What type of scholarship are you awarding?

JMU Foundation Scholarship
Complete a Scholarship Nomination Form to notify the JMU Foundation regarding your selection of an award recipient.  Click here, then, select Scholarship Nomination Form from the Foundation Forms menu.

Scholarship from Institutional Funds
Use the forms below to notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships about awards you intend to pay from institutional funds, including your department’s budget.

Best Practices in Scholarship Administration

  1. Award scholarships with the least administrative overhead possible.
    • The goal is to identify the best, eligible candidates in the most efficient manner.
    • Only collect qualitative data that helps with making award decisions.
    • Use focused, clear language to ask for exactly the information that will help with decision making.
    • Place a limit on the length of qualitative responses (Short answer or short essay).
    • Consider asking for a list of pertinent activities instead of a narrative.
    • Eliminate the requirement for things like recommendations, interviews, and resumes unless those components are required per donor-specified criteria or deemed essential to identify strong candidates.
  2. Design evaluation mechanisms to ease the burden of review.
    • Three reviewers per application should be a sufficient maximum number.
    • Provide a scoring matrix or review protocol that makes it easy for reviewers to focus on how the applicant matches the desired criteria.
    • Reviewers should provide measurable, comparable responses.
    • Define donor-specified eligibility versus departmental selection criteria.
    • Provide a training session for committee members and practice scoring applications to ensure consistency.
      Sample of Scholarship Rating Form
  3. Identify the best possible recipient-to-scholarship match.
    • Be a good steward of the funds entrusted to you.  This means you must adhere scrupulously to donor-established criteria in your scholarship selection process.
    • The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is the only department that can determine financial need.
    • You want to fairly and fully publicize the application process.
    • Criteria may determine outreach strategy.
  4. Award early and enter both fall and spring amounts on the nomination form.
    • Students will see their total aid package and will be better able to plan their budget for the year.
    • Scholarship awards entered late may require revision of the financial aid package in order to keep the University in compliance with federal aid regulations.
    • Late awards can result in cancelation of other financial aid to prevent the student from being over-awarded. When this happens, students often do not see additional money in their student account; it may just change aid around.
      JMU Foundation Scholarship Nomination Form (Select Scholarship Nomination Form from the Foundation Forms menu.)
      JMU Departmental Scholarship Request Form
  5. Validate that donor intent is honored.
    • Maintain documentation evidencing compliance with donor-specified requirements.
    • Document the selection process of all campus-based scholarships.
      • Who is involved with the application and selection process?
      • How are students notified of the scholarship opportunity?
      • How are applicants chosen?
      • What are the minimum donor-specified eligibility requirements for the award?
      • What criteria are used to select award winners?
        Sample of Criteria Verification Form (CVF)
  6. Notify students of scholarship selection, non-selection, or loss of prior scholarship awards.
    • Communicate by email or paper letter.
    • Develop award messages to encourage students to write thank-you letters.
    • You should obtain permission from all recipients to share information about their selection.
    • If you are awarding a renewable scholarship, ask the recipient to sign an acknowledgment form that outlines criteria for renewal and includes a release statement.
      Sample of Email Notification Sample of Release Form Sample of Acknowledgment Form
  7. Scholarships are set to disburse only if the student is enrolled full time.
    • The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will contact you if your recipient is enrolled for fewer than full-time hours before authorizing disbursement.
    • You will need to review the scholarship agreement to determine whether disbursement for less than full-time enrollment is permissible.
  8. Do not award scholarships for students who are no longer enrolled.
    • The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships cannot pay a non-student.

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