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Scholarship Policy


October 27, 2020

NSU Foundation Scholarship Management

The NSU Foundation serves as the custodian and management entity for all donor-based scholarships that are offered to students at the University. The Foundation partners with the Financial Aid Office to ensure annual spending levels and award offerings are updated. The Financial Aid Office utilizes the AwardSpring scholarship software application as a means for securing scholarship applications.

Award Cycle

The NSU Foundation meets semi-annually in January and June of each year to review the criteria and spending policies.  Additional scholarships that can be awarded by the Financial Aid Office are added to the Colleague Student Information System and the AwardSpring online software application. Obsolete scholarships will be flagged and are not awarded during the award cycle.  Spending levels for Foundation award codes are updated by Financial Aid on an annual basis and based upon receipt of the spending policies updates from the Foundation. A review of updates will occur prior to awarding of funds.  The processing cycle may begin as early as January of each year.  Final reconciliation will conclude prior to June 30th of each year.

Applications are made available to students in April of each year for the fall semester and in November for the spring semester.  Summer applications are based on the availability of funds and are determined on a year-by-year basis.

The Financial Aid Office begins reviewing applications for the fall application period in June of each year. The process of reviewing application will continue through September and is based upon the availability of any remaining funds and the criteria of the funds.  Awarding for the fall application period will begin July and continue through October of each year.  The spring review process will begin November through February each year.

Who Can Apply

New and returning students who have been admitted to the University may apply for a Foundation scholarship.  All students must:

  • Have a current year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file
  • Have a NSU email address
  • Be admitted into a degree-seeking program of study
  • Have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average
  • Be in good academic standing


Evaluation Process Fall and Spring

A scholarship review team will consist of at least five (5) reviewers. The reviews will assemble each year to score student applications.  Blind scoring will be conduct by each of the reviewers. Each reviewer will not have access to the student’s name during the process.  Reviewers will be assigned with a random selection of students who have applications in the Award Spring system. 

Students may obtain a maximum score of 50 points based on:

  • Cumulative grade point average – up to 20 points
  • Unmet Need – Up to 15
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – Up to 10 points
  • Community Service/School Involvement - Up to 5 points

The NSU Foundation and the Financial Aid Office should review each of the outlined parameters on annual basis to ensure students are ranked according to the intent of the criteria provided by the Foundation.  The NSU Foundation in collaboration with the Financial Aid must agree to all changes to the evaluation process.

In addition, students who submit incomplete applications are not included as a part of the review process. Students are sent email notifications that his/her scholarship is incomplete and a comment is notated in Colleague.

Awarding Fall and Spring

Students are awarded based on the composite score and the criteria of each individual scholarship.  Scholarships are awarded based on the spending level for each scholarships and the availability of funds at the time of awarding.

Awarding begins with reviewing students with the highest composite score first. Students received a Foundation scholarship during a previous award year will be reviewed as a renewal applicant. In the event of a tie in the composite score, the student who submitted a completed application first is awarded.

Thank You Letters

Thank you letters are required from scholarship recipients prior to disbursement of funds to a student’s account in Colleague.  Students have the ability to upload letters directly into the Award Spring system.  Students must submit letters within two (2) weeks of awarding of a scholarship.  Failure to receive a letter within the two (2) week period will result in cancellation of the scholarship offer. Financial Aid will reallocate the award to the next qualified applicant.

Student Communications

Completed Applications

Upon completion of the scholarship application, the student is sent an email from the AwardSpring platform acknowledging receipt of their scholarship application. Students also has access to a dashboard in AwardSpring that provides outstanding items that require completion or submission.

Incomplete Applications

For students with an incomplete application, an email is generated and sent to acknowledging the incomplete status of the application. Student applications must be in a complete status prior to reviewing and awarding of any scholarships.  Students may opt to log into AwardSpring to complete and submit the updated application.

Award Notification

Students are notified via the Award Spring platform when a scholarship has been offered.  Once the “thank you” letter has been received, the award will be applied to the student’s awards in Colleague. Once an award offer has been offered and receipt of the “thank you” letter has been received, the student receives another email from Colleague indicating a revision has been made to the award offer. Copies of award offers can be viewed and printed via MyNSU – Self-Service – Financial Aid.

Students who are not awarded any scholarships are notified via email through the AwardSpring.

Student Ineligibility

The Financial Aid Office is responsible for verifying that all students awarded Foundation funds meet all eligibility criteria. If it is determined that a student who has been awarded funds is deemed ineligible, the student is notified, in writing, and the funds are returned to the Foundation. The Foundation will notify Financial Aid, in writing, if any funds returned may be used for re-awarding to another student or students.

Checks, Disbursements and Reconciliation

The Financial Aid Office request checks from the Foundation once the Financial Aid Office enters the award offer to the student’s financial aid award in the Colleague system. The award remains in an offer status and is not disbursed to the student’s account. Upon receipt of the scholarship check from the Foundation, the award offer status is updated to an award accept status.

Funds are disbursed to the student’s account on the next disbursement date as determined by the Student’s Accounts Office.

Reconciliation is completed after each disbursement period. Funds are disbursed using the transmittal processing schedule provided by Student Accounts. Generally, disbursements occur on a weekly basis once the registration period has commenced and hours registered has been reviewed and confirmed by the Financial Aid Office.