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Business and Finance

University Policy for Scholarship Awarding and Administration (II.D.2)

Volume II: Business and Finance
Chapter D: Tuition and Scholarships
Issuing Office: Enrollment Management
Responsible Officer: Thomas B. Robinson
Responsible Office: Enrollment Management
Originally Issued: September 11, 2003
Most Recently Revised: November 18, 2011


Statement of Policy
Reason for Policy
Who Should Know This Policy
Related Documents
Table of Contents
Special Situations


Purdue University provides undergraduate scholarships to students who are enrolled in degree programs through funds provided by alumni, private donors, the federal and state government, and University general funds.

Enrollment Management will be provided flexibility to accomplish annual enrollment targets through the coordination of scholarship awards. Centralized management of scholarship funds will be conducted through the Division of Financial Aid.


Student recruitment and retention are key components of the University's strategic plan. University scholarships must be leveraged to insure the maximum utilization of funds to meet the University's enrollment goals to attract students of high ability, students who will contribute to the diversity of the student population, and to remove financial barriers to attendance in order to maintain access for qualified students. In order to accomplish these goals, a high level of coordination in the awarding of scholarships is required. Flexibility is a key component in allowing Enrollment Management to meet the changing demographics of our student population. University procedures need to be clarified to enhance overall coordination of scholarships with the individual schools and personnel involved in the scholarship awarding process across the West Lafayette campus. In addition, centralized coordination of scholarships will assist in meeting federal, state, and donor compliance requirements.


  • President
  • Provost
  • Chancellors
  • Vice Presidents
  • Deans
  • Directors/Department Heads
  • Principal Investigators
  • School Scholarship Coordinators
  • Advancement Staff
  • Business Office Staff
  • Undergraduate Students
  • Graduate Students


Refer to Accounting Services at Purdue.


Subject Contact Telephone
Enrollment Management Goals Asst. Vice President
For Enrollment Management/
Dean of Admissions
(765) 494-9116
Scholarship Policy Questions
Special Situations/Exceptions
West Lafayette Campus
Executive Director
Division of Financial Aid
(765) 494-5090
Individual School or
Scholarship Questions
School Scholarship Coordinators
School of Agriculture (765) 494-8470
School of Consumer & Family Sciences (765) 494-8533
School of Education (765) 494-7962
Schools of Engineering (765) 494-6088
Graduate School (765) 494-2598
School of Liberal Arts (765) 494-3731
School of Management (765) 494-4388
Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing,
& Health Sciences
(765) 494-1361
School of Science (765) 494-1771
School of Technology (765) 494-4935
Undergraduate Studies Program (765) 494-7998
School of Veterinary Medicine (765) 494-7893
Vice President for Student Services (765) 494-5777
Scholarship Coordinator Questions Asst. Director for Scholarships
Division of Financial Aid
(765) 494-5075


Award Financial support based on achievement, performance, or other criteria.
Prize Recognition based on competition or other criteria. Example: A competition is held, and prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places are awarded to students.
Scholarship Financial support based on academic achievement or other criteria that may include financial need. The donor of the scholarship sets the criteria for recipient selection. Proceeds of the scholarship offset the cost of the student's education for an upcoming or current academic year, depending on when the student receives the funds. Example: Departments, schools, or the Division of Financial Aid select recipients based on the criteria of the scholarship agreement (major, grade level, grade point average, financial need, or a combination of other restrictive criteria). Credit for the scholarship is reflected on the student's invoice for tuition/fees and/or housing.
Grant Financial support based on academic achievement or other criteria that may include financial need. A grant recipient is selected based on specific criteria, which is typically set by the federal or state governments or the institution. Generally the proceeds of the grant are used to offset the cost of a student's education for an upcoming or current academic year for performance or criteria met during the previous academic year. Example: The Division of Financial Aid selects a recipient based on financial criteria and/or grade level and cumulative grade point average as well as other criteria. Credit for the grant is reflected on a student's bill for tuition/fees and/or housing or a check is prepared and given to the student if other assistance has paid fees and housing.
Enrollment Management Strategic Enrollment Goals:

Purdue's strategic enrollment goals include attracting high ability students and students who will contribute to campus diversity. Purdue's goal is to develop a student body that is reflective of the growing diverse population. This diversity enriches the academic development for all students by allowing exposure to different views and beliefs while creating appreciation for an array of ideas and perspectives.

Enrollment Goal: Use of this term is not intended to establish a number, percentage, or quota in meeting enrollment goals.


The following procedures have been developed to implement scholarship policies.

  1. Determining student financial need

    The Division of Financial Aid will be the University authority on determining student financial need. The Division of Financial Aid will be the department responsible for coordination, determination of eligibility, and selection of recipients for all need based scholarships and merit scholarships that have a need-based requirement.

  2. Interpreting endowment agreements and donor language
    1. Existing agreements

      In order to meet the University's strategic initiatives in relation to enrollment management goals, Enrollment Management will determine the usage of scholarship funds when the donor is silent on financial need and merit requirements. Flexibility in awarding funds is critical to meeting the University's enrollment management goals on an annual basis.

      Enrollment Management will be the coordinating office for questions regarding interpretation of scholarship language in existing donor agreements with respect to scholarship awarding requirements. Enrollment Management will make determinations of awarding when required and, when needed, consult with the Office of Planned Giving. The Division of Financial Aid will manage the overall process and respond to outcomes of the decisions. Executors, friends, and family members of the donor or his/her estate cannot add to or change criteria or compel the University to administer the funds in a way that differs from the donor's written wishes. Enrollment Management's goal will be to insure proper stewardship of funds based on donor wishes while meeting enrollment management strategic goals. Business Services will be responsible for the determination of allowable costs that are beyond the use of scholarships and can be charged to restricted funds.

    2. New scholarship agreements

      In order to meet the strategic goals of the University, development officers shall directly consult with the following University departments when scholarship agreements are non-standard Business Service agreement templates:

      • Academic Dean (or designee)
      • Planned Giving
      • Accounting Services
      • Enrollment Management
    3. Bequests

      The senior vice president for advancement will recommend utilization of bequests that are silent on need or merit to meet University scholarship gift establishment goals.

  3. Centralized disbursement of scholarships, grants, awards, and prize payments

    Purdue University policy, in compliance with federal student aid regulations, requires that all scholarships, grants, awards, and prize payments to Purdue students be made through the Division of Financial Aid.

  4. Timely awarding of scholarship funds (merit and need)

    In order to meet the strategic enrollment management goals in relationship to the recruitment and retention of prospective undergraduate entering students, merit scholarships from departments or schools shall be awarded no later than March 1 prior to the beginning of the respective fall semester. Renewal awards must be made by April 1.

    For beginning freshmen, the Preliminary Financial Aid Estimate (PFAE) form will be used to collect family financial data at the time of the application for admissions. The PFAE will be used to determine financial need for merit scholarships that have a financial need requirement (referred to as "need/merit scholarships"). Awards with a financial need requirement will be renewed based on the academic criteria established for renewal of the awards and the demonstrated financial need of the student as determined by the family financial data collected on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


Situations where funds are not received from the donor in time to meet the March 1 deadline are exempt from the March 1 policy requirement only. However, it is expected that the development officer and school scholarship coordinator will work with the donor to insure receipt of funds in the future to allow compliance with this policy. These circumstances are expected to be minimal. These late scholarship funds will still need to be awarded through the financial aid system. Extenuating circumstances and special situation exceptions can be granted only by the executive director of the Division of Financial Aid or designee.


November 18, 2011: Policy number changed to II.D.2 (formerly II.8.1).