Information for Current Fellows

This document provides information for students who hold fellowship appointments payrolled through the university. These include Graduate School-funded fellowships (AOF, Chancellor’s, Burris, Dickie, University, and Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowships) as well as a number of departmental fellowships and external fellowships. When a national/federal agency’s regulations are more restrictive than those of the University’s, the agency’s regulations apply.

All fellows should receive a confirmation letter outlining the details of their fellowship appointment. Contact your graduate program or your payroll coordinator for a copy of the letter.

Your confirmation letter should outline the start and end date of the fellowship and the payment schedule. If your award begins with the fall semester, the first payment is made October 1. If the award begins with the spring semester, the first payment is made February 1. If the award begins June 1, the first payment is made July 1. If the amount of a monthly payment is incorrect, or if you do not receive a payment, contact the payroll coordinator who administers your fellowship on campus. If you are overpaid, you must pay back the extra money.

To receive your stipend, you must authorize direct deposit of your check to a bank or credit union. Download a direct deposition authorization form, and return the form to your graduate program as soon as possible. If you already have a direct deposit authorization form on file with your department or the university, your stipend check will be deposited directly into your bank account.

Most fellowships cover the full cost of tuition and segregated fees during the fellowship period. If you have a 9-month fellowship appointment (September through May), and you wish to take credits during the summer following your fellowship period, you will be responsible for paying the in-state tuition rate for those credits. If you have a 12-month fellowship, your full summer tuition and fees will be covered by the fellowship.

Fellows with appointments lasting at least one semester (4.5 months) are eligible to receive health insurance for the fellowship period. If you have had grad student health insurance at UW-Madison immediately preceding your fellowship appointment, those benefits will automatically continue; you will not need to submit any new forms. If you have not had graduate student health insurance benefits and would like to start them, you can learn more about your health insurance options and access the forms you need to fill out by visiting the benefits website. Forms must be completed and returned to your graduate program within 30 days of the start of your appointment to secure benefits. Once your health insurance has been activated, your monthly premium will be deducted from your stipend check.

If you have a nine-month fellowship and anticipate that you will hold an appointment eligible for benefits (e.g., graduate assistantship) in the fall following the fellowship period, your health insurance will be continued over the summer. Additional premiums to cover the summer months will be taken out of your checks in the spring. Any questions about health insurance should be directed to the benefits coordinator in your graduate program.

All fellows must register full time during all terms in which you have a fellowship appointment. If you do not register by the end of the first week of classes, your stipend check may be held. Full-time study for non-dissertators is a minimum of eight (8) credits of graduate level coursework (courses numbered 300 and above) each fall and spring semester. Full-time study for dissertators is exactly three (3) credits (usually Research/Thesis) each fall and spring semester. If you have a summer fellowship appointment, non-dissertators must register for two (2) credits and dissertators must register for three (3) credits; these credits must be taken during the 8-week general summer session (DHH). You must take this coursework for grades rather than as audits or for Pass/Fail. A progress grade in Research & Thesis (990) is acceptable.

Fellows must make satisfactory progress toward their graduate degrees. Satisfactory progress is at the discretion of a student's program, the Graduate School, and a student's faculty advisor. At a minimum, the Graduate School requires that students maintain a graduate GPA of at least 3.00 in all graduate-level work (300 or above, excluding research, audit, credit/no credit, and pass/fail courses) taken as a graduate student unless probationary admission conditions require higher grades. The Graduate School also considers Incomplete (I) grades to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the subsequent semester of enrollment; however, the instructor may impose an earlier deadline.

University faculty and staff are not authorized to provide tax advice. However, the University of Wisconsin Service Center has put together a useful website with general information about tax filing.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents: Since a fellow's stipend is not considered wages (although it is reportable income), the university does not withhold taxes from your stipend. As a result, you may need to pay estimated taxes on a quarterly basis directly to the IRS and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. Consult the UW Service Center's website for tax filing resources. To help you prepare annual income tax forms, Employee Compensation and Benefits (EC&B), 21 N. Park Street, Suite 5101, will send each fellow an information letter in January reporting the amount of stipend paid the previous tax year. Address questions regarding that letter or other withholding issues to EC&B at (608) 265-2257. Fellows will not receive a W-2 form since W-2 forms are for wages only.

International students (nonresident aliens): Please consult the UW Service Center's website for relevant information and tax filing resources.

Fellows can hold a concurrent appointment as a TA, RA, PA, or student hourly with their fellowship within the limits set out in the current university policy. Whenever assistantships (RA, TA, or PA) are combined with fellowships or traineeships, total compensation cannot exceed the department's full-time RA rate that was reported to the Graduate School for the current year. For more information about full-time RA rates and the Concurrent Appointment policy go to the Graduate School's relevant Academic Policies and Procedures page.

For externally funded fellowships concurrent appoint policies will vary across agencies/donors.  Please review the terms and conditions of the externally funded fellowship to know what the specific policy is about concurrent appointments.  For example, students with NSF Fellowships may not hold concurrent appointments funded by federal dollars.

If you have questions about holding multiple fellowships at one time, check with your graduate coordinator about the program's policy pertaining to holding multiple fellowships.

For specific questions about concurrent appointments, contact the Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources:

If you are applying for financial aid, please be aware that your fellowship could affect your eligibility. You must inform the Office of Student Financial Aid (608) 262-3060 and any granting agency of all types of support you receive, including fellowships. This is to ensure appropriate calculation of financial need. If you need short-term financial assistance, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid. You may be able to receive a no-interest $500 short-term loan on a limited basis.

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