Notify SFA of Scholarship Awards Early
Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, and Department Administrators are reminded of the need to notify SFA as soon as possible about all students receiving college-awarded scholarships, grants, fellowships, stipends, waivers, loans, or funds of any type for the upcoming academic year. In order to receive the security role needed to report scholarships, Department Administrators must complete “SFA 100 – Reporting College and Department Scholarships” training module. Federal and state regulations governing financial aid require UF to factor in all sources of assistance before awarding aid. Students also must notify us of any non-SFA scholarships they are or will be receiving to avoid the necessity of having their awards adjusted mid-semester, or of having to repay aid already received.
See http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/pub/other/drs.pdflink to original administrative memo.
If you have questions or need assistance, please send inquiries to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org:email@example.com@mail.ufl.edu.
Payments to Students
It is crucial that payments to students are handled correctly for HEA (Higher Education Act) compliance because inaccuracies or omissions can jeopardize the institution’s eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs, potentially affecting the financial aid availability for the students and inviting severe legal repercussions for the institution. Correct handling of student payments is also vital for tax purposes, as any discrepancies can lead to substantial penalties for both the institution and the students, and can compromise the financial integrity and reputation of the institution. To determine the best way to make a payment to a student, https://www.sfa.ufl.edu/pub/other/PaymentstoStudents-01.04.24.xlsxsee this resource.
- There is one UF definition of “need” as determined by SFA. Any donor restricted scholarship using words like: “need,” “needy,” “financially disadvantaged,” etc. will all be administered by this one standard. UF Standard:
For purposes of determining eligibility for need-based scholarships, students who have demonstrated any financial need according to a federally-approved method of need analysis are considered “needy.” The actual amount of the award shall be determined by the terms of the donor agreement and need not be limited to the amount of need as determined by the federal methodology. Unless specified to the contrary in the donor agreement, scholarship awards shall not be reduced or cancelled due to the student’s receipt of additional financial aid or other resources. The award can be modified or cancelled, however, if the information used to determine initial eligibility is found to be in error.Determination of need must only be calculated for the first year of the student’s scholarship for renewable awards, and may be renewed for subsequent years without reapplying.
- Scholarships that are exclusively or primarily need-based will be managed by the Office for Student Financial Affairs (SFA). SFA will be the University of Florida Foundation (UFF) fund administrator and SFA will authorize all such disbursements to UF Finance and Accounting.
ex: sole restriction is “need,” or “scholarship is to be awarded to “needy student in Engineering.”
- College or Unit managed need-based scholarships: If a donor-restricted scholarship includes a number of restrictions or factors, among which is “need,” and this scholarship is best managed by the College or Unit, then the College/Unit will be the UFF fund administrator.
ex: “scholarship to needy Finance majors in the Warrington College of Business with an interest in banking.” The College/Unit must use the UF definition of need as calculated by SFA to determine need eligibility before awarding these scholarships. Guidance on determining “need” is provided through the “SFA 100 – Reporting College and Department Scholarships” training module which department administrators are required to complete for access to scholarship reporting.
- http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/ethics-in-business-scholarships/Business Ethics Match Scholarships will be managed either by SFA or the College/Unit as appropriate. SFA will develop a standard certification form for the required documented community service (minimum 10 hours). In addition, the requirement that the student recipient take at least one credit hour of an approved business ethics course shall be satisfied by the student before his or her senior year; such completion will be a requirement for registration in the senior year. Failure to take this course will cause a “hold” to be placed on the student’s record by the awarding department or college.
- Donor restrictions, including preferences, must be honored. The College/Unit must implement applications and processes to safeguard that these criteria are met. The College/Unit will be the UFF Fund Administrator.
- The https://www.uff.ufl.edu/impact/scholarship/UFF scholarship Web site and UFF gift agreements are the official source for donor restrictions.
- Annually, Deans and Fund Administrators will be required to certify to UFF that all awards are consistent with donor-restrictions, as reflected on an annual report to be generated by UFF.
- Each https://www.uff.ufl.edu/Documents/Document.asp?DocID=703UFF Disbursement Request Form (UFF-DR) for scholarships will also require completion of a new form, https://www.uff.ufl.edu/Documents/Document.asp?DocID=718Source of Funds (SOF) Transfer Request (UFF-K).
- Each college/unit will report to SFA all scholarship recipients and award amounts. SFA will be the sole disbursing authority for these scholarships. Guidance on reporting scholarship recipients to SFA is provided through the “SFA 100 – Reporting College and Department Scholarships” training module which department administrators are required to complete for access to scholarship reporting.
- The recipients of all donor-restricted scholarship awards, whether need-based or otherwise, shall be encouraged to produce a “thank you” letter to the donor or fund contact person (if there is one). Each college and unit should work with UFF’s Department of Stewardship and Donor Relations for details on where to send letters.
- Each fall the College/Unit will provide annual stewardship letters to accompany UFF’s Annual Endowment Report to donors of endowed scholarships, which will include the fund restrictions on the Report.
- The Colleges and Units will also provide similar letters to donors of non-endowed scholarships.
- College/Unit officers and SFA shall notify UFF’s Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations of scholarship recipients annually after obtaining consent from the students.
In the event that a College/Unit wishes to expend monies from the spendable fund of a non-scholarship UFF endowment through UF, the College/Unit shall establish a unique MG&G account, which shall be used exclusively for and in accordance with the donor restrictions from the endowment.
When a College/Unit wishes to transfer monies from the UFF endowment’s spendable fund to UF, the College/Unit shall contact UF Foundation’s Finance and Accounting department at 392-5958.
Please note below the revised definitions recently adopted by the UF Foundation as part of the UF Fund-Raising Policy.
To establish an endowed fellowship, a minimum gift of $350,000 is required. Partial fellowships may be funded. A fellowship is awarded to a student who is working towards an advanced degree in any graduate program (and this award may include a research or teaching assignment if deemed appropriate for the advanced education of the student).
To establish an endowed assistantship, a minimum gift of $350,000 is required. Partial assistantships may be funded. An assistantship is awarded to a student who is working towards an advanced degree in any graduate program and who is required to work in exchange for this support.
An assistantship may be governed by a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the University and the Graduate Assistants United, if any.
Please note that for any term in which a graduate student is required to work (whether called scholarship, fellowship or assistantship), the support received by that student may be subject to federal income taxes and must be reported through Payroll, rather than awarded via Student Financial Affairs.
Please note that all graduate assistantships must comply with the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with Graduate Assistants United, United Faculty of Florida, if any.
If you are responsible for awarding a scholarship, fellowship or assistantship which is designated for a graduate or professional student, and “need” is part of the criteria, you must have a written procedure for determining “need.” The following are guidelines for the administration of need-based scholarships, fellowships and assistantships:
- You may contact the Office for Student Financial Affairs to inquire if the student has completed the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If so, you may use that information to determine if the student has met the federal guidelines of having “need.”
- You may get a letter from the student that thoroughly explains the circumstances qualifying him or her as “needy” or have the student complete the http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/pub/other/Determination_of_Financial_Need.docDetermination of Need form. You will be responsible for maintaining this information for audit purposes. It is suggested that you incorporate this into your application/selection process.
Please note, the following will not meet the requirement of verifying “need” for audit purposes:
- A blanket statement that “all graduate and professional student are considered to be “needy.”
- A one or two line statement from the student where by the student states “I am needy.”
Should you need assistance or clarification in developing a written procedure for determining “need,” you may contact the scholarship area in the Office for Student Financial Affairs at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org:email@example.com@mail.ufl.edu.