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Cross posting because I realized that this might be a more relevant place for this question. 

One of the PhD programs that I applied to (at a UC school) reached out and told me that they wanted to nominate me for a fellowship (from the description, it sounds like the Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship). They explained that if they nominate me and then I decline, the department would lose the money that could have gone to another student and so they wanted to make sure that I was committed to going if awarded the fellowship. They had to submit their nominations that next day, so the next afternoon I affirmed that I was really excited about going to this school. The person who reached out to me also told me that "the department's plan would be for [redacted] to be your lead advisor and me to be secondary". 

It sounds like I will definitely be accepted if I am awarded the fellowship, but I'm confused about where I stand if not. I don't mind waiting for an official acceptance. However, I had planned to apply to additional programs (including PhD, funded masters, and post-bac programs) with upcoming deadlines such as Feb 1. I don't want to put the time, effort, and sometimes money into applications nor do I want to bother my recommenders if I can infer that I'm going to be accepted, but I don't want to risk being rejected from this program (and the four other programs I have so far applied to). 

Should I assume that I'm going to be accepted? Should I view this as a good sign but keep applying? Should I text the person who reached out (that's how we've been communicating) and explain what I did here and just ask? Or would asking be a terrible idea? 

I just don't know the formalities for situations like these.

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