[Minor revision–posted 9/23/20 (replaces 6/5/20 edition)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 30.02: Centralized Scholarship Office
DATE: September 23, 2020
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish policies and procedures for the Texas Tech University Centralized Scholarship Office; to identify the responsibilities of scholarship-providing colleges, divisions, and departments awarding scholarships; and to support university recruitment and retention through efficient scholarship administration.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in September of each year by the Executive Director of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships, the Vice President for Enrollment Management, and the Vice Provost for Student Affairs.
The Texas Tech University Scholarship Office maintains the common online scholarship application system used by all university scholarship and fellowship grant providers. Scholarship and fellowship grants are defined in OP 62.17, Payment of Scholarships, Fellowship Grants, and Awards, as funds disbursed for the benefit of undergraduate or graduate students to support their study and research.
1. Scholarship Types and Administration
a. University scholarship providers (divisions, colleges, and academic and administrative departments) administer three categories of scholarships: university scholarships, college or division scholarships, and academic or administrative department scholarships. Account managers represent these providers by administering each scholarship account.
b. The Scholarship Office administers four types of university scholarships:
(1) First-year recruitment scholarships are competitive and based on entering first-year students' high school academic performance.
Gifts received to support university first-year recruitment scholarships will be managed by the TTU Scholarship Office to ensure that university recruitment goals are met.
(2) Undergraduate transfer recruitment scholarships are competitive awards based on transferring students' academic performance at community colleges.
Gifts received to support university transfer recruitment scholarships will be managed by the TTU Scholarship Office to ensure that university recruitment goals are met.
(3) Need-based scholarships are awarded based on applicants' federal student aid data (FAFSA) and other academic requirements. "Need" is determined by the Financial Aid Office.
(4) University-wide opportunity scholarships are special endowments disbursed according to criteria other than academic merit or need.
c. College or division scholarships are administered by the units that have received gifts to endow and maintain the scholarships. These awards support students enrolled in disciplines in the college or programs in the division with the exception of university-level recruitment scholarships administered by the TTU Scholarship Office. Athletic scholarships are classified as division scholarships.
d. Academic or administrative departments administer any scholarships established specifically to support students enrolled in departmental programs or disciplines.
e. All scholarship committees support the university's strategic goal of helping as many students as possible without exceeding the cost of education. Achieving this goal will maximize recruitment, retention, and scholarship leveraging.
f. Consequently, students can receive scholarships from various campus sources as long as awards satisfy university goals and federal or state regulations and do not exceed the cost of education.
2. Developing Common Applications
a. The Scholarship Office maintains central scholarship application files for undergraduate scholarship applicants. Entering first-year students submit their applications online via www.applytexas.org or the CommonApp via https://www.commonapp.org/ and current students submit their applications through http://www.depts.ttu.edu/scholarships/.
b. The Scholarship Office applications are stored via the university's imaging system to allow for university-wide access and also images any additional required documents from applicants, including résumés, essays, and recommendation letters.
c. The Scholarship Office records application submissions and makes submission data available to university scholarship committees.
d. Each September, the Scholarship Office compares the previous years' scholarship applicants to current awardees and submits its findings to the Vice President for Enrollment Management.
3. Common Application Deadlines:
a. The scholarship application cycle begins each July for the following academic year. Based on this cycle, the Division of Enrollment Management has set the following priority dates based on available funding for students to apply for university scholarships:
Entering first-year students – December 1 for fall terms
Current students – February 1 for fall terms
Undergraduate transfer students – March 1 for fall terms
Undergraduate transfer students – November 15 for spring terms
b. Scholarship account managers requesting scholarship application revisions should submit their requests to the Scholarship Office. Newly approved requests will become effective at the start of the next application cycle.
4. Processing Scholarships
a. All university scholarship account managers are authorized to access the Scholarship Tracking System (STS) and to designate secondary users in their departments, if necessary.
b. To allow for timely scholarship processing, the Scholarship Office has set the following priority dates for departmental account managers to enter first-round scholarship offers into the STS:
(1) Entering first-year students
University recruitment merit scholarship – Begin in October
University need-based scholarships – Second week of March
College or division scholarships – Last week of March
Departmental scholarships – Second week of April
(2) Entering undergraduate transfer students
University merit and need-based scholarships – Last week of March
College or division scholarships – Second week of April
Departmental scholarships – Last week of April
University merit and need-based scholarships – Second week of October
College or division scholarships – Second week of November
Departmental scholarships – Last week of November
(3) Returning undergraduates
Renewing university merit scholarships – Last week of March
Need scholarships – Last week of April
College, division, and departmental scholarships – Last week of May
(4) Graduate students
All scholarships – Last week of May
c. Scholarship committees making awards after these priority dates will be designated late in the Scholarship Office's summer progress reports.
5. Scholarship Office Responsibilities
a. The Scholarship Office maintains the STS, annually trains users to use the system, and offers an STS technical help desk.
b. The Scholarship Office assists colleges and academic departments with their recruitment and retention offer packages by identifying top-recruited students and notifying departments weekly.
6. Account Manager Responsibilities
a. Departmental account managers produce scholarship notifications and award letters within one month of scholarship committee decisions.
b. Managers also collect awardees' thank you letters and forward them to Institutional Advancement for distribution.
c. Account managers report on current scholarship recipients and scholarship accounts to Institutional Advancement by October each year. Their reports include information about scholarship recipients for donors, recipients' contact information for receptions and event planning, and reasons why scholarship accounts were not awarded, if applicable. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) rules govern the disclosure of students' information.
d. Account managers host donors and collaborate with the Scholarship Office if separate donor events are not possible, and ensure that recipients comply with donor and university-established eligibility criteria.
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