University Scholarship Policy
UPPS No. 02.05.01
Issue No. 8
Effective Date: 5/30/2017
Next Review Date: 8/01/2020 (E3Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Director, Financial Aid and Scholarships and Chair, Financial Aid Advisory, Appeals, and Scholarship Awards Committee
These guidelines establish principles, policies, and responsibilities for the coordination of scholarship activities throughout Texas State University.
The university has designed these guidelines to ensure fair treatment for all eligible students who apply for scholarship assistance, as well as the effective and compliant administration of university scholarships.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE FINANCIAL AID ADVISORY, APPEALS, AND SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS COMMITTEE
The Financial Aid Advisory, Appeals, and Scholarship Awards Committee (composed of at least two students, seven faculty, two academic deans or their designees, director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, director of Undergraduate Admissions or a designee, and a representative from both Students Affairs and University Advancement) is responsible for the development of general policy regarding the awarding of undergraduate scholarships administered by Financial Aid and Scholarships. In addition, while they do not specifically select scholarship recipients, the committee members will recommend scholarship ranking formulas or conduct a review and overall assessment of the applications received from students who wish to be considered for university scholarships awarded by Financial Aid and Scholarships. Financial Aid and Scholarships will then award these scholarships.
The committee has four primary charges:
recommending to the associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing (AVPEMM) overall university policies for all Texas State scholarship programs;
recommending to the AVPEMM policies regarding need-based aid;
conducting reviews and overall assessments of scholarship applications for which Financial Aid and Scholarships has awarding responsibility; and
serving as the final body for appeals pertaining to financial aid eligibility and athletic scholarships.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SCHOLARSHIPS
The primary functions of the assistant director of Scholarships include:
working with scholarship award groups and scholarship recipients to facilitate adherence to endowment compliance requirements and federal regulations;
coordinating administrative activities to ensure that documentation and information flow in a systematic and timely fashion; and
assessing scholarship appeals (e.g., national and assured scholarship programs) and making recommendations to the director of Financial Aid and Scholarships for appropriate actions.
GENERAL SCHOLARSHIP POLICIES
The university will award university scholarships on a competitive basis, as early as the preceding school year and consistent with adequate safeguards to ensure fairness and full publicity. Student athletes are eligible for academic awards; however, NCAA regulations shall take precedence when awarding academic scholarships to student athletes.
The university’s general scholarship application, as well as the Bobcat Online Scholarship System (BOSS), is administered by Financial Aid and Scholarships. Scholarship applications are normally submitted online to Financial Aid and Scholarships. In the instances when departments or schools elect to use the applications administered by Financial Aid and Scholarships, the requested application information will be made available.
GENERAL SCHOLARSHIP PROCEDURES
When awarding funds to a student, whether from a grant or scholarship, the awarding department will need to either submit a Scholarship Recipient List (or enter the award via the BOSS) or appropriate Accounts Payable form. To determine which payment process is appropriate, the awarding department should review the Awarding University Funds to Students webpage. Regardless of the payment process, any funds disbursed by the university to help defray a student’s educationally-related expenses will be considered a form of financial assistance for purposes of determining overall financial aid eligibility (see 34 CFR 673.5(c )).
Even though certain awards may be intended to assist with educational costs such as research, students do not have the ability to purchase certain materials or substances (such as chemicals or live specimens) as an individual on the open market. When such items are needed for a student’s research project, the portion of a student’s award covering these costs will be placed in a university account. The university will then make the purchases on the student’s behalf using the appropriate Accounts Payable form.
In some cases, equipment may also be purchased under this method (i.e., using the appropriate Accounts Payable form). Please note that when purchased in this manner, Texas State assumes ownership of such purchased supplies or equipment. Under this method, Texas State will always make payment directly to the vendors for these purchases. Students should never pay directly for such items and later request reimbursement.
With the exception of scholarship funds used to purchase controlled materials or substances (see Section 05.02), scholarship awards will be processed via Financial Aid and Scholarships. Processing of awards through Financial Aid and Scholarships helps ensure compliance with applicable federal Title IV regulations.
Prior to awarding funds for the first time from a scholarship account, the awarding department will provide the assistant director of Scholarships the established criteria used to select recipients. The criteria information will be communicated using the Departmental Scholarship Transmittal form. The university will use the information provided on this form to establish a Financial Aid fund code for the scholarship, which will allow the tracking and disbursement of individual scholarship funds within the student information system.
In some situations, scholarships may need to be awarded late in the award cycle. However, to assist with the coordination of aid and avoid students having to repay their financial assistance, it is recommended that the department, school, college, and other award groups:
incoming students: March 15; and
returning students: May 1;
provide timely notification to their award recipients and publicize the awards as appropriate;
notify the award recipients that their receipt of a scholarship may affect their other financial aid and to visit with Financial Aid and Scholarships regarding any related questions; and
notify eligible students, as well as Student Business Services via the Competitive Scholarships Waiver under University Approved Forms, within five business days of their competitive scholarship waiver for those receiving a qualifying competitive scholarship of at least $1,000.
Scholarship funds will be disbursed via Student Business Services. Scholarship funds will first be applied as a credit toward a recipient’s outstanding institutional charges. Funds remaining after this crediting process will be forwarded to the student. The only exception is for grant and scholarship accounts for which the grantor or donor (e.g., U.S. Department of Education) requires the educationally-related funds to be used for specific educational purposes (e.g., a student’s research costs). Such exception requests from awarding departments will be reviewed and approved by the assistant director of Scholarships.
In any given academic year, a student’s institutional scholarships and any other financial aid may not exceed a student’s financial need and cost of attendance, as determined by Financial Aid and Scholarships. When reduction of financial aid is necessary to resolve an over-award, Financial Aid and Scholarships will first attempt to resolve the over-award by reducing any loans and then work-study awarded to the recipient.
Students who receive Texas State scholarships may accept scholarships from external sources.
Students who receive scholarships may have some income tax implications. For specific tax questions, students should consult with their tax professional as Texas State is not able to provide individual tax advice. Students may also find it helpful to read IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education. All federal income tax forms and publications may be downloaded from the IRS website.
REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS
Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:
Position Date Director, Financial Aid and Scholarships and Chair, Financial Aid Advisory, Appeals, and Scholarship Awards Committee August 1 E3Y Assistant Director, Scholarships August 1 E3Y
This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.
Director, Financial Aid and Scholarships and Chair, Financial Aid Advisory, Appeals, and Scholarship Awards Committee; senior reviewer of this UPPS
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs