Training Fellowship Award Information (Social Work field, paid practicum)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT NEW CHILD PROTECTION CLEARANCES

Both the graduate and undergraduate social work degrees require on-site training through field placements as an academic requirement for graduation.  The information below pertains to all training fellowships that are awarded through the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, and does not apply to any stipend or compensation that is paid to a student directly by the agency.  

What is a training fellowship (stipend)?

Why am I receiving a training fellowship (stipend)?

Is this stipend considered income?

Should this award be reported to the “Office of Admission and Financial Aid”?

If I have advance standing status AND I received a training fellowship award as part of my financial aid package from the School, will my fellowship continue through my last term even though I may have completed the field training requirements?

Can students with a training fellowship appointment also work as an hourly student on campus?

I have received two fellowship awards, can I keep both?

When will I begin to receive my monthly fellowship award?

Are there any health benefits associated with a training fellowship?

Award Policy

Terms and Conditions


What is a training fellowship (stipend)? 

A training stipend is a fixed, periodic sum of money paid to a student to defray expenses during that student’s education and training period.

Why am I receiving a training fellowship (stipend)?

Training fellowships are made to help offset education and living costs while a student pursues their degree full time.  The School of Social Work recognizes that the require field training of 1,080 hours (18 credits) makes it difficult to find part time work; training fellowships are meant to provide some financial relief in order to meet your educational goals. 

Is this stipend considered income?

Sometimes.  For specific details on how fellowship income should be treated by the IRS, please refer to:  IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

In chapter one of this IRS publication it is stated that scholarship and fellowship funds that are used for "qualified educational expenses" may be excluded from taxable gross income; therefore no taxes will be applied to your training stipend.  Any of the fellowship income used for expenses other than tuition and course-related expenses (e.g. amounts used for room, board, and travel) is considered taxable, and would need to be self-reported.

To determine this taxable amount, add up all grants, scholarships, and fellowship awards received in a calendar year, and then subtract all tuition, fees and book and supply expenses. If the remaining amount is a positive number, it must be reported as income. This amount must also be reported on your FAFSA.

It is the student's responsibility to retain records of all qualified educational expenses that may be excluded from taxable gross income. For more information, please go to the following IRS website.

Should this award be reported to the “Office of Admission and Financial Aid”?

Yes.  Fellowship income should be reported on your FASFA after it has been received (the following year). If the income is used for non-qualified educational expenses, then this would be reported on your federal tax return, there is a section specifically for this type of income. Those funds that are used for qualified educational expenses should be reported “un-taxed” income. 

If I have advance standing status AND I received a training fellowship award as part of my financial aid package from the School, will my fellowship continue through my last term even though I may have completed the field training requirements?

Yes, the School does not withdraw the monthly fellowship support for advance standing students during their last term.

Can students with a training fellowship appointment also work as an hourly student on campus?

If a student is being hired as an hourly student assistant and not through the federal work study program, then “yes” for field internships are not considered employment, and training stipends are not considered compensation, therefore students are able to work up to 20 hours per week on campus. 

  • A student cannot receive federal work study support AND a training fellowship at the same time.

I have received two fellowship awards, can I keep both?

No, a student can only receive one fellowship award that is distributed or sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh.  This would include all awards made by the School of Social Work Office of Admission and any other Social Work sponsored programs such as: CRSP Fellowships, Hill House Fellows, Child Welfare Training program, and any traineeships or fellowships that are sponsored through a grant or other external award.  Additionally, if a student is offered a training fellowship through another department or School at the University of Pittsburgh, they must choose one award, they cannot receive both training fellowships. 

There is one exception to this policy:

If the agency where you are placed for your field training would like to supplement your monthly training fellowship - this is allowed. The payment may be paid directly by the agency to you; OR your monthly fellowship through the University of Pittsburgh may be increased. 

  1. If your agency placement was pre-approved for a matching stipend, all fellowship commitments made by the School of Social Work counts towards the match. This would include commitments made by the Office of Admission.

When will I begin to receive my monthly fellowship award?

Training stipends are distributed on the last working day of the month. The effective dates for your award will be indicated on your “Training Fellowship Acceptance Form”.  It should be noted that no distributions can be made until ALL enrollment forms are completed. If your enrollment forms are not submitted by the first week of the effective start month, the stipend for that month will be included in the following month’s distribution.

Are there any health benefits associated with a training fellowship?

All graduate students and certificate trainees (fellows) are able to participate in the University of Pittsburgh health plan. For more information regarding health coverage, enrollment and the associated costs, please go the Student Insurance website.

Award Policy

The student must be enrolled full time at the University of Pittsburgh program and must remain in good academic standing.

The student cannot receive more than one training stipend award/fellowship at a time. If a student is offered two different awards they must choose one award.

Students who are University of Pittsburgh staff are not eligible for training fellowships (although they can be paid directly by the agency).

The student must remain enrolled in the field internship program and successfully complete the training.  No services outside of the established field placement are required.

Failure comply with this award policy may result in the termination of the stipend award

Terms and Conditions

The student must agree to attend assigned classes and field placements faithfully, complete all academic and field assignments and requirements in a timely manner, and maintain at least a “B” average; failure to do so may result in termination from the training stipend program.

The student must  agree to immediately notify the School of Social Work business office at 2117 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA  15260 in writing if they withdrawal from the field internship or leave the enrollment of the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh. 

The student  agree to reimburse the University of Pittsburgh the total amount of the training stipend paid to them in connection with the training stipend program, along with any and all costs of collection, attorney’s fees if :

a)       The student leaves the enrollment of the MSW program and does not inform the Social Work business office in writing.

b)      The student fails to stay enrolled as a full time student at the University of Pittsburgh, and does not notify the School of Work business office.

c)       Withdrawal from my field placement without notifying the School of Social Work business office.

d)      Fails to meet the academic requirements of the field program.