FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Who is eligible to receive a FLAS Fellowship?
- For academic year fellowships, graduate and undergraduate students are eligible if they are US citizens or permanent residents who are enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) in a program that combines modern foreign language training with international or area studies or with the international aspects of professional or other fields of study. Undergraduate applicants must be entering second-year study or above of their target language; graduate applicants may be eligible for enrollment in the first year of their target language if certain conditions are met. (Contact the relevant center’s FLAS coordinator with inquiries.)
- For summer fellowships, graduate and undergraduate students are eligible if they are US citizens or permanent residents. Summer-term students must study a FLAS language at the intermediate or advanced level during the fellowship period, although exceptions may be made for graduate students in certain circumstances. (Contact the relevant center’s FLAS coordinator with inquiries.)
2. How are awards made?
Awards are made on the basis of academic merit and other criteria set by each international studies center and the U.S. Department of Education.
Additionally, according to guidelines set in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education, centers will give priority when awarding fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need as indicated by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To be considered under the priority category of demonstrated financial need, students are required to complete and submit the FAFSA form to Pitt’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid before the FLAS deadline in order to determine their level of need.
NOTE: FLAS-granting Centers are prioritizing those with need, not excluding those without need. In other words, all applicants will be considered for FLAS, but if you have financial need and wish to be considered under this priority category, you MUST complete the FAFSA before the FLAS deadline and submit it to Pitt’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.
Although graduate students do not normally complete the FAFSA
, the University requires them to do so in order to be considered under the category of financial need for FLAS Fellowships. This is to ensure that all candidates are assessed for need with uniform and fair consideration by the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.
3. May I apply for a FLAS if I am not a University of Pittsburgh student?
For Academic Year FLAS, you must be enrolled or admitted as a University of Pittsburgh student.
For Summer FLAS, you may be enrolled in another institution during the academic year while participating in a summer language program through the University of Pittsburgh. Contact the FLAS Coordinator for your language for more information.
4. Is there a limit on the number of FLAS Fellowships I can receive?
There is no limit on the number of FLAS awards you can receive over your academic career, but no more than one fellowship can be awarded for the same period.
5. Are undergraduate students eligible to receive FLAS Fellowships?
Yes. Undergraduate students who are at the intermediate or advanced level of language study are encouraged to apply for both Summer and Academic Year FLAS. Undergraduate Academic Year FLAS Fellowships provide up to $10,000 for tuition and a $5,000 stipend. Summer FLAS Fellowships (undergraduate and graduate) provide up to $5,000 for summer tuition and a stipend of $2,500.
6. Are FLAS Fellowships available for first year/beginning language study?
In general, no. In certain circumstances, graduate students with pre-existing proficiency in a language from their target region may be eligible for a FLAS in first year/beginning level language study to build proficiency in another language from their target region that is relevant to their career or academic goals. Undergraduates will only be awarded FLAS Fellowships for intermediate or advanced level language study.
7. What information is required for the application?
- Academic Year FLAS for graduate students: please see your school or department FLAS coordinator.
- Academic Year FLAS for undergraduate students: apply online.
- Summer students: apply online.
Note that there are separate competitions for the Academic Year FLAS and the Summer FLAS, for which two separate and complete applications are required.
In addition, according to guidelines set in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education, centers will give priority when awarding fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need as indicated by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To be considered under the priority category of demonstrated financial need, students are required to complete and submit the FAFSA
form to Pitt’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid before the FLAS deadline in order to determine their level of need. Please read the full statement on demonstrating financial need above in the section on "Questions about Eligibility."
8. Can I apply to more than one FLAS-granting Center?
Yes. The University of Pittsburgh has multiple international studies centers that award FLAS Fellowships for their related languages. You can submit applications to more than one center, but you will not be allowed to receive two simultaneous awards. You must submit a separate application to each center.
9. Can I apply for both Summer and Academic Year FLAS Fellowships?
Yes. It is possible to receive both a Summer and AY award in the same year. These are separate competitions, and you must apply separately and completely for both the Summer and AY FLAS Fellowships.
10. How are the competitions for FLAS awards decided?
Each center has a review and selection committee that evaluates and ranks applicants. Undergraduate and graduate student applications for the Academic Year FLAS are ranked separately and not in competition with each other. The Summer FLAS competition draws from both undergraduate and graduate students in the same pool. In addition, financial need is considered, according to guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Education.
11. Is a FLAS Fellow allowed to work during the award period?
Academic Year FLAS Fellows are required to be enrolled as full-time students. Summer FLAS Fellows must be enrolled in intensive language study during the summer award period. (See below for details.) Graduate FLAS Fellows may be permitted to undertake limited, related employment during their FLAS Fellowship. Students seeking to undertake additional work related to their FLAS Fellowship should contact the appropriate FLAS-granting center for guidance. Undergraduate students who receive FLAS cannot work as non-exempt student workers at the University of Pittsburgh during the term of their fellowship.
12. Can I take a semester off and finish the award during a subsequent period, or delay acceptance of the FLAS Fellowship for the academic year or summer?
No. FLAS Fellowships must be completed during the period for which they are awarded.
13. Can I request a Pass/Fail grade for my FLAS-qualifying area studies or language course?
No. FLAS-qualifying courses must be graded.
14. Beyond coursework, is anything required of FLAS Fellows?
All FLAS Fellows are required to make post-award reports online to the U.S. Department of Education and will be surveyed every two years following their award for a period of up to eight years. In addition, all FLAS Fellows must take pre- and post-award language proficiency assessments.
If they are not already, FLAS fellows should enroll in a certificate program in their awarding center. Fellows will also be invited to participate in the intellectual life of the Center, as well as in special events organized specifically for FLAS fellows and FLAS alumni across all of the centers. Participation in these events is strongly encouraged.
ACADEMIC YEAR AWARDS:
15. What does an Academic Year FLAS Fellow receive?
Graduate students receive tuition costs and most fees up to a total of $18,000 or potentially up to full tuition, as detailed in your award letter, plus a stipend of at least $20,000. All stipends are paid in monthly installments. Undergraduate students receive $10,000 toward tuition plus a stipend of $5,000. Stipends are paid in monthly installments.
16. Do I have to take specific classes?
Academic year FLAS Fellows must take at least one language course and one area studies course focused on the appropriate region or global issue in each semester of the FLAS year.
17. Can I receive an Academic Year FLAS for a single semester?
No. AY FLAS Fellowships are awarded for the entire academic year only. (In exceptional circumstances, the U.S. Department of Education may authorize a center to run a competition for one semester only. Those will be announced when authorized.)
18. I am a graduate student currently receiving a fellowship. If I am awarded an Academic Year FLAS, how will it affect my fellowship?
Students cannot receive additional Federal funding while on a FLAS. With regards to University funding, individual schools and departments have different policies. We recommend that you speak with your graduate chair or graduate dean to see how the FLAS fellowship would affect your fellowship package.
19. What does a Summer FLAS Fellow receive?
Graduate and undergraduate students receive $5,000 toward tuition and fees plus a $2,500 stipend.
20. What is the Summer FLAS used for?
Summer FLAS Fellowships are intended to help students gain the equivalent of a year's worth of college-level language study. They support students enrolled in:
- Formal domestic programs of intensive language study at the intermediate or advanced level;
- Formal overseas programs of intensive language study at the intermediate or advanced level; or
- Graduate students may be eligible to apply for study of a target language at the first-year level in certain circumstances. Contact your center’s FLAS coordinator for further details.
21. Can a Summer FLAS award be used to participate in an internship program?
No. The Summer FLAS is intended to support study in an intensive summer language program only.
22. Can I receive a Summer FLAS if I will graduate in the previous spring?
No. Only currently enrolled students can receive a Summer FLAS. However, students may defer graduation until August, and then use a Summer FLAS fellowship.
23. Does a Summer FLAS include a travel award?
The Summer FLAS does not pay for travel to the study site. Occasionally, however, the centers may offer partial reimbursement of Summer FLAS travel up to $1,000, but ONLY if the flight is taken on a U.S airline. Contact your FLAS Coordinator for more information.
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