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Graduate College Fellowships (GCF)

At a glance
Amount Awarded: 
$500 or more
Funding Type: 
Cash Award/Stipend
By Nomination
Eligibility Category: 
All Graduate Students

The Graduate College allocates need-based fellowship cash awards to academic units through the respective academic dean's office to recruit and retain top international or domestic graduate students. Interested students should contact the academic unit to inquire about the availability of these awards.


To be eligible for consideration of an award, the student must:

  • Be admitted to a graduate degree granting academic unit,
  • Be enrolled full time according to current academic policy, (select Academic Year>Catalog Index>Full Time Student Status)
  • Be in good academic standing,
  • Have an admitting or cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, and
  • Demonstrate sufficient need.

Instructions for Graduate Students

Funds reside at the academic unit. Students should contact the academic unit for application instructions. Funds are need based and require that all awarded graduate students, domestic and international, demonstrate a level of need as follows:

  • Domestic Graduate Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before any funds will be disbursed. Completed FAFSA information may be located through UAccess Student, Student Center Services, under the financial aid tab.

Information for Academic Units

  • Ensure that all Domestic Students have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This must be completed before any funds will be disbursed to the students account. Academic units may view completed FAFSA information through UAccess Student, Student Center Services, under the financial aid tab.
  • Ensure that all International Students have correctly completed and submitted the Financial Need Calculation for International Student form (making sure to include the required screenshot) to the academic unit’s graduate coordinator. This must be completed before any funds will be disbursed to the students account. The academic unit is then responsible for forwarding the information to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) for review per the instructions on the form with a copy to Julie Treanor, This is the only document source to show need and will be electronically housed within OSFA and not on UAccess.
  • The minimum award for Graduate College Fellowships is $500 per student.
  • Full year awards are strongly recommended to allow the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to coordinate all aid for the academic year.
  • Awards are processed using UAccess Student, External Awards. Please use the item type associated with the college name under account 2790050.
  • Notify Julie Treanor or Dorian Voorhees to approve the award(s) by entering treanorj or voorhees in the “Email Notification” Approver Opid section.
  • Reports are available in UAccess Analytics to support academic units in tracking awards.
  • Funds do not roll over from year to year and must be used by June 1 of current fiscal year.


Why are Graduate College Fellowships need based?

Graduate College Fellowships are primarily funded by tuition set aside funds through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.  The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) requires that all tuition set aside funds be need-based. Please refer to policy 4-321 D2a,c.

Is there a way to know if a student shows need?

Fed Year CoA (Cost of Attendance) – Prorated EFC (Estimate Family Contribution) = Need. Students that do not have the aid year showing on the screen, or the aid year is showing on the screen but they are missing the CoA, will have a problem with their account. Students with high EFC should check their FAFSA to make sure they completed it correctly.  An appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor is recommended if there are any questions or concerns.

What if the student does not show enough need?

The student should file a budget and/or resource re-evaluation with OSFA (scroll to forms for students). Student budgets are set based on very generic formulae. A budget re-evaluation may be necessary if the student has children, a mortgage, or expenses for other extenuating circumstances. A resource re-evaluation may also be necessary if prior levels of income will no longer be available. For example, a domestic student’s need is calculated on the prior year’s taxes. If he or she were working at that time then the need calculation may show a false sense of income now that the student is a full time graduate student. The budget re-evaluation form may apply to international students in the same situation. Large awards may need to be split into fall, spring, and summer disbursements. Summer awards may require summer enrollment per ABOR and the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Do the forms need to be filed each academic year?

Yes. Need is calculated on the previous year’s income which may change from year to year.

Is there an example?

Yes. Below is an example of a domestic student who has filed the FAFSA as shown in UAccess Student. Please note that domestic students who have not filed a FAFSA will have no Fed Year COA (Cost of Education).  This is the estimated amount that cannot be exceeded with need-based aid.  Students that show no need will not be eligible for Graduate College Fellowship awards. Awards made to students with no FAFSA or international need form on file will not disburse.

GCF Example


Students should contact the Graduate Coordinator or Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in the respective academic unit for award availability and deadlines.

For questions that are not addressed here, please contact Julie Treanor at (520) 621-5193 or Dorian Voorhees at (520) 626-6908.