The department currently offers financial assistance as: Departmental Assistantships, Grant-Based Assistantships, and Fellowships. To be eligible for these sources of financial assistance, a graduate applicant must complete the Graduate Application Form (see How to Apply). Whereas the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering would like to provide financial assistance to all qualified students, financial assistance is generally awarded on a competitive basis considering qualifications such as GRE scores, GPAs in previous undergraduate and graduate programs, letters of recommendation, and statements of purpose.
Applications for admission and assistantship support will be accepted at any time, but decisions regarding financial assistance are generally made before January 31 (for August admission) and September 1 (for January admission).
Current rates of standard ½-time assistantships for 2015-16
M.S. Students and Ph.D. Students
- $9,247.50 /semester (fall and spring)
- $3,079.00 /summer
Tuition and fees are also covered for students receiving assistantship support; thereby making yearly financial support in excess of $40,000 per year.
Summer Tuition Assistance Program
For graduate students who need to be enrolled during the summer, an application can be made for Summer Tuition Assistance through the College of Agricultural Sciences Graduate Program Office (if the student has been on departmental assistantship support in previous semesters). Priority for tuition assistance will be given to those students who need to enroll in graduate courses (excluding graduate research credits). Students should work with their faculty advisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator, prior to the arrival of summer, to make arrangements for summer tuition and summer assistantship support or wage payroll support.
Taxes and Pay Deductions
Graduate students receiving assistantships and/or fellowships are subject to taxation by the U.S. Federal Government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (Note that tuition waivers are considered non-taxable income). All students (including international students) pay federal, state, and local taxes during each pay period. U.S. citizens also pay Social Security taxes each pay period. Local taxes include the local service tax and the local wage tax.
International students can learn more about tax treaties and other tax information through the University Office of Global Programs at 814-865-6348.
Loans and Other Financial Assistance
The Office of Fellowships and Awards is responsible for assisting Penn State graduate students seeking funding opportunities. For more information, contact the Fellowship and Awards Office, 314 Kern Graduate Building, University Park, PA 16802, (814) 865-2514, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students should begin looking for funding approximately one year in advance of their need for funding and stay in close communication with their department or program head. Competitions for funding have particularly early deadlines. Students should investigate as many funding options as possible to avoid losing out on valuable opportunities.
For information about specific opportunities, click on the links below.