Scholarships are generally an amount paid or allowed to, or for the benefit of, a student (undergraduate or graduate) to aid in the pursuit of their studies. Scholarships are typically paid in advance.

Scholarship recipients are generally expected to enroll in at least 1 credit hour per term (including summer term). If the scholarship is intended for costs incurred in a specific term, the student must be enrolled during that term.

Set up an item type

An item type determines the payment description in the Student Information System (SIS) and is linked to the associated funding string. Item types also determine payment priority and payment attributes (such as whether the payment is refundable).

If the item type does exist, submit the scholarship form.

If an item type does not exist, the Department will need to request a new item type. Departments should contact the Bursar’s Office to discuss the need for a new item type. The request process is outlined below.

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Requesting a new item type

  • Submit an Item Type Request Form to define the various attributes of the payment in the Student Information System (SIS) and create the link between the payment and the department GL funding.
  • Work with your Divisional Dean’s Office to identify the appropriate fund or to create a new funding/project for this purpose.
  • Please make sure the combination of Department ID, Fund, and Project are valid with Program code 9 and account code 5711 for the clearing account you plan to use.
  • Validate the funding string in WISDM:
    • Select “Main Menu”
    • Select “Other”
    • Select “Funding Validation/Inquiry.”
  • The clearing account is linked to the item type. When scholarships are posted in SIS using this item type, the clearing account is debited.

Allow up to two weeks for this process to be completed. The Bursar’s Office will review the Item Type Request Form and will notify the department once the new item type is ready for use.

Submitting a scholarship form

Schools and Colleges are encouraged to use the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH) for awarding scholarships. If WiSH is not used, a scholarship form must be completed.

Using Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH)

Due to tax regulations, scholarships for International students (Non-Resident Aliens) cannot be processed through the Bursar’s Office.

Advantages to departments and students using the WiSH automated departmental scholarships process:

  • Reduce the amount of time it takes for Schools and Colleges to process scholarships for students.
  • Allow the Financial Aid Office to repackage student financial aid as required by federal regulations in a minimum amount of time.
  • Allow students to view their scholarships online in their Student Information System Student Account.
  • Allow students the option to receive a direct deposit of refund, if applicable.
  • Meets IRS requirements for scholarship reporting on IRS Form 1098T.

For WiSH questions, visit the WiSH resources site or email

Awarding scholarships outside of WiSH

A scholarship form must be completed and submitted to the Bursar’s Office.

Learn about scholarship forms

Scholarships for international students

International students (Nonresident Aliens) must have taxes deducted from their scholarships. This means scholarships must be processed through payroll, not by the Bursar’s Office.

Learn more about scholarship payments for international students

After the scholarship is submitted

The Bursar’s Office will run programs in the Student Information System (SIS) and apply scholarships to student accounts within 1-5 business days following submission.

  • Once scholarships are applied to students’ accounts, the department’s clearing account is debited.
  • On a daily basis, a Journal file containing information about the scholarship payments and the associated accounting string will be created and uploaded to SFS. The Journal upload process will create a credit transaction to the clearing account and debit transactions to the specific scholarship funds the department provided on the upload file. The detailed accounting information will be available in WISDM for Schools and Colleges to query.

Errors: If there are funding string errors identified, the Bursar’s Office will contact the School and College coordinators.

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Students with additional financial aid

There is a possibility that other financial aid might be adjusted when scholarships are applied. Scholarships posted to student accounts with active financial aid will not be refunded until the Financial Aid Office has a chance to review the student’s aid and repackage it per federal regulations. After verification, students with credit balances will receive a refund. If the student’s aid was adjusted, the full amount of the refund may not be refunded.

If a student fails to enroll

If a student fails to enroll after the scholarship is posted in SIS:

  • Our refund process will place a refund hold on the SIS Student Account.
  • The scholarship payment will be reversed from SIS Student Account and the department will be notified.
  • The amount of the scholarship will be transferred back to the fund associated with the item type.
  • The department will see the transfer as a credit transaction to the generic/clearing fund in WISDM.
  • The department must reconcile the returned scholarships against their specific scholarship funds.
  • If necessary, the department needs to do a cost transfer to move the credit from the clearing account back to the original scholarship fund.

Scholarship reversals

When the Bursar’s office reverses a scholarship, the amount of the scholarship will be transferred back to the fund associated with the item type used (department clearing fund). The department will see the transfer as a credit transaction to the clearing account. If necessary, the department needs to work with their Divisional Business Office to transfer the returned award to the original scholarship fund using the Cost Transfer (CT) tool.

If needed, the Bursar’s Office can provide you detailed scholarship report.


Find the Bursar's Office

Bursar’s Office
333 East Campus Mall #10501
Madison, WI 53715-1383

Call the Bursar's Office

(608) 262-3611