or 12 credit hours in summer without approval from the Graduate School. The student’s Graduate Studies Chair should make this request to the Fellowship Office.

Additional Employment or Appointment

If I have a fellowship, may I hold another job/appointment?

Fellowships are provided so that students are able to focus full-time on their academic work. On occasion, the Graduate School has approved a concurrent appointment or job. To make this request, the Graduate Studies Chair must send a written appeal to the Fellowship Office (eckstrand.1) confirming that the following conditions are met: + The student’s graduate studies chair approves of the concurrent appointment and affirms the student’s ability to handle the additional workload, and + The appeal describes how the concurrent appointment will benefit the student’s academic studies, and + The appeal confirms that the work involves no more than 10 hours per week.

Can I terminate my fellowship for the summer to study at another institution or accept an internship?

To terminate your fellowship early, your Graduate Studies Chair will need to send a request to the Fellowship Office indicating his/her approval and the reasons for the early termination. Please be aware that if you do terminate early, you will forfeit the remaining portion of your fellowship.


What if I have a medical or other family emergency and need to take a leave of absence?

For leaves two weeks or less, you need to contact your graduate program and fill out a Request for Leave form. Your graduate program should contact the fellowship office. For leaves greater than two weeks, you need to contact your graduate program AND the fellowship office. You will complete a Request for Leave form along with any supporting documentation. A copy of this information will be given to your graduate program and the fellowship office. The fellowship office should be notified when you return to your graduate program or if you decide not to return. Depending on the nature of the request for leave, you may forfeit the remainder of your fellowship.

What if I decide to withdraw from my graduate program?

If you choose to withdraw or are asked to leave the university during the semester, all tuition and fees previously paid by your fellowship will be reversed and those fees charged to you. If you are asked to leave or withdraw after the completion of a semester, you will not need to repay your stipend or tuition and fees, but you will forfeit any remaining portion of your fellowship. Contact Fellowship Services if you are considering withdrawing.

Income Taxes

Do I have to pay taxes on my Fellowship?

Ohio State does not withhold taxes from fellowship stipends of domestic and some international students because fellowships are considered awards, not pay for service. The government, though, does consider stipends taxable income. Students should keep track of their annual stipend amount and may be required to pay federal, state, and Columbus city taxes. The Graduate School encourages fellows to consult a tax professional. You may also direct tax questions to the Ohio State Tax Office at 614-292-2521. Information about fellowships and taxes can be found at the IRS website (http://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch01.html#enUS2014_publink1000178003).

Why didn’t I receive a W-2?

You will not receive a W-2 form because your fellowship stipend is an award and no taxes are withheld from your stipend. Students should keep track of their stipend amounts to use in filing taxes.

I am an international student and am not sure what my tax responsibilities are.

Your tax responsibilities will depend on whether or not your country is a signatory to the U.S. Tax Treaty. If you are a nonresident alien, you must complete the GLACIER Online Tax Compliance System. Email your complete name, email address, and pay frequency (monthly) to glacier@osu.edu. Once your email has been received, you will be notified by an email from GLACIER of your password and login. Additional information regarding taxation can be found at http://www.controller.osu.edu/ or by calling the Ohio State Tax Office at 614/292-2521.

I am an international student. How do I obtain a Social Security Number?

If eligible, foreign nationals receiving pay or a stipend from Ohio State should apply for a permanent social security number or ITIN. The following websites have information: www.ssa.gov and www.irs.gov. After receipt, please provide your Social Security number or ITIN to Payroll Services by completing the OSU Change of Record form at http://www.controller.osu.edu/forms/payroll/ChangeRecord.pdf.

Dissertation Year Fellowship Activation

How do I activate my dissertation year fellowship (DYF)?

Requests to activate the dissertation year fellowship must be made by the fellow’s Graduate Studies Committee Chair via email to Fellowship Office (eckstrand.1@osu.edu) and provide assurance that the student has:

  • a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.6;
  • passed the Candidacy Examination and is within the five-year candidacy time period;
  • completed all doctoral coursework; and

Note: Dissertation year enrollment should be limited to research and departmental seminars. Fellows may register for other degree-related courses with advisor approval. The Dissertation Year Fellowships may not be used to support courses taken for another degree program.

  • received continuous departmental support during the intervening years between the first and dissertation years.
Can the dissertation year fellowship be activated in autumn, spring or summer semesters or only at the start of autumn semester?

The dissertation year can be activated at the start of any semester. Once activated, the fellowship runs for 3 consecutive semesters.

Is there a deadline to activate the dissertation year fellowship prior to the desired start?

The request from the Graduate Studies Chair should be received at least four weeks before the beginning of the semester in which the student would like to begin his/her Dissertation Year Fellowship.

Related Links

  • No additional resources are available at this time

Need help?

Contact staff members in the Graduate School using the staff directory, or call (614) 292-6031.

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