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Summer Tuition Assistance Program (STAP)

Summer Tuition Assistance program is available for students needing registration over the summer and meet the criteria.

In February, an e-mail will be sent to all graduate students with instructions on how to apply for the Summer Tuition Assistance Program (STAP). A registration link will be included within the email.

STAP funding is on a first-come, first serve basis and funds are limited.

If you will be taking any courses for credit, the comprehensive or final examination over the summer semester - YOU MUST BE REGISTERED and you should apply for STAP.  The application deadline is April 1st.


The Graduate School provides tuition support during the summer sessions for student who meet the eligibility and registration requirements listed below.

Eligibility Criteria

Graduate students must meet at least one of the following:

  • appointed on a teaching or research assistantship -- Fall AND Spring (for a maximum tuition award of nine (9) credits during the summer)
  • appointed on a graduate fellowship -- Fall AND Spring (for a maximum tuition award of nine (9) credits during the summer)

Please note that if you register for more than the maximum number of credits, you will be charged for the additional credits.

Course Requirements

Students must register for appropriate course work or research credits.  Courses that qualify for STAP are limited to:

  • Those that may be applied towards the credit requirements for a graduate degree (i.e., courses at the 400-level or above)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) skills courses required for international graduate students
  • Foreign language skills courses required by the student's program.
  • No "hobby courses"
  • Students will be billed for audits, which cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements and unapproved registrations.
  • Continuing Education, Conference and Institute courses are NOT STAP eligible.  STAP is intended to cover resident instruction course work and World Campus courses.
  • If you need to be registered for summer semester because you are taking your Comprehensive or Final exam, please register for one (1) credit of 600 instead of 601 as this preserves and maximized STAP funding. Please note that grades need to be assigned for 600 courses and grades need to be submitted in time for approval to graduate.

Students are notified via e-mail whether their application has been approved.

Application Process

  • Consult with your adviser for the appropriate course work during the summer.
  • Schedule your courses on LionPATH -- STAP applications cannot be processed until courses are scheduled.
  • Complete the online STAP application.
  • You will receive an email notification approving or denying your application.  If you do not receive an email notification, please contact your program, if not from Smeal.
  • Finalize your registration by filing your bill via LionPATH or returning your bill to the Bursar's Office by the designated date.


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as funds remain available and will be considered in the order in which they are received.  Please double-check your application to be certain all your information is correct.  Errors can delay processing of your application and result in denial of your request for STAP funding.

Common errors include:

  • Misspelled names
  • Degree entered incorrectly
  • ID number transposed
  • Wrong college entered
  • Wrong eligibility criteria checked (Grad Assistant or Grad Fellow)
  • Incorrect course schedule numbers
  • Incorrect campus code
  • Incorrect number of credits (note that 601 courses do not have credits)