Funding FAQs

Here you’ll find answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fellowships, scholarships, and financial aid at UCLA Graduate Programs.

APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT

What types of financial support are available?

Support based solely on financial need is provided, in the form of loans, grants, and—on a limited basis—work-study employment, from the Financial Aid Office. Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office at A-129 Murphy Hall, (310) 206-0400.

Support based on merit is available in the form of fellowships, traineeships, teaching assistantships, and graduate student researcher positions. These awards are open to all students—U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and international students—who have demonstrated high academic achievement. For more information, refer to the Financial Support for Entering Students or Graduate Student Financial Support on the Graduate Division website and contact your departmental graduate affairs coordinator.

What are the deadlines for applying for financial support?

The deadline for loans and work-study funding available through the Financial Aid Office is March 2. The deadline for entering graduate students to apply for other forms of support is December 15. Departments should be consulted for exceptions. The campus deadlines for enrolled graduate students to apply for fellowships varies by program. View the Graduate Student Financial Support for specific dates. Consult your department for exceptions.

How is Graduate Division funding distributed?

The Graduate Division allocates funding directly to graduate programs, which in turn select fellowship recipients through their faculty fellowship selection committees based on academic merit. Departments inform the Graduate Division of those students who have been chosen to receive awards for the next academic year, and the Graduate Division sends offers of support to those recipients. Fee and nonresident tuition fellowships are credited directly to students’ BAR accounts, and fellowship living allowances (stipends) are issued as direct deposits.

How does a student apply for extramural fellowships?

Extramural funding originates from non-UCLA sources, such as federal agencies and private  organizations. Most extramural fellowships require an application submitted directly to the sponsoring organization. Applications for some extramural fellowships are available in Fellowships Services in 1228 Murphy Hall.

The Graduate Division publishes an online guide called Graduate and Postdoctoral Extramural Support (GRAPES), which lists the more commonly sought fellowships that are available from non-UCLA sources. In addition, Fellowships Services maintains a small library of reference materials on extramural funding.

Does getting extramural funding affect a student’s support from UCLA?

Students may not hold two major awards at the same time. When a student receives extramural funding, the amount of supplementary UCLA support is usually subject to limits. Contact Fellowships Services in 1228 Murphy Hall, (310) 825-3521, for details.

Is funding available for conference travel and research expenses?

Special funds are available for registered and enrolled students for partial support of dissertation research and travel to scholarly conferences. Consult the graduate student advisor in your department or program.

AWARD DISBURSEMENT

How and when do students get their fellowship money?

Fee and tuition awards will automatically apply toward registration and tuition fees. Fellowship payments are sent to students’ local mailing addresses, held for pickup, or direct-deposited one to two weeks before the start of the fall or spring term. Winter funds are disbursed on January 1, and may take about one week to be reimbursed. Monthly payments should arrive by the first day of the month. Questions regarding fellowship check disbursement may be directed to Graduate Financial Services, 1228 Murphy Hall, (310) 825-1025.

Where should students go with questions regarding BruinBill and graduate award payments?

Graduate Financial Services at 1228 Murphy Hall will answer questions relating to BAR and disbursement of graduate award payments. BruinBill questions regarding Financial Aid awards (e.g., need-based grants) should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at A129 Murphy Hall, and questions regarding loans should be directed to the Student Loan Office at A227 Murphy Hall.

Can I view online my financial information, scheduled payments, and direct deposits?

Yes. Using MyUCLA, you can review your BruinBill; your scheduled financial aid, fellowships, remissions, and other awards; and the actual dates and amounts of your checks and direct deposits. In addition, you can check to see if you have holds on your account that are preventing the disbursement of funds, and you can ensure that all required financial documents have been completed for the Financial Aid Office and Graduate Financial Services Office.

Do students have to pay taxes on fellowships?

Fellowship stipend income is taxed differently than most other types of income you may have encountered in the past. Amounts spent on fees, tuition, or required course expenses are not taxable. However, the portion of fellowship stipend income you spend on items other than fees, tuition, and required course expenses will likely be considered taxable by the IRS. U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are California residents (for tax purposes) do not have taxes withheld from their fellowship stipend checks. Nonetheless, these individuals may be required to make estimated quarterly tax payments and to report the income on their tax returns.

Foreign students and those who live outside of California and file tax returns as California nonresidents will have state and/or federal taxes withheld directly from their checks.

Information about fellowship taxation is available in IRS Publication 520, “Scholarships and Fellowships,” available for download from the IRS website. Another IRS publication available from the same website offers information on paying estimated tax when your residency status does not permit the tax to be withheld directly from your check: Publication 505, “Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.”

Who can answer tax questions concerning fellowships?

Students are advised to retain “Offer of Graduate Student Support” agreements, fellowship and traineeship offer letters, BruinBill monthly statements, payroll wage stubs, and other documents and receipts related to fellowship stipends and course expenses.

View Tax Information and Forms for UCLA Award Recipients information about UCLA fellowship tax withholding and reporting.

ACADEMIC APPRENCTICE PERSONNEL

What are the responsibilities of a teaching assistant or graduate student researcher?

TAs supervise assignments in small discussion and lab sections of undergraduate courses. GSRs assist faculty members with scholarly research and may or may not collaborate in the publication of research results. For more information view the Academic Apprentice Personnel Manual.

Are academic apprentice appointees eligible for benefits?

Academic apprentice appointees are eligible for fee deferrals, medical insurance, fee remissions, and TA Advance Loan checks. For details on these benefits consult the Academic Apprentice Personnel Manual.

What are the requirements apprentices must meet to receive fee remissions?

The following standards must be met in order for students to receive apprentice fee remissions: (1) Students must register and enroll by the third week of the quarter (registration and enrollment must also be maintained throughout the quarter); (2) appointment(s) must total 25% time or more for the quarter; (3) students must work hours equivalent to 25% time in apprentice titles in a given quarter (usually 106-110 hours); (4) students are expected to enroll in at least 12 units to receive health insurance and fee remissions. In addition, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to be appointed as an apprentice and may not work more than 12 quarters as a TA or more than 18 quarters in all apprentice titles combined.

Where can I find more information on academic apprentice opportunities?

Anticipated student employee openings for academic year are available online on the Academic Student Employees (ASE) Appointment Opportunities page.