Graduate Policy drives the GFS system
The Graduate Financial Support (GFS) system is the vehicle by which Stanford's policies on graduate financial support are carried out. Those policies, discussed in this manual, guided the development of the PeopleSoft application used to enter assistantship and fellowship paylines for graduate students and for Postdoctoral Scholars.
Access to GFS is approved in each of the schools. Schools may authorize access to use the GFS system for the following purposes:
Purpose and Sources of Support
Financial support furthers the academic mission of this University. It is provided to enable students to make efficient progress toward their degree. During their studies at Stanford, most graduate students receive support from one or more sources. There is however no central office that disseminates information on all available financial support. Rules, regulations, and restrictions depend on the source of support; some are restricted to U.S. citizens, some are available only to students who qualify under federal need-based criteria, while others carry restrictions on undertaking any additional employment during the tenure of the award. In some circumstances, receiving financial support from one source could prohibit additional support from another. Because graduate students often receive funding from multiple sources, it is important that students and staff understand and adhere to the requirements of each funding source.
Most graduate financial support is determined by schools and/or departments on the basis of academic merit and availability of funding. Schools use assistantships and fellowships primarily to support doctoral students; graduate financial support is often not available for masters students.
This manual addresses University policies associated with graduate student appointments that provide salary and tuition in exchange for service (Assistantships) and financial awards that do not require service in exchange for support (Fellowships). These same two mechanisms, Assistantships and Fellowships, are also used to support Postdoctoral Scholars at Stanford. In addition, it discusses briefly those sources of financial aid that are administered principally by the Financial Aid Office (FAO). This site does not detail the policy associated with support that is exclusively within the province of a school or department. Although this manual focuses primarily on institutional policy regarding matriculated (i.e., degree-seeking) graduate students and Postdoctoral Scholars, pointers to sources of information about non-matriculated students (e.g., Visiting Researchers) are also included.
Brief History of Stanford's GFS systems
Stanford's first electronic system for awarding graduate financial support was a "home-grown" application within the Network for Student Information. When it first appeared, NSI was used both by schools and departments, and by a central Graduate Office that supported admissions and financial aid processes for the campus.
Admissions and financial aid decisions were decentralized to schools and departments at Stanford in the early 1990s. In 1999, the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research and Graduate Policy published the first Graduate Financial Support Policy Manual to provide information and resources for department administrators and student services officers who control and/or administer graduate financial support.
With the replacement of its "home-grown" systems starting in 2001, Stanford converted its financial, human resources and student administration systems to new applications - Oracle and PeopleSoft. The first GFS system built from PeopleSoft tools was released for campus use in the Fall of 2002. That application allowed users to enter information into PeopleSoft, and, upon approval, it "disbursed" the data either to Student Financial Services (for stipend and tuition payments) or to Payroll (for salary payments). (See memo from Charles Kruger, April 2002, regarding the transition to the PeopleSoft GFS application.)
In 2008, Stanford upgraded all PeopleSoft applications to "PS Version 9."
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