Jacob K. Javits Fellowships Program

   Current Section  FAQs
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Frequently Asked Questions

| Eligibility | Financial Need | Application Preparation |
| Questions from Fellows | Questions from Javits Coordinators |

Eligibility:

  1. I already have a master's degree in an eligible field of study. Am I eligible to apply for a Javits fellowship to support my doctoral study in that field?
    Yes, you are eligible to apply, provided that at the time of application you have not completed a full year of graduate study beyond the master's degree.
  2. I already have a Ph.D. (or a terminal master's degree) but not in an eligible field of study. Am I eligible to apply if I am entering a doctoral program for the first time in an eligible field of study?
    Yes.
  3. I had a Javits fellowship in past years, but I did not complete my Ph.D. before it ended. Am I eligible to apply for another fellowship?
    No.
  4. Am I eligible if I am already enrolled in my first year of graduate school?
    Yes, you are eligible if at the time of application you have not completed your first year of graduate school and are pursuing the terminal degree awarded in one of the eligible fields of study.
  5. My institution offers a master's degree in an eligible field, but not a Ph.D. Since they do not offer a doctoral program, can I get funding to pursue a master's degree in this field?
    No. The Javits Fellowship Program offers funding for students pursuing doctoral studies in eligible fields. The only exceptions to this are certain Fine Arts programs in which no Ph.D. is offered nationwide. As long as Ph.D. programs in your field exist, a master's degree is not considered the terminal degree and is not eligible for funding.
  6. My institution offers a master's degree in an eligible field, but not a Ph.D. Can I use the Javits Fellowship to get a master's degree at my school and transfer later to a Ph.D. granting program at another institution?
    Yes, however there can be no interruption between completion of the master's degree and entrance into a Ph.D. program. At the time of application you must clearly indicate that you are pursuing a Ph.D.
  7. Are social work and clinical psychology eligible fields of study?
    No. The Javits Fellowship program does not support any degrees that lead to professional clinical practice.
  8. What are the citizenship eligibility requirements for the Javits program?
    With regard to citizenship requirements, applicants are eligible to apply for the Javits fellowship if they are:
    • Citizens of the United States;
    • Permanent residents;
    • In the United States for other than a temporary purpose and can provide documentation from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service establishing their intention to become permanent residents; and
    • Citizens of any of the Freely Associated States.
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Financial Need:

  1. How is financial need determined in the Javits Fellowship Program?
    Your financial need is determined according to Part F of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Each student applicant must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The information provided on this form will be used to calculate your financial need. A student who demonstrates no financial need is not eligible for a Javits fellowship.
  2. In determining my level of financial need, is my parent's financial information included in calculating my Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?
    No. Students entering graduate school are automatically considered independent in the federal student aid processing system.
  3. I am currently receiving financial aid in the form of federal student loans. Payment on the loans is not overdue. Am I eligible to apply for the Javits Fellowship?
    Yes, you are eligible to apply. The Javits Fellowship application package includes a certification that you are not in default on federal student loans.
  4. The FAFSA requires financial information from the just-ended tax year for which I will not receive my W-2 until after January 31. What should I do about filing the FAFSA by the January 31 deadline?
    The FAFSA allows for students to estimate their income and taxes. You can calculate income and taxes from pay stubs in order to form an estimate. If you filed a tax return and had similar employment, you can also use the previous year's tax figures to form an estimate.
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Application Preparation:

  1. Is there enough time before the application deadline date to take the GRE General Test?
    The GRE is offered year-round at computer-based test centers around the U.S. For information regarding GRE registration and testing on specific dates at specific locations, please access the Web site at http://www.gre.org.
  2. I haven't received my GRE scores/transcripts/letters of recommendation yet, and the deadline date is fast approaching. What should I do?
    The application instructions clearly state that all required materials must be included in your application package. The applicant is responsible for collecting the required information in time for the deadline. If your application does not include the required materials, it will not be reviewed.
  3. Can I ask the Educational Testing Service to send my GRE scores directly to the Department of Education?
    No. We cannot accept or insert extraneous materials into your application package. All required materials must be submitted with your application.
  4. Must the Department of Education receive the application by the deadline date?
    The application must be postmarked by the deadline date, and must include all required materials. Please see the Instructions for Transmitting Applications in the application booklet for details.
  5. Must I submit GRE test scores even if the GRE is not required to gain admission to the academic program at my university?
    Yes. These scores are used to evaluate your application. If you do not include your GRE scores with your application, your application will not be reviewed.
  6. Can I send my supporting arts materials in formats other than those described in the application (e.g., zip disk, URLs)?
    No. Please send materials only in the formats specified in the application.
  7. Do average or mediocre GRE scores put a student out of the running for a Javits fellowship, despite other impressive academic accomplishments?
    No. The GRE scores by themselves will not eliminate an applicant from the competition. While the GRE scores are considered, they do not carry the heaviest weight. The applicant must have other qualities to support their candidacy -- clear vision and purpose demonstrated in the personal statement, evidence of depth and breadth in the field of study as demonstrated in the transcript, and honors/awards or other activities related to the field, including those that show leadership. The letters of recommendation are also extremely important in supporting the applicant. Reviewers consider all of these factors.
  8. What should I do if the office at my school that sends out letters of recommendation will not give the letters to me for inclusion in my application and insists on mailing them directly to you?
    Extraneous letters of recommendation will not be accepted. All required materials must be submitted with your application. We suggest that you request letters of recommendation from professors who agree to provide them directly to you a timely manner.
  9. When are new fellowship awards announced?
    The Department of Education must announce new awards by March 1 of the academic year proceeding the academic year for which the fellowship is awarded.
  10. How are applicants notified of their status?
    Successful applicants are notified by telephone and later receive a letter containing further instructions. The Department of Education mails unsuccessful applicants and alternate candidates a letter informing them of their status.
  11. When will alternates be notified if they were selected for a fellowship?
    Alternates selected for a fellowship are usually telephoned by early August with a fellowship offer. All awards must be made by September 30th.
  12. Could the Javits fellowship be used at an institution outside the U.S?
    No. Grants may be made only to accredited institutions in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands and the Freely Associated States (the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau).
  13. Do the transcripts/GRE scores I send with my application have to be original or official versions of these documents?
    Not necessarily. You may send copies of the official versions of these documents as long as they are legible. You may not send copies of transcripts or GREs downloaded off of the Internet, including the institution's Web page.
  14. Must I use a particular method of transmitting my application to the Department of Education?
    No. There are several acceptable methods that are described in the Instructions for Transmitting Applications in the application booklet. However, because the U.S. Postal Service regularly irradiates letters and packages for security reasons, which often results in the process destroying or rendering unreadable CDs, DVDs, slides and other media, the program office strongly encourages student applicants sending supporting arts materials to use an alternative transmittal method, such as a private shipping or courier service, to transmit their applications.
  15. If I send supporting arts materials via the U.S. Postal Service, and they are damaged by radiation, will the program office contact me to send a replacement?
    No. The program office used to provide this supplementary service to student applicants; however growing numbers of damaged media in recent years now preclude this. Student applicants who send supporting arts materials via the U.S. Postal Service do so at their own risk.
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Questions from Fellows:

  1. How is the stipend disbursed to fellows?
    Your university will set the disbursement schedule for your stipend. Stipend disbursement must be at least once every academic term. Rules governing stipend disbursal are found in the program regulations, 34 CFR Section 650.43. Please contact the Javits Coordinator at your university with any questions regarding stipend disbursal.
  2. Is the Javits Fellowship subject to Federal income tax?
    Yes; see IRS Publication 970, Scholarships and Fellowships at http://www.irs.gov.
  3. How do I renew my fellowship for next year?
    The Javits Coordinator at your school will submit a request on your behalf to the U.S. Department of Education prior to each year of your fellowship. Your school will request fellowship funds based on an annual filing/update of your FAFSA. You must submit the FAFSA every year and any other required renewal information to your school upon request.
  4. What other yearly reporting is required of Javits fellows?
    For every year of the fellowship, Javits fellows must complete and submit an Annual Student Activities Report. This report must be submitted prior to the U.S. Department of Education's awarding of funds for continuing fellowships. This report is completed and submitted online, and involves a brief description of the fellow's activities throughout the funding year.
  5. How do I request an Interruption of Study?
    Fellowship recipients may take one Interruption of Study during the fellowship period, for the purposes of work, travel or independent study; illness of the recipient or the recipient’s immediate family (spouse, parent or child); or active military service. The duration of the Interruption of Study must be not more than 12 months, or in the case of active military service, for the duration of the tour of duty. Fellowship recipients will not receive a stipend during the Interruption of Study. The Interruption of Study may not be taken in the first year of the fellowship. The student must complete and submit a Request of Interruption of Study form to the Javits Coordinator at their institution. This form can be found on the Resources page of our Web site.
  6. How do I transfer my fellowship to another institution?
    The student must complete and submit a Request for Institutional Transfer form to the Javits Coordinator at their institution. The Javits Coordinator submits the form to the U.S. Department of Education. The Department of Education contacts the new institution to obtain an agreement to comply with the provisions of the fellowship. Upon receipt of a signed agreement, the Department of Education arranges for the transfer of funds to correspond with enrollment at the new institution.
  7. How do I get approved for part-time work?
    The student must complete and submit a Request for Part-Time Work form to the Javits Coordinator at their institution. The fellow must meet the conditions of 34 CFR 650.34 of the program regulations in order to make the request. The Javits Coordinator signs and submits the request to the U.S. Department of Education for approval. The Department of Education returns the approved form to the institution.
  8. Where can I access the forms for Interruption of Study, Request for Institutional Transfer, and Request for Part-Time Work?
    These forms may be downloaded from the Resources page on our Web site.
  9. Who can I contact at my university regarding the Javits program?
    Contact the Javits Coordinator. If you do not know who the Javits Coordinator is, please contact your Education Department program officers for that information.
  10. Who can I contact at the Education Department regarding my Javits fellowship?
    Contact the program officer: Carmen Gordon at (202) 453-7311 or carmen.gordon@ed.gov.
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Questions from Javits Coordinators:

  1. Is it true that regardless of how many credit hours a student takes, an institution with Javits fellows must cover the cost of courses taken over a 12-month period?
    Yes. The institution agrees at the beginning of the grant to accept the institutional payment in lieu of tuition and fees normally charged to students in the same academic program. The student may not be charged for tuition and fees not covered by the institutional payment.
  2. Are new or continuing fellows allowed to receive an "advance" on the grant from their institution?
    The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) permits "pre-award costs," in Section 74.24(e)(1) which allows a grantee to incur preaward costs up to 90 days prior to award at the institution's risk. It is up to the institution to decide whether or not to advance the funds to a fellow before the official start date of the fellowship.
  3. How are continuing Javits fellowships awarded?
    Each year the institution must complete the Report of Financial Need and Certification to request fellowship funds for continuing fellows. This form requests information on each fellow regarding his or her financial need, stipend request for the next academic year (depending on need), institutional payment, unused funds in the current year, acceptable academic progress, etc. As a condition of their fellowships, continuing fellows must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year and submit the results to their universities, which use this information to determine each fellow's financial need. Funds for fellows are sent in the form of a grant to the institution.
  4. How do I calculate the maximum stipend for which the fellows qualify?
    A Javits fellow qualifies for an annual stipend equal to his or her financial need as determined by Title IV Part F of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, or $30,000, whichever is less. A student who demonstrates no financial need is not eligible for a Javits fellowship.
  5. How must the institution disburse the fellow's stipend?
    The institution administering the fellowship on behalf of the Department of Education determines how the stipend is disbursed. Most institutions do a semester disbursement or a monthly disbursement. Rules governing stipend disbursal are found in the program regulations, 34 CFR 650.43.
  6. Are stipends disbursed over the summer?
    Sometimes. Fellows sometimes do research or other independent study over the summer using the Javits monthly stipend payment (the stipend might be disbursed over a 12-month period in this case). Otherwise, fellows get some other type of support over the summer including employment (the stipend might be disbursed over the nine months of the academic year in this case). However, any earned income may affect the student's financial need and therefore the next year's stipend.
  7. May a new fellow request an Interruption of Study in the first year of the fellowship?
    No. Interruptions of Study may not be taken in the first year of the fellowship. This requirement can be found in the Javits regulations section 650.34 (d), "What conditions must be met by fellows?"
  8. I would like to request application booklets for our students. Is it possible to have them mailed to me?
    No. The Javits application is available on our Web site at http://www.ed.gov/programs/jacobjavits/applicant.html. Javits competitions are held annually, and a new application will be provided on this site for each fiscal year's competition. Please visit our Web site to access the application and all related competition announcements.
  9. Do average or mediocre GRE scores put a student out of the running for a Javits fellowship, despite other impressive academic accomplishments?
    No. The GRE scores by themselves will not eliminate an applicant from the competition. While the GRE scores are considered, they do not carry the heaviest weight. The applicant must have other qualities to support their candidacy - clear vision and purpose demonstrated in the personal statement, evidence of depth and breadth in the field of study as demonstrated in the transcript, and honors/awards or other activities related to the field, including those that show leadership. The letters of recommendation are also extremely important in supporting the applicant. Reviewers consider all of these factors.
  10. One of my Javits fellows would like to study for one semester at a foreign institution. They will not be transferring to the foreign institution, but will still be enrolled at their home institution during this time. Is this permissible?
    Yes. Fellows may attend/participate in programs or internships abroad as long as they are engaged in study or research in the field in which the fellowship was awarded and remain enrolled at their home institution.
  11. Is a student's financial need calculated according to a nine-month academic year or a 12-month year?
    A 12-month needs calculation is allowable provided that the student is enrolled over the summer months. Summer enrollment could be independent study or research if required classes are not available.
  12. One of our Javits fellows has indicated that she will be transferring to another university in the fall. What do we need to do at this point?
    Please ask any student who plans to transfer to another institution to complete a copy of the Request for Institutional Transfer Form and submit it through you to the Department of Education. The form can be printed from our Resources page. This serves as an official notice to the institution that the student will not continue the fellowship there, and as a notice for us to remove the student from one school's cohort, add the student to another school's cohort. Please remind the student to submit the FAFSA and all other relevant information to both institutions. This information may be used to complete or revise the report of financial need for that year.
  13. If a Javits fellow is transferring from another institution to mine, do I need that student's FAFSA information?
    Yes. The student should submit the FAFSA and all other relevant information to the receiving institution. This information is required to complete or revise the report of financial need for that year.
  14. How do grade reports indicating "Incomplete" coursework affect a Javits fellow?
    An "Incomplete" only affects a Javits fellow if it results in a determination of unsatisfactory progress at your institution. A Javits fellow must make satisfactory progress based on the institution's standards and definition in order to continue the fellowship.
  15. If a student is graduating at the end of this academic year, should I request a FAFSA form from them?
    No. That fellow's financial need will not have to be calculated for the upcoming academic year because he will be graduating. Remember to indicate any "Unused Funds" on the Report of Financial Need and Certification.
  16. I need to know who my new and continuing fellows will be for the next academic year. Do you have this information? Can you send me the names of the newly selected Javits fellows?
    The program office must complete the official grant award notification documents before it can send you an official list of fellows. Continuing fellows are determined by the information submitted by the institution in the Report of Financial Need and Certification. New fellows are determined by the results of that year's competition and will be funded under a new grant. New Javits fellows receive a letter acknowledging their selection as fellows and are advised to contact their institutions.
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Last Modified: 05/19/2016