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SEAS Graduate Student Aid FAQs

In addition to the SEAS Graduate Student Aid FAQs below, please also see the SEAS Student Questions Triage (PDF)SEAS Prospective Student Funding and Scholarship Page and the Harvard GSAS FAQs for answers to additional questions. 

 

 

Tuition FAQs

Q: What is covered by my PhD scholarship?

A: Scholarships cover tuition, the health center fee, and the student health insurance.

 

Q: I received my bill and I don't see my scholarship, where is it? 

A: Scholarships are typically added between the date the bills are released and the date the bills are due. If your bill will be due in a couple days and you still do not see your scholarship, please reach out to the Graduate Financial Aid Analyst.

Stipend FAQ

Q: When are stipends paid? 

A: Stipends are paid on the first of the month. If the first day of the month is a weekend or holiday, the stipend will be paid on the last business day before the first of the month. 

 

Q: I didn't get paid when I thought I was supposed to get paid, what should I do? 

A: For the majority of students, in June after your first year your payments will switch from a stipend (paid at the beginning of the month) to a research assistantship (paid in the middle of the month). If this situation does not apply to you or you have any other questions, please reach out to the Graduate Financial Aid Analyst.

Research Assistantships FAQ

Q: I didn't get paid when I thought I was supposed to get paid, what should I do? 

A: For the majority of students, in June after your first year your payments will switch from a stipend (paid at the beginning of the month) to a research assistantship (paid in the middle of the month). If this situation does not apply to you or you have any other questions, please reach out to the Graduate Financial Aid Analyst.

 

Q: I'm going to be away on an internship over the summer. How will this affect my Research Assistantship payments?

A: Students who are away on an internship will be put on funding leave until they return to resume their Research Assistantship. Internships should be reported on the yearly advising agreement whenever possible, and students should update the Office of Academic Programs and the Graduate Financial Aid Analyst if they receive an internship after submitting the advising agreement.

External Fellowships FAQ

Q: Where can I find more information about applying for external fellowships? 

A: Please see the SEAS Prospective Student Funding and Scholarship Page and the GSAS website on fellowships

 

Q: I received an external fellowship, how will this affect my funding? 

A: The Graduate Financial Aid Analyst will review the fellowship terms and determine how, if at all, the fellowship will affect your SEAS funding. Typical fellowships do not cover the full SEAS salary; in these cases, you will receive a supplement to bring your monthly pay to the full SEAS salary. 

 

Q: When will I receive my bonus for receiving an external fellowship? 

A: Students who receive open, competitive external fellowships that comprise at least 50% of their total support (stipend, tuition, and fees) will receive a one-time award of $3,000. Students who receive open, competitive external fellowships comprising less than 50% of their total support will receive a one-time award of $1,000. These awards are typically paid during the Fall semester (October-November) following receipt and commencement of the external fellowship. 

Taxes FAQ

Q: Will taxes be withheld from my stipend? 

A: For US tax residents: Income taxes are typically not withheld by the University for stipend payments. IRS Publication 970 provides details regarding tax reporting for stipends. 

    For non-US tax residents: Please consult the Harvard International Office or the Office of the Controller's Nonresident Alien Tax Compliance page for more detailed information. You may also wish to consult IRS Publication 519.

 

Q: Are fellowships subject to FICA?

A: Fellowship amounts are subject to FICA only if they are deemed to be “wages” for employment tax purposes. Whether fellowships are wages is an inherently factual determination, requiring consideration of all relevant facts and circumstances of the program.

http://oc.finance.harvard.edu/faq/are-fellowships-subject-fica

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/student-exception-to-fica-tax

 

Q: Will taxes be withheld from my Research Assistantship or Teaching Fellowship?

A: Income from Research Assistantships and Teaching Fellowships will be reported to the IRS and will appear in your yearly tax documents from the University.

 

Q: What are my responsibilities for taxes? 

A: Harvard employees are not able to provide specific tax advice and suggest that students consult a professional accountant or attorney with any individual questions. 

 

Q: Are there any other Harvard University resources? 

A: The Student Financial Services website contains additional information regarding taxes