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Scholarships and Fellowships

Scholarships and Fellowships

A scholarship is money paid directly to, or for the benefit of, a student at an educational institution to aid in the pursuit of studies. The term scholarship at Princeton is typically used in reference to funding for an undergraduate student. A fellowship is an amount paid to, or for the benefit of, an individual to aid in the pursuit of study or research. The term fellowship at Princeton is typically used in reference to funding for a graduate student. 

Visit the Student Tax page for information about the 1098-T form.

Taxation of Scholarships and Fellowships

Scholarship or fellowship payments may be taxable, depending upon whether the payments are classified as qualified or nonqualified under the Internal Revenue Code and related guidelines. Scholarship and fellowship payments are nontaxable (qualified) and excluded from the recipient's gross income, when the following criteria are met:

  • The recipient is a Princeton University student.

  • The recipient is a candidate for a degree.

  • The funding directly applies to the pursuit of study and research in the students' field of academic study.

  • The funding is used for tuition, fees required for enrollment, books, supplies, equipment required for courses of instruction, or an academic program that is an integral and required part of the students' academic work.

  • The funding relates to a program that has a reasonable time period for its completion.

  • The academic program requires direct faculty involvement as the student is required to work with a faculty or staff member who serves as an academic adviser throughout the program.

  • The funding relates to a program that is formally evaluated or graded by the faculty or staff as a requirement for completion and eventual student graduation.

  • The funding relates to a program for which the student will receive academic credit for its completion.

  • The funding does not represent any form of compensation or payment for employment services, nor does it have a direct business purpose to the University or our faculty.

  • The funding is for travel excursions no longer than 90 days in duration, that are incidental and necessary to the pursuit of the study or research project, and specifically budgets and accounts for each required expense including travel, research, clerical assistance, and equipment expenditures. (if applicable) 

Scholarship and fellowship payments are taxable (nonqualified) when the criteria listed above are not met. Non-qualified scholarships and fellowships are typically taxable to the recipient, and included in the recipient’s gross income.

Qualified Student Funding (Nontaxable)

The following student funding programs have been determined to be qualified scholarships and fellowships.  

Non-qualified Student Funding (typically taxable)

Student funding programs that do not meet the qualified criteria listed above are considered to be non-qualified scholarships and fellowships. Examples include the following: 

[collasped]

Graduate Student Funding

The study or training does not meet the requirements listed above of a qualified program.

  • Archival Research: Not required by the degree program.

  • Conference Funding: Not required by the degree program.

  • Internships: Not required by the degree program.  

  • Language Training: Not required by the degree program.  

  • Museum Collection Research: Not required by the degree program.

  • Professional Development Travel

  • Scholarly Travel

Please contact the University Tax Department at tax@princeton.edu to discuss the determination of any qualified or nonqualified scholarship or fellowship.

Tax Withholding and Reporting for Scholarships and Fellowships

Tax withholding and reporting differ depending on your citizenship or resident status.