FLAS Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships.


General FLAS FAQs

What materials should I prepare for the online application?

  • Statement of purpose. Should relate to potential career goal.
  • Current copies of transcripts
  • Copy registration showing African Language and African area study course
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Current resume or CV
  • Copy of FAFSA confirmation page
  • Proof of citizenship

Are undergraduate students eligible to receive FLAS Fellowships?

Yes. Undergraduate students who are at the intermediate or advanced level of language study are encouraged to apply for both Summer and Academic Year FLAS. Undergraduate Academic Year FLAS Fellowships provide up to $10,000 for tuition and a $5,000 stipend. Summer FLAS Fellowships (undergraduate and graduate) provide up to $5,000 for summer tuition and a stipend of $3,500.

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

Yes, but only for graduate students if they are at the dissertation stage. 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 at the same time?

Yes. Summer and AY FLAS are considered separate awards and the application is slightly different. The deadline for both is January 31, 2020.   

Can I apply to multiple centers for the same language?

Yes. Applicants are encouraged to apply to multiple centers for the same language. Each center's committee will consider your application, thus increasing your chances of being awarded a FLAS fellowship. It is important to note, however, that each Center may have its own priorities or preferences for candidates. Applicants should tailor applications accordingly.

May I use my FLAS to study an African language other than Amharic, Arabic, Swahili, Yoruba, Wolof and Zulu?

No. Howard FLAS Fellowships are to support the study of these languages.

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 course work during the academic year, and in an intensive language study during the summer award period.

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

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.  

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.

If I receive a FLAS, 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). 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.

If I receive a FLAS award, what are the obligations of the fellowship?

There are some reporting obligations all FLAS recipients must fulfill, but they are relatively minor and in no way affect a student’s grades or academic standing. These obligations are primarily for U.S. Department of Education reporting purposes. All FLAS recipients must undergo a pre- and post-FLAS language proficiency exam. They also must complete pre- and post-FLAS online self-assessments. Students will work with their FLAS Coordinator to complete these reporting obligations.

Summer FLAS FAQs

What are the requirements for a summer language program?

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-HU hosted study abroad program?

Yes, if you are a HU student you are eligible to use your summer FLAS award for a Student-Initiated Program (SIP). SIPs allow HU students to earn HU credit for study abroad programs sponsored by other accredited and approved universities and colleges. All SIPs must be approved by HU's FLAS Coordinator and the US Department of Education.

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

Yes. Both HU and Non-HU students are encouraged to apply for FLAS Fellowships covering KU hosted programs. You must, however, be a full-time student registered at some university.

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 FLAS award cover all my program expenses?

Not always. Summer FLAS Fellowships (undergraduate and graduate) provide up to $5,000 for summer tuition and a stipend of $3,500. If your program's tuition exceeds $5,000, for example, you will be responsible for covering the additional costs.

Will my FLAS Award cover all my travel expenses?

No. Technically, FLAS awards do not cover any travel expenses. Some FLAS recipients choose to pay the cost of their travel expenses from their stipend, but this is at the discretion of the student. Depending on if the funds are available at the end of the summer, a center may offer travel awards to students with international travel expenses, but these travel awards are not guaranteed and are entirely at the discretion of the center and dependent on whether or not the monies are available.

What is the Fly America Act?

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.

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 $3,500 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 $2,500.

Academic Year FLAS FAQs

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 HU area studies center choose to study at HU during the academic year. Some HU 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 HU 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.  

FLAS Obligations and Requirements FAQs

What are the reporting requirements if I receive a FLAS?

As a term and condition of their FLAS award, recipients must complete:

  • Beginning of award period:
    • Pre-Self Assessment Survey
    • Pre-Language Evaluation
  • Award Agreement:
    • Post-Self Assessment Survey
    • Post-Language Evaluation

I received both an Academic Year and Summer FLAS, can I submit a single self assessment survey covering both award periods?

No. Your Academic Year and Summer FLAS are separate awards and require separate student self-assessment surveys for each fellowship received.

What happens if I do not complete my pre- and post-self assessment surveys?

Completion of your pre- and post-self assessment surveys is a U.S. Department of Education term and condition of the fellowship. Failure to do so 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.

What happens if I do not complete my pre- and post-language evaluations?

Pre- and post-evaluations are a U.S. Department of Education term and condition of the fellowship. Failure to do so could result in withholding of award monies, rejection from future FLAS awards, or both.

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

Students are responsible for arranging their pre- and post-language evaluations with appropriate, approved instructors. The name and contact information for the approved language instructor can be obtained from your FLAS Coordinator.

Should the same language instructor administer my pre- and post language evaluations?

Yes, to the greatest extent possible. Having the same instructor available to administer both tests allows for consistency in the student instructor testing protocol and provides for a more valid assessment of your progress and proficiency.

What if it is not possible for the same language instructor to administer both my pre- and post-language evaluations?

Contact your FLAS Coordinator. Your FLAS Coordinator will need to seek special approval from the U.S. Department of Education if you will require 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.

Are there any post-FLAS obligations?

Yes. As a recipient of a FLAS Fellowship you are obligated to complete biennial surveys regarding your employment and target language use post-graduation.