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UC Scholarship Limits

UC scholarship awards are made by many different offices at the university. While these offices work together to create the best possible financial aid package for a student, it is important for awarded undergraduate students to understand the limits of offers made to them.

All students should report to Student Financial Aid any scholarship award (both UC-awarded and those awarded by non-UC agencies and foundations) that does not appear on their award offer. Failure to receive timely notification can result in retro-active changes in aid eligibility.

NOTE: Graduate and professional students should review information specific to their funding and its effect on aid.

Combined and Maximum Awards

The following limitations ensure that the university awarding offices are being good stewards of UC scholarship funds. Awarded undergraduate students should also be aware of these limitations.

  • Multiple Awards: Students receiving multiple UC scholarships may have more than one award designated for the same UC charge (e.g. tuition) or receive awards intended to work in combination to meet a specific total. When there is overlap of awards, reductions to individual scholarships may need to occur. At minimum, the value of the highest single scholarship will be maintained.
  • Maximum Award: A student’s UC scholarship total may not exceed direct costs (i.e., tuition, room, board – including noted limits) and UC-determined book allowance. If a student is also receiving non-UC funds (including federal aid), the total of all funds cannot exceed total direct and indirect costs of education. Indirect costs include UC allowances for personal and transportation expenses.
  • Acceptance Agreement: Acceptance of an individual scholarship award is an agreement to the terms and conditions of that award as well as all policies governing UC scholarships. Every student’s award package is subject to audit with final determination of scholarship and other aid values to be made by the UC Student Financial Aid Office.

Terminology

Additionally, awards can carry with them very specific terms. Students should review their award offer letter and agreements carefully to understand the terms of that scholarship.

  • Tuition: Tuition is composed of instructional, general, ITIE, campus life, and college program fees and, for out-of-state students, the instructional non-resident surcharge. Note that scholarships can limit awards to tuition or components of tuition.
    • Students are generally responsible for any overload tuition costs for excess registration.
    • Non-Ohio residents eligible to apply for metro or reciprocity rates will have tuition-based awards restricted to the reduced amount unless their application for these special tuition rates is denied.
  • Tuition-Restricted: Tuition-designated awards can only be used toward tuition charges.
  • Enrollment: Scholarship awards are generally limited to full-time, in-class (non-co-op) terms of enrollment.
    • Students who drop or add to change courses or sections should do so on the same day to ensure continual, full-time enrollment through the 15th day of each term for scholarship (and other aid) eligibility.
    • Students who have part-time enrollment their graduating term can request, through their scholarship awarding office, an exception from the full-time enrollment requirement.
  • Room and Board: An offer of room or board is designated only for that cost. Scholarships may further specify that room or board funding is available only to students living in on campus or in university-affiliated housing.
    • Room awards are limited to the traditional, double occupancy room rate.
    • Board awards are limited to the cost of the basic (full meal package) residential meal plan.
    • Students who choose alternate on-campus housing, affiliated housing, or higher cost meal options will be responsible for any additional costs beyond an awarded amount.
    • Affiliated housing is limited to direct leases with University Park Apartments only or by being assigned via a block-lease through UC Housing to an off-campus housing facility.
  • Out-of-State Awards: Awards and funds designated as out-of-state are only applicable if the student is charged full non-Ohio resident fees not otherwise scholarshipped. Partial out-of-state fees (i.e., metro or tuition remission surcharges) may not be covered based on the terms of the scholarship.
    • Special Out-of-State scholarships (such as UC National Outreach Award) can be applied only to full out-of state expenses.
    • Students receiving an out-of-state UC scholarship may not be eligible for other out-of-state designated funding due to the reduced out-of-state costs.
  • Travel & Research Awards: Funds from designated sources and made specifically for academic-credit study abroad or undergraduate research can assist students within a proscribed limit toward meeting travel and research costs. This limit is used only when the combination of awards exceeds the Maximum Award described above.
  • Academic Year: An academic year is defined as 2 semesters (fall-spring).* "Annual" awards are generally spread evenly to the nearest whole dollar across the academic year. Summer is considered separately for most non-loan programs including scholarships. Students seeking summer eligibility and awarding of renewable scholarships should contact their awarding office for details. Co-op students should also be aware of term amount limitations on most scholarship awards for in-class terms.
  • Renewability: All scholarships are awarded for a single term or academic year unless specific renewability criteria are outlined in the award offer.
  • Length of Undergraduate Program: Renewal eligibility defined in this manner is for 8 full-time, in-class semesters, 12 quarters or combination thereof for a 4-year equivalent value of consideration as long as a student is continuously enrolled (excluding summer) in a UC degree program, assuming the scholarship program's renewal criteria are met.
    • Following semester conversion, students had their remaining individual eligibility evaluated to ensure scholarship consideration in a semester measure until they have exhausted the 4-year equivalency or cease continuous, academic year enrollment, whichever comes first.
    • Only students who continually meet renewal criteria; complete their bachelor’s degree in less than 8 full-time semesters, 12 quarters or combination thereof; and immediately continue as a full-time student in another UC degree program would be eligible for on-going scholarship consideration within the timeframe limits.
    • Tuition-based scholarship awards (or portions of bundled awards) given to undergraduate students for 12 quarters/8 semesters who continue in a degree program beyond their first bachelor's degree within their eligibility timeframe will be limited to the in-state, undergraduate tuition amount regardless of residency or undergraduate/graduate classification. As always, other tuition-based awards can reduce maximum funding.
    • Some scholarship awards may specify they are limited only to the first bachelor's degree. See scholarship awarding office for details.
    • Students enrolled full-time for summer should alert their scholarship awarding office to use scholarship funding for summer if it is not already applied to the summer bill.
  • Student Athletes: In addition to these policies, student athlete awards (both scholarship and non-scholarship) are governed by NCAA regulations.
  • Tuition Remission: Tuition remission offered through UC or UC-affiliated employment is considered a scholarship for aid purposes. It will reduce overall aid eligibility, tuition-based or restricted funds, and, for years prior to 2010-11, the Cincinnatus Century Scholarship. NOTE: Tuition remission estimates on award offers are based on indications of possible eligibility; final determination of eligibility and all awarding is done by UC Human Resources as a benefit specific to employment status and completion of annual application in cases of non-employee benefits.
  • General Aid Impact: All scholarship awards, no matter the determining factors or source, are considered need-based funding for federal aid purposes and can reduce eligibility for other need-based aid programs as well as federal aid amounts relative to cost of education.

As with any financial aid, final scholarship determinations are subject to university audit and adjustment by the Student Financial Aid Office.

*Prior to Fall 2012, an academic year was 3 quarters (fall-winter-spring).

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Undergraduate students who have questions on how their scholarship award may be limited should contact the awarding office or the Scholarship & New Student Financial Aid Center (513-556-2420; financeaid@uc.edu).

An understanding of how your specific awards work (individually and in combination) is important when planning your personal finances.

While every attempt is made to make appropriate adjustments to awards prior to the beginning of each term, the Student Financial Aid Office is not always made aware of awards in a timely manner.  Always alert the Scholarship & New Student Financial Aid Center whenever an expected scholarship is not on your award offer or if you receive unexpected or uneven refund checks.