Foreign Language and Area Studes (FLAS) Fellowship

Frequently Asked Questions

 

WHAT IS A FLAS AWARD?
What are FLAS Fellowships offered through the University of Arizona’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)?
How much money is given in a FLAS award?
Where do I get a FLAS application?
 
 
ELIGIBILITY ISSUES
Who is eligible for funding?
What languages are eligible for FLAS funding through CMES?
Are dialects eligible for FLAS funding?
What language levels are eligible for FLAS funding?
Can I use a FLAS fellowship to support my dissertation research?
How many FLAS awards can a student receive?
If I was awarded a previous FLAS fellowship, will I continue to receive additional awards?
Can I receive a Summer and Academic Year FLAS award in the same year?
Can I receive Academic Year FLAS funding for only one semester?
 
 
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
When is the application deadline?
Can I submit my application by email or otherwise electronically?
What documents are needed for the application?
What should be in the statement of purpose?
Do I need to submit official transcripts?
Can I send my student link course information as a transcript?
Do my letters of recommendation have to be sent directly by the individuals who wrote the letters?
Can my letters of recommendation be faxed or e-mailed to CMES in order to meet the deadline?
Who should write the recommendation letters and can they be the same as the letters written for a Teaching Assistantship?
If I am an incoming student do I need to submit a separate FLAS application to CMES in addition to my department application?
Do I need to submit a separate application for summer and academic year FLAS awards?
I applied for FLAS funding before, but did not receive an award. Can I reapply?
I received a FLAS for a previous award period; can I resubmit the same application?
Who chooses FLAS award recipients?
When and how will I be notified if my FLAS application was successful?
If I am chosen as an alternate, what are the chances that I will receive a FLAS award?
Where do I submit my application?
 
ACADEMIC YEAR FLAS ISSUES, RIGHTS, AND OBLIGATIONS
What are the course requirements for Academic Year awards?
Can I use an Academic Year FLAS to study overseas?
Can I work or get additional funding while I am a FLAS fellow?
 
SUMMER FLAS ISSUES, RIGHTS, AND OBLIGATIONS
What are the course requirements for Summer FLAS awards?
How should my summer grades be recorded in my FLAS records?
Can I use my Summer FLAS award to go to program other than the one for which the award was given?
If my tuition costs are greater than the Summer FLAS award allows, can I pay the difference myself?
Can FLAS pay for foreign travel if I receive a Summer FLAS to travel overseas?
If I receive a Summer FLAS award to study overseas, should I book my travel right away?
 
OTHER IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
How many copies of the application do I need to submit?
When and how must I submit my FLAS report?
What happens if a fellow fails to submit the federal report at the end of the award period?
What happens if a fellow fails to maintain a 3.0 GPA in their supported language?
Who should I contact if I have questions about the FLAS?

 

What is a FLAS award?

What are FLAS Fellowships offered through the University of Arizona’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)?
CMES annually awards Title VI (US Department of Education) Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Academic Year and Summer Fellowships in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish to students at the University of Arizona in any program/department who are pursuing Middle Eastern language and area studies. Summer FLAS Fellowships are offered for approved programs of intensive language study either in the US or the Middle East/North Africa. 

How much money is given in a FLAS award?

FINANCIAL INFORMATION  UNDERGRADUATE FLAS COMPETITION
 

Summer Awards

Summer FLAS awards include up to $5,000 for tuition and a $2,500 stipend to cover housing and maintenance.

Tuition for the summer program is normally paid directly to the institution by CMES. Students receive the stipend directly, less any room/board or maintenance charges, if applicable.

Also $100 is withheld from the stipend until after the fellow completes all required federal and CMES reporting.

Fellows may get travel grants for summer study if any of the federal FLAS money allotted to CMES is not expended in FLAS tuition and stipends.

Maximum travel award is $1,000 per fellow and are made after fellows have returned from their language programs; fellows must have traveled on their approved “Fly America Act” compliant itineraries and must supply CMES with their original receipts.

Academic Year Awards

Academic Year awards covers up to $10,000 in tuition and fees at the University of Arizona.

The AY undergraduate fellowship also provides an annual stipend, which is $5,000.

The stipend is disbursed in two payments of $2,400 at the beginning of each of the Fall and Spring semesters, and one of $200 after the fellow submits the required online report at the end of the award period.

Optional charges such as student health insurance are NOT covered by the FLAS.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION GRADUATE FLAS COMPETITION
 

Summer Awards

Summer FLAS awards include up to $5,000 for tuition and a $2,500 stipend to cover housing and maintenance.

Tuition for the summer program is normally paid directly to the institution by CMES. Students receive the stipend directly, less any room/board or maintenance charges, if applicable.

Also $100 is withheld from the stipend until after the fellow completes all required federal and CMES reporting.

Fellows may get travel grants for summer study if any of the federal FLAS money allotted to CMES is not expended in FLAS tuition and stipends.

Maximum travel award is $1,000 per fellow and is made after fellows have returned from their language programs; fellows must have traveled on their approved “Fly America Act” compliant itineraries and must supply CMES with their original receipts.

Academic Year Awards

Academic Year awards cover tuition and fees at the University of Arizona. The AY Fellowship also provides an annual stipend, which is set at $15,000.

The stipend is disbursed in two payments of $7,400 at the beginning of each of the Fall and Spring semesters, and one of $200 after the fellow submits the required online report at the end of the award period.

The UA Graduate College waives registration fees for fellows. Optional charges such as student health insurance are NOT covered by the FLAS.

 

Where do I get a FLAS application?
Current University of Arizona students must apply through Scholarship Universe. Once a profile has been created Scholarship Universe will connect you to the FLAS application if you are eligible. If you are not currently a UA student but are applying for admission and would also like to apply for FLAS, please email CMES for an application.

 

Eligibility Issues

Who is eligible for funding?
University of Arizona students who:

  • are US citizens, nationals or permanent resident aliens;
  • have a GPA of at least 3.0;
  • have completed the equivalent of at least one year of a Middle Eastern language, or two years of any other language and received grades of ‘B’ or higher.

NOTE: An applicant is ineligible for a FLAS if they receive a grade lower than a B in the target language during the year of study prior to their FLAS fellowship.

What languages are eligible for FLAS funding through CMES?
Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish. Additional Middle Eastern languages may be eligible (i.e. Kurdish, Ottoman Turkish, Berber), but they must be approved by the US Department of Education.  Please contact the CMES Assistant Director about other language possibilities at least one month prior to the application deadline.

Are dialects eligible for FLAS funding?
Yes, they are. For Academic Year awards, the institution must have dialect courses that are taught for full credit with a minimum of two years of course offerings and it must be taught for proficiency in at least two of the following areas: speaking, listening, reading, writing.

What language levels are eligible for FLAS funding?
Graduates are welcome to apply for any level of language study.  Department of Education regulations do not allow undergraduates to apply for beginning-level language studies.

Priority is given to students with advanced language standing.  For Graduate Summer FLAS awards, a beginning level language may only be taken overseas if that course is not offered in any US intensive summer program that year.

Can I use a FLAS fellowship to support my dissertation research?
On rare occasions this is possible, but it is not a US Department of Education priority. The student must be at the advanced level of proficiency and a clear case must be made that the fellow will advance in their language proficiency to the degree that they would had they taken a full academic year’s worth of formal language instruction. The US Department of Education recommends that doctoral students wishing to conduct research overseas apply for the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship instead.

How many FLAS awards can a student receive?
Normally three during a single degree program, though the CMES Governing Board may choose to offer a student more than this in extenuating circumstances. Once you complete a degree and move into a new program in the same or another department, you are eligible for more FLAS awards.  For example, BA>MA or MA>PhD.

If I was awarded a previous FLAS fellowship, will I continue to receive additional awards?
Prior FLAS awards do not guarantee future funding. The student must re-apply in each successive FLAS cycle and the application committee will reassess the application for each award period.

Can I receive a Summer and Academic Year FLAS award in the same year?
Yes.  Be sure to submit required forms both programs.

Can I receive Academic Year FLAS funding for only one semester?
No, the student must be enrolled in and maintain eligibility for both semesters.

 

The Application Process

When is the application deadline?
FLAS applications are usually due in mid-February.  Please check the FLAS page on the CMES website for deadline details.

Can I submit my application by email or in person at the center?
No. Applications must be submitted through Scholarship Universe by the due date.

What documents are needed for the application?
The following documents are required:

  • Scholarship Universe profile
  • Application form
  • Statement of Purpose (maximum of 500 words)
  • If you are applying for both AY and Summer programs, you need to submit a separate statement for each.
  • Transcripts (unofficial copies). New students with less than two semesters of UA graduate work should provide current UA transcripts and past transcripts from either previous graduate or undergraduate study.
  • CV/résumé (3 pages maximum)
  • Certificate of Eligibility
  • Two letters of recommendation (With at least one from a language instructor).  See below for specifics needed in the letter of recommendation. You must request CRLs (Confidential Recommendation Letters) through Scholarship Universe. 

NOTE: Applicants must have a current FAFSA on file at the University of Arizona.

 

What should be in the statement of purpose?
The statement of purpose is the most critical component of your application packet.  It should include what language you propose to study, what level and year of courses will be taken. You must clearly show how the language relates to your continued academic program of study and future career goals. If you are applying for a Summer FLAS, you should explain your choice of proposed summer program.  How is the location relevant to your language choice? The statement of purpose should be a maximum of 500 words).

Do I need to submit official transcripts?
No.

Do my letters of recommendation have to be sent directly by the individuals who wrote the letters?

The applicant must request Confidential Recommendation Letters (CRLs) through Scholarship Universe with a submission deadline no later than the application deadline.  Requests should include instructions to the letter writer to address the topics outlined below.

Can my letters of recommendation be faxed or e-mailed to CMES in order to meet the deadline?
No. See above.
 
Who should write the recommendation letters and can they be the same as the letters written for a Teaching Assistantship?
Your support letters should come from faculty members if possible, or from employers if not. One letter must be written by a language instructor. If you are currently in a course for the language you wish a FLAS award to support, that instructor should write a letter. Letters should address your academic abilities, including language learning abilities. A letter written for a Teaching Assistantship may not address these issues, so you should carefully consider using a letter written for that purpose. Ask letter writers for their frank assessment of the your academic abilities, especially as they relate to the pursuit of Middle Eastern languages and area studies. They should indicate how well, how long, and in what context they have known you. Language instructors should focus on the candidate’s ability to succeed in the target language and the necessity of that language in their academic study. This is particularly important for summer intensive language programs.

If I am an incoming student do I need to submit a separate FLAS application to CMES in addition to my department application?
Yes. Application for a FLAS fellowship is separate and wholly removed from the university application process.

Do I need to submit a separate application for summer and academic year FLAS awards?
Yes. You will need to select and complete each application separately on Scholarship Universe.

I applied for FLAS funding before, but did not receive an award. Can I reapply?
Yes.

I received a FLAS for a previous award period; can I resubmit the same application?
No, you have to submit a new application.

Who chooses FLAS award recipients?
The CMES Governing Board members review each application and then meet to choose recipients. The Governing Board consists of University of Arizona faculty from a range of departments and members of the local community. For the current list of individuals serving on the Board, see the CMES webpage.

When and how will I be notified if my FLAS application was successful?
The FLAS application committee will meet to decide on the applications about six weeks after the deadline. You will be notified by the FLAS coordinator by e-mail as soon as possible after the committee has made their decisions. Committee members are asked not to release any information until after the official letters have been sent out.  If you are selected as a FLAS fellow, you will be asked to sign a letter of agreement.

If I am chosen as an alternate, what are the chances that I will receive a FLAS award?
FLAS recipients are generally asked to notify CMES of their decision to accept or decline their FLAS awards by the middle of April. For academic year FLAS awards, we should know the final list of applicants once the departments have notified their incoming students of the status of their applications. After this date, any awards that have been declined would go to the alternates on the list in the order in which they are ranked. Summer FLAS recipients are also asked to accept or decline their awards by early April. However, the final number of FLAS awards given for the summer also depends upon the programs that students attend. It is possible that an additional FLAS (or more) may be feasible if many students attend programs that are cheaper than the maximum allowable for FLAS tuition. Once payment has been made for all Summer FLAS recipients, CMES will know how much money remains and whether students on the alternate list can be funded.

Where do I submit my application?
Via Scholarship Universe.

 

Academic Year FLAS Issues, Rights, and Obligations

What are the course requirements for Academic Year awards?
Students must maintain full-time status during the award period.

Full-time status for an undergraduate student varies with the college and study program, but ordinarily requires a course load of at least 12 units per semester.

Graduate students must be registered for a minimum of nine graduate units (or equivalent) during each semester of the academic year. First and second year language study credits do not count towards graduate credits.

Each semester, all fellows must be enrolled in a Middle East area studies course in addition to language classes for the award language. The Middle East area studies course may not be an independent study, or any enrollment in a course for thesis/dissertaion/comp credits. Nor may fellows take a second language towards the area studies requirement. It must be a taught course with at least 50% Middle East content.

For the award language, there must be a minimum of three units in the language course and level for which the student was awarded the FLAS.

Exceptions to this rule only apply when a student has completed a summer program that has put them at a more advanced level than the one for which the FLAS awarded: in this case, they must enroll in the next level of the award language.

Courses must be taken for credit if they are available that way (Pass/Fail and Auditing are not admissible).

All fellows must complete language courses at a grade of ‘B’ or higher and complete federal reporting requirements. If your FLAS award letter states any additional requirements (ie, additional languages to be studied, degrees to have been completed, etc.) these must also be met in order for you to maintain your FLAS eligibility.

The US Department of Education has mandated that FLAS fellows do pre- and post-award language assessment tests to demonstrate the degree to which language skills have improved over the FLAS award period; these will be required of all FLAS fellows and will be arranged by CMES.

Can I use an Academic Year FLAS to study overseas?
Not usually. Academic Year FLAS awards go to students to study at the University of Arizona except on rare occasions when the CMES Governing Board recognizes a strong reason to send a student to an established program overseas. FLAS travel money is never available for Academic Year awards.

Undergraduate students, however, may use FLAS to spend time abroad during the academic year. Students must maintain full-time enrollment status while abroad.

Can I work or get additional funding while I am a FLAS fellow?
Yes, but only under certain conditions. Work up to 5 hours per week is acceptable and does not need CMES Board approval. More than 5 hours, but fewer than 10 hours requires CMES Board approval and the work must be related to your program of study. More than 10 hours per week of work is not permissible under any circumstances. Contact the FLAS coordinator for further guidance. FLAS fellows may not receive any other federal funding that duplicates any part of the FLAS award during the award period, nor may a fellow accept a Teaching Assistantship during the award period. Work during winter break is not regulated by FLAS.

 

Summer FLAS Issues, Rights, and Obligations

What are the course requirements for Summer FLAS awards?
A summer FLAS fellow must be enrolled in a for-credit, intensive language program that meets the following criteria:

  • at least 6 weeks in duration
  • a minimum of 140 contact hours for beginning or intermediate level,
  • at least 120 contact hours for advanced students,
  • is the equivalent to one full-year of instruction, and
  • offers an official transcript.

 
Note for Graduate student applicants: Summer FLAS fellowships are only awarded for beginning level courses at institutions overseas if the language is not offered in the US in an intensive summer program.

Note for Undergraduate applicants: Department of Education regulations do not allow undergraduates to apply for beginning-level langugage studies.

Note to all recipients: Given the intensive nature of summer language programs (whether domestic or overseas) students may not work in any capacity. It is expected that fellows devote the entire award period to language acquisition on the approved program.

How should my summer grades be recorded in my FLAS records?

The grades received for courses undertaken during your FLAS-supported summer program should be filed with the FLAS Coordinator upon completion of your summer program. This is usually in the form of an official transcript from the institution you attended or your UA transcript, if grades transfer here. If the institution supplies grades in a different format, please contact the FLAS Coordinator to discuss this issue before applying to the program.

Courses must be taken for credit if they are available that way (Pass/Fail and Auditing are not admissible) and fellows must complete language courses at a grade of ‘B’ or higher and complete federal reporting requirements.

The US Department of Education has mandated that FLAS fellows do pre- and post-award language assessment tests to demonstrate the degree to which language skills have improved over the FLAS award period; these will be required of all FLAS fellows and will be arranged by CMES.

Can I use my Summer FLAS award to go to a program other than the one for which the award was given?
No. Your FLAS fellowship was awarded in part on the basis of the program of study that you described in your application and how that ties in with your language and career goals. You must attend the program in your award letter and you must complete the program in its entirety.

Demand is increasing and many programs fill up earlier each year. Program may be canceled. There may be a sudden travel restriction forbidding you to attend your first choice of program. This is why you must apply early and why we ask you to choose three programs.

If my tuition costs are greater than the Summer FLAS award allows, can I pay the difference myself?
No. FLAS fellows are not permitted to pay the balance from their own pockets. In the past, something has usually been worked out with the balance of the money coming from the student’s home department. You should discuss this with the FLAS Coordinator.

Can FLAS pay for foreign travel if I receive a Summer FLAS to travel overseas?
CMES is awarded a certain amount from ED for Summer FLAS awards. If any of this money is not expended in FLAS tuition and stipends, it will be used to award travel money up to a maximum of $1,000 per fellow. If such funds exist, reimbursements will be made after fellows have returned from their language programs.

To be eligible, fellows must have traveled on their approved Fly-America itineraries and must supply CMES with their original receipts.

If I receive a Summer FLAS award to study overseas, should I book my travel right away?
No. If you want to be eligible for a travel reimbursement, you must use an itinerary that complies with the “Fly America Act.”  This itinerary must be approved by the US Department of Education. Find an itinerary that complies, send the information to the FLAS Coordinator with your program information, and wait for approval before purchasing your ticket.

CMES then forwards your program request to the Department of Education for final approval.  This may take up to 30 days.

 

Other important questions

When and how must I submit my FLAS report?
All FLAS fellows are required to submit an electronic report with the Dept of Education.
Towards the end of your award period, you will be notified to submit your report by the International Education Program Service (IEPS) Department of Education online recording system, IRIS. IRIS will give you a username, password, award number and instructions to access your online report.

Summer fellows are also required to submit a report to CMES detailing their summer experience abroad.  If you are chosen as a fellow, we will send you details of the reporting requirements.

What happens if a fellow fails to submit the federal report at the end of the award period?
The remaining portion of the stipend will not be disbursed until the report is submitted. In addition, the fellow will not be eligible to receive future FLAS funding and they may be required to repay the award amount. No summer travel reimbursements will be provided until the report is submitted. Lack of reporting reflects poorly on CMES and may affect our ability to secure future awards.

What happens if a fellow fails to maintain a 3.0 GPA in their supported language?
FLAS fellows who do not receive an ‘A’ or ‘B’ grade in their language course will forfeit additional funding and may be asked to repay previous support.

Who should I contact if I have questions about the FLAS?
Contact the CMES Assistant Director/FLAS Coordinator:

Via Email or by tel: (520)621-5450

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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