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Information for 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 fellowships appointment. Copies of the confirmation letters are kept on file by your graduate program.
Fellowship Period and Stipend Payments
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.
If the fellowship is your first paid position on campus, you must authorize the direct deposit of your stipend check to a bank or credit union. Download the Direct Deposit Authorization form and return the completed form to your graduate program as soon as possible. If you already have a direct position authorization on file with the university, your stipend check will be deposited directly into your bank account.
Tuition and Fee Information
Many fellowships cover the full cost of tuition and segregated fees during the fellowship period; however, you should consult your award letter for tuition and fee information. Questions about the information on your tuition bill or fees should be directed to the Bursar's Office at (608) 262-3611 or Tuition Assessment in the Registrar's Office at (608) 262-4031.
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.
Full Time Study and Satisfactory Progress
Fellows must enroll full time and make satisfactory progress toward their graduate degrees. Non-dissertators must enroll for a minimum of eight credits of graduate level coursework (courses numbered 300 and above) each fall and spring semester of their fellowship period. Dissertators must enroll for three credits in any term during which they receive stipend payments. Non-dissertators with annual year (12-month) appointments must also enroll in a minimum of two graduate credits during the eight-week (DHH) summer session. Coursework must be taken for grades rather than as audits or for Pass/Fail. A progress grade in Research & Thesis (990) is acceptable. Satisfactory progress requires a GPA of 3.0 or above in graduate courses. If fellows do not register by the end of the first week of classes, their stipend check will be withheld. Serious academic problems, ceasing to be a full-time student, or other failure to remain in good standing may end the fellowship. If for any reason a fellow finds it necessary to resign the award or to withdraw from school, please notify your payroll coordinator.
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 may hold concurrent assistantships or student hourly positions along with their fellowship. In these cases, the maximum dollar amount earned per year is capped at 100% of the annual RA stipend ($44,162 in 2016-17). Students with NSF Fellowships may not hold concurrent appointments funded by federal dollars. Fellows may hold multiple fellowships without limit. For more information about concurrent appointments, contact the Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial Aid with Fellowships
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 emergency financial assistance, you may contact the Office of Student Financial Services; you may be able to receive a no-interest $500 short-term loan on a limited basis.