Financial Assistance

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Financial assistance is available to qualified students in all fields of study in the form of (1) graduate assistantships where one serves as a classroom teacher or assistant, as a research assistant, or as an administrative assistant, (2) fellowships or traineeships, (3) scholarships, and (4) loans. There are basic regulations that relate to these awards. Students should make application for the graduate assistantships, fellowships, or traineeships through the department to which they have been admitted. Information and application forms for the tuition scholarship program may be obtained from the Graduate School website.

Students should be sure that their applications for admission are complete, including the submission of required transcripts to the Graduate School to assure consideration for an award.

Graduate assistant appointments, graduate fellowships, and most traineeships include a full tuition scholarship when students have worked the minimum weeks required (13 fall/spring and 6 summer), but fees must be paid by the student. If a department has not established its own financial aid time limits, the following Graduate School time limits will apply; a student may receive no more than two calendar years of graduate-student support while a master’s level student; a student may receive no more than four calendar years of graduate-student support while a doctoral-level student; students directly admitted into a doctoral program from their bachelor’s degree can receive up to five calendar years of graduate student support. The maximum number of years of graduate-student support for students seeking any combination of graduate degrees is six calendar years of graduate student support unless a specific exception based on the student’s programmatic needs is granted by the graduate dean. These time limits apply to assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and other similar awards and appointments administered by the University, regardless of source of funds. Students who are awarded graduate assistantships, fellowships, or traineeships, but who have not furnished official proof of their most recent degree to the Graduate School shall be considered to be on term appointment for one semester only. No one will be appointed to a second term until an official transcript indicating receipt of the degree is received in the Graduate School.

Acceptance of an offer of financial aid (such as a fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by an actual or prospective graduate student completes an agreement which both student and Graduate School expect to honor. In those instances in which the student accepts the offer before April 15 and subsequently desires to withdraw, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer from another institution without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer.  

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships (GAs) are available in a variety of places across campus, from academic departments and research centers to administrative and service units. This type of appointment comprises the largest number of awards offered by the University. A graduate assistant must be a registered student in a degree program.

For these appointments, students should inquire directly to the chair of the department to which they have been admitted or to the appointing officer of a research center or administrative or service unit. Information about the criteria used to select GAs and to assign their responsibilities may be obtained by contacting the  chair of the department, the administrator of a research or service unit, or the Graduate School.

The average GA appointment is 50% appointment (20 hours per week) and lasts for one academic year (9 months). There are also some 25% appointments requiring 10 hours per week. A student may hold two simultaneous quarter time (25%) appointments on campus without special approval. GA appointments may be either on an academic-pay basis or a fiscal pay basis.

During the fall and spring semesters, appointments of at least 25% qualify for a full tuition scholarship. GAs on a graduate assistantship contract during the summer semester qualify for a 9-hour tuition scholarship. The graduate assistantship appointment must be for at least 75% of the academic semesters (13 out of 17 weeks for the fall and spring semesters and six out of eight weeks for the summer semesters). If a student is appointed for less than a full academic term on a fiscal pay basis, the appointment will not carry a tuition scholarship. A GA holding an appointment for the full length of fall and spring semesters consecutively will be eligible for a nine hour non-working tuition scholarship for the summer session immediately following.

Salary schedules for graduate assistantships vary from unit to unit. The current graduate assistantship salary schedule can be viewed here. Generally, doctoral students are paid higher rates than master’s students. Information about the specific conditions of the appointment should be directed to the department or unit making the appointment. 

In the best interests of both the University and students, academic departments should monitor outside employment and intervene in those cases where outside employment results in problems. To this end, it is within the rights and responsibilities of a department: 1) to require that graduate assistants holding outside employment notify their department so that their performance can be monitored; 2) to make the relinquishing of outside employment a precondition for the continued enrollment of, and/or availability of assistantships to, students whose academic or assistantship performance has been rated Unsatisfactory; and 3) to cancel or not renew the assistantship contracts of those students whose assistantship performance is rated Unsatisfactory and who also hold and do not discontinue outside employment. Graduate students can appeal departmental decisions regarding outside employment and academic/assistantship status through the University’s standard routes of appeal or the grievance procedure in the GA United contract.

Dissertation Research Assistantship Awards

Dissertation research assistantship awards are designed for superior students who are in the dissertation preparation stage of their graduate education. Selection is based on a competition primarily considering the student’s academic research and quality of the dissertation prospectus. The recipient of a dissertation research assistantship must be officially admitted to candidacy by the beginning of the award. Failure to be admitted to candidacy by the beginning of the award will result in the award’s revocation. The award is for a maximum of 11 months and provides a monthly salary and a full tuition scholarship.

There is a service requirement, with the specific duties to be assigned by the chairperson of the department. The student must be enrolled for six graduate credit hours. The student holding such an award is expected to resign the award at the time the dissertation is submitted to the Graduate School if this comes prior to three weeks before the end of the time period for the award. Contact academic departments for application materials.

Graduate Internships

The graduate internship provides an educational experience for students at either the master’s or doctoral level who wish or are required as a part of their program of studies to devote their primary effort toward applied activities in an academic program or a community-based agency or business under the direct supervision of a qualified representative of the host agency or business. Such internship activities may be unpaid or paid. Paid internships are externally sponsored and include the following categories: (a) paid through the University as graduate assistants; (b) paid by an agency or business as an employee; or (c) paid by an agency or business as a consultant. Requests for information should be directed to one’s department.

Traineeships

Individual departments often are able to provide traineeships. Information about these awards should be directed to the department to which one has been admitted or is seeking admission.

Graduate Fellowships 

The Graduate School offers a number of graduate fellowships. The number varies depending on the funds available for these awards each year. All awards of this type are highly competitive based upon scholarship, scores on standardized tests, and potential for success in graduate study.

Master’s Fellowship Program

The Master’s Fellowship is a one-time award at the master’s degree level that is designed for those nominees who show the greatest promise for scholarly and professional achievement in their respective disciplines. The fellowship will be awarded for three semesters, fall, spring, and summer, for a total of eleven (11) months. The Master’s Fellowship pays a monthly stipend (excluding Summer Intersession May 16 thru June 15) and provides a full tuition scholarship for fall, spring, and summer. Master’s students are not allowed to hold more than two calendar years (24 months) of financial support of all types. Fellows may not hold jobs outside the University, since the purpose of the fellowship is to provide students with an opportunity to devote full time to their graduate studies and research rather than work part time at a job and part time at studies. Fellowship recipients will be assigned a ten-hour per week research assignment that will provide professional development opportunities for the student and be of value to the department. Fellowship recipients must remain on campus as fulfillment of their award, except with permission by the graduate dean.

Applications for these awards should be made by early January preceding the academic year for which the award is desired. Students should check with their academic departments for exact dates. Application forms and information about the awards may be obtained by contacting the department to which one has been admitted or is seeking admission or on the Graduate School website.

Doctoral Fellowship Program

The Doctoral Fellowship is designed for those nominees who show the greatest promise for scholarly and professional achievement in their respective disciplines at the doctoral level. It is renewable for another year contingent upon eligibility. Fellowships will be awarded for three semesters, fall, spring, and summer for a total of eleven (11) months. The Doctoral Fellowship pays a monthly stipend (excluding Summer Intersession May 16 thru June 15) and provides a full tuition scholarship for fall, spring, and summer. Doctoral students have a limit of four calendar years (48 months) of financial support of all types. Doctoral students are also limited to two years of financial support of any combination of doctoral fellowship or dissertation research assistantship. Morris fellow holders are ineligible to apply for a Doctoral Fellowship award. Fellows may not hold jobs outside the University, since the purpose of the fellowship is to provide students with an opportunity to devote full time to their graduate studies and research rather than work part time at a job and part time at studies. Fellowship recipients will be assigned a ten-hour per week research assignment that will provide professional development opportunities for the student and be of value to the department. Fellowship recipients must remain on campus as fulfillment of their award except with permission by the graduate dean.

Applications for these awards should be made by early January preceding the academic year for which the award is desired. Students should check with their academic departments for exact dates. Application forms and information about the awards may be obtained by contacting the department to which one has been admitted or is seeking admission or on the Graduate School website.

Delyte and Dorothy Morris Doctoral Fellowship Program

The Delyte and Dorothy Morris doctoral fellowships have been established by Southern Illinois University to honor a distinguished former president and his wife. During Dr. Morris’ tenure as president (1949-71), the University grew to be a comprehensive research institution and established doctoral programs in 22 fields, now more than 30 fields.

The Morris Doctoral Fellowship is designed for those nominees who are new to Southern Illinois University (SIU). This fellowship is intended for applicants who possess exceptional credentials as indicated by high scholastic standing, excellent scores on standardized tests, outstanding recommendations, and evidence of significant potential for research and publication.

The Morris Doctoral Fellowship is a five-year financial support package. The Graduate School provides a 12 month 50% research fellowship award for the first three years and the department provides a 12 month 50% graduate assistantship for the last two years. The Morris Fellowship pays a monthly stipend amount that is above the Doctoral Fellowship stipend rate, with an annual $1,000 book/travel allowance for the first three years. A tuition scholarship will be awarded for fall, spring, and summer semesters for the term of the award. Fellows may not hold jobs outside the University, since the purpose of the fellowship is to provide students with an opportunity to devote full time to their graduate studies and research rather than work part time at a job and part time at studies. Fellowship recipients will be assigned a ten-hour per week research assignment that will provide professional development opportunities for the student and be of value to the department. Fellowship recipients must remain on campus as fulfillment of their award except with permission by the graduate dean.

Applications for these awards should be made by early January preceding the academic year for which the award is desired. Students should check with their academic departments for exact dates. Application forms and information about the awards may be obtained by contacting the department to which one has been admitted or is seeking admission or on the Graduate School website.

Graduate Dean’s Fellowship Program

The Graduate Dean’s Fellowship is designed for traditionally underrepresented individuals who have overcome social, cultural, or economic conditions that have adversely affected their educational progress. Awards will be given to students who are qualified by the usual indicators of promise for success in graduate study.

The Graduate Dean’s Fellowship is a two-year award, and it is given to fully admitted students. In Year One, the award is for a maximum of 11 months (fall, spring and summer) and provides a monthly salary and a full tuition scholarship. The student must enroll for a minimum of nine graduate credit hours for fall and spring semesters and three graduate hours for summer. The recipient will be assigned a ten hour per week research assignment that will provide professional development opportunities and will be of value to the department.

Year Two, the recipient will be on a nine month (fall and spring) 50% assistantship appointment with the department. The student is required to enroll for a minimum of nine graduate credit hours for fall and spring semesters, or optional summer enrollment of three graduate credit hours. A full tuition scholarship is awarded for fall, spring, and summer for both years. Recipients are responsible for fees. While on fellowship the award recipient will not hold any other employment inside or outside the University. Application requests for this award should be directed to the Graduate School or to the department. Application deadline is preceding the academic year for which the award is desired. 

Proactive Recruitment of Multicultural Professionals for Tomorrow (PROMPT) Fellowship/Assistantship Program

The PROMPT Program (Proactive Recruitment of Multicultural Professionals for Tomorrow) is an initiative developed by the SIU Graduate School to increase the number of individuals receiving advanced degrees in the United States from families which have traditionally not had access to the opportunities of higher education and who, through his or her life and/or cultural experiences, have unique and potentially positive contributions to make to the program, the discipline, and in the larger academic community. The Graduate School, in alliance with participating academic departments, will provide financial assistance packages to competitive, fully admitted students to pursue advanced study at SIU through an assistantship appointment. The PROMPT Fellowship/Assistantship offers a two-year assistantship appointment with a monthly stipend and a full tuition scholarship. The student must commit 20 hours per week in teaching or research activities in the academic department during fall and spring semesters for both years. Recipients are responsible for fees. Application requests for this award should be directed to the Graduate School or to the department. Application deadline is preceding the academic year for which the award is desired.

Tuition Scholarships 

Domestic Students

A limited number of tuition scholarships are awarded each semester to graduate students. This scholarship is a scholastic award. The number of Tuition Waiver Scholarships allocated to each college at SIU will depend on the percentage of graduate student enrollment they contribute. After the number of scholarships per college is calculated, current GPA in program of study, if two semesters within the program have been completed, will be the determining factor for who receives the award. Otherwise, the decision will be based on GPA from most recent previous degree program. The award is for remission of tuition only; fees must be paid by the student. The award provides a full tuition scholarship and a tuition scholarship for up to nine (9) hours in the summer. This scholarship award will be posted to the student’s Bursar account.

To be eligible, the student must be an active student, admitted to the Graduate School, and be in good academic standing in a graduate program at SIUC, and the student may not hold another University appointment which provides a tuition waiver scholarship (i.e. graduate assistantship, fellowship). Eligible applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants need at least two full semesters of grades on their official or unofficial current transcript or the GPA will be based upon the previous completed degree. Tuition waiver scholarship recipients must enroll for a minimum of 9 graduate credit hours for fall or spring semesters (3 graduate credit hours in summer). Students may receive a tuition waiver scholarship for a maximum of three semesters during their enrollment at the University. Applicants must reapply each semester. *Note: Some programs (such as PA, Law, any web based/online programs etc.) are not eligible. Please check with your program for eligibility.

Deadline dates are as follows: April 15 for summer session, July 15 for fall semester, and November 15 for spring semester.

International Students

As an international student, you will need to contact the Center for International Education about applying for this scholarship. A limited number of tuition scholarships are available to international students who have completed at least one full year at SIUC. These awards are granted on a competitive basis, and the limited number means that many qualified students are unable to secure them. Applications are generally available at the end of each spring semester at Center for International Education, 425 Clock Tower Drive, Woody Hall. Guidelines are provided with the applications.

Financial Aid Office

Other forms of financial assistance including part-time employment on and off campus, cooperative work-study programs, summer employment, and student loan funds are available on the Financial Aid office website.

External Support for Graduate Study

Fellowships, grants-in-aid, scholarships, and other similar awards for the support of graduate students are available from many sources outside the University. Students are encouraged to apply for such awards. Information concerning appropriate external sources of support may be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Projects Administration or from department chairs or directors of graduate studies of the student’s major department.

Faculty Appointments 

No student in a graduate degree program shall be appointed to any full-time faculty position in the department (or equivalent unit) while enrolled in the unit as a student, with the sole exception that a student who has already been admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree may be granted a term appointment as an instructor in the unit while so enrolled. Such a term appointment shall not be renewable beyond a period of one year.

Satisfactory Progress Policy for Graduate Students 

Purpose

The Federal Government, the States, and Southern Illinois University (SIU) have invested large sums of money in order to provide financially needy students the opportunity to obtain a post-secondary education. Financial aid recipients are responsible for using the funds provided in an acceptable manner. Therefore, a student who wishes to benefit from the receipt of financial aid funds must maintain “satisfactory progress” as defined in this policy.

Authority

The U.S. Department of Education Student Financial Aid regulations (34 CFR 668) require that institutions of higher education establish and maintain reasonable standards to measure whether students applying for financial aid are making satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion. A student who does not meet these standards is not eligible to receive federally-funded financial aid. In most instances, SIU shall make these standards applicable to all state and institutional aid programs for the purpose of maintaining a consistent and reasonable financial aid policy. However, nothing in this policy shall be construed as a reduction of external requirements by other federal, state, public, or private agencies when they award or control financial aid. Non declared graduate students are only eligible to be considered for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan during one twelve-month period while preparing for admission into a graduate degree program.

Satisfactory Progress Standards

SIU requires that a student be making “satisfactory progress” toward a degree if he or she wishes to receive financial aid funds. A graduate student is making “satisfactory progress” toward a degree if successfully meeting each of three academic standards:

  1. Minimum SIU Percentage of the Cumulative Attempted Credit Hours that must be Completed: A graduate student is expected to have completed a minimum of 67% of the cumulative attempted credit hours at SIU.
  2. Maximum Credit Hours Attempted: A graduate student enrolled in a program leading to a master’s degree is expected to complete the degree before accumulating seventy five (75) credit hours attempted, including both SIU and accepted transfer credit hours. A graduate student enrolled in a program leading to a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree is expected to complete the degree before accumulating ninety (90) credit hours attempted, including both SIU and accepted transfer credit hours. A graduate student enrolled in a program leading to a Doctoral Degree is expected to complete the degree before accumulating one hundred (100) credit hours attempted, including both SIU and accepted transfer credit hours.
  3. Minimum Grade Point Average: A graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 at the end of each spring semester and be in compliance with the University’s policy concerning academic standing, grades, and grade point average as defined under the topic “Retention” and all other provisions in the current Graduate Catalog. A graduate student who is academically suspended from the Graduate School is not making satisfactory progress.

The academic records of all aid recipients will be reviewed annually at the end of the spring semester to determine continued aid eligibility. A graduate student who does not meet any one of the three standards set forth above is not maintaining “satisfactory progress” toward a degree and will be determined ineligible for financial aid.

Notification of Status

It shall be the responsibility of the Graduate School to publish this policy and to notify by letter any graduate student who is no longer eligible to receive financial aid funds. Said notice shall be addressed to the student’s most current permanent address on file with the University. IT SHALL BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT TO INFORM THE UNIVERSITY OF A CORRECT PERMANENT ADDRESS AT ALL TIMES.

Reinstatement

Students will have their eligibility to receive financial aid reinstated after having reached the level of satisfactory progress required of them by this policy. They may achieve this status by receiving passing grades for courses previously incomplete or incorrectly recorded as withdrawals or failing grades and/or earning sufficiently more than the required percentage of completed hours.

Appeals

Any student shall have the opportunity to appeal, in writing, to explain “mitigating circumstances”. The appeal should be sent to the Graduate School, with endorsement of the student’s academic program, within 30 days of the notice of termination. The Graduate School will review the “mitigating circumstances” documented in the appeal and provide a written decision within 20 days after the receipt of the appeal. The Graduate School will provide written notification to the Financial Aid Office concerning all graduate students who have been granted an exception for mitigating circumstances.

Definitions

Attempted credit hours shall be defined as the total SIU hours for which the student has been enrolled.

Maximum credit hours attempted shall be defined as the total SIU hours for which the student has been enrolled at SIU and the total accepted transfer credit hours.

Credit hours completed shall be defined as the total number of academic credit hours which a student has completed. Failing grades, incompletes, withdrawals, audits, and remedial courses that do not count toward a degree shall not be considered as credit hours completed. Deferred grades count as credit hours completed.

Eligible students shall be defined as those students who are admitted to the Graduate School and to a specific degree program. All other students are not eligible for financial aid except for non declared graduate students who are only eligible to be considered for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan during one twelve-month period while preparing for admission into a graduate degree program.

Mitigating circumstances are the reasons that explain why the student has not met the Satisfactory Progress standards and can include medical reasons, family crisis, personal problems, or other circumstances which adversely affected student performance.

Graduate shall be defined as a student who is seeking a master’s or a doctorate degree.