I just got a notice from my school that I'd won a distinguished fellowship. I'm a doctoral candidate so I get paid by the school through my department's budget and in return provide services to the school (in my case, teaching the required freshman philosophy course). There are also distinguished fellowships which are funded through special donations and are "competitive" - not all grad students receive them, they're typically worth slightly more money, and sometimes they come with extra minor requirements like meeting with the donors, keeping some offices more informed of your progress, etc. - nothing too onerous. Mainly they look good on the CV.
I just heard that I got one of them for next year, and didn't realize I was even under consideration. This makes me very happy in a they like me, they really like me sort of way - I've felt very much like a midling scholar here, and I'm wondering just what I did to stand out, or if it's not as prestigious as I'm thinking! (May be something everyone receives and I just never heard of it...) In any event, it's definitely a good ego boost.
ETA: It is indeed a competitive fellowship, and means I get an extra year with no teaching duties. Yayz indeed!