GENERAL FUND SUPPORT AND GRANT IN AID FUNDING FOR GRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS
Last Revision: 04/27/2017

General Fund Support and Grant in Aid Funding for Graduate Fellowships

Table of Contents:


Use of Google Chrome Required

NOTE: Google Chrome must be used to access the GURU website and for completing and/or downloading fill-and-print forms. Firefox, Internet Explorer, and/or Microsoft Edge browsers do not support all features required for PDF fill-and-print form functionality. Substitutes for an approved University official form (created using a different browser or scanned copies) will be returned with the request to use the Chrome version of the form.

Purpose:

The General Fund Support/Grant-in-Aid (GIA) forms are used to request approval to utilize University funds to supplement externally-funded graduate student fellowships in situations when awards from outside agencies fall short of standard graduate support packages.

Application Form GF1 - Grant-in-Aid Tuition Support for External Graduate Fellowship should be submitted to request use of GIAs.

Application Form GF2 - General Funds Support for External Graduate Fellowship should be submitted to request use of other General Funds.

Should a unit wish to provide supplemental support (GIAs and other General Funds) to fellowship recipients for situations not covered in the GF1 and GF2 forms, e.g., institutional support for training grants (that falls outside Policy RAG52 Central Matching Funds Program for Research Assistantships/Traineeship Programs) or internal fellowships from non-endowed funds, please utilized GF3 (and the supplemental EXCEL spreadsheet) to describe the situation and rational for using Grant-in-Aid and/or other General Funds.

Application Form GF3A - General Funds Support for Graduate Fellowships

Application Form GF3B - General Funds Use Request for Fellowship Stipend and/or Tuition Funding

General Information:

A General Funds Grant-in-Aid may be used to support tuition for a Fulbright Fellow at any stipend funding level if the unit has sufficient GIA available.

A General Funds Grant-in-Aid may be used as tuition support for externally-awarded fellowships appointed through SIMBA, in accordance with the following conditions:

  • The external fellowship is prestigious and competitively awarded by a bona fide sponsor, e.g., U.S. state or federal agency, 501(c)(3) or other recognized foundation, or Fortune 500 company, Non-competitive foreign government support of international students does not qualify. Foreign fellowships that meet the following criteria will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine true competitiveness and confirm legitimacy.
  • The stipend afforded in the outside award is at a level equal to or higher than a Grade 12, 1/2 time assistantship.
  • Tuition is not fully supported by the funding agency.
  • The award source is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School or their designee.
  • The unit has sufficient Grant-in-Aid available to cover the commitment.

Other General Funds may not be used to fund fellowship tuition or stipends unless written exception is obtained from the Graduate School and the Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance. Insurance subsidies can be covered in accordance with Graduate School Policy GSAD-907 Graduate Fellows and Graduate Trainees.

Exhibit and Instructions:

These forms have fill-and-print form fields and digital ID (signature) fields enabled. The PDF version has instructions provided for the type and/or format of information to be included within the fill-and-print form fields. Hovering the computer mouse over any form field within the PDF will display these instructions. See Converting Web-based Documents to PDF Documents for details. See Applying Digital ID on PDFs for instructions on adding signatures.

For step-by-step instructions on completing the Grant-in-Aid forms, click on links belows:

Application Form GF1 - Grant-in-Aid Tuition Support for External Graduate Fellowship Exhibit

Application Form GF2 - General Funds Support for External Graduate Fellowship Exhibit

Application Form GF3A - General Funds Support for Graduate Fellowships Exhibit

Application Form GF3B - General Fund Use Request for Fellowship Stipend and/or Tuition Funding Exhibit (see EXCEL spreadsheet for details on completing this form)

Form Requirements:

No form may be used that substitutes for an approved official University form without prior review and approval by the steward of the form/central office, as facilitated by the Office of Systems and Procedures (designated representative of the Associate Vice President for Finance). See Policy FN17 Required Use of Approved University Forms Appearing in the General University Reference Utility (GURU) for full details.

GURU PDF forms are designed for use with Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro. Each browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc) has a built-in PDF viewer making it the default PDF viewer without asking users. These built-in viewers do not necessarily support all features required for PDF Forms. Similarly, many calculations are not supported by other stand-alone PDF readers (for example, Nuance). If you experience problems downloading or opening documents, right click on the link on the Forms Locator Screen, select 'Save Link As' (or similar language) and save the file. The document can then be opened in either Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro from the saved location.

The latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for free. Contact your IT support staff person for downloading assistance, if/as needed. An Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) account is also available to all Penn State students, faculty, and staff members, at no cost. Sign up for an Adobe Creative Cloud account at adobe.psu.edu. If Adobe Acrobat Pro better suits your needs, contact your IT support staff person for purchasing and installation assistance.

Accessing GURU Forms:

GURU PDF forms are designed for use with Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro. Each browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, etc) has a built-in PDF viewer making it the default PDF viewer without asking users. These built-in viewers do not necessarily support all features required for PDF forms. Similarly, many calculations are not supported by other stand-alone PDF readers (for examples, Nuance). It has been brought to the attention of the Office of Systems and Procedures that PDF forms do not function appropriately when accessed using Firefox and/or Microsoft Edge.

The latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for free. Contact your IT support staff person for downloading assistance, if/as needed. If Adobe Acrobat Pro better suits your needs, contact your IT support staff person for purchasing and installation assistance.

Web-based Documents:

Clicking the form download icon on any of the form instruction pages on GURU will open a web-based version of the form. While it appears to have fill-and-print fields available, not all functionality may be available for use (i.e. digital ID fields). With some exceptions (see below), it will be necessary to convert these web-based documents to PDF documents.

Converting Web-based Documents to PDF Documents:

In order to have a version with all PDF capabilities enabled, click the "Fill & Sign in Acrobat" or "Open with Acrobat" icon located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. This icon must be clicked before entering any information. A new versions of the document will open. Complete this version and save the document in a location where you will be able to locate it.

If, upon opening the PDF in Google Chrome, the Fill & Sign in Acrobat icon does not appear in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, it will be necessary to enable Adobe Acrobat extension. Please visit Enable Adobe Acrobat extension for Google Chrome for instructions to enable Adobe Acrobat extension.

Exceptions:

Combining PDF Documents:

There may be times when it is necessary to combine multiple PDF documents into a single document for submission. In those instances, complete the following steps:

  • Click on the appropriate form in GURU
  • Complete the fill-and-print boxes on the web-based form
  • Click the printer icon located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
  • Change Destination to Microsoft Print to PDF using the drop-down arrow
  • Click Print at the bottom of that panel
  • Enter a file name in the box at the bottom of the pop-up window and be sure to select a location where you will be able to relocate the document
  • Click Save

Repeat this process for each document that will be combined (each file name must be different from the previous)

  • Now, open one of the completed PDF documents and on the far right select combine files
  • Click Add Files and select the files to be combined
  • Click Combine

Applying Digital ID's on PDF's (general instructions):

This form has the Digital ID (applying an electronic signature to the document) process enabled. If, upon opening the PDF in Google Chrome, the following does not appear in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, it will be necessary to enable Adobe Acrobat extension

Image of Adobe Acrobat Fill-and-Sign bar

Please visit the following for instructions to enable Adobe Acrobat extension:

Enable Adobe Acrobat extension for Google Chrome

Complete all fill-and-print form fields before completing the signature process:

  1. Open the appropriate Grant-in-Aid Tuition Support form
  2. Before entering any information, click the "Fill-and-Sign in Acrobat" (see above) icon or click the "fill-and-sign" option (looks like a pen nib) located on the right-hand column within Adobe Acrobat, or click "Tools" from the tool bar on the upper left-hand side of the screen and click "Open" under the Fill & Sign option
  3. Complete all fill-and-print fields
  4. Once the form is complete, click in the signature form field and either:
    • select your digital ID and click continue, or
    • create your digital ID, select your digital ID, and click continue
  5. Review the information in the appearance box and click sign
  6. You will be required to save a copy of the document (the digital signature is not applied until the form is saved)
    • A pop-up window opens with the file name containing the form name in the File name field. To the end of the file name add a dash last name, a dash first name of the graduate student in all lower case (i.e., gf1-smith-joseph)
    • Select a location where you will be able to retrieve the document
    • Click Save
  7. Close the form version appearing on your screen
  8. Open the version containing the graduate students' last name saved in the previous steps
  9. Verify that the digital ID appears on the document
  10. Close the document

Applying Digital IDs When Document Contains Multiple Signatures

The Grant-In-Aid forms require multiple signatures. Please complete the following process for obtaining those signatures:

  • The Graduate Program Chair, Department Head, or Program Officer provides their digital ID (see above) and sends an email to the College/Graduate Education Leader with the request for approval
  • The College/Graduate Education Leader opens the document, reviews the document, and applies their digital ID (if approving) as defined in Steps 4, 5, and 6 above and saves the document again (do not change the name)
  • The College/Graduate Education Leader sends an email, with the completed form as an attachment, to to The Graduate School at l-gs-fellowships@lists.psu.edu
  • The Graduate School administrator opens the document, reviews the document, and applies their digital ID (if approving) as defined in Steps 4, 5, and 6 above and saves the document again (do not change the name)
  • The Graduate School's Financial Officer will notify the program and college of the outcome by email and copy the college's Financial Officer on the determination. The Graduate School Office of Financial Administration is required to keep a copy (either paper or electronic version) of the completed form according to the defined retention period (see below).

If you encounter any difficulties, contact the GURU support staff by submitting a Technical Support Form request or by calling the tech support line at 814-863-8592

Number of Copies and Ultimate Distribution:

Table of distribution and retention of the University Support for Externally-Funded Graduate Fellowships
Document: Ultimate Distribution: Retention Periods: Disposition Method:
Original The Graduate School Office of Financial Administration End of fiscal year +3 years Paper documents = Secure Bin disposal or shred

Electronic document and data = delete and empty computer recycle bin
Additional Copies Originator; Determinations are emailed to the requesting program and college administrator and copied to the college Financial Officer End fiscal year +3 years Paper documents = Secure Bin disposal or shred

Electronic Document and data = delete and empty computer recycle bin
Transitory Copies* Copies created during digital ID (electronic signature process) Upon verification of receipt by The Graduate School Office of Financial Administration - End fiscal year +1 year Paper documents = Secure Bin disposal or shred

Electronic Document and data = delete and empty computer recycle bin

* Transitory/Disposable Records - University Records that have temporary value and, as a result, may be destroyed after they are no longer needed. In no event shall be retained longer than the official copy of the University Records as delineated on the Records Retention Schedule.

Where to Send Completed Forms:

The completed application, with unit approvals, and required supporting documentation must be submitted to the Graduate School's Office of Financial Administration in 206 Kern Graduate Building. The Graduate School's Financial Officer will notify the program and college of the outcome by email and copy the college's Financial Officer on the determination.

Contact Information:

For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this form, contact The Graduate School

Cross References:


(02Nov2021)