If you are in the priority pool you probably received notice to opt in/out of summer fellowship payments. When York introduced the fellowship model many of our members, without notice, were left without any options for year-round funding. The choice to now have your funding distributed throughout the year was a bargaining demand in 2018 and one we successfully won. Now, if you are in the priority pool, you can choose an option that is best for your personal finances. You must opt-in to summer fellowship payments by August 10th.
Some common pros and cons for each option are given below but there may be many reasons to choose one over the other. The amount of your fellowship shouldn’t change, just when the fellowship payments are made.
Traditional Fellowship Model (one payment every semester)
Pro: covers your tuition automatically every semester.
Con: if you don’t have work in the summer, you won’t have any income over the summer months beyond what’s left over once your tuition is paid and your Graduate Financial Assistance (GFA). For international students who are trying to get permanent residency, not having income in the summer can also be problematic.
Fellowship Over the Summer (either in one payment or four payments)
Pro: year-round cash flow, might be necessary for international students
Con: won’t cover your tuition automatically
So it really depends on what your personal situation is. For members who have large scholarships or work in the summer, staying with the traditional fellowship model (once a term) is probably the better option. If you’re someone who doesn’t have summer work or external funding, is fine with figuring out tuition (payroll deduction is an option), and it’s important to you to have income every month of the year for immigration, cash-flow, or other reasons, then opting-in to the summer model might make more sense for you.