Academic Requirements for Financial Assistance
Financial assistance will only be granted to fully-admitted, full-time, degree-seeking, graduate students who are in good academic standing. Full-time graduate students must enroll for at least nine (9) graduate hours each semester, except in the summer semester when a full load is six (6) semester hours.
Undergraduate courses will not be included for determining a student’s full-time status. The student’s cumulative graduate GPA must never fall below 3.0, and there can be no grade below “B” in required courses. In addition, the student must be making satisfactory progress toward the degree by successfully completing at least nine credit hours each semester. Fellowship recipients may also receive matriculation fee waivers, and those from outside Florida may receive an out-of-state assistantship waiver, if funds are available.
Financial Awards Eligibility Policy
There are several funding possibilities on the graduate level (i.e. federal loans, agency fellowships, University funding, etc.). Each item below details appropriate measures to take in allocating funds in different financial situations for graduate students.
* Receiving University-based funding & funding from an external source.
* Receiving University funding or federal loans, but has been awarded funding from multiple external sources, with no stipulations from either source prohibiting holding concurrent fellowships.
* Receiving federal loans and funding from external sources.
* Receiving University-based funding and federal loans.
* Fellowship/Grant Application Submission
A student is receiving University-based funding & funding from an external source.
Funds at the University are insufficient to provide fellowships to all worthy students. Therefore, we strongly encourage students to apply for outside funds. If, while receiving University-based funding, a student receives funds from an outside source (i.e., a National Science Foundation, Pfizer, Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need or Javitz Fellowships), the student will be required to accept that award, which will run concurrently with the University-based award. The total amount of funds that a student can be awarded will be based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) calculations. The University based award may be reduced if the total funding from all sources exceed the gross financial need as determined by FAFSA.
For example, Student A may find, after filling out the FAFSA form, that their gross financial need is $22, 500. Student A has received a fellowship from the GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Program) totaling $16,600. Student A also has been awarded a University-based fellowship totaling $9,000. This would equal a total of $25,600 and would exceed the student’s financial need of $22,500 by $3,100. If the student accepts the GAANN award, it would be necessary to reduce the $9,000 University-based fellowship to $5,900 so that the total of the GAANN and University fellowship will not exceed the $22,500 FAFSA calculation.
A student is not receiving University funding or federal loans, but has been awarded funding from multiple external sources, with no stipulations from either source prohibiting holding concurrent fellowships.
A student who has taken the initiative to apply for funding from various external sources may have her/his efforts rewarded by receiving awards from two or more of those sources.
In most cases, individual funding institutions have very specific guidelines that restrict a recipient from concurrently holding another award, fellowship or assistantship. However, in rare cases, no restrictions or limitations are imposed. If a student has been awarded funding from two or more sources, and neither source has restrictions about holding co-existing awards, then the student is allowed by the University to receive all awards.
To ensure that the financial needs of other students are met, the University deems a student ineligible for receipt of University-based funds if the total amount of the awards received from the multiple outside sources exceeds her/his gross financial need as determined by FAFSA calculations. The amount of federal loans a student is eligible for is also affected by the total amount of outside funding the student receives. The amount of federal loans is also affected if the agency or institution granting the funds is federally affiliated.
A student is receiving federal loans and funding from external sources.
Graduate students may borrow money from the federal government to help pay for their educational expenses. However, the federal government has imposed restrictions on the amount of loans that a graduate student may apply for annually. There are also certain criteria which must be met in order for a graduate student to receive federal loans.
Furthermore, the government uses a formula to determine eligibility for a loan. The information a student must place on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid, attainable at the Financial Aid office or at www.fafsa.ed.gov) is applied in the formula to determine need and the amount the government will lend. All of this information is available in the Student Guide to University Financial Aid, which can be retrieved from the Financial Aid Office, the Department of Education or at:
If a student is receiving funding from an outside source(s) (i.e. National Science Foundation, Pfizer, or Javitz), and wishes to apply for a federal loan, s/he must fill out a FAFSA form. The amount of loan the student is eligible for will be determined by the award amount and various other factors, such as marital status, and number of dependents.
A student is receiving University-based funding and federal loans.
Again, graduate students may borrow money from the federal government to help pay for their educational expenses, with the understanding that such funding comes with restrictions.
A student receiving University funding may also be eligible for federal loans. The amount of the loan is determined by need, based on the formula used on the FAFSA form. For example, if the FAFSA calculations show that Student B has a gross financial need of $20,000, and the University is giving the student $9,000 in funding, then the student should be eligible for $11,000 in loans. For more information, the student should contact the Financial Aid Office, 101 Foote-Hilyer, (850) 599-3730
Fellowship/Grant Application Submission
Each graduate student receiving or seeking funding from the University, is strongly encouraged to put forth at least one effort to obtain funding from an agency external to the University. As an incentive to seek outside funding, a student, who applies for and receives a grant exceeding the amount of funds s/he is receiving from the University, will be able to keep 50% of the University-based monies provided that the collective funds do not exceed FAFSA limits and that there are no prohibitive stipulations in the grant or fellowship.
Generally, applications to external foundations are due early in the FALL semester for funding for the next academic year. Faculty and department heads are encouraged to provide graduate students assistance with producing outstanding and competitive fellowship and grant applications. Where possible, the School of Graduate Studies and Research will provide grant/fellowship writing workshops, as well as a “Selected List of Fellowships,” and examples of successful proposals.