Financial Aid

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.

Scholarship Use

Some UC scholarships, when awarded, will note they are for a specific cost item on a student's bill. When a scholarship is restricted, it will be part of the scholarship name or described in the scholarship offer. Funding will only be applied to specific costs on a student's bill. Any overage cannot be refunded to the student.


  • Tuition Remission includes tuition in name and can only apply to tuition charges.
  • Cincinnatus Out-of State Award mentions specific charge in name and only applies to the out-of-state portion of tuition charges.
  • A tuition scholarship award may not have it in the name but may be an amount based on tuition and specify it is only for tuition in the scholarship offer letter.
  • A room and board scholarship could be defined as such in a scholarship offer letter.

Most UC scholarship awards are unrestricted. They may be used for any charges on a student's bill. Additionally, if the total financial aid (including scholarships) exceeds the bill, the student is issued a term refund that can then be used to address non-billed educational costs by the student.


  • Cincinnatus Century and University awards are unrestricted.
  • Most undergraduate college-based scholarships are unrestricted.

Non-UC scholarship awards are applied to the bill and refunded to the student only if the bill is otherwise paid. In cases where these awards are restricted to a billed costs (i.e., tuition), UC will contact the scholarship provider as needed.


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 billed rate for on-campus housing and the budgetted off-campus amount determined by Student Financial Aid.
    • Board awards are limited to the cost of the basic (full meal package) residential meal plan.
    • 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, distance learning, 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 and UC International Outreach Award) can be applied only to full non-Ohio resident fees.
    • 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.
    • Students who receive specific out-of-state awards cannot use these funds for study abroad opportunities as they are not generally charged full UC non-Ohio resident fees during these experiences.
  • 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* for a 4-year equivalent value of consideration as long as a student is continuously enrolled (excluding summer unless enrolled full-time) in a UC degree program, assuming the scholarship program's renewal criteria are met.
    • Only students who continually meet renewal criteria; complete their bachelor’s degree in less than 8 full-time semesters 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 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 if it is not already applied to the summer bill.
    • All full-time, in-class terms (including study abroad) will be awarded scholarship and counted toward the 8 semesters of scholarship consideration.
  • 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, and tuition-based or restricted funds. 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.
  • Study Abroad: Students should inquire as to the applicability of their specific UC awards to study abroad experiences.
  • 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.

While every effort is made to maintain compliance with this policy prior to award disbursement, some adjustments to awards may occur post payment to a student bill or refund.

*Prior to Fall 2012, an academic year was 3 quarters (fall-winter-spring). Students who attended under both quarters and semesters have their 4-year scholarship consideration appropriately converted.

Contact Us

Undergraduate students who have questions on how their scholarship award may be limited should contact the awarding office or email  Additionally, students can get assistance from Enrollment Services.

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 us whenever an expected scholarship is not on your award offer or if you receive unexpected or uneven refund checks.