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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 5 - Students
Previous Publication Date: April 13, 2005
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Policy Reviewed Date: November 29, 2023
Policy Owner: VP for AcademicAffairs

5.15 Administration of Scholarships

  1. Policy

    A variety of scholarships are offered through The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Scholarship Office, as well as through college and academic department levels. Scholarships must be established and awarded in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System. Establishing scholarship selection criteria is a negotiation process that takes place between the donor and the Development Office, in cooperation with the Scholarship Office and any involved academic unit, at the time a gift is made to establish a scholarship. The criteria must be carefully developed to ensure that both university and donor objectives are met. Ideally, maximum flexibility will be given to the university for selecting recipients. Criteria may include, but are not limited to, GPA requirements, standardized test score minimums, financial need, major or area of study, enrollment hours, and extracurricular activities. The donor may also elect to make the scholarship renewable and define conditions under which renewal may occur. The donor may not name a specific student to receive a scholarship. Once criteria are agreed upon, the Development Office will prepare a Scholarship Agreement, which is then signed by the donor and the UTSA Vice President for External Relations (VPER). Upon signing, a copy of the agreement will be sent to the Scholarship Office and to any involved academic unit.

  2. Award Procedures
    1. Adequacy of Funds

      The availability of each scholarship must be advertised through the Scholarship Office and/or through the appropriate area(s) for which the scholarship is designated. Prior to advertising any scholarships, the awarding unit is responsible for checking account balances to verify the availability of funds. The awarding unit should maintain the account and is responsible for the account balances. Scholarships from annual gifts should not be awarded if funds have not been received for the year of award. For endowments, awards can only be made based on the amount of interest to be earned by September 1 of the academic year of the award. Due to funding limitations, not all students meeting the minimum requirements will be awarded a scholarship.

    2. Scholarship Deadlines

      All scholarships administered through colleges, schools, departments or the Scholarship Office should be awarded in a timely manner. If at all possible, scholarships should be awarded no later than May 31. This deadline is necessary to facilitate coordination between the Financial Aid Office and the Scholarship Office in awarding scholarships to students receiving need-based financial aid.

    3. Donor Agreements

      All contributions, including those accepted by colleges, schools, and departments, will be processed through the Development Office. Full reporting and approval procedures for acceptance of private gifts from all sources, including individuals, foundations, and corporations, must be followed. Contact the Development Office for further guidance. All scholarships must have either a signed scholarship agreement from the donor or a Memorandum of Understanding between the coordinating unit and the Development Office.

  3. Administration of Competitive Scholarship Waiver

    Authority to approve scholarships/fellowships as competitive on behalf of UTSA is vested with the Vice President for Strategic Enrollment (VPSE) for scholarships and the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (VPRGS) for fellowships.

    The Texas Education Code, 54.064 describes a competitive scholarship waiver as an optional program providing a waiver of nonresident tuition that targets nonresidents or international students receiving competitive scholarships totaling at least $1,000.

    (a) A student who holds a competitive scholarship of at least $1,000 for the academic year or summer for which the student is enrolled, and who is either a nonresident or a citizen of a country other than the United States of America, is entitled to pay the fees and charges required of Texas residents without regard to the length of time the student has resided in Texas. The student must compete with other students, including Texas residents, for the scholarship, and the scholarship must be awarded by the scholarship committee officially recognized by the administration and be approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, under criteria developed by the board.

    Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules, Ch. 21.26(b)(4) state criteria for scholarships to be competitive as follows:

    (A) Nonresidents (including citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. and all foreign students) who receive eligible competitive scholarships from their institutions totaling at least $1,000 may be granted a waiver of nonresident tuition for the period of time covered by the scholarship, not to exceed 12 months.

    (B) To be eligible as the basis of a waiver, the scholarship(s) must meet the following criteria:

      (i) be granted by a scholarship committee authorized in writing by the institution's administration to grant scholarships that hold the waiver option;
      (ii) be granted in keeping with criteria published in the institution's catalog, available to the public in advance of any application deadline;
      (iii) be granted under circumstances that cause both the funds and the selection process to be under the control of the institution;
      (iv) be open to both residents and nonresident students.

    (C) A waiver based on a competitive scholarship lasts for the period of the scholarship (up to a 12-month period). The scholarship award must specify the term or terms in which the scholarship will be in effect. If the scholarship is terminated, so is the waiver. If the scholarship is to be issued in multiple disbursements and less than $1,000 is issued when a scholarship is terminated, the student does not owe a refund for the tuition that has been waived, since the waiver was originally made in a good faith expectation of a scholarship for at least $1,000, but the waiver is canceled for the terms for which the scholarship is canceled.

    (D) The total number of students receiving waivers on the basis of competitive scholarships in any given term may not exceed 5 percent of the students enrolled in the same semester in the prior year.

    (E) If the scholarship recipient is concurrently enrolled at more than one institution, the waiver of nonresident tuition is only effective at the institution awarding the scholarship. An exception for this rule exists for a nonresident student who is simultaneously enrolled in two or more institutions of higher education under a program offered jointly by the institutions under a partnership agreement. If one of the partnership schools awards the student a competitive scholarship-based waiver, the student is also entitled to a waiver at the second institution.

    (F) If a nonresident or foreign student holds a competitive academic scholarship or stipend and is accepted in a clinical biomedical research training program designed to lead to both a doctor of medicine and doctor of philosophy degree, he or she is eligible to pay the resident tuition rate.

  4. Approval Process for Competitive Scholarships

    The following steps shall be taken by colleges/schools/departments in order for scholarships/fellowships to be approved as competitive.

    1. Submit a memorandum through the respective dean of the college to the VPSA for scholarships or the VPRGS for fellowships for his or her approval.
      1. The memorandum will state the name of the scholarship, the criteria to be used in awarding the scholarship, and a list of committee members officially authorized to award scholarships. If a private donor established the scholarship, then the criteria listed in the agreement will also be listed in the memorandum.
      2. Once approved, the scholarship must be advertised and available to the public in advance of any application deadline.
      3. After the respective committee has selected recipients for awards, colleges/departments will submit to the Scholarship Office the following:
        1. List containing the name of the scholarship, account number, recipient names, Banner or student ID number, dollar amount awarded, length of term, and residency status.
        2. List of all applicants for each competitive scholarship containing student's name, ID number, and residency status.
    2. The Scholarship Office will inform Fiscal Services via e-mail and copy the Business Manager's Office and Payroll to waive the non-resident tuition for recipients receiving a competitive scholarship. The Business Manager's Office will have the residency code changed for each nonresident recipient to receive the in-state waiver. The residency code will be changed for the duration of the competitive scholarship not to exceed 12 months. Renewed scholarships beyond the 12-month period are not eligible for the in-state tuition waiver. If students are awarded different competitive scholarships for a subsequent year, they are entitled to the in-state rate. This is the only exception to the 12-month rule. A scholarship may be a single competitive scholarship of $1,000 or a combination of competitive scholarships totaling at least $1,000.
    3. Each year colleges/schools/departments will review their competitive scholarships for possible changes. Changes will be submitted to the VPSA for scholarships or the VPRGS for fellowships. If there are no changes to the program, a list must be submitted containing the names of each committee member for each competitive scholarship.
    4. The Scholarship Office will maintain a list of all approved competitive scholarships/fellowships and ensure awards are disbursed to students in accordance with federal, state and institutional regulations.

XIII. Dates Approved/Amended