The University of ArizonaThe University of Arizona
Financial Policies & ProceduresFinancial Policies & Procedures

13.10 Student Scholarship Awards

Purpose:To provide information on Student Scholarship Awards
Policy Owner:Financial Management

Refer to section 13.01, Introduction to Methods of Student Payments, for clarification of scholarships versus consulting fees and wages and the appropriate method of payment.


  1. A scholarship is generally an amount paid, allowed to, or for the benefit of a student at an educational institution to aid in the pursuit of studies (IRS Publication 970 (2007), Tax Benefits for Education).  The Internal Revenue Code further indicates that any such payment may not represent compensation for personal services.
  2. Awards of scholarship funds may be made to currently enrolled students through the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid (OSFA) . Questions may be directed to OSFA (520-621-7789). Note: If a payment is for a postdoctoral fellow, then follow Section 13.31 and use a Disbursement Voucher.
  3. The amount and term of the award must be in accordance with the policies of the granting agency and the specific agreement which funds the award. All federal agreements which support scholarship awards are subject to federal audit.
  4. The program director, who initiates each award, is responsible for ensuring that the award recipient meets all eligibility requirements, and is eligible to receive the first and all subsequent scholarship checks for the period of the award.
  5. Scholarship payments will be made once each academic term for the term of the award. Refer to the Schedule of Classes to determine the recipient's disbursement sequence. Multiple payments within a semester should not be made unless required by a specific grant, donor or sponsor. Without a requirement from the funding source to make multiple payments, the multiple payments have the appearance of compensation since almost all grants, national and University scholarships and federal aid are paid lump sum for the semester.
  6. Scholarships are credited to the student's account by OSFA's disbursement program. The student must be currently enrolled for a scholarship to be credited to their account in the Bursar's Office. The student must be enrolled two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester for the funds to be available on the first day of class. The student will receive the amount of the scholarship less any monies owed to the University or withheld due to federal income tax requirements.
    Exception: If the department wishes to disburse the proceeds, the department must provide the Bursar's Office a list of student names and ID numbers and a list of persons authorized to pick up the checks. This list must be received three weeks prior to the first day of the semester in which the award is granted. If the student has not registered three weeks prior to the start of class, he or she will not be eligible for disbursement by the department.
  7. The legal residency of all students is determined by the Residency Classification Office. The academic departments should not attempt to classify the legal residency of students.
  8. If an award recipient receives an ineligible payment for any reason, the program director must require that the ineligible amount be repaid by the student to the specific funding agreement. A student's records may be encumbered for the ineligible amount pending a repayment to the agreement, if this action is deemed necessary.
  9. If a recipient becomes ineligible for the scholarship payment prior to receiving the payment, the program director must return any check(s) not delivered to the recipient to the Bursar's Office.