Frequently Asked Questions

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Are FLAS Fellowships available for first year/beginner language study?

Yes, but only for graduate students. Graduate students may apply for first year/beginner level language study if the student has achieved advanced proficiency in another language of his or her world area of expertise and research. Undergraduates will only be awarded FLAS Fellowships for intermediate or advanced level language study.

Is there a limit to the number of FLAS Fellowships the same student may receive?

No. The U.S. Department of Education does not restrict the cumulative number of academic year or summer fellowships that may be awarded to the same student. It is prohibited, however, to give the same student more than one academic year fellowship or more than one summer fellowship during a single budget period.

Is it a good idea to apply for a Summer and an AY FLAS Fellowship at the same time?

Yes. Summer and AY FLAS Fellowships are considered separate awards, but you can use the same application for both.  Applying for both does not decrease your chances of being awarded, and in fact, it increases your chances -- one application for the possibility of two awards!

Can I apply to the same Center for multiple languages?

Yes. There is no limit to the number of applications a student submits. However, preference is given to those students who have proven commitment to and knowledge of the language or area for which they are applying. It is not advised that you submit applications for beginner level study of multiple languages. While it is technically not against the rules, it is unlikely your applications will be strongly considered.

Am I allowed to work during the fellowship award period?

Yes, but it is not recommended. Regardless of work status, all FLAS fellows are required to be engaged in full-time foreign language and area/international studies course work during the academic year, and in an intensive language study during the summer award period. If you would like to work during the fellowship award period, you must first seek approval from your FLAS Coordinator.

Am I required to receive grades/credits for all studies conducted during my FLAS Fellowship?

Yes. The U.S. Department of Education expects FLAS fellowship recipients (graduate and undergraduate) to receive full credit from the programs they attend. It is imperative that students ensure that appropriate credits will be transferred to the student's transcript if they are using the FLAS fellowship for a study abroad program. The KU Office of Study Abroad can assist students in this process.

Is "Pass/Fail" an allowable grade option for FLAS-supported courses?

The U.S. Department of Education encourages enrolling in courses for which a letter grade or other quantifier of achievement is given. Foreign language and area studies courses must be taken for a letter grade rather than pass/fail – no exceptions. Electives outside the program of foreign language and area studies may be taken on a pass/fail basis if approved by your FLAS Coordinator at KU.

If I receive a FLAS Fellowship, am I required to maintain a certain GPA during the award period?

Yes. FLAS award recipients must maintain good academic standing during the award period (Summer or Academic Year) as defined by KU, and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above.  If you do not maintain good academic standing, you may be ineligible for future FLAS awards, and your FLAS award may be rescinded.  Depending on the discretion of the Center that awarded you the FLAS, you may be required to return any or all FLAS funding that you receive.

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Summer Awards

How can I make sure the summer language program I am planning to attend is eligible for FLAS?

Summer language programs for undergraduates and graduates at all levels of language learning should be a minimum of 6 consecutive weeks. 140 contact hours, or in-classroom instruction, is required for beginner (graduate only) and intermediate level instruction. 120 contact hours are required at the advanced level.

Can I use a summer FLAS award to study at a non-KU hosted study abroad program?

Yes, if you are a KU student you are eligible to use your summer FLAS award for a Student-Initiated Program (SIP). SIPs allow KU students to earn KU credit for study abroad programs sponsored by other accredited and approved universities and colleges. All SIPs must be approved by KU's Office of Study Abroad as well as your language's FLAS Coordinator.

Am I required to register with the KU Office of Study Abroad?

Registration with the KU Office of Study Abroad (OSA) is required if you are intending to study outside the Unites States.  This benefits the student by providing study abroad orientation, credit transfer and transcript services, and access to other KU aid if applicable. Registration with OSA also covers both the student and center for liability purposes, should the student have any issues during their study abroad program and require evacuation or repatriation services, for example.

The Office of Study Abroad recommends that students register by March 1 if they would like to be considered for financial aid, but it is highly recommended that students register with OSA at the same time as they submit their FLAS application. It is always better to identify a study abroad program earlier rather than later, and students will not incur any OSA fees with earlier registration. Students may use the same information for both the FLAS application and the Office of Study Abroad application.

If you are attending a domestic program, you are not required to register with OSA, but you do need your FLAS Coordinator to approve any Non-KU domestic program before you apply.

Will I have to pay the KU Office of Study Abroad application fee if I do not receive a FLAS?

No. You can apply through the Office of Study Abroad then rescind your application if you do not receive a FLAS award without incurring any fees or penalties. KU Office of Study Abroad fees are only due upon signing of the OSA contract (late April). What many students find is if they register with OSA early, but do not receive a FLAS, there is still KU financial aid available to them and they are still able to go on the program even without FLAS funding. Early registration, therefore, is an excellent back-up plan.

Can I build the cost of the KU Office of Study Abroad application fee into my tuition?

It is possible that a portion of the KU Office of Study Abroad application fee may be built into the tuition of your FLAS award. This is determined on an individual, program-specific basis, so please contact your FLAS Coordinator to determine if this is possible for your program.

If I am a non-KU student, can I be awarded a KU FLAS to study at a KU hosted program?

Yes. Both KU and Non-KU students are encouraged to apply for FLAS Fellowships covering KU hosted programs.

Is it okay to use a summer fellowship to attend a domestic program and an overseas program during the same summer award period?

Yes. A summer fellowship may be used to attend a domestic language program, an overseas language program, or both. The fellow may divide the required program weeks and contact hours between a domestic program and an overseas program.

Am I allowed to conduct independent research as part of my summer FLAS program?

No. The student must meet the program duration and contact hours of instruction with intensive language training coursework only. A summer fellowship must offer the student the equivalent of a full-year of classroom language training. It is therefore unallowable to detract from this requirement to conduct research.

Will my Summer FLAS award cover all program and travel expenses?

Not always. Summer FLAS Fellowships (undergraduate and graduate) provide up to $5,000 for summer tuition and a stipend of $2,500. If your program's tuition exceeds $5,000, you will be responsible for covering the additional costs.  Additionally, FLAS awards do not cover travel expenses. Some FLAS recipients choose to pay for their travel out of their their stipend, but this is at the discretion of the student. Depending on the availability of funds at the end of the summer, a center may offer travel awards to students with international travel plans, but these travel awards are not guaranteed and are entirely at the discretion of the center.

If my program's tuition rate is low, can I apply for the full award amount ($5,000) and use those monies to cover extra expenses like purchasing books or supplementing my subsistence allowance?

No. You may only receive the actual tuition amount for your program.

If my summer program's fee includes room and board, do I still receive the full $2,500 subsistence allowance?

No. The stipend should not be used for any duplicating costs. The stipend is meant to cover personal expenses including room and board. If these amounts are already covered as part of a total fee (e.g., tuition, fees, room, and board) then they will be deducted from the final amount. For example, if a program costs $5,000 and of that amount $4,000 is for tuition and fees and $1,000 is for room and board, then that $1,000 will be deducted from your stipend and you will receive only $1,500.

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Academic Year Awards

If I receive an Academic Year FLAS, can I take a semester off and finish work for the award period during the summer or following academic year?

No. Students who do not complete their FLAS requirements during the original award period forfeit the remaining portion of their awards. Similarly, if extenuating circumstances prevent a student from accepting/using a FLAS AY award during the academic year, the fellowship is forfeited and subsequently awarded to a deserving alternate.

Where do the majority of Academic Year FLAS Fellowship recipients study?

Most AY FLAS students who receive an award from a KU area studies center choose to study at KU during the academic year.  Some KU students choose to use their AY FLAS awards to study abroad, but in relatively few instances.

If awarded an Academic Year FLAS Fellowship, can I study abroad for part of the year?

Yes. An AY fellowship recipient is allowed to divide his/her academic year between KU and an overseas institution, as long as the student is enrolled full-time and take at least one related area studies course, international studies course, and at least one language course. Students will be obligated to register through the KU Office of Study Abroad if they choose to study abroad during their AY FLAS award period.

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Obligations for FLAS recipients 

What are the reporting requirements if I receive a FLAS Fellowship?

As part of the terms of the FLAS Fellowship, recipients must complete a Pre-Language Evaluation by an approved instructor and Pre-Self Assesment Survey at the beginnning of their award period.  At the conclusion of the award period, they must complete a Post-Language Evaluation (by the same instructor) and Post-Self Assesment Survey.

Completion of these assesments is a condition of the fellowship set by the U.S. Department of Education.  Failure to meet this condition could result in withholding of award monies, rejection from future FLAS awards, or both.

How do I complete my pre- and post-self assessment surveys?

After you accept the FLAS, your FLAS Coordinator will create a student fellowship profile in the U.S. Department of Education IRIS reporting system.  This online system will send you instructions on how to access and submit your reports.  Students are responsible for contacting their FLAS Coordinator if they have not received instructions within two weeks of their program start date.

How do I arrange my pre- and post-language evaluations?

Students are responsible for arranging their pre- and post-language evaluations with an appropriate instructor.  Names and contact information of approved language instructors can be obtained from your FLAS Coordinator. Both pre- and post-language evaluations should be performed by the same instructor.  If for whatever reason, it is not possible for the same language instructor to administer both evaluations, your FLAS Coordinator will need to seek special approval from the U.S. Department of Education to have evaluations by different instructors..  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the FLAS Coordinator has enough time to seek this approval (i.e., do not wait until the last minute to inform your FLAS Coordinator that it is impossible to take both the pre- and post-language evaluations from the same instructor)

Is my FLAS award taxable?

Yes.  You will need to declare the stipend portion of your award as taxable income on your income tax returns. For more information about this, a tax memo will be provided to all FLAS recipients.  If you do not receive a tax memo, please ask for one from your FLAS Coordinator.

If I am traveling as part of my FLAS Fellowship, do I need to keep any special considerations in mind?

Yes.  The Fly America Act states that all travel funded by the U.S. Government must be with a U.S. flag air carrier service (e.g., U.S. airline). Because FLAS Fellowships are funded by the U.S. Department of Education, all FLAS awardees are required to be ticketed with a U.S. flag carrier. We understand that U.S. flag carriers are not always available to the final destination, however, a U.S. flag carrier must be used to the furthest destination possible. Booking with a U.S. flag carrier is particularly important if you would like to be considered for a discretionary travel award.

Are there any obligations after my award period has ended?

Yes.  As a recipient of a FLAS Fellowship you are obligated to complete biennial surveys regarding your employment and target language use post-graduation. Providing this information helps future students receive FLAS funding.


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