The purpose of this policy is to establish a policy and procedure governing scholarships, fellowships and other monetary awards paid to students in order to comply with federal requirements and ensure effective management.
- Financial Aid - Any amount paid or benefit provided toward a student's educationally related expenses. Educationally related expenses include: tuition and fees, room and board, books, travel expenses, dependent care, study abroad, expenses related to a student's disability, personal expenses, and miscellaneous expenses. If payment is made as a result of the individual's employment in a job (e.g., Outstanding Student Employee Award), that payment is not considered financial aid.
- Scholarship - Generally an amount of $500 or more paid for the benefit of an undergraduate student to aid in the pursuit of studies. UNCW scholarships generally fall under either of the following groups:
- Grant/contract supported scholarships are scholarships that are part of a larger grant/contract, are awarded specifically for financial aid, and are subject to review and approval by the Office of Sponsored Programs.
- All other scholarships are generally established through University Advancement, are supported through a signed donor agreement and are assigned a FRS account.
- Fellowship- Generally an amount of $500 or more paid for the benefit of a graduate student to aid in the pursuit of study or research. UNCW fellowships generally fall under either of the following groups:
- Grant/contract supported fellowships are fellowships that are part of a larger grant/contract, are awarded specifically for financial aid, and are subject to review and approval by the Office of Sponsored Programs.
- All other fellowships are generally established through University Advancement, are supported through a signed donor agreement and are assigned a FRS account.
- Monetary Award/Prizes - Generally an amount less than $500 paid for the benefit of a student. Awards generally have not been established through written donor agreements with University Advancement and often do not have separate FRS accounts. Awards are often funded by departments through trust funds and include prizes (e.g., First Place Poetry Prize).
- Need-Based Scholarship - A scholarship awarded primarily on the basis of the student's financial need.
- Merit-Based Scholarship - A scholarship awarded primarily on the basis of the student's academic achievement, special talent, and/or community service.
- Athletic Scholarship - A scholarship based in any degree on athletic ability.
- Scholarships Awarded by Off-Campus Agencies - Scholarships awarded by off-campus agencies that have designated funding for UNCW students. Generally, these agencies select the recipient(s) and the funds are not university controlled.
- Outside Scholarship - A scholarship awarded by an outside agency that selects the recipient and the agency does not specifically set aside funding for UNCW students.
- Award Year - A financial aid term consisting of fall semester, spring semester, Summer I and Summer II. The award year crosses two fiscal years and two calendar years.
- Award Authority - The university department or program responsible for selecting the recipient of the scholarship, fellowship, or monetary award.
University Advancement oversees the establishment of all named scholarships/ fellowships and solicitation of gifts for such purposes. (See ADV 1.30.) University departments and off-campus donors who wish to establish scholarships or fellowships at UNCW must work through University Advancement. In this process, University Advancement will determine whether the scholarship is awarded primarily on the basis of need, merit, or athletic ability as specified in the donor agreement.
University departments may establish monetary awards/prizes, provided the awards/prizes do not create a perception of being viewed or valued at the scholarship/fellowship level. All awards or prizes named after a donor require coordination through University Advancement.
UNCW will not establish institutional scholarships, fellowships or monetary awards that are awarded in a manner inconsistent with UNCW's policies or state and federal laws regarding equality of educational opportunity. UNCW does not discriminate against applicants, students or employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, political affiliation, or relationship to other university constituents.
All financial aid will be administered and awarded by the Financial Aid & Veterans Services Office (FAVSO).
Monetary awards or prizes are not listed in the university catalogue but may be advertised through departmental publications.
In general, amounts to be awarded will not be publicized, as available income may fluctuate annually.
University Relations and the FAVSO must approve press releases and other publications announcing recipients.
The award authority is responsible for complying with the donor agreement or criteria to determine eligible recipients. If scholarship funds have been committed to an ineligible student, the department will be required to fund the commitment from trust funds or other appropriate source of funds.
Establishing Financial Accounts
Financial (FRS) accounts are established in accordance with administrative policy ACG 1.20.
If a financial account should be established for a grant or contract, the Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible for initiating the establishment of the account and will be the responsible person for the account. When a portion of the grant or contract includes funding for grant/contract supported financial aid, all of the financial aid actions will be coordinated through the Director of Financial Aid & Veterans Services.
The Director of Financial Aid & Veterans Services is responsible for initiating the establishment of all other financial accounts that support an institutional scholarship or fellowship or that will provide funding for students that meets the definition of "financial aid" as contained in this policy.
To comply with federal regulations that require an institution to designate one individual to coordinate all financial assistance to students, the university has designated the Director of Financial Aid & Veterans Services as the responsible person for coordinating all financial aid transactions. As such, the Director of Financial Aid & Veterans Services is the responsible person and only individual with requisition access for all financial accounts specifically established to support financial aid transactions.
Grant/contract supported financial aid amounts will be coordinated with the Director of Sponsored Programs.
The Comptroller and the Director of Financial Aid & Veterans Services will jointly determine maximum award amounts for each established fund annually (approximately February 15) for the next award year. These amounts may be lower than specified by the donor agreement in cases where the university does not expect sufficient revenue to fully fund the amount specified by the donor. The FAVSO will notify University Advancement of such instances and will notify the department responsible for selecting recipients of the amounts available for award approximately March 1 for the next award year. Award amounts may be adjusted throughout the year with the approval of the FAVSO and Comptroller to account for additional revenues, etc.
In the event a department commits funds in excess of available funding, the department must fund the overage from an appropriate source.
The FAVSO will select recipients of all scholarships, fellowships and awards that are primarily need-based. When not primarily need-based, the donor agreement or scholarship criteria will designate a responsible university department or program as the award authority. Selection of recipients for scholarships, fellowships, and awards that are primarily merit based or based on athletic ability will be made in accordance with the donor agreement or criteria. In cases where financial need is a factor but not the primary factor in the selection process, the FAVSO will rank order individuals being considered for the award for consideration by the individual or committee making the selection decision when requested.
Departments selecting recipients must notify the FAVSO to ensure compliance with federal regulations. Departments initiating financial aid transactions from accounts not under the control of the FAVSO must coordinate such transactions with the FAVSO. Federal regulations require such coordination because a scholarship or other financial award may require a revision to other types of financial aid the student has received or will receive.
The award authority may send a letter notifying the student of the award. If the letter includes information about the FAVSO, the letter should be coordinated with the FAVSO. The FAVSO sends the official award letter, showing all financial aid awarded to the student.
The FAVSO will authorize disbursement of all financial aid funds to student accounts. The Student Accounts Office is responsible for delivery of funds in accordance with university policies and procedures.
- Coordinate through University Advancement all efforts to establish institutional scholarships and fellowships. (See ADV 1.30.)
- University departments may establish monetary awards/prizes, provided the awards/prizes do not create a perception of being viewed or valued at the scholarship/fellowship level. To name an award or prize after a donor, coordinate with University Advancement.
Before making an award, coordinate with the Director of Financial Aid & Veterans Services to ensure funds availability and financial aid eligibility. If the source of funds is a grant/contract account, also consult with the Office of Sponsored Programs to ensure available funding and any timing restraints.
Note: If the department commits funds in excess of available funding or if the department commits funds to an ineligible recipient, the department is required to fund the commitment from trust funds or other sources.
- Upon selection of the recipient, the award authority completes a Scholarship / Fellowship / Monetary Award Transmittal and a Scholarship / Fellowship / Monetary Award Criteria Form, both forms are available on the Financial Aid Forms site and may be accessed directly at:
http://www.uncw.edu/sp/AdmForms/FormsMSWord/fin110-w2.doc (MS-Word format)
http://www.uncw.edu/sp/AdmForms/FormsPDF/fin110.pdf (PDF format) http://www.uncw.edu/sp/AdmForms/FormsMSWord/fin110a-w2.doc (MS-Word format)
http://www.uncw.edu/sp/AdmForms/FormsPDF/fin110a.pdf (PDF format)
- When completing the transmittal and the award criteria:
- If awarding a scholarship or fellowship, complete the FIN 1.10A to document the student's eligibility in accordance with the donor terms and conditions.
- Forward the completed transmittal form and the FIN 1.10A to the FAVSO to initiate the request for disbursement of financial aid funds. For grant/contract accounts, submit completed forms to the Office of Sponsored Programs, who will review and then forward to the FAVSO.
- The department may send a letter notifying the recipient; however, the FAVSO sends the official award letter to the student. The official award letter provides information regarding the total financial aid awarded to the stude
- When publishing information concerning institutional scholarships, fellowships and monetary awards or prizes in any departmental publications (including departmental Web sites), ensure that the description for the scholarship or fellowship matches the description published in the university catalog. Coordinate any exceptions with University Advancement and the FAVSO.
- Keep in mind that amounts to be awarded are not generally publicized, as available income may fluctuate annually.
- The FAVSO authorizes the disbursement of financial aid to students. Disbursement is generally initiated by a feed of funds to the Student Accounts Office.
- The Student Accounts Office applies scholarships, fellowships, and awards/prizes directly to institutional charges (tuition, fees, room, and board). Excess funds are available to the student within 14 days of the date the credit balance occurs or within 14 days of the first day of class, whichever is later.