Office of the President

Replacement of EM 89-033 University Scholarship Program

Executive Memorandum 08-006 April 15, 2008

From: Paul J. Zingg, President

Subject: Replacement of EM 89-033 University Scholarship Program


Vision Statement for the University Scholarship Program

The University Scholarship Program promotes the values of California State University, Chico by rewarding new and continuing students for academic achievement, active leadership, and civic engagement. University scholarships will recognize success in the classroom, special talents in athletics and the arts, service to the campus and our North State communities, and engagement in special initiatives. University scholarships also provide incentives and encouragement to promising students from groups who have been traditionally underserved by higher education.

University Scholarship Program

California State University, Chico provides scholarships to students based on a variety of criteria, including academic potential, scholastic achievement, financial need, community service, and participation in university or college activities, including intercollegiate athletics and organizational affiliations.

The award and distribution of scholarship funds at CSU, Chico are governed by federal and state laws and regulations as well as all applicable University and Foundation policies.

Scholarship Categories

There are four categories of university-based scholarships. They are funded by annual, endowed, or Instructionally Related Activity (IRA) scholarship accounts managed by the University Foundation. The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office (FASO) is responsible for administering these scholarship funds.

Recruitment Scholarships

These scholarships are for first-time students, both freshman and transfer, and are funded primarily by undesignated scholarship accounts, which allow the university to specify the selection criteria. Two examples of recruitment scholarships are Presidential Scholars (administered by the President’s Scholars Committee) and Academic and Performance Scholarships (administered by the colleges). There are also a small number of recruitment scholarships with specific major/program criteria that are funded by individual and corporate donors.

Retention Scholarships

Donors to the university fund these scholarships and also establish the specific criteria used to award each scholarship. To be considered for a retention scholarship, students must be currently enrolled or have applied for admission and must submit a completed online university scholarship application, which is posted on the FASO website each fall semester prior to the application period. There are two general subcategories of retention scholarship:

  • University-Wide Retention Scholarships: These scholarships contain a wide range of selection criteria and may include requirements for community service, participation in clubs, activities or organizations, financial need, disadvantaged background, and re-entry status. Review of applications and selection of recipients are the responsibility of the University Scholarship Committee.
  • College and Department Retention Scholarships: The selection criteria restrict these scholarships to students enrolled in specific programs, majors or colleges. The criteria may also include GPA, class level, on-campus involvement in clubs, activities or organizations, and financial need. There are a few scholarships with special donor criteria that require the submission of a supplemental application directly to the department. This supplemental application is in addition to the required online university scholarship application. Review of applications and selection of recipients are the responsibility of college and department scholarship committees.

Athletic Scholarships

CSU, Chico is a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) NCAA Division II Conference. CSU, Chico offers athletic grants-in-aid (GIA) to student-athletes subject to the financial limitations and rules imposed by the NCAA as defined in NCAA Bylaw Student eligibility for an athletic GIA is determined by guidelines issued by the NCAA, CSU, Chico and the CCAA. The decision to award an athletic GIA is made by the head coach of each sport with approval from the Director of Athletics.

Advance Commitment Scholarships

Advance commitment scholarships provide low-income and first generation students in middle school and early high school with a guarantee of scholarship support at the post-secondary level if they meet certain requirements, including the completion of a college preparatory curriculum. An example is the scholarship program provided by the University Incentive Grant Association (UIGA).


CSU, Chico students may also receive financial assistance through external scholarships and through awards. While the university scholarship program does not directly administer external scholarships or awards, many aspects are subject to university oversight.

External Scholarships

External scholarships are awarded directly to students from external donors, foundations, community organizations, and state and federal governmental agencies, each utilizing a unique application and selection process. Students are required to notify the FASO of any external scholarships they have received in order to assure proper coordination of aid and to avoid over-awards. This is a federal requirement found in Title IV of the Higher Education Authorization Act and further defined by the CSU Chancellor’s Office in Coded Memorandum AA-2004-15. All external scholarship awards must be entered into a student’s financial aid award and sent to Student Financial Services for deposit into the student’s account. This requirement was instituted by Student Financial Services as a result of the Tax Payers’ Relief Act of 1997 in order to comply with the federal stipulation that scholarship funds must be applied to legitimate educational expenses in order to be tax-exempt payments to students.


CSU, Chico sponsors many awards for students, particularly outstanding graduating seniors. Awards are sometimes incorrectly referred to as “scholarships,” although award disbursements are treated as income rather than as financial aid. Award recipients are selected independent of the formal university scholarship application and selection process. For awards that have a monetary value, payments are processed by the sponsoring department or program and are a direct, one-time only, payment to the student. The student may use the payment for any purpose and will receive an IRS Form 1099. Award payments may be considered as taxable income. By CSU Chancellor’s Office policy, all student award payments must be reported to the FASO for possible inclusion as a resource in the calculation of financial aid eligibility. If the award is made to a graduating senior at the end of the final semester, it will not be considered as a resource for the year just completed.

Scholarship Eligibility

All scholarship recipients, including recipients of external scholarships, must be enrolled full-time at CSU, Chico (12 units for undergraduate and credential students, 8 units for graduate students) or must be regularly eligible for admission to the university at the time of their selection. Once enrolled at CSU, Chico, students receiving scholarship disbursements must maintain full-time enrollment and meet all requirements as specified by the scholarship criteria, including a minimum GPA of 2.00. Graduate, credential and international students may be eligible for certain university scholarships depending on donor-specified requirements. Students enrolled only through Regional and Continuing Education and those in adjunct enrollment may be eligible to receive university scholarships, but they must be matriculated in a degree program in order to receive the scholarship funds. All students selected to receive any scholarship, including external scholarships, must have their eligibility verified by the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office (FASO) before any scholarship funds are disbursed.


California State University, Chico has a decentralized scholarship organization, which requires collaboration and coordinated effort between various campus units (see Appendix B).



The University Scholarship Committee (USC) is responsible for the oversight of all scholarship programs at CSU, Chico. The committee will annually review all university scholarship policies and procedures and will make recommendations for improvements to the appropriate university administrators and to the Board of Governors of the University Foundation

The committee will annually select the recipients of university-wide scholarships. The committee members may also actively participate in the advancement of scholarship activities, including the solicitation of funds to support the scholarship program.


The USC is a standing University committee comprised of the following members

  • Director of Admissions or annual designee
  • Advancement Scholarship Coordinator
  • Director of Athletics or annual designee
  • Director of Campus Retention Programs
  • Director of the Educational Opportunity Program or annual designee
  • Assistant Director of Scholarships (Financial Aid and Scholarship Office)
  • Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Dean of the School of Graduate, International, and Interdisciplinary Studies or annual designee
  • Associated Student Director of University Affairs or annual designee
  • One faculty member from each college appointed to three-year, staggered terms by the college dean.

The Assistant Director of Scholarships will serve as the committee chair and will call the meetings. The committee will meet a minimum of once each semester.

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office will provide administrative support to the committee. The FASO staff person will attend all committee meetings and will perform the following duties

  • Provide written or electronic notice of meetings
  • Prepare and distribute the agenda for each meeting
  • Maintain a permanent record of committee activities
  • Prepare and distribute minutes of all committee meetings

California State University, Chico has a decentralized scholarship organization, which requires collaboration and coordinated effort between University Advancement, the University Foundation, Student Financial Services, Enrollment Management, the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, colleges and academic departments, and Intercollegiate Athletics.

University Advancement (UA)

University Advancement (UA) is responsible for scholarship development, with input from Enrollment Management, colleges and academic departments, the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, Intercollegiate Athletics, and other campus constituencies. UA is the primary contact with donors, assists with the establishment of guidelines and selection criteria based on donors’ wishes, and is accountable along with the campus scholarship committees for the full utilization of scholarship funds. University Advancement also provides donor stewardship including annual reports to the donors regarding their individual scholarship accounts.

The University Foundation (UF)

The University Foundation (UF) administers the University gift and endowment programs that support the scholarship program. UF is recognized under state and federal tax laws as a qualified recipient for tax-deductible charitable contributions. The UF Board of Governors sets the Endowment Spending Policy, which identifies the monetary resources available for payout each fiscal year. The University Foundation provides University Advancement and the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office with an annual report of available earnings in endowed scholarship accounts.

Student Financial Services (SFIN)

All scholarship funds are transferred from University Foundation accounts to Student Financial Services, which disburses the funds to the individual scholarship recipients. The Taxpayers’ Relief Act of 1997 requires that CSU, Chico notify the IRS and the taxpayer (student or parent) of fees paid and financial assistance (including scholarships) received. In order to assure that scholarship funds are applied to educational expenses, all funds are deposited to the student’s University account. After all campus charges have been paid, any remaining balance will be refunded to the student.

Enrollment Management

Enrollment Management is responsible along with the colleges and University Advancement for identifying and developing sources of scholarship funding to achieve the strategic recruitment and retention initiatives of the university.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Office (FASO)

It is the role of the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office (FASO) to publicize and promote University and external scholarship opportunities, to coordinate the application and recipient selection process for University scholarships, to verify the eligibility of scholarship recipients in compliance with donor requirements, to enter all scholarship awards into the financial aid database for student award identification, and to coordinate fund transfers from the UF to Student Financial Services in order to disburse scholarship funds to students. The FASO is also responsible for policy interpretation regarding issues of eligibility and compliance with legal and donor requirements.

Colleges and Departments

Each college dean is responsible for appointing a representative to coordinate the college’s scholarship processes and to serve as a single point of contact with the FASO regarding the scholarship application and selection process. Typically this responsibility will be assigned to the associate dean. It is expected that this person will also work closely with the college advancement director, who may be involved in scholarship development and donor stewardship activities in coordination with University Advancement.

It is the role of the college and department scholarship committees to announce the availability of applicable scholarships, to solicit timely applications from students, to review all university scholarship applications forwarded by the FASO, to select eligible recipients and alternates, and to notify the FASO of their selections. Colleges and departments may also send letters to their scholarship recipients.

Intercollegiate Athletics

The decision to award an athletic grants-in-aid (GIA) is made by the head coach of each sport with approval from the Director of Athletics. Once the student-athlete has accepted the offer of a GIA, the Athletic Director and the NCAA Athletic Compliance Coordinator provide the FASO with an official list of all roster athletes along with a signed GIA for each student-athlete for awarding of financial aid and scholarships. Any student-athlete who requires need-based aid must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually. The Athletics Director, the Athletics Advancement Officer and the FASO coordinate the award process for student athletes who are recipients of named athletic scholarships, funded by annual or endowed accounts.

University Scholarship Committee (USC)

The USC selects the recipients of University-wide scholarships, including the Robert M. Rawlins Awards and the UIGA Advance Commitment Scholarships. The committee members may participate in the advancement of scholarship activities and in the solicitation of funds for the scholarship program.