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

13.10 Student Scholarship Awards

Procedure Information

Number: 13.10Effective Date: 08/22/2012
Responsible Unit: FSO - Financial ManagementLast Revised Date: 05/10/2017
Email: fin-mgmt@fso.arizona.eduPhone: 520.621.3220

Purpose and Summary

To provide guidelines for the administration and awarding of scholarships.  The University provides undergraduate and graduate scholarships to enrolled students through funds provided by various sources, including alumni, private donors, federal and state government, and University general funds.  Disbursement of scholarship funds will be conducted through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) for federal, state, and University scholarships.  The University of Arizona Foundation (UAF) Scholarship Office manages the funds for foundations, corporations, and private donor scholarships.

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

Scope

This procedure applies University-wide, including Main Campus, the Arizona Health Sciences Campus, the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, and the University of Arizona-South. In addition, this policy applies to all extension off-site campus units, both domestic and international.  

Definitions

  1. Award: See Scholarship.
  2. Coordination: Federal regulations require the coordination of federal financial aid awards with all resources, including external (private) scholarships and grants, fellowships, waivers (including the out of state tuition waiver), stipends, and other educational benefits for students receiving federal financial aid.
  3. External Awards: UAccess Student function that departments use to award scholarships (awards processed by departments are often referred to as "external awards"). Additional UAccess training (UAccess Student: Financial Aid External Awards for Departments) is required to be able to award scholarships through UAccess Student.
  4. Frequency: Scholarships should be awarded before the start of the semester. Awards are usually divided into two payments (one for fall and one for spring), unless requested differently by the grant, donor, or sponsor.
  5. Grant: See Scholarship. Grants for the purpose of this procedure are not related to a Sponsored Project grant.
  6. Multiple Payments: Multiple payments within a semester are not allowed unless required by a specific grant, donor, or sponsor. Without a requirement from the funding source, multiple payments have the appearance of compensation.
  7. Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA): OSFA is responsible for awarding federal, state, and institutional financial aid (grants, work-study, and loans) and coordinates all aid awarded to students per applicable policies and regulations. This includes all scholarships awarded by departments.
  8. Over-award: An over-award status means that the total financial aid from all sources exceeds the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA), which is the estimated cost for tuition, fees, books, housing, utilities, food, and other miscellaneous expenses. Since a students’ financial aid cannot exceed their COA, their account is placed in over-award status and the award(s) cannot be disbursed until OSFA reviews the over-award.
  9. Residency Classification Office: The Residency Classification Office determines the residency for all University students. The academic departments should not attempt to classify the students.
  10. Scholarship: Generally, an amount paid or allowed to, or for the benefit of, a student at an educational institution to aid in the pursuit of his or her studies (IRS Publication 970 (2016), Tax Benefits for Education). The Internal Revenue Code further indicates that any such payment may not represent compensation for personal services. Can also be referred to as a grant, award, or stipend.
  11. Scholarship Administrator: Each campus/college/administrative unit should have a designated scholarship administrator who will serve as the primary point of contact for scholarships. The scholarship administrator and any scholarship committees should follow established, written procedures, which they have developed for selecting eligible recipients and awarding scholarships according to specified qualifications.
  12. Scholarship Universe (SU): An advanced scholarship management system which is the designated platform for the coordination and selection of students for scholarships. Units are encouraged to register and administer all scholarships through Scholarship Universe.
  13. University of Arizona Foundation (UAF): A private, non-profit Arizona corporation that provides assistance to the University in three areas: fundraising, asset management, and facilitation.

Procedures

NOTE: If you are awarding a postdoctoral fellow, refer to 13.31 Processing Fellowship Awards for Postdoctoral Fellows.

Awarding Students

  1. Determine the availability of funding by checking the balances within UAccess Financials and reviewing the UAF projections when applicable. Prior to administering external awards, the scholarship administrator is responsible for verifying availability of funding. 
  2. Choose award recipient(s) based on specifications of funding:
    1. Scholarships will be awarded based on specific donor requirements within the scholarship agreement.
    2. Scholarship Universe is the designated platform for departments to determine student eligibility and to select recipients.
    3. The scholarship administrator is responsible for verifying student’s eligibility prior to processing the scholarship. This includes renewals of scholarships.
    4. For University endowments, the Office of the General Counsel will determine the usage of scholarship funds when the donor is silent on financial need and merit requirements in coordination with the applicable college/department.
    5. Awarding UAF Agreements
      1. For agreements not based on financial need and/or merit, the UAF Office of Fiduciary Compliance will determine the usage of scholarship funds when the donor is silent on financial need and merit requirements in coordination with the applicable college/department.
      2. For existing agreements,the UAF Scholarship Office will be the coordinating office for questions regarding the interpretation of scholarship language in existing donor agreements with respect to scholarship awarding requirements and stewardship of funds.
        1. Departments and colleges will make determinations of awarding when required and, when needed, consult with OSFA or the UAF Scholarship Office.
        2. The UAF Scholarship Office will manage the overall process and respond to outcomes of the decisions.
        3. Executors, friends, and family members of the donor or his/her estate cannot add to or change criteria or compel the UA to administer the funds in a way that differs from the donor's written wishes. In coordination with the Office of Planned Giving, colleges/departments
    6. In coordination with the Office of Planned Giving, colleges/departments will recommend utilization of bequests that are silent on need or merit to meet UA scholarship gift establishment goals.
    7. Development officers should directly consult with the following units when scholarship agreements are non-standard:
      1. Academic Dean (or Designee)
      2. UAF Office of Fiduciary Compliance
      3. UAF Financial Services Office
      4. UAF Board & Donor Engagement
  3. Submit award(s) using UAccess Student External Awards function
    1. All financial aid payments to UA students are made through the UAccess Student system and processed through the students’ Bursar account in order to comply with federal student aid regulations. 
    2. The student must meet the requirements of the award for it to be credited.
    3. The student will receive the amount of the scholarship, less any monies owed to the University, or withheld due to federal income tax requirements.
  4. Verify that awards were approved and processed. To view the status of a transaction, log in to Administrative Staff on UAccess Student: Main Menu > Financial Aid > UA External Awards > Manage External Awards.
  5. To monitor students’ Bursar accounts for award disbursements in UAccess Analytics: Student > Student Fin Aid & Fin Details> Student Awards.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where can I find more information regarding awarding departmental scholarships/fellowships/stipends?
    For more information regarding departmental awarding, please refer to Departmental Help for Scholarships and Stipends.
  2. Why should we use Scholarship Universe?
    Scholarship Universe (SU) is an advanced scholarship management system for University students and departments.  Prospective recipients are matched to scholarships they are eligible to apply for and that are currently accepting applications. SU allows departments to customize an application that will match only with students who meet their scholarship specifications (for example – major, GPA etc.). There is functionality to review the applicants, select recipients, and produce a list that can be uploaded to External Awards. The departments are also able to monitor all SU activity.
  3. How do we find eligible recipients?
    SU allows departments to customize an application that will match only with students who meet their scholarship specifications (for example – major, GPA etc.).
  4. Whom can I contact for assistance with setting up procedures to administer endowed scholarships?
    The department should contact the UAF Scholarship Development office at scholarships@uafoundation.org.
  5. How can I get training on Scholarship Universe?
    Once a Scholarship Administrator has been assigned, the Scholarship Administrator can contact Scholarship Universe at OSFA-SU@email.arizona.edu or the UAF Scholarship Development office at scholarships@uafoundation.org to arrange one-on-one training.
  6. Is there a deadline to process scholarships to applicants?
    It is recommended that merit awards are awarded no later than May 1st, prior to the beginning of the respective fall semester and renewal awards by June 1st.  All financial aid payments to University students are made through the UAccess Student system and processed through the students’ Bursar account in order to comply with federal student aid regulations.  Awards with a financial need requirement will be renewed based on the academic criteria established for renewal of the awards and demonstrated financial need of the student determined by the FAFSA.
  7. As a Scholarship Administrator, whom can I contact regarding questions about awarding my scholarship?
    Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid - OSFA-DeptAskAid@email.arizona.edu
    UAF Scholarship Development - scholarships@uafoundation.org
    Scholarship Universe - OSFA-SU@email.arizona.edu

Related Information

13.00 Student and Postdoctoral Payments
13.01 Introduction to Methods of Paying Students
13.31 Processing Fellowship Awards for Postdoctoral Fellows
Departmental Help for Scholarships and Stipends
IRS Publication 970 (2007), Tax Benefits for Education
Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid 
Residency Classification Office
Scholarship Universe
UAccess training