Financial Supplementation of External Fellowships

Cornell University Graduate School strongly encourages students to apply for external fellowships and grants. These may be offered by government agencies, private foundations, or corporations, and may provide one year or multiple years of support.

To encourage doctoral students, in particular, to compete for external awards, the Graduate School may be able to provide top-off supplementation to bring an award to the minimum academic year stipend. If the following criteria are met, the Graduate School will coordinate supplementation of the stipend to the academic year TA rate, individual health insurance, and tuition.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Students must be research degree students in good academic standing.
  • The award is external to Cornell; has been won by the student’s own initiative; and is open to multiple disciplines or fields.
  • The award provides an amount equal to at least half of the cost of TA stipend and health insurance.  (In some cases with prior permission, specific awards in support of diversity may not be required to meet this financial threshold).
  • Fellowship top-off is not available to master’s students after the eighth registered semester or Ph.D. students after the 14th registered semester.
  • Students must apply for top-off in the same year that the fellowship is won. A top-off cannot be applied retroactively.

Additional information:

  • Awards that cover a 12-month period will be prorated to a nine-month standard.
  • Awards that come in a “lump sum” will be apportioned to cover a percentage each of stipend, tuition, and health insurance.
  • Awards that are funded in a foreign currency will be calculated using the published currency exchange rate on June 1 of that year.
  • Supplementation is calculated by considering all awards granted for the academic year.  If additional awards are granted after the initial calculation, supplementation amounts are recalculated.

For questions regarding this program, please contact