Welcome Checks

Welcome checks are payments made to newly admitted students, generally graduate students, to assist with initial living expenses at the start of their program.

Sometimes these are called non-tuition scholarships. These type of payments are considered scholarships and represent financial support to the student as part of a their financial aid package. Welcome payments must be detailed in the student’s award letter.


  • These payments can only be awarded to newly admitted students, for their first term of enrollment.
  • Welcome checks will not apply to pay segregated fees or tuition, however, it will be reported on student’s 1098T tax form.
  • In order to ensure that welcome checks are not paid out to students who do not eventually enroll, there is an enrollment condition for refunding.
  • July 1 is the earliest that the award can be posted to a student account.
  • Refunding will happen once a week, starting the first week of August.

The process of uploading Welcome Checks through the Bursar’s Office is only available for US Residents. Non-Resident Aliens (NRA) payments need to be processed through payroll.

Due Dates

Welcome checks must be submitted on a timely basis to ensure that funds are paid out to students.

  • For Fall Term – submit payments by September 1st
  • For Spring Term – submit payments by January 15th 

Welcome check payments submitted after these dates must be processed as scholarship and will be applied to any outstanding tuition balance.  After tuition balance is paid, any excess funds will be refunded to the student.

Set up an item type

Departments will need an Item Type for Welcome Checks.

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.

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Set up a new Item Type

  • Submit Item Type Request Form to define the various attributes of the payment in the Student Information System (SIS) and creates the link between the payment and your GL funding.
  • You’ll need to work with the 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.”
  • This clearing account is linked to the Item Type. When scholarships are posted in SIS using this Item Type, the clearing account is debited.

Please 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 Item Type is ready for use.

Submit A Scholarship Form

Once the department has an Item Type, submit the payment through the Scholarship Fall and Spring payment form.


For welcome check questions: scholarships@bussvc.wisc.edu.