Fellowship Flop Continues

A poster that asks "Where is your money?", with a picture of Kaneff Tower in the background.

Late last week, fellowship amounts were posted to student accounts. In the last few days, sifting through the reports from members and multiple students who should have been members, we have managed to gather some information. Bear in mind that this is information we have been able to cobble together, as FGS remains tight-lipped.

What We Know

  • PhD Students should have received $1801 for domestic students and $2822 for international students. Domestic students holding an OGS have received $134, because York has clawed back the $5000 it is responsible for towards the fellowship. International students who started in 2012 and hold an International Tuition Scholarship have also received $1801.
  • Masters students have received a portion of their fellowship ($1739 for domestic students; $6419 for international students). FGS sent out an email on September 7 explaining that the rest of the fellowship for domestic students will follow “at a later date upon confirmation of your teaching assistant/graduate assistant appointment”. Translation: once they have calculated how much of the fellowship they can claw back from the rare Masters students who managed to find work.
  • The fact that a vast majority of fellowships were incorrectly labelled (domestic students getting fellowships labelled international and vice versa) has been confirmed by FGS as a mistake.

What We Still Don’t Know

  • Why FGS waited several days after it had posted the fellowship to explain that they were paying domestic Masters students in installments, which is contrary to what was communicated in the past.
  • How fellowship amounts are impacted for students with large scholarships other than OGS.
  • How fellowship amounts are impacted for Unit 1 members with 0.5 or otherwise partial TAships.
  • How fellowship amounts are impacted for Unit 1 members who hold a Course Directorship.
  • When fellowship amounts in excess of tuition will be refunded.
  • How this model is more simple and transparent.

York started sharing its plan for this new funding model in January; surely it had been in the planning stages for many months prior. Given this much time to plan the details, this haphazard roll-out is an insult to all of us who need to know how much money we can count on to pay our bills.

The most recent email from the Faculty of Graduate Studies makes their contempt for our members’ precarious financial situations clear, when they stated “Please be reminded there will be no additional financial postings to student accounts from October to December, unless to correct an error or to reflect a change in eligibility status. As such, we encourage you to budget for these months accordingly”.

Entreating us to budget when a) many people are still unclear on what amounts to expect, and b) they eliminated payroll deduction, is truly galling.