Section 13: Financial Assistance

Financial aid to graduate students is of two general types:

  • Fellowships and traineeships, national and local
  • Graduate Research Associates

Each student who applies for admission to the Graduate School may simultaneously apply for an Associateship and/or Fellowship by so indicating on the application by checking the appropriate box that such financial assistance is requested.  The prospective student is also encouraged to directly contact faculty members with whom he/she desires to study for advice and information on the availability of that faculty member’s research funds and other financial assistance available.

University Fellowship awards are highly competitive and are largely restricted to entering graduate students.  Successful candidates usually have overall grade-point averages of 3.6 and above on a 4.0 scale and must achieve a 75th percentile average on the Graduate Record Examination’s Verbal and Quantitative components and a 4.0 on the Analytical Writing component.  Fellows pursue a full-time schedule of courses or research (12 credits per semester or 6 credits in the summer) and are not required to provide other services.  However, note that one semester of teaching is a core curriculum requirement of all NGSP students.  Fellows must maintain scholastic standards required to be in “good standing” and may not work on or off the campus during the period of the fellowship.

13.1 GRADUATE ASSOCIATES

13.1.1 APPOINTMENTS

A graduate student’s principal objective is to earn a graduate degree.  Appointment as a graduate associate (GA) contributes to this objective by providing an apprenticeship experience along with financial support.  NGP students are appointed as Graduate Research Associates (GRAs). 

A Graduate Research Associate (GRA) is a currently enrolled, full-time graduate student who performs research services in addition to the student’s doctoral research.  In the case of NGP students the term “research services” refers to the research that they perform during their laboratory rotations and the thesis research that they perform in the laboratory of their advisor, and their job duties in this capacity are determined by their advisor.

Offer of Appointment: A student accepting a GA appointment must be provided with a Graduate Associate Appointment form stating the terms of the appointment.  A GA appointment form must be completed every year that the student is appointed as a GA.

13.1.2 STIPENDS

Graduate Associate stipends will be established according to policies adopted by the Graduate School and the NGP.  General practice has been to implement any raises on September 1 or when funds are available.  Graduate faculty who are supporting graduate students are urged to follow the pay scales used by the NGP to minimize stipend differentials between NGP students.

For the first year, the stipend of each NGP student is paid by the NGP; starting from the first day of appointment in August.  Beginning August of the following year, stipends are paid by the student’s advisor.  Graduate students receive stipends at the end of the month every month.  Although students on Graduate Research Associate appointments are dependent on their advisor’s grant funding for their stipend after the first year, the NGP will make every effort to find alternative sources or mechanisms of support should a student’s advisor lose that funding.

13.1.3 TERM OF APPOINTMENT AND VACATION DAYS

Graduate Associates have one year appointments that are renewed annually until the student graduates.  Appointments for new NGP students begin in August.  A GA appointment form must be completed every year that the student is appointed as a GA.

Graduate Associates will receive all legal holidays as identified in the University calendar.  Other arrangements can be made for special religious days not recognized by the Calendar by consulting with the student’s advisor.  Additional vacation or rescheduling of workload is made by arrangement with the student's advisor.

13.1.4 TERMINATION OF APPOINTMENT

GA appointments may be terminated prior to the end of the appointment period only with written approval from the Graduate School.  A GA appointment is terminated prior to the end of the appointment period for any of the following reasons:

  • he/she is no longer enrolled as a graduate student or;
     
  • he/she is registered for less than eight (8) credit hours per semester (six (6) in summer session) or less than three (3) credit hours for a doctoral student who has passed the candidacy examination
     
  • he/she completes the graduate program before her/his appointment expires; or
     
  • her/his performance as a GA is determined to be unsatisfactory by the employing unit
     
  • he/she has unsatisfactory academic performance

The appointment of a Graduate Associate may also be terminated if neither the advisor nor the Program can obtain sufficient funds to fund the position.  This could arise due to extreme fiscal constraints, but such a situation would be highly unusual.

13.1.5 BENEFITS

Fee Authorization: Graduate Associates will receive a full tuition and fee authorization.  Students are responsible for other fees including late penalties.  

Payroll Deduction: Graduate Associates will receive payroll deduction for any fees not paid by a fee authorization such as the student recreation fee, student activity fee, COTA fee, etc. Any late penalties received are not deducted from the student’s payroll.  Fees are deducted on each month’s paycheck.

Short-Term Absences and Leaves of Absence: All GA’s who are in good academic standing, making reasonable progress toward their degrees, and are paid through the OHIO State payroll system are eligible to request a short-term absence, leave of absence, or academic leave of absence (refer to Section IX.5 in the Graduate School Handbook for more information).

Parking Permits: GA’s are permitted to purchase “C” student or “B” staff parking permits, either for Central or West Campus.  The NGP Administrator provides written verification of appointments to CampusParc for “B” permits.  

Health Insurance: The University provides a health subsidy for Student Health Insurance premiums for GA’s and their enrolled dependents (refer to Section IX.5 for in the Graduate School Handbook for more information).

Retirement: All GA’s are eligible to participate in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS).  Contribution exemptions must be made within 31 days of the first day of appointment.

13.1.6 RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES

Graduate Associates and Fellows are entitled to due process in the event of any grievance.  The Director(s) of the Graduate Program Committee is the initial point of contact for problem resolution and should be consulted for assistance with problems.  Each student also has the right to consult with the Neuroscience Graduate Program Committee and the Graduate School.  Grievances should be resolved at the lowest administrative level possible.

13.2  GRADUATE FELLOWS

13.2.1 APPOINTMENTS

A Graduate School fellowship is a financial award made by the university directly to a graduate student to provide support during a portion of the graduate degree program. Fellows are selected on the basis of academic merit through a university-wide competition without respect to financial need. Graduate fellows cannot be required to perform a service in return for receiving a stipend.

Two distinct kinds of Graduate School fellows are awarded on a competitive basis: 1) first-year fellowships for students applying to begin a graduate program at Ohio State and 2) Presidential fellowships, which provide support to students completing their dissertation.

Supplemental Appointment: A Graduate School fellow may hold a supplemental graduate associate appointment.

13.2.2 STIPENDS

Each year the Graduate School establishes the stipend for first-year and Presidential fellows.  NGP will supplement the stipend first-year fellows receive from the Graduate School in order to raise it to the program’s current pay level.

13.2.3 TERM OF APPOINTMENT AND VACATION DAYS

First-year fellows are normally appointed for up to one academic year--autumn semester through summer session. 

Fellows will receive all legal holidays as identified in the University calendar.  Other arrangements can be made for special religious days not recognized by the Calendar by consulting with the student’s advisor.  Additional vacation or rescheduling of workload is made by arrangement with the student's advisor.

13.2.4 TERMINATION OF APPOINTMENT

A Graduate School fellowship may be terminated at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate School prior to the end of the award period for any of the following reasons:

  • the fellow is no longer enrolled in the Graduate School

  • the fellow is registered for fewer than 12 hours of graduate credit in a semester (or fewer than six hour in summer session) or fewer than three graduate credits if the fellow is a post-candidacy doctoral student

  • the fellow fails to maintain reasonable progress toward meeting graduate degree requirements or fails to maintain good standing

  • the fellow receives a terminal degree

  • the fellow changes enrollment status outside the limits of the original agreement, including entry into a graduate and/or professional combined program or transfers to another graduate and/or professional program, without obtaining prior written approval from the appropriate graduate programs and the Dean of the Graduate School to transfer the fellowship. Such a change could result in the loss of the fellowship and/or full fee authorization support. (The transfer of graduate program and the transfer of fellowship are two separate procedures.)

  • the fellow accepts employment or any other type of financial support without the approval of the Graduate School

  • the fellow has been found in violation of the professional codes of ethics and responsibilities of the university. These codes include, but are not limited to, the Graduate Student Code of Research and Scholarly Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct. Violations are determined through the formal disciplinary and/or grievance procedures established by recognized bodies of the university.

13.2.5 BENEFITS

Students will be awarded full tuition and general fee waivers for the quarters during which they are supported as Graduate Research Associates or Fellows on school funds or on funds coming from research grants and contracts carrying full overhead, such as those awarded by the NIH and NSF.  Students are responsible for the student activity fee, recreational fee and COTA bus fee each quarter.

Fee Authorization: Graduate fellows will receive a full tuition and fee authorization.  Students are responsible for other fees including late penalties.  

Payroll Deduction: Graduate fellows with supplemental GA appointments will receive payroll deduction for any fees not paid by a fee authorization such as the student recreation fee, student activity fee, COTA fee, etc. Any late penalties received are not deducted from the student’s payroll.  Fees are deducted on each month’s paycheck.

Short-Term Absences and Leaves of Absence: All fellows who are in good academic standing, making reasonable progress toward their degrees, and are paid through the OHIO State payroll system are eligible to request a short-term absence, leave of absence, or academic leave of absence (refer to Section X.3 in the Graduate School Handbook for more information).

Parking Permits: Graduate fellows are permitted to purchase “C” student or “B” staff parking permits, either for Central or West Campus.  The NGP Administrator provides written verification of fellowships to CampusParc for “B” permits.  

Health Insurance: The University provides a health subsidy for Student Health Insurance premiums for graduate fellows and their enrolled dependents (refer to Section IX.5 for in the Graduate School Handbook for more information).

13.2.6 RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES

Graduate Fellows are entitled to due process in the event of any grievance.  The Director(s) of the Graduate Program Committee is the initial point of contact for problem resolution and should be consulted for assistance with problems.  Each student also has the right to consult with the Neuroscience Graduate Program Committee and the Graduate School.  Grievances should be resolved at the lowest administrative level possible.

13.3  INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FINANCES

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) requires the University Admissions office to certify the following for every international student:

  • student costs for educational expenses and year-round maintenance, and
  • funds available to the student through bank accounts (statements are required), affidavits of support of financial awards made by the University.

When financial awards are to be made to international students, either as fellowships, traineeships, or associateships, such information is to be communicated to the OSU Office of International Education.

The letter of award should clearly state the terms and duration of the award and whether or not it is renewable.  Unless the international student applicant can provide documentation of sufficient funds either from personal resources or from the University, the referral form will be withheld from the NGP.  A letter of award will release the referral form to the NGP Committee for action.

13.4  OTHER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

The Student Financial Aid Office administrates student employment, the work-study program, and loans.  The Student Financial Aid Office serves only registered students and their spouses.  Students in need of financial assistance should contact a counselor at the Student Financial Aid Office.  Specific programs include Veteran’s Administration Educational Benefits available to veterans.  Interested students should write to the regional office of the Veterans Administration or visit her/his local Veterans Administration office.  Veterans should proceed with registration in the University in the same manner as prescribed for all students.  Further information may be obtained from the OSU Office of Veterans Affairs.  Veterans wishing assistance with other programs are encouraged to consult with the Office of Veterans Affairs.
 

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