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College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi

Awarding Scholarships

Scholarships for New Freshmen or Transfer Students

▸ Timeline

Feb. 15 Mar. 1 Mar. 5 Mar. 10–15 Apr. 15 Late Apr.
UM Scholarship App Deadline Foundation provides info to Dean’s office roughly the deadline for entering scholarships Financial Aid mails the “big letter” to students check if selected students registered for orientation cancel and re-award if possible

Financial Aid will want the scholarship recipients entered in the online system by the end of the first week of March. Recognize that any requests to the Office of Financial Aid for lists of eligible students will take time to fulfill, but we are squeezed by the Feb. 15 final UM scholarship application deadline if you want to see the resume and essays for everyone who applied for scholarships. March 1 is when the Foundation provides the endowment and payout information for all accounts in the College to Dean’s office. It takes about a week of solid work for us to provide the updates to the departments. We ask for informal guidance about the payout as compared with last year to give us guidance.

If the scholarship requires the recipient to have financial need, then you must have Financial Aid run the list of eligible students. The Dean’s office (Holly, Patty, Patricia, Lydia, or Lele) can provide the general UM scholarship application from those students who opted to complete it. Financial Aid’s information will indicate high, medium, or low financial need only. Probably put a tickler somewhere in early February for that request and ask that they wait until Feb 16 to run the list. I suggest you outline the information required for a decision – name, ID, residency, high school GPA, standardized scores, high school, financial need, major, etc.

If the scholarship does not require financial need, then the list of eligible students can be run by someone who has SAP access to student records. Wayne Shaw can do this in the CLA. If you want their scholarship applications in order to have their resume and essays for consideration, then request those documents from the CLA Dean’s office (Holly, Patty, Patricia, Lydia, or Lele).

How to make the decision?

Once you have the information on eligible students, a faculty/staff committee of at least 3 individuals must make the recommendation. This is critical for Internal Audit (and fairness) purposes. If your unit undergoes an Internal Audit, they will ask to see every communication related to the scholarship and an explanation of the decisions made.

  • You’ll want to keep enough notes to explain how the decision was ultimately made to priority rank the short list of possible recipients. Verify that the criteria used to make the decision match the MOA/MOU for the scholarship. Keep the communication to generate the list, the list itself, and meeting notes for the ranking decision. Be sure to share with the committee the Academic Merit Scholarship table so that they know what automatic scholarships the students might be receiving.
  • Select 5-6 students in priority order for every scholarship that is given to incoming students. Therefore, you can move down the list if students decide to not attend UM.
  • Send your list of possible recipients to Financial Aid and ask if their financial aid packages can “accept” another scholarship. Be sure to tell them how much the scholarship will be worth. If you don’t do this step, you might be spending your money but saving funds for another office on campus—but the student does not receive any more $. Please be in touch with Financial Aid so that you understand exactly how your scholarship impacts the students…before you enter the award into the online Financial Aid form. You might have to adjust your list of 5-6 students based on this information.
  • Once the decisions are made, you’ll want to have them entered in the online Financial Aid form via MyOleMiss. See section below about how to make that award.
  • Contact the student that you have selected. Tell them how much it is and that they were selected from a list of eligible students. This is another opportunity to recruit top students to your program/UM.
  • By mid-April, I would ask Orientation (Martin Fisher) to see if your 5-6 students on the priority list have completed the orientation registration. You want to know if they are planning to attend. If the top student has not registered for orientation, then contact the student to ask about their plans. You can ask Admissions to do this task if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. If the student says that they are not, then complete the online form to withdraw aid and move down the list to the next person who plans to attend UM. You want to do this in April because the scholarship might encourage someone to attend UM who might otherwise not do so. Be sure to check if your #2 student on the priority list is registered and coming to UM…and so forth until you find someone who plans to attend. Then, submit the online form for awarding the scholarship.

Scholarships awarded to current students

In mid-spring semester, you’ll want to start the process of awarding current student scholarships so that the process can be completely finished before the end of the semester or at least before the end of May. We recommend that scholarships are awarded/entered in Financial Aid in the spring for the next academic year so students know how to plan their finances for the next year.

  • Some departments advertise an application to current students to get the list of eligible students.
  • Others have Financial Aid (if financial need is required) or Wayne Shaw generate a list of eligible students based on the criteria in the MOA. Then they invite those particular students to complete an application or the faculty are asked to nominate from the list or the committee simply decides [i.e. highest need and/highest GPA, etc] .
  • If current recipients can retain the scholarship under certain considerations, then you’ll want to double check their graduation status, GPA, financial need, etc. .
  • Be sure to record the process and all communications and decisions along the way. Have a short list of alternates. .
  • Send the list to Financial Aid to verify they can accept the scholarship into their package. .
  • Once you’ve heard back, then contact the student with the conditional scholarship offer if this happens during spring semester. It’s condition on the successful completion of the current spring semester and full-time enrollment in your program next year. You’ll want to provide the name of the scholarship and information about the criteria for the scholarship and whether it rolls over in future semesters (and criteria for keeping it). Tell the student that the scholarship will not be formally submitted into the online Financial Aid system until two things happen: .
    • End of the semester and you double check their grades.
    • Thank you letter/card from the student to the donor/family must be delivered to you. .
  • Provide information about the person honored by the scholarship so that it connects the student with donor/honoree of the scholarship. I always invite the student to come see me so we can have a short discussion, and I can learn a little more about the student, hand them a blank notecard to use for the thank-you, and just get to know the student.
  • Once you have checked their semester grades and have the thank-you note from the student, then you can award the scholarship in the MyOleMiss system.
  • Write your own letter of thank you to the donor as a cover letter and put both your letter and the thank-you note from the student(s) in the mail. I always include information that I learned about the student during my meeting (with permission) and share impressions that I have about the student to the donor/family. This makes the cover letter more personal.

Documentation for the Scholarship process

In either a paper or electronic folder, please keep the following documents.

  1. MOA/MOU for the scholarship. Any communication made at the time of the creation or since then providing any guidance about the awarding process. Contact the Dean’s office (Patricia, Patty, or Holly) if you need a copy of a MOA/MOU.
  2. Financial information provided by the Dean’s office regarding the endowment or funds and the payout available.
  3. Communication requesting eligibility lists and the lists generated.
  4. Communication with the committee and notes from the decision meeting.
  5. Communication with Financial Aid to double check selected students for ability to accept the scholarship.
  6. Communication with the student.
  7. Copies of thank-you notes/letters to donor/family.
  8. Copy of the confirmation sheet from the online Financial Aid system.

How to award the scholarship in the myOleMiss system


In myOleMiss, bring up the “Department Scholarship Form” page. Before you start, make sure you have the student’s ID number and the Aid ID number for the scholarship from Financial Aid.

You’ll enter your office phone number and click the appropriate menu option—mostly “Enter New Aid”. Hit next.

Screen capture of myOleMiss portal with Phone number and Enter New Aid fields highlighted. The Next button is also highlighted.


Another list of options will pop up at the bottom. Usually you’ll be doing one of the first two—individual student awards or awarding multiple students the same scholarship at the same amount.

Screen capture. Headline is: Please select one of the menu options. Enter new aid radio button selected. Second prompt is: Please select one of the sub menu options. Enter Individual student awards and Award Multiple Students the Same Award and Same Amounts and both highlighted selections.


On the next page, you’ll hit “search” to identify the student for the award. You’ll need their student ID number.

Screen capture of menu options with header: Please put in the student's information. The *Search link is highlighted.

Be sure you are clicking the award for the correct academic year. (Usually the next academic year.)
You’ll usually select the term as “fall/spring.”

Enter the Aid ID number and the account and award name automatically pops up, which is convenient.

Enter the scholarship amount.

Screen capture of form. with Award 1 section highlighted.

Down at the bottom of the page you’ll see this prompt. You’ll usually say “no” to the question about part-time/full-time status. Almost every scholarship indicates that the student must be full-time in order to receive the scholarship. Double check, but most will be “no” to this question. Hit continue.

Then you’ll have a summary and confirmation page before you hit submit.

Screen capture of form. The prompt, Can the student receive this scholarship if they are not enrolled full time? is highlighted. The Continue button is also highlighted.


Within a few minutes you should receive an email confirmation sheet that you’ll save for your documentation.