Scholarship Administration Policy

Policy Approval Authority President
Responsible Division Division of Academic Affairs; Division of Administration and Finance; NIU Foundation; Division of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications
Responsible University Office Financial Aid and Scholarship Office
Responsible Officer(s) Director of Scholarships
Contact Person Anne Hardy
Primary Audience Student
Date Submitted to Policy Library Committee 01-06-2022
Status Active
Effective Adoption Date 02-24-2022
Last Review Date 01-06-2022
Policy Category/Categories Athletics
Faculty & Academics
Finance / Risk Management
Governance / Administration
Marketing & Communication
Student Affairs


Northern Illinois University awards institutional scholarships to undergraduate, postgraduate, graduate, and law students who are seeking the completion of a degree or certificate program.  Scholarships come from a variety of sources such as central institutional funds, departmental funds, NIU Foundation funds, tuition waivers and grants.  This document provides guidance for the administration of scholarship funds.

Policy Narrative

The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, in collaboration with the Division of Administration and Finance and the NIU Foundation, retain the authority to direct the awarding of scholarship funds to meet strategic university initiatives and goals. 

Student recruitment and retention are mission-critical.  University scholarships can be leveraged to ensure the maximum utilization of funds to meet enrollment goals.  Enrollment goals include attracting and retaining students of high ability, supporting equitable access for students who will contribute to the diversity of the student population and removing financial barriers to maintain access for qualified students.  In order to accomplish these goals, a high level of coordination between the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, the NIU Foundation, the Office of the Bursar, and scholarship administrators is required.  As a general rule and when allowable by donor guidelines, all available scholarship funds should be used strategically in order to achieve recruitment and retention goals. 

In compliance with federal student aid regulations, all scholarships, grants, awards, and stipend payments must be made through the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.  The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office is the campus authority on determining financial need.

The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost is the campus authority for developing policies and procedures to comply with the Illinois Board of Higher Education Act’s regulations pertaining to the use of tuition waivers as indicated in Illinois Administrative Code Part 23, Section 1075. 

The NIU Foundation is the campus authority on interpreting donor agreements.  The NIU Foundation staff will be the primary liaisons with donors.  Donor intent may not supersede the University’s obligation to meet federal regulations that apply to students who receive financial aid.

It is the responsibility of the department/unit/school to monitor the amount available and expenditures within their accounts.  The NIU Foundation is available to work with departments to interpret financial reports that indicate the amount available for expenditure each year and will assist departments in maximizing their resources. 

The Huskie Athletic Compliance Office (HACO) is the authority on policies related to student- athletes.  NCAA regulations restrict the total amount of financial aid a student-athlete can receive due to individual or team limits.  It is the student-athlete’s responsibility to notify the HACO if they receive a grant, scholarship, or other financial aid.  Aid may need to be reduced or cancelled to maintain compliance with NCAA rules and regulations.

Students and their family members are responsible for understanding the Rights and Responsibilities (listed on the Financial Aid website) as well as reporting scholarships to their tax professional to determine if the awards are considered taxable income.  Northern Illinois University is required by the Internal Revenue Service to provide every student with a 1098-T tuition statement. These forms are issued to students in late January of each year. The 1098-T provides the student/parent with information regarding qualified tuition and related expenses that will assist with individual tax preparation. Northern Illinois University is also required by the Internal Revenue Service to issue Form 1042-S to certain non-U.S. citizen students who have received scholarships in excess of their tuition and required fees or if they have received other reportable payments from the university.

Scholarship administrators should be familiar with the business procedures, system functionality, and terminology related to awarding scholarships.  A comprehensive business procedures document is available and contains detailed information on the following topics:

  • Timelines
  • Access to MyScholarships
  • Cost of Attendance
  • Financial need and unmet need
  • Over-awards
  • Payment priorities and refunds
  • Compensation and other awards
  • Scholarship reviewer guidance
  • Selection of scholarship recipients
  • Donor relations and stewardship
  • Scholarships from university cost centers or tuition waivers
  • Private/external scholarships
  • Scholarship document retention

Procedural History of the Policy

Policy originally adopted on 01/06/2022
Affirmed by the NIU Foundation 02/24/2022


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