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Financial Support Policies and Procedures
MA and PhD students should apply each semester for financial support on the Financial Aid application form (see Forms), usually to be submitted the last month of a semester. This form indicates interest in GA-ship and tuition award support, in line with the student’s plan for courses and program completion.
In addition to those described below, students are encouraged to pursue other opportunities, such as Rotary Scholarships, East-West Center grants, National Foreign Language Resource Center Assistantships, Foreign Language Area Fellowships, etc.
Financial Support for MA Students
On a very limited basis, lectureships in the ELI can be awarded to MA students. Lectureships do not include a tuition waiver or health benefits. Lectureship availability depends on departmental needs and funding, and can be offered during the academic year or summer session.
MA students are eligible for a maximum of four semesters of support as a graduate assistant (GA) for teaching or research duties in the department, as long as they maintain a 3.0 average in the program, with no guarantee, however, that they will receive such support on a continuing basis.
Selection for a GAship or lectureship in the ELI or UHELP is based on teaching experience and training, faculty recommendation, an interview with the Director of the ELI/HELP, a performance review, and the availability of courses and funding.
Selection for a GAship in research (in various SLS faculty supervised projects) is based on the student’s relevant training and experience, as determined by the faculty member supervising the research project.
Available Tuition Achievement Scholarships are awarded to students based on academic standing (initially a combination of standing on GPR, GRE, TOEFL, and experience), amount of previous departmental support, and receipt of other awards. The longer a student has been in the program without support, the better the chances are of receiving a support; whereas the more departmental support a student has already received, the lower his or her chances. MA students are eligible for a maximum of four semesters of tuition awards. Special “Pacific Asian Scholarship (PAS)” tuition awards are awarded to students with above 3.5 GPR and specific research and experience interests in Pacific and Asian languages and cultures.
An MA student may receive a tuition award during the first semester of study, but is not likely to be hired as a GA or lecturer during the first semester.
Financial Support for PhD Students
A small number of PhD students are admitted with guaranteed support for four years. In other cases, the Department strives to support PhD students with GAships or lectureships with tuition awards for three or more years, but this support cannot be guaranteed. Support depends on the availability of funding and the student’s abilities and performance. As stated above, students are encouraged to seek alternative sources of funding as well.
After three years of departmental support, the student is lower in eligibility for funding, but depending on departmental needs, it is possible to hire PhD students as GAs for up to eight semesters, or as a lecturer at any time. Lectureship availability depends on departmental needs and funding, and can be offered during the academic year or Summer Session.
Selection processes for both teaching and research positions, as well as tuition awards, are as described above.
Selection for a GAship or lectureship to teach an undergraduate course in the department (which require an MA as a minimum qualification) is based on training, teaching experience, and faculty recommendation. A PhD student can express interest in teaching a particular course on the Financial Aid application form, or when requested to respond by the department chair. Following procedures approved by the DPPC, the GA Selection Committee will review applications and make decisions.
PhD students, by virtue of their previous degrees, experience, and the selectiveness of the admissions process, may have priority over MA students in hiring. However, this does not guarantee that a PhD student will be hired before an MA student, if the faculty feel that the MA student is more qualified for a particular position.
Financial Support for Advanced Graduate Certificate in SLS Students
AGCSLS students are generally not eligible for GA or tuition waiver support, owing to the fact that these are forms of financial support provided by the state of Hawai‘i. Occasionally, funding from outside sources can allow the department to support highly qualified AGCSLS students.