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UW Oshkosh Advancement Division

Phone: (920) 424-2178

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Scholarship Information for Departments

Scholarships management is centralized through the Office of Advancement. To ensure scholarships are awarded in an objective and nondiscriminatory manner and in abidance of University of Wisconsin System, state, and federal guidelines, it is important to work with the Office of Advancement in the establishment and awarding of scholarships.

How do I establish a scholarship on behalf of my college or department?

Departments may use their program revenue held in University accounts (GPR cannot be used to fund scholarships) or funding from their general department fund at the Foundation (provided the fund agreement allows for scholarship payments) to fund scholarships. Departments may also request to have a new fund created at the Foundation to establish a new scholarship. Please keep in mind that the Foundation may require a minimum gift amount to establish a new fund and funds for one-time awards may not be approved.

All scholarships must be established for education-related purposes and must go through the scholarship approval process. Once scholarship criteria and awarding procedures have been finalized, a written agreement must be approved by the Dean of the college/Director of the program and the Executive Director of Advancement.

It is an institutional priority to provide scholarship funding to aid in recruitment and retention of students. Any scholarship funds in which the institution has input into award criteria shall be as broad as possible to aid in the recruitment and retention of the maximum number of students. These scholarship programs shall be evaluated periodically to ensure these resources are being utilized as effectively as possible. Should a scholarship not show a positive impact on recruitment and/or retention it shall be eliminated or modified.

For more information on establishing a scholarship or to get the process started, please contact Beka Smith at or (920) 424-7117 or Lori Kroening at or (920) 424-2228.

What can be included in scholarship criteria?

Scholarships must be awarded on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis. Scholarship criteria may be based on merit, need, or any other reasonable and legally permissible requirement, but the group of eligible recipients must be large enough that an indefinite number of individuals may benefit.

  • Limitations based on gender, race, national origin, or similar characteristics pose special considerations and may require legal consultation before allowing such limitations to be included in scholarship criteria.
  • Per NCAA Division III regulations, athletic leadership, ability, participation or performance shall not be considered in the awarding of scholarships.
  • Scholarships shall only be awarded to students admitted or enrolled at UW Oshkosh. Admitted students who are awarded scholarships are only eligible to receive the award payment if they enroll as an undergraduate or graduate student at UW Oshkosh. Scholarships cannot be made to non-UW Oshkosh students or to high school special students who do not enroll as undergraduates at UW Oshkosh.
How do students apply for scholarships?

All UW Oshkosh scholarships and awards will be advertised in Academic Works, the scholarship management software system used by UW Oshkosh and the Foundation. Scholarships that require an application must be applied for through Academic Works. Awards that do not require an application will be processed in Academic Works after the recipient has been selected.

When can students apply for scholarships?

There are two annual scholarship application cycles, one for currently enrolled students and one for incoming students who have been admitted to the University. Scholarship applications typically open in September and close in November for current students and February for incoming students.

Exceptions for individual awards may be made should the need arise due to the nature of the award, such as study abroad scholarships. However, it is important that awards for incoming students be selected early enough to be considered in the students’ admission decision. Every effort must be made to select scholarship recipients prior to the start of the semester of award disbursement.

How are scholarship recipients selected?

Award recipients must be selected by a committee composed of at least two members. It is preferable to have an odd number of committee members to ensure a tie-breaking vote. The only circumstance in which a committee is not required is if selection is based on a measurable factor such as highest grade-point average in a specific major.

In most cases, selection committees are made up of faculty/staff from a specific department based on scholarship criteria. For example, if a scholarship is for students in a specific major, faculty from that academic program select the award recipient. If a scholarship is open to all students and selected based on need, Financial Aid Office staff members select those award recipients.

To ensure recipients are selected fairly and in accordance with the documented scholarship criteria and University and Foundation scholarship policies, scholarship coordinators from the Office of Advancement will confirm eligibility for each award recipient.

How are students notified of scholarship offers?

After a scholarship coordinator has verified the eligibility of award recipients, they will make the official award offer in Academic Works. Departments may only send supplemental award information or congratulations after the award offer has been made in Academic Works, unless prior approval has been given by a scholarship coordinator.

Are donors notified of their award recipients?

Yes, the Office of Advancement sends scholarship donors recipient profiles with information and a statement from their award recipient. Students are encouraged to send their donor a thank you note as well. Donor contact information is provided to award recipients in their offer letter in Academic Works.

How are scholarships paid out to students?

All scholarships and awards must be applied directly to the recipient’s student account. No cash awards are allowed. Gift cards, including textbook gift cards, are considered cash awards.

Once the review committee has selected the scholarship recipient(s), a Scholarship Disbursement Form, signed by the Fund’s authorized signatory on record, must be submitted to the Office of Advancement in order for the award to be processed.

What happens if a scholarship recipient does not enroll?

If a scholarship recipient is not enrolled in the required number of credits, their award will be flagged and will not be disbursed. If a student is no longer eligible for the award, it will be made to the alternate indicated by the selection committee, if applicable. The department will be notified of this situation before the award offer is made to the alternate.

How are scholarship recipients recognized?

The Office of Advancement holds an annual scholarship event for scholarship donors and their award recipients. Colleges or departments are encouraged to hold scholarship recognition events to honor all scholarship recipients in their area.

Can awards be given to University employees?

If an employee is also enrolled as a student, they may apply for any scholarships they are eligible for. If selected, their award will be processed the same as any other student.

Per UW System guidelines, the Foundation shall not make an award payment directly to a University employee. Employment-related awards made to a University employee, such as an outstanding employee award, must be paid through the University’s payroll system, but can be charged back to a Foundation fund.

How are scholarships charged to Foundation funds or state accounts?

Scholarships are charged back to the Foundation fund or state account indicated on the Scholarship Disbursement Form. Departments do not need to do anything to have their awards charged back to the appropriate fund. Please keep in mind that scholarships are not charged back to funds until after the awards have been disbursed. Fund balances will not reflect scholarship commitments that have not yet been disbursed to the students’ accounts.