Stipends and Tuition Payments
Stipend and tuition payments are departmental awards that are offered through sponsored programs within various colleges. Some are grant-funded sources in which students are required to perform research. Tuition payments are applied to tuition and fee charges while stipends are disbursed in monthly installments, or lump sum as determined by the department.
How are students awarded?
Students are awarded by an individual university department. The department will send Financial Aid & Scholarships a Notice of Award Form to award students a stipend and/or pay for tuition and fees.
How is Financial Aid and Scholarships notified?
Each department submits the required paperwork for tuition and stipend payments. Typical processing time can range anywhere from one to two weeks. Financial Aid & Scholarships is not authorized to award you unless we have received a Notice of Award from the department. The scholarship team ensures awards are disbursed to students in accordance with federal, state and institutional regulations.
How do students get paid and/or refunded?
If awarded a tuition payment, the award amount will be applied to tuition and fees only (or one or the other depending on the award). Students do not receive a refund for tuition payments.
If you are awarded a stipend, payments are paid in monthly installments, or as a lump sum as directed by the department. Financial aid disburses stipend payments at the end of each month, usually around the 25th, so students will receive their stipend payment on the first of each month. Fiscal Services will generate refunds once payments have posted provided you do not have a balance.
Will I be eligible for in-state tuition if I am awarded a stipend?
Only if the award is designated as a Competitive Scholarship. Students are eligible for in-state tuition rates if the scholarship awarded has been approved as competitive by the office of the UTSA Vice-Provost for Strategic Enrollment. Financial Aid & Scholarships will inform Financial Services to waive the non-resident tuition for recipients receiving a competitive scholarship in the academic year.
A scholarship must meet strict criteria established by the State of Texas in order to be approved as competitive. As such, not all scholarships that award a stipend are approved as competitive.
Am I still eligible to receive a stipend if I am a financial aid recipient?
Yes. The policy is to award students receiving stipends and fellowships the maximum amount based on regulations. Undergraduate students who are eligible for federal and/or state aid and are awarded stipends will be awarded the maximum they are eligible for plus the stipend funds not to exceed the cost of attendance determined by Financial Aid & Scholarships (Pell Grant will be stacked on top of stipend/scholarship amounts). The only fund awarded in combination with a stipend/fellowship scholarship that will be allowed to exceed the cost of attendance is the Pell Grant. All other federal and/or state aid in combination with the stipend/scholarship cannot exceed the total cost of attendance.
Graduate students receiving stipends/fellowships can receive other federal and state aid in combination with the stipend/fellowship provided the total amount awarded in federal/state aid and stipend/fellowship does not exceed the designated cost of attendance.
I will only be enrolled as a part-time student, am I still eligible to receive my stipend?
Each individual department awarding the scholarship sets the enrollment and GPA requirements. Disbursements on stipends are prevented if the student does not meet the enrollment or GPA requirements at the time of disbursement. Departments are contacted regarding students not meeting the requirements for resolution. We cannot release the stipend until approval is given.
Stipends and Tuition Payments – Information for Departments
Definitions of Stipends and Tuition Payments
A stipend is a payment made to an individual under a fellowship or grant to provide for the individual’s living expenses. A stipend is not considered compensation for services. Students must be academically associated with the activities of the sponsored project to receive a stipend. Stipend recipients may work on the activities associated with the award, in pursuit of their academic goals, but are not allowed to perform compensable services, present or future, for the project in exchange for the stipend. Eligibility for a stipend must be determined based on the terms and conditions of the agreement.
Some fellowships and grant programs also provide tuition and fee reimbursement. Students who meet the criteria of a variety of programs at the undergraduate, graduate and PhD level may receive funding that pays for tuition and fees.
Will Stipends or Tuition Payments Affect a Student’s Financial Aid?
Both stipends and tuition/fee payments are considered Estimated Financial Assistance for purposes of determining eligibility of other forms of financial aid (federal, state and institutional). Stipends and tuition/fee payments will be counted as resources toward a student’s financial aid package, which may result in loan reductions or other adjustments.
How does the Tuition Payment and Stipend process work?
Departments complete a Notice of Award (NOA) form to request stipend and tuition payments for students.
All forms must include the signature of the PI/PD or Division Director.
Forms must be routed to the Research Service Center if a grant account is to be used to award a stipend or tuition payment.
Forms must be routed to payroll if the student is a non-U.S. citizen being awarded a stipend. The Payroll office will determine if the student must be assessed taxes on the stipend payment. Non-U.S. citizens receiving tuition payments only do not require a review from payroll.
The completed forms with all required signatures can then be submitted to Financial Aid & Scholarships for processing.
Fiscal Services processes refunds for stipend payments only if the student does not owe a balance.
How do I complete the Notice of Award Form?
The instructions to complete the Notice of Award (NOA) form, along with the fillable form, are available on the UTSA SharePoint public folders.
I submitted stipend requests last week. Why is there a delay?
Many factors can contribute to a delay in processing your requests. In the event that your requests cannot be processed, you will be notified of the delay.
The most common occurrences are missing signatures from the Research Service Center and/or Payroll. Forms will not be processed without all required signatures.
To allow stipend and tuition awards to disburse through Banner, all accounts must be assigned a Banner fund code. New accounts require set up before they can be posted. This process extends the processing time since it requires collaboration between the Financial Aid & Scholarships and Financial Services to establish the fund codes.
During peak season all requests are subject to a two week turnaround time. Turnaround time begins when a completed request (Notice of Award) is received in the Financial Aid & Scholarships office.
Why didn’t the student receive their stipend?
Stipends will not disburse if the student does not meet the enrollment or GPA requirements. Graduate and Doctoral students are required to be enrolled a minimum of 9 hours and have a 3.0 GPA. Undergraduate students are required to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours and have a 3.0 GPA. Departments will be contacted regarding students not meeting the enrollment and GPA requirements. If you have given prior authorization to release a stipend based on a certain GPA or enrollment (this criteria must be included on the Notice of Award form), we will release the stipend based on your instructions. We will not release the stipend until approval is given.
How Does a Scholarship Become Competitive?
Information regarding competitive scholarship criteria can be found in the HOP: http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter5/5-15.html.
If you feel the scholarship meets the criteria to be considered competitive, please visit the UTSA SharePoint public folders to access the Request for Competitive Scholarship Out of State Tuition Waiver form.