The Graduate School Manual - Funding Policies

Funding Policies and Guidelines

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Required Paperwork

Funding Letter templates

See the Funding section of the Graduate School Forms webpage. 

Terms and Conditions of GA/TA Employment

See the Funding section of the Graduate School Forms webpage.

Terms and Conditions for Accepting a Tuition Scholarship

See the Funding section of the Graduate School Forms webpage.

FAFSA Application

Click here to visit the Office of Financial Aid.

I-9 Form

Click here

Establishing New York State Residency (domestic students only)

Click here

Payment of Bill

Click here to visit the Office of Student Accounts.

Student Time Sheets

Graduate/Teaching assistants are required to complete one time record per semester, recording any work time missed due to illness. The time record can be found on the Office of Human Resources webpage and is sent out to the GA/TA listserv each semester. All completed GA/TA records should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources after each semester.

Student time sheets for both the Federal College Work Study payroll and the temporary service student assistant payroll are required to be submitted, completed and signed, as per the published schedule, to the Office of Human Resources by noon on Friday following the end of the pay period with the exception to early deadlines. Payroll calendars can be found on the GA/TA Payroll Instructions webpage.  The student employment payrolls operate on a lag payroll schedule. Note that it takes up to three weeks before a Federal College Work Study or student assistant employee's first payment is issued (providing time sheets have been handed in on time). After the first payment, subsequent payments will be made on a bi-weekly basis and will cover the prior two weeks of service. Late submission of timesheets may result in delayed payments.

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Teaching/Graduate Assistantships

Each academic program is allocated funding by their Dean’s Office to award Teaching and Graduate Assistantships. Base (minimum) stipend levels can vary by discipline but must abide by minimums set in place by the Graduate Student Employee Union (GSEU). Minimum amounts can be found on the Human Resources webpage. The GSEU requires that each graduate department post in a public area the specific guidelines governing the selection of recipients of GA/TA positions. 

The stipend is processed in the form of a biweekly paycheck by the Office of Human Resources.

Graduate Assistants (GAs) generally complete research and/or provide administrative aid; they may also teach. Teaching Assistants (TAs) provide some type of classroom support, either by teaching, leading discussion sections, grading, or preparing classroom materials. Half-time assistantships typically require approximately 10 hours of work per week or a .25 Full Time Equivalent (FTE). Full-time graduate/teaching assistants are expected to invest approximately 20 hours per work week (.50 FTE) on GA/TA employment (for both semester and academic year appointments), it is recommended that the remainder of their time be spent in making progress toward degree completion. 

As a result, any additional work assignment by any full-time (20-hour) GA/TA is generally prohibited and would require exceptional circumstances and explicit approval from the academic department and the Office of Human Resources prior to the commencement of performing any duties. To request approval students must file the Petition for GA/TA Dual Employment

All applicants to graduate programs are considered for assistantships. No separate application form is required. To ensure consideration for assistantships, applicants must submit their application by the published application deadline. Application and funding deadlines vary by department. Graduate programs award stipends on a competitive basis, with academic merit the primary criterion, to degree-seeking students.

The graduate program or school to which the applicant is seeking admission makes decisions on the awarding of stipends. The department or school notifies applicants as soon as possible after decisions are made. Assistantships to new and continuing students are made on a competitive basis, normally for a period of one academic year. The program's graduate committee determines the procedures and criteria for new awards as well as for the renewal of awards in subsequent academic years. 

For students who receive assistantships, an offer letter will clearly provide the stipend amount, the appointment dates, and other important details about the appointment. To accept a teaching or graduate assistantship, the student must sign and return the terms and conditions paperwork in a timely manner. GA/TA positions cannot be "transferred" if a student applies to and enrolls in a different graduate program. GAs/TAs have a responsibility to the program that has hired them to fulfill their obligations to the hiring department. In the event of program change, the hiring department has the option of terminating the GA/TA position or of expecting the student to complete all obligations through the end of a given semester. GAs/TAs contemplating a change of program should discuss such considerations openly with their GA/TA supervisor and the program directors for both programs.

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GA/TA Title Designations

While designation of the title GA or TA is determined by the graduate program, it should be noted that both titles have implications for the graduate program beyond the specific duties assigned. For example, TAs are credited with .250 faculty "full-time equivalency" (FTE); thus, four TAs are the equivalent of one faculty FTE. This affects faculty/student ratio, teaching loads, etc. TA lines need to appear in the course file and the resulting Course and Section Analysis (CASA) report. For this reason, TAs are expected to have teaching responsibilities that equate to 15-20 hours per week, while GAs who also contribute 15-20 hours per week do not normally have any teaching duties and are not entered into the course file.

Appointment of GA/TA Positions

Awards can be made to degree-seeking students only.  

Once decisions are made about which students will receive GA/TA positions, the graduate program sends an offer letter to each individual selected. The decision regarding which students receive GA/TA positions is at the discretion of the graduate program. However, the students must meet the "terms and conditions" stated in the assistantship and, if applicable, the tuition scholarships forms. Furthermore, G1 and G2 students should not be assigned as instructor of record, and graduate students should not be the instructor of record for graduate courses. 

The Graduate School abides by the Council of Graduate Schools resolution stipulating that all offers made to prospective graduate students for the upcoming fall semester must remain valid until April 15 of the current year. No graduate department at Binghamton University should set an earlier deadline for offers to be accepted or denied. Any offers not accepted by April 15 may be rescinded and may be re-offered to other qualified applicants.

The assistantship offer letter normally includes copies of the Terms and Conditions for GA/TA Employment, Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of a Tuition Scholarship (if applicable), and a Student Information Form. To accept the offer, the applicant must sign and return the applicable documents along with the Student Information Form. Once the graduate department has received the applicable documents and uploaded them into Slate, it can then appoint the student to the GA/TA payroll. 

To appoint a student to the GA/TA payroll, payment must be arranged through the use of the Human Resources Hiring Form. This form should be completed by a trained user. This appointment form requests comprehensive information about each GA/TA, as required by the University's payroll system.. 

The offer letter is used to certify funds for international students. It is a legal contract between the University and the student, and must be added to the student's electronic record.

Please visit the Human Resources website for more detailed information on GA/TA employment.

GSEU Negotiated Raises

All GAs/TAs who are on the state payroll at the time a raise is negotiated will automatically receive the raise as stipulated by the contract. When these students are reappointed in subsequent years, they may not be paid any amount less than the amount they were earning at the end of the previous academic year unless their title and duties change. Please contact Human Resources prior to making the offer for specifics.

GA/TA Insurance Benefits

As members of the Graduate Student Employees Union, GAs/TAs are entitled to participate in a health insurance plan. However, enrollment is not automatic; eligible students must enroll for the plan using a form available from Employee Benefits in the Office of Human Resources.

Visit the Human Resources website for more detailed information.

I-9s and Other Payroll Forms

Students cannot be placed on the payroll (or issued payroll checks) until they have completed a federal I-9 form.

All graduate students working on campus must complete a federal I-9 Form. U.S. citizens must show two forms of identification (e.g., birth certificate, driver's license with photo, passport). International students must show current passports and visas. This must be done in person. Since the typical lag time from appointment of a GA/TA to first paycheck is nearly one month, the University encourages departments to emphasize the importance of the I-9 form to all of its prospective new GAs/TAs. The I-9 form must be recertified any time there is a break in service (including summers). Returning GAs/TAs who have an I-9 on file with the Human Resources Office will simply need to have the I-9 recertified; this can be done without the student coming again to the office if the documents used to complete the original I-9 have not yet expired. However, international students must present their original documents for recertification.

GAs and TAs must present identification and submit their I-9 forms to the Human Resources Office prior to beginning their assistantship duties. For more information, call the Payroll Office at 607-777-2122.

GA/TA Registration and Performance Requirements

Graduate students supported by University funding are required to be registered full-time in a graduate degree program. To be registered full-time, G1 level (first-year doctoral students with a baccalaureate degree and less than 24 credits or any student in a master's program) must register for 12 credits; G2 level students (second-year doctoral students with only a baccalaureate degree and more than 24 credits); G3 level (doctoral students with a master's degree but not ABD) and G4 level (ABD) students must register for 9 credits. Registration must be completed before the first day of classes each semester. Continuing students must register in advance. Students must not have a grade of Withdrawn or No Credit that causes registration to drop below full-time in a semester when University funding was received. Students should not have Incomplete grades.  

Assistantship awards are merit-based. Students must be making satisfactory progress toward degree completion. Recipients of University funding must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0. A GPA of less than 3.0 results in probation; students on probation are not eligible to receive University funding. In addition, a GPA below 3.0 may also result in loss of this award.

Renewal/Continuation of GA/TA Awards

Awards are renewed on a merit and competitive basis and are granted for a maximum of two semesters at a time. Renewal or continuation of assistantship awards for second and subsequent semesters will be contingent on availability of funds and operational needs as well as on satisfactory performance of assistantship duties and satisfactory academic progress. Eligibility for University funding is also limited by department policy.

Termination of GA/TA Appointment

If it is necessary to terminate a GA/TA appointment if a student fails to meet the registration and performance requirements after the student has accepted the terms and conditions of the GA/TA contract, it is the graduate program's responsibility to cease all funding and notify the other relevant offices (International Student and Scholar Services, the Graduate School, Human Resources, the Research Foundation, etc.). To officially terminate employment for a GA/TA before the end of their GA/TA contract, please submit an HR separation form. 

When a GA/TA position is terminated, the graduate program may decide whether to allow the GA/TA to maintain the tuition scholarship for the remainder of the existing semester or to terminate the tuition scholarship. 

If a GA’s/TA's tuition scholarship is terminated, the student will be held responsible for repayment of the tuition scholarship. Note, however, that this assumes that the GA/TA registered and attended classes; no tuition indebtedness occurs if a student does not register.

Taxation of Stipends

The following is general information and does not represent advice and is not guaranteed to be error free. Each student is responsible for determining how the tax law applies to their own situation.  

All assistantship stipends are considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and by New York State. 

Graduate students may exclude from income monies spent for tuition and fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses. Tax treatment of specific items are subject to change. We recommend that you visit the IRS website for the most up to date regulations. 

Graduate students receiving assistantship stipends must file a federal W-4 Form and similar NYS form with the Office of Human Resources. Unless other arrangements are explicitly made, withholding tax is deducted from all graduate and teaching assistantships. 

Graduate Student Employees Union

Graduate students who are awarded state-funded graduate or teaching assistantships and who hold titles of GA (Graduate Assistant) or TA (Teaching Assistant) belong to the bargaining unit represented by the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU). Only students in these two categories are in the bargaining unit. Others - including graduate students on fellowships, externally funded internships, research project assistantships (RPAs), and interns - are not represented by a union.

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Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of Tuition Scholarships

Tuition scholarships are available to qualified students. They are by definition scholarships and do not require students to work in exchange for the payment of tuition. 

All graduate tuition scholarship recipients are required to accept and agree to the specific terms and conditions stated below. No graduate student will be provided with a tuition scholarship without first signing and returning the Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of the Tuition Scholarship. 

It is primarily the graduate program's responsibility to obtain the student's signature and  upload the signed offer letter and Terms and Conditions into Slate

The offer letter is used to certify funds for international students. It is a legal contract between the University and the student, and must be added to the student's electronic record.

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Registration/Performance Requirements

Graduate students receiving tuition scholarships are required to be registered full- time in a degree program. To be registered full-time, G1 level (first-year doctoral students with a baccalaureate degree and less than 24 credits or any student in a master's program) must register for 12 credits; G2 level students (second-year doctoral students with only a baccalaureate degree and more than 24 credits); G3 level (doctoral students with a master's degree but not ABD) and G4 level (ABD) students must register for 9 credits. Registration must be completed before the first day of classes each semester. Continuing students must register during the "advance registration" period. Students who resign from assistantships/fellowships in mid-contract or who allow their registration to drop below full-time may become liable for repayment of tuition scholarship awards.

Tuition scholarships are merit-based. Recipients of tuition scholarships must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0. A GPA lower than 3.0 results in probation; students on probation are not eligible to receive tuition scholarships. In addition, students must be making satisfactory progress towards their degree.

Broad Based Fees

Tuition scholarships do not cover broad based fees. All broad based fees must be paid to the Office of Student Accounts prior to the due date. Failure to pay the semester bill on time will result in late fees and penalties. 

Advanced students who have completed all required coursework or who are officially ABD may be eligible for reduced fees.

Payment of Fees for ABD Students

Funded students who qualify as ABD (officially all-but-dissertation) and "CC" (coursework-complete) may register for only 1 credit and use the "Full-Time Work Toward Degree Form" in order to maintain full-time status. Funded ABD and CC students may take other courses (e.g., regular courses, seminars, independent study, any other non-thesis or non-dissertation research courses) but are required to pay fees for any such courses. The "one-credit-fee for up to 9 thesis/dissertation credits" policy does not apply to self-funded students.

In order to qualify, students must meet all of the following qualifications:

      • Must qualify as an ABD or CC student
      • Must be receiving a full (100%) tuition scholarship
      • Must be a G2, G3, and G4 student registered for 9 credits

New York State Residency

For the first two enrolled matriculated semesters, tuition scholarships are funded at the rate appropriate for the recipient's residential status (in-state or out-of-state). Beginning with the third enrolled matriculated semester, tuition scholarships are funded at the in-state rate.

Immediately upon arrival, out-of-state residents who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents must take every appropriate action necessary to establish residency. For more information on how to establish residency, please review the residency section of the Student Accounts webpage.

Exceptions to this requirement are made for students who are not eligible to become New York State residents, such as international students on temporary (F and J) visas. Exceptions may also be granted by the academic department if all appropriate and timely actions required to establish residency have been taken but the application is denied by the Student Accounts Office.

Alternatively, recipients will be responsible to pay for the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition beginning with the third semester of funded enrollment. 

Pennsylvania residents who commute to Binghamton University can request an out-of-state tuition scholarship from their academic unit, or the unit offering the tuition scholarship, if they can demonstrate that relocating to New York would be unreasonable. Exceptions for Pennsylvania residents are normally approved if the student can show that he/she owns property in Pennsylvania, or has children attending a Pennsylvanian school. If approved, the tuition scholarship will cover the out-of-state tuition. 

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Research Project Assistantships (RPAs)

Grant funding can provide support for Research Project Assistants (RPAs). RPAs are normally provided an academic-year (ten-month) stipend with the amount determined by the grant Principal Investigator (PI). RPAs may be eligible for a tuition scholarship. RPAs work approximately 15-20 hours/week on research.

RPAs are selected by the graduate program using the same criterion as is used for selecting GAs/TAs. 

Graduate students supported by grant and contract funds that flow through the Research Foundation may be eligible for a full tuition scholarship provided that the students' academic achievement and stipend level meet the minimum standards, and the grant or contract PI has complied with the Tuition Scholarship Reimbursement Policy for Grants and Contracts. 

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Payroll Forms/Requirements

Adding an RPA to the payroll must be made through the Research Foundation (RF) Human Resources and Payroll Office. It is the responsibility of the grant PI or the student’s graduate program to complete all necessary RF appointment paperwork in order to assure that the student is placed on the RF payroll. Please contact the RF Human Resources and Payroll Office (607-777-4264) for questions concerning appointment documents, eligibility of work status, direct deposit, income tax withholding, I-9 requirements, and employee benefits.

Termination of RPA Appointments

When it is necessary to terminate an RPA position, it is important that the student's departmental Dean's Office be notified immediately so that the tuition scholarship may also be terminated. 

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Fellowships

A variety of merit-based fellowship opportunities exist for graduate students at Binghamton University. Fellowship recipients are paid a monthly stipend that varies depending on the type of fellowship. Fellows may be eligible for a tuition scholarship. Normally fellows are expected to be in residence during the fellowship; but travel for the work of the fellowship is permissible. If the fellow will be off campus for more than a month of the fellowship, a written plan and schedule of work should be discussed with the faculty advisor, and the plan should be approved by and filed with the Graduate Director.

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Provost's Doctoral Fellowship Summer Program

Some doctoral programs receive an allocation of Provost's Summer Fellowships to use in recruiting the strongest applicants to their doctoral programs.

The fellowship program is funded in partnership between the Provost's Office and the school or doctoral program. The Provost's Office will provide $3,000 for each fellowship; the program or school will provide $1,000. The Provost's Summer Fellowship of $4,000 is offered in addition to other funding, including any other summer funding offered to all funded graduate students; it does not replace department or program summer funds, but supplements them.

As long as the student makes good progress towards the doctoral degree, the award will provide a summer fellowship of $4,000 per year for four years beginning in the summer between the first and second academic years; each summer, the academic program will provide $1,000 of this amount. 

The Graduate School notifies academic departments of their allocations around mid-January. The academic department or the appropriate Dean’s Office is responsible for awarding this fellowship. They are also responsible for coordinating summer payments to the recipients.

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Dr. Bhagwan Gajwani Fellowship

The Dr. Bhagwan Gajwani Fellowship, established in 1998 by Dr. Bhagwan Gajwani, aims to promote educational and cultural relationships between Binghamton University and the Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) of Baroda, Gujarat, India, as well as to help students from Dr. Gajwani's homeland develop the expertise and skills to enhance the quality of life for the people of India. Two fellowships are awarded every year and each includes a $12,000 academic-year stipend and a full-tuition scholarship. The fellowships are awarded annually to selected graduates of MSU currently residing in India who have been admitted into a master's degree program in one of the following fields: business administration, computer science, economics or engineering. If there are not any eligible candidates from MSU, the fellowship may be awarded to students who meet the criteria above and graduated from other universities in India.

To apply, applicants must answer "yes" to the Gajwani Fellowship question on the graduate degree program application and submit the Gajwani Fellowship Application

Gajwani Fellows are selected in conjunction with the applicable departments. These departments are responsible for issuing the offer letter associated with this fellowship as well as collecting the applicable fellowship paperwork and forwarding it to the Graduate School. The Graduate School appoints the fellow via the RPA process described above and processes the tuition by adding it to the Graduate School contract with Student Accounts. The fellowship is generally awarded by April 1.

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Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowship for Graduate Students

Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowships, named after Clifford D. Clark, a former president of Binghamton University, are highly competitive fellowships that are offered to qualified students who have been newly admitted to graduate degree programs at Binghamton University.

Funded by New York State and a small endowment fund, these merit-based fellowships provide a full array of support, including competitive academic-year stipends, full-tuition scholarships, health insurance, and opportunities for research and travel funding. Clark Fellows are guaranteed to receive this support for a specific period, assuming satisfactory academic progress.

To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident and a new graduate student planning to enroll full-time during the award period. You also must meet one or more of the following diversity criteria:

      • Member of a group historically underrepresented in higher education (African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander or Hispanic American)
      • Raised in a single-parent household
      • First-generation college student
      • History of overcoming disadvantage

Although membership in a group historically underrepresented in higher education is considered, it does not form the full basis for the awards. Each applicant will be evaluated on his or her own merit. Each applicant's economic situation, as determined through Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), will also be considered. Preference will go to incoming doctoral students.

Applicants complete and submit a graduate degree program application and answer "yes" to the Clark Fellowship question on the graduate degree program application. They are encouraged to speak with the department about receiving a nomination prior to submitting the completed materials. 

Graduate departments will review applications and make recommendations to the Graduate School for admission and Clark Fellowship funding in Slate. Applicants must be admitted to the program before they can be nominated for Clark Fellowships.

Nomination forms are due by November 15 (when applicable) for Spring semester admits, and February 1 (for the first round of awards) or March 1 (for the remainder of awards) for Summer and Fall semester admits. Given the competitive nature of these awards, early nominations of strong applicants are encouraged. 

The Graduate Budget Advisory Committee of the Graduate Council selects Clifford D. Clark Fellows and the Graduate School notifies academic departments of the award between March 31 and April 30.

The academic department or the appropriate Dean’s Office is responsible for issuing the offer letter associated with this fellowship as well as collecting the applicable paperwork and appointing the recipient through the GA/TA process described above. The academic department or appropriate Dean’s Office is also responsible for processing summer and winter awards for this fellowship. The Graduate School processes the tuition by adding it to the Graduate School contract with Student Accounts. 

The fellowship pays for the full stipend, tuition, summer and winter awards offered in the first year of study.

For applicants entering a doctoral program with a bachelor's degree, fellows are eligible for 5 years of funding. The graduate programs must guarantee 1 semester of tuition and stipend for each year after the first, for a total of 4 years. The fellowship will continue to pay for the summer award during this time.  

For applicants entering a doctoral program with a master's degree, fellows are eligible for 3 years of funding. The graduate programs must guarantee 1 semester of tuition and stipend for each year after the first, for a total of 2 years. The fellowship will continue to pay for the summer award during this time. 

For applicants entering a master's program, fellows are eligible for 2 years of funding. The graduate programs must guarantee 1 semester of tuition and stipend for the second year. The fellowship will continue to pay for the summer and winter awards as applicable during this time. 

Some graduate programs have additional limitations on funding, such as limiting all graduate students to 4 years of funding. In such cases, the graduate program limitations apply. Graduate programs cannot rollover an unused Clark-funded semester to another year. 

Clark fellows are also eligible to apply for the Clark Fellowship Travel Grant. 

The Graduate Budget Advisory Committee of the Graduate Council oversees distribution of Clark Fellowship Travel Grants to graduate students who receive the Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowships for Graduate Students. Amounts awarded will depend on the funds available and the number of applicants. Expenses covered include billed travel or mileage reimbursement, conference registration and lodging. Meals are excluded. 

Since applications typically exceed funds, the committee awards funding on a competitive basis and rates applicants on the following criteria:

Graduate Level: 

Although all Clark Fellows are eligible, preference is given to doctoral students who are advanced to candidacy (ABD).

Support amount limitations are:

$800 per year for ABD doctoral students

$500 per year for non-ABD doctoral students and master's students

Travel Purpose:

First priority is for travel to conferences where the student is the presenting author. Applicants must submit a letter from the conference organizers accepting the student's work/proposal, a copy of the conference program or other conference materials containing the student's name as a presenting author.

Second priority is travel for dissertation research. Applicants must include a clear, brief explanation of no more than 250 words, detailing the need for and purposes of travel. This application should be accompanied by a short statement of support by the student's graduate advisor, the graduate director of the student's program or the chair of the student's department.

Travel for other purposes will be considered at a lower priority.

Other Selection Criteria:

Priority is given to applicants who have not received Clark Fellowship Travel Grants the previous two semesters

Visibility/significance/diversity of conference

Type of presentation, where preference is given to papers over posters, though this may depend on individual programs

Department support, demonstrated through letters of support and/or additional funding

Applicants must complete and submit the Clark Fellowship Travel Grant Application and email it to the Graduate School at graduate@binghamton.edu.

All applications, which must be typed, require clear explanations of the purpose of travel, a detailed budget or expense account and the signature of a graduate director or dissertation adviser, indicating their endorsement of the proposal.

For travel between: Submit application by:
August 1 and January 31 First Friday of November
February 1 and July 31 First Friday of April

The advisory committee meets to review applications once each semester. The Graduate School will notify applicants of the results of their application following the meeting of the advisory committee. Grants will be made, if possible, before student travel takes place. Students may apply for expenses related to travel if travel occurred within the time periods specified above and if original receipts are provided.

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Grace Chin-Fa and Tsuming Wu Fellowship for the Sciences

Established in 2017, the Grace Chin-Fa and Tsuming Wu Fellowship for the Sciences supports first-year doctoral students in the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences. Wu joined the Physics Department in Harpur College in 1968 and remained on the faculty for more than 40 years.

Students in the natural sciences (biological sciences, chemistry, geological sciences or physics) should discuss their potential nomination with the academic department. The scholarship provides students with a full-tuition scholarship and an academic-year stipend. In addition, students receive a summer award, which is provided the summer after their first year.

The Wu Fellowship Nomination Form should be sent to graduate@binghamton.edu.

The deadline for nominations is the first Friday in February. Awardees will be announced on or before March 1. 

The academic department or the appropriate Dean’s Office is responsible for issuing the offer letter associated with this fellowship as well as collecting the applicable fellowship paperwork and forwarding to the Graduate School as well as processing the summer award when applicable. The Graduate School appoints the fellow via the RPA process described above and processes the tuition by adding it to the Graduate School contract with Student Accounts. 

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Binghamton Foundation Fellowships

A number of miscellaneous fellowships are made available through charitable gifts solicited by the Binghamton Foundation. Application and selection procedures vary depending on the type of award. It is the responsibility of the receiving unit to administer these fellowships. Contact the Binghamton Foundation (607-777-2011) for more information on graduate fellowship opportunities.

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Expectations and Limitations for Fellows

Fellows receiving tuition scholarships are required to abide by the Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of the Tuition Scholarship. In addition, fellows are expected to devote themselves full-time to the pursuit of their graduate degrees. Fellows are not permitted to hold other positions.

Fellowship recipients are not covered under the GSEU bargaining unit, and no insurance benefits are provided to fellows. Fellowship recipients are encouraged to purchase the University's student health plan through the Student Accounts Office. Fellows who are paid stipends through the Research Foundation may also purchase the Research Foundation's insurance plan at full cost.

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Taxation of Fellowship Stipends

The following is general information and does not represent advice and is not guaranteed to be error free. Each student is responsible for determining how the tax law applies to their own situation. 

Although withholding tax is not deducted from fellowship stipends, they are considered taxable income and must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. 

Academic expenses such as tuition and fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses may be tax deductible. Tax treatment of specific items are subject to change. We recommend that you visit the IRS website for the most up to date regulations. 

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Student Assistant Employment

Student Assistant positions are offered and paid by Binghamton University departments and are open to any Binghamton student (or another SUNY unit if a summer hire), regardless of their financial aid package, year in school or citizenship. Students in these positions may work a maximum of 29 hours a week among all positions.

This policy limits student assistant employees at all times, including semester breaks and during the summer, to a maximum of 29 hours per week combined across all assignments. It is the responsibility of the students to know their schedules and how many hours per week they are working. International students are limited per U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations to work no more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session. 

The minimum and maximum amounts a student assistant can be paid are posted on the Human Resources webpage

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Scholarships

Benjamin R. Surovy Endowed Scholarship

The Benjamin R. Surovy Endowed Scholarship aims to give back to Binghamton University by enabling deserving students to earn a graduate degree while honoring the memory of Mr. Surovy's parents, who emigrated from Czechoslovakia and lived in Broome County for the rest of their lives. Mr. Surovy earned his master's degree in 1972 after retiring from the Air Force and spent the next twenty years serving in various capacities on the professional staff at the University.

The scholarship is awarded annually and the following conditions apply for eligibility:

First preference will be given to incoming students who are residents of Broome county in good academic standing.

Second preference will be given to incoming graduate students from Slovakia, Czech Republic or other eastern European countries.

No additional application is necessary for this scholarship; eligible applicants are automatically reviewed and a recipient is selected during April of each year.

The Graduate School informs recipients and coordinates with the Office of Financial Aid to add this scholarship to the recipient’s student record.

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University Women Female Graduate Student Scholarship

Established in 2003 by the University Women's Club, this scholarship is awarded annually to a full-time, second-year female graduate student who demonstrates academic merit and a GPA of at least 3.7. Other criteria considered include overall financial need; a recent or current demonstrated commitment to community service; and a clear vision of intended career goals. The scholarship is renewable if the recipient continues to meet the criteria.

Applicants complete and submit the University Women Female Graduate Student Scholarship Application before the May 15 deadline and email it to the Graduate School at graduate@binghamton.edu.

The Graduate School informs recipients and coordinates with the Office of Financial Aid to add this scholarship to the recipient’s student record.

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Grants and Awards

Graduate School Travel Grant 

The Graduate Council Budget Advisory Committee oversees distribution of Graduate School Travel Grants for graduate students. Since applications typically exceed funds, the committee rates applicants on the following criteria:

Graduate Level:

Although all students are eligible, preference is given to doctoral students who are advanced to candidacy (ABD).

Support amount limitations are $1,000 per year for graduate students in good standing.

Travel Purpose: 

Travel to conferences where the student's name appears on the program. Applicants must submit a letter from the conference organizers accepting the student's work/proposal, a copy of the conference program or other conference materials containing the student's name as a participant.

Travel for dissertation research or professional development. Applicants must include a clear, brief explanation of no more than 250 words, detailing the need for and purposes of travel.

Other Selection Criteria:

Priority is given to applicants who have not received travel grants the previous two semesters

Visibility/significance of conference

Departmental support, demonstrated through letters of support and/or additional funding

Awards will be coordinated as fully as possible with the graduate student conference, travel or research funding support available through the Graduate Student Organization. Students may apply for both. Amounts received will depend on the funds available and the number of applicants.

Expenses covered include billed travel or mileage reimbursement, conference registration and lodging. Meals are excluded. Please provide original receipts for all eligible expenses.

The Graduate School Travel Grant may be used for attendance at virtual conferences.

Applicants must complete and submit the Graduate School Travel Grant Application as a single pdf to graduate@binghamton.edu. All applications, which must be typed, require clear explanations of the purpose of travel, a detailed budget or expense account and the signature of a graduate director or dissertation adviser, indicating their endorsement of the proposal.

Travel must be within six months (before or after) of application submission.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on the first Friday of July, November or April. 

Graduate students are eligible to be funded once per academic year.

The Graduate Council Budget Advisory Committee meets three times per year to review applications. Applicants will be notified of the results of their application following that meeting, approximately 30 days after the submission deadline.

Grants will be made, if possible, before student travel takes place. Students may apply for expenses related to travel if travel occurred within the time periods specified above and if original receipts are provided.

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Rosa Colecchio Travel Award for Dissertation Research Enhancement

Graduate students may apply for the Rosa Colecchio Travel Award for Dissertation Research Enhancement when travel enhances the student's dissertation work in a way that could not be accomplished otherwise. This program is funded through an endowment established through the Binghamton University Foundation by the family of Rosa Romano Colecchio.

Only doctoral students who are advanced to candidacy (ABD) can apply.

Support amount limitations are $300.

This program can be used only when travel enhances the student's dissertation work in a way that could not be accomplished otherwise.

Student travel is encouraged to obtain access to otherwise unobtainable:

      • Library materials
      • Archival materials
      • Original source materials
      • Techniques, equipment and methodologies not available on this campus
      • Opportunities to carry out extraordinary field research
      • This program cannot be used for travel to a professional meeting.

Awards are based on consideration of well-presented and justified need and the merit of the project.

One or more awards, depending on availability of funds, are made each year.

Applicants must complete and submit the Rosa Colecchio Travel Award for Dissertation Research Enhancement Application as a single pdf to graduate@binghamton.edu, by the fourth Friday of March. An advisory committee of faculty and graduate students reviews applications. Awards are announced by the Graduate School during the last week of April.

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Graduate School Excellence Awards

Excellence in Teaching

The Award for Excellence in Teaching honors graduate teaching assistants and instructors of record who have demonstrated exceptional service to Binghamton University’s undergraduates. Nominations are invited from all graduate programs, and recipients of the award represent a variety of teaching approaches in diverse subjects.

Awards are given once a year to 10-15 graduate students who have been nominated by their department and selected by a panel consisting of faculty and a representative of the Graduate School. Teaching excellence recipients will receive an honorarium of $500 and a certificate of achievement. They are also recognized on the Graduate School’s web page and, if graduating in the academic year, in the Commencement program.

Nominations are made by the program’s graduate director. Each program may nominate only 2 graduate students per year.

Nomination packets must include:

        • A cover sheet with the name of the nominee, phonetic pronunciation of the nominee's name, the graduate program, degree sought, and a narrative paragraph of 100-150 words that highlights the nominee's achievements and is suitable for distribution on the Graduate School’s web page
        • A current curriculum vitae of the nominee
        • A single-page statement (maximum 250 words) of teaching approach and philosophy written by the nominee

Nomination packets may also include:

        • Letters from faculty who have supervised the graduate student's teaching
        • Sets of teaching evaluations
        • Letters from students or former students of the graduate student
        • A representative sample of handouts, assignments and exams designed by the instructor as appropriate

Graduate directors will receive nomination information from the Graduate School. Submit nomination packets electronically to the Graduate School by the deadline listed in the awards calendar.

Excellence in Research

The Award for Excellence in Research honors the important contributions graduate students make to research at the University and the wide variety of approaches they take to the advancement of knowledge.

Awards are given once a year to 10-15 graduate students. Awardees are nominated by their department and selected by a panel consisting of faculty and a representative of the Graduate School. Research excellence recipients will receive an honorarium of $500 and a certificate of achievement. They are also recognized on the Graduate School’s web page and, if graduating in the academic year, in the Commencement program.

Nominations are made by the program’s graduate director. Each program may nominate only 2 graduate students per year.

Nomination packets must contain:

        • A cover sheet with the name of the nominee, phonetic pronunciation of the nominee’s name, the graduate program, degree sought, and a narrative paragraph of 100-150 words that highlights the nominee’s achievements and is suitable for distribution on the Graduate School’s web page
        • A current curriculum vitae of the nominee

Justification for the award such as:

        • A concise statement (from nominee) of research interests, including the goal and subject of research
        • Letters from faculty who have directed the student’s research specifying its original contribution to knowledge in the field or exceptional collaboration with a research team
        • Offprints of publications or other material illustrating the quality of work and productivity of the student’s research/scholarship/creative endeavors
        • Letters from other graduate students regarding departmental presentations, seminars, etc., given by the nominee

Graduate directors will receive nomination information from the Graduate School. Submit nomination packets electronically to the Graduate School by the deadline listed in the awards calendar.

Excellence in Service/Outreach

The Award for Excellence in Service/Outreach honors graduate students who distinguish themselves in service to their departments, academic programs, schools and/or the University. The award also recognizes students who have used their graduate education to make outstanding contributions to the community beyond the University. While outreach activities of all types represent important contributions to society, the service/outreach excellence awards are intended to honor outreach of a professional nature. Nominations are invited from all graduate programs, and recipients represent a variety of service and outreach activities across the University and community.

Awards are given once a year to 10-15 graduate students. Awardees are nominated by their department and selected by a panel consisting of graduate students, faculty and a representative of the Graduate School. Excellence in service and outreach recipients will receive an honorarium of $500 and a certificate of achievement. They are also recognized on the Graduate School’s web page and, if graduating in the academic year, in the Commencement program.

Nominations are made by the program’s graduate director. Each program may nominate only 2 graduate students per year.

Nomination packets must contain:

        • A cover sheet with the name of the nominee, phonetic pronunciation of the nominee’s name, the graduate program, degree sought, and a narrative paragraph of 100-150 words that highlights the nominee’s achievements and is suitable for distribution on the Graduate School’s web page
        • A current curriculum vitae
        • A single-page summary (maximum 250 words) of the nature and extent of the service and/or outreach activities
        • A single-page statement (250 words) of service approach and philosophy written by the nominee. In the case of outreach activities, the statement must indicate how this outreach reflects or depends upon the student’s knowledge, skills and abilities that result from their graduate education

Other justification for the award, including some or all of the following:

        • Letters from students, staff, faculty or others familiar with the nominee’s work
        • Statements from those affected by the service/outreach efforts
        • Any other documentation of the impact of the service/outreach efforts

Graduate directors will receive nomination information from the Graduate School. Submit nomination packets electronically to the Graduate School by the deadline listed in the awards calendar.

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Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition celebrates the exciting research being performed by graduate students across campus and cultivates their academic, presentation and research communication skills by challenging them to present their research to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less using one PowerPoint slide. The Three Minute Thesis competition takes place each Spring semester and awards monetary prizes to the top 3 competitors as well as a winner selected by the audience.

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Distinguished Dissertation Award

The Distinguished Dissertation Award is for PhD and EdD dissertations defended and submitted to the Graduate School in each calendar year. The selection process will occur in the following spring semester. The Distinguished Dissertation Award recognizes original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. Both methodological and substantive quality are judged.

Awards are given each year in 4 broad disciplinary areas:

      • mathematics, physical sciences, and engineering;
      • social sciences;
      • humanities and fine arts; and
      • biological and life sciences.

Note that education, management and some nursing topics fall in social sciences, and other nursing topics, in life sciences. The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) uses these categories for its annual national dissertation awards. Recipients of the Distinguished Dissertation Award will receive an honorarium of $500 and may be nominated by the University for national dissertation awards, such as the CGS national award.

The process described below is designed to identify dissertations that make unusually significant contributions to their discipline. The procedures are aligned with those of national competitions for dissertation awards. In that way, Binghamton University's Distinguished Dissertation Award Committee also vets dissertations for submission to national competitions.

Each department/program/unit may nominate only 1 dissertation. Units are requested to nominate dissertations of truly superior quality and unusual distinction. A minimal qualification would be that at least part of the dissertation is of publishable quality in its submitted form.

Nomination for the award must be made by the unit's graduate director. It is expected that the unit's graduate committee has vetted the dissertation being nominated. 

The nomination must be sent to the Graduate School at graduate@binghamton.edu by 5 p.m. on the first Friday of March for the year's competition. 

Students are eligible if they graduated with the PhD or EdD degree in the calendar year prior to the spring competition. Prior to nomination, the dissertation must have been completed and submitted electronically to ProQuest via the Graduate School.

Checklist for Nomination Packet

      • 3 letters of support
        • From the graduate director of the unit
        • From the dissertation/faculty advisor
        • From another appropriate evaluator (e.g., committee member, another faculty person from Binghamton University or elsewhere)
      • Abstract re-written for lay audience
        • Maximum of 5 pages, double-spaced Times New Roman 12 pt font, 1 inch margins
        • In addition, may have maximum of 5 pages of illustrations (e.g., tables, figures, drawings, photographs) provided that these add value
      • Curriculum vitae – maximum of 4 pages, Times New Roman 12 pt font, 1 inch margins


The distinguished dissertation awards committee is drawn from Graduate Council members and is chaired by the associate dean of the Graduate School. The committee will review the nomination packets. It will then select a subset as finalists. The finalists will be asked to submit their dissertations electronically. From the finalists, the committee will make its recommendations for the awards and the Graduate School will notify the recipients.

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Federal Financial Aid

Financial Aid for Degree Students

U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States who are enrolled in degree-granting programs at Binghamton University may be eligible for federal aid administered by the Office of Financial Aid. To be considered for financial aid, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed by April 1 for the fall semester or November 1 for the spring semester.

Graduate students can receive up to $20,500 in a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and additional aid from the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan

Tuition scholarships and some fellowships are used to establish financial aid and Federal Work Study eligibility and may affect the amount of loan eligibility. For more information about student financial aid eligibility or other financial aid related questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Aid for Non-Degree Students

Non-degree graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may apply for financial aid for up to one year, provided that they take at least six credits per semester and can verify that the courses they take would be applicable to a graduate degree at Binghamton University.

To apply for non-degree aid, students must obtain a financial aid form for non-degree students (available from the Office of Financial Aid) and have the form signed by the appropriate director of graduate studies and a representative of the Graduate School. The director of graduate studies who signs this form attests that the courses chosen will apply toward a graduate degree in the program.

Federal College Work Study Employment

Federal Work-Study (FWS) positions are funded by the U.S. government and eligibility is determined by a student’s FAFSA through the Office of Financial Aid. Work-study participants earn an hourly wage and work 10 or 20 hours per week. The total duration a FWS student may work during the academic year is determined by the amount of their FWS award and the hourly wage paid to the student.

Both the student and the supervisor should closely monitor FWS students’ award balances to ensure that the students do not work beyond their award eligibility. Students who exceed their allocated awards must be compensated through departmental funds.  

The minimum and maximum amounts a student assistant can be paid are posted on the Human Resources webpage

To apply for Federal Graduate Work Study, students must:

      1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Eligibility for Federal Work Study is dependent on a valid FAFSA being on file for the appropriate academic year.
      2. Apply for graduate-level positions on hireBING.

After reviewing applications and confirming eligibility, departments with work-study openings will contact the applicant directly if they wish to schedule an interview. Recipients must have ≥3.0 GPA, no outstanding Incompletes (I), no Withdrawals (W), no grade of NC (No Credit), and be making satisfactory progress toward their degree.

Graduate Opportunity Program (GOP) and Economically Disadvantaged First Professional Study (EDPS)

The Graduate Opportunity Program (GOP) is available to students who were former participants in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) or the Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) Program. GOP provides partial tuition scholarships to qualified students enrolled in a graduate degree program. 

The Economically Disadvantaged First Professional Study (EDPS) is available to EOP, HEOP or SEEK Program graduates who are entering the PharmD program. 

GOP and EDPS opportunity programs are available exclusively to New York State residents. The program pays for partial tuition of qualified students.

To apply for GOP or EDPS, students must complete and submit the Graduate Opportunity Program/Economically Disadvantaged First Professional Study Application to finaid@binghamton.edu. Please note that students must complete this application each year.

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