Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms Business Policies and Procedures Manual

FINANCE
30.90
Revised 11-14

For more information contact:
   Student Financial Services
   509-335-1059

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Departmental Scholarships and Resources Authorization


Policy

University departments must submit scholarship and resource authorizations that are intended to assist students in covering educational costs to the Office of Student Financial Services.

Resources

Such resources are defined as any funds distributed to students other than wages, and include:

  • Scholarships
  • Waivers
  • Third-party guarantees
  • Cash prizes and gift cards
  • Nonservice pay
Scholarships

Scholarships are:

  • Educational grants with no requirement for the recipient to provide any substantial services.
  • Intended to enable the student to pursue studies or research.
  • Used to primarily further the student’s education and training.

Funding provided by the University for such purposes does not represent compensation or payment for services. Such amounts are not subject to tax withholdings, but are reported as scholarships on IRS Form 1098T.

Departmental Scholarships

Departmental scholarships are scholarships supported by donated funds in program 17A accounts that must have an object code of 08 to disburse through the financial aid system.

University departments manage departmental scholarships. The responsible department ensures that the scholarship is appropriately authorized. Within the Establishment of Fund, the department also sets scholarship priorities and determines the amount of each scholarship.

Waivers

Waivers are defined as funding approved by the Board of Regents or state legislature for specific programs to waive tuition charges.

Some waiver funding sources are accounted for as placeholders in the financial aid system and processed by Student Accounts, e.g., Veterans Waivers and Graduate Operating Fee Waivers. Other tuition waiver sources that are posted and delivered through the financial aid system are scholarship waivers, such as University Achievement and the Cougar Academic Award.

Item Types for Processing

Waiver authorizations are processed using unique item types. Waivers disbursed through Office of Student Financial Services use a financial aid disbursable item type. Waivers posted directly to a student’s account through Student Finances in MyWSU use a financial aid placeholder item type and a disbursable student finances item type.

Third-Party Guarantees

Third-party guarantees are funding sources designated to cover specific charges on student accounts. Third-party guarantees are accounted for as placeholders on the students’ financial aid accounts and are processed through Student Accounts.

Departmental Third-Party Guarantee

A departmental third-party guarantee is departmental funding that is designated to cover a specific component of a student’s direct charges.

Departments may use 17A funds for these authorizations, but may not use funding from programs 1-10, 15-16, or 18.

Grant-Funded Guarantee
Sponsored Programs Services must approve grant-funded guarantee requests. The requesting administrator must have expenditure authority for the applicable grant account (budget/project).

Outside Third Party Guarantees

Outside third-party guarantees are outside funding sources designated to cover a specific direct educational charge on the student’s account.

Cash Prize or Gift Card

A cash prize or gift card is an award provided to assist a student with covering educational expenses. NOTE: If such an award is provided and not intended as an educational resource, the student is to report the value of the award when completing the FAFSA.

Nonservice Pay Authorizations

See BPPM 30.30 regarding nonservice pay authorizations.

Authorization

Departments must submit all scholarship and resource authorizations through the Scholarships and Resources Authorization Site (SARAS).

Departmental administrators responsible for submitting Departmental Authorizations may apply for access approval to submit specific types of resource authorizations through the SARAS web application.

Once the Office of Student Financial Services grants access to submit a specific type of authorization, the user may log into the allowable authorization area in SARAS with his or her Network ID and password. Additional security is applied based on the user’s WSU IP address.

Instructions for requesting SARAS access and completing the applicable resource authorization spreadsheets are included on the SARAS website (see above).

Recipient Not Enrolled

If the recipient is not an enrolled student for the term the scholarship or waiver is being authorized, additional requirements must be met for the authorization to be processed. Contact Student Financial Services for assistance. NOTE: Authorizations processed through the SARAS are intended for enrolled students.

Changes to Scholarships and Resources

The department may submit changes to previously submitted scholarship or resource authorizations through SARAS by one of the two following methods:

Multiple Changes

To submit multiple changes, the department user accesses the appropriate departmental authorization area of SARAS and selects the template spreadsheet. The user enters the changes on the spreadsheet. NOTE: The user may submit new authorizations along with change authorizations on one spreadsheet, if:

  • The Change field is checked for each applicable authorization record; and
  • The expenditure authority is the same for all authorization records entered on the spreadsheet.
Individual Changes

To submit individual changes, the department user accesses the appropriate departmental authorization area of SARAS and selects Edit Departmental Authorization. The user selects the appropriate authorization record and enters the changes.

Expenditure Authority

By approving and submitting the online authorization, the user verifies that he or she has received approval from the expenditure authority for the budget-project listed on the authorization (see BPPM 70.02).

The departmental user who submits the authorization documentation and the expenditure authority listed on the authorization receive e-mail notifications when files are uploaded to SARAS.

Timelines

To avoid delays in processing, departments are encouraged to submit authorization requests well in advance (i.e., at least three weeks) of semester start-up.

Processing Authorization Requests

Student Financial Services downloads the resource authorization file into the SARAS database. A quality control check is then done to match up the budget-project with a designated financial aid item type used to post the award in the financial aid system.

Notification to Student

If a student’s financial aid is adjusted, the Office of Student Financial Services sends the student an e-mail notice that a change to his or her financial aid account is completed and available for viewing in myWSU.

Disbursement of Funds

Scholarship funds are credited to a student’s University account after any necessary adjustments are made to the student’s financial aid, including any mandatory charges the student has remaining. Any residual funds are reimbursed to the student in the form of a direct deposit or a check (see also BPPM 30.98).

Check Distribution

Checks are mailed to the student’s preferred mailing address.