What makes payments to students unique?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the US Department of Education impose complex regulations in regards to payments issued to students. In addition to tax regulations, certain payments are required to be counted as financial aid awards or resources. Failure to follow these regulations may result in penalties and could potentially jeopardize the university’s ability to award federal financial aid.
Step 1: Determine what type of payment the student will be issued. These include travel or supply reimbursements, departmental awards, scholarships, prizes, or grants, employment service awards, or payments for services. See below for additional information and detailed instructions on how to process these types of payments.
Step 2: Complete the Student Check Request form if the payment is related to Supply Reimbursements, Payment for Services, or Employment Service Awards.
- Please understand that all of the information on the Student Check Request form is required to ensure that all student payments are handled properly.
- Contact the Office of Financial Aid and complete the Student Remuneration Form form if the payment is for a Scholarship, Grant, Award, or Prize. The form is located on the Office of Financial Aid’s website listed under Forms for Faculty.
- Contact the Travel Office at 828.251.6243 or see below for more information on student travel.
Step 3: Submit the Student Check Request form to Accounts Payable once it has been completed. Accounts Payable is located on the first floor of the Administration and Finance side of Phillips Hall in room number 119. The CPO number for Accounts Payable is 1423 and you can reach them via phone at 828.251.6663.
Once the form has been received by Accounts Payable it will be processed within two weeks. We may contact the check requester if additional information is needed. If your student check request is time sensitive or the deadline is fast approaching, please indicate the preferred due date on the form and mark it urgent.
Student Check Request (PDF)
Student Check Request (Excel)
Student Remuneration Form (Excel – Located under Forms for Faculty)
For assistance in determining the correct form or assistance in completing the form, you may contact Hunter Fava at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.251.6128.
Student travel is processed through our online travel system, Chrome River, and may be recorded on the student’s account and financial aid if required due to the travel type. The student related travel falls into three categories: business purposes, travel for-credit, or travel not-for-credit.
Student travel for business purposes is related to employment or student organizations. Student travel that is required by a course syllabus, where all students must travel to an event in order to earn a passing grade in the course, is considered travel for-credit. UNC Asheville rarely has for-credit student travel where the student is reimbursed directly for the travel costs. Most student travel is optional, or is not required by a course syllabus and therefore is considered as travel not-for-credit.
Business Purpose: Student workers in the Sustainability Office may be sent to a waste reduction facility for training.
Travel for-credit: Students studying abroad, visiting an off-site location to record water levels as part of a course.
Travel not-for-credit: Undergraduate research, students attending conferences or events related to a course, their major, or an educational area of interest.
Student Travel Paid by Faculty/Staff
If Faculty/Staff are paying for any portion of travel on the behalf of a student(s), the Faculty/Staff must be sure that a pre-approval has been created and approved for each individual student. This pre-approval will be in the name of the Faculty/staff with student affiliation selected. Once the travel has ended, the Faculty/Staff will create an expense report for their reimbursement, for each individual student, under the Student Traveler Affiliation. Contact the travel office for questions at 828.251.6243.
Student travel paid by Faculty/Staff will still be categorized as business purposes, travel for-credit, or travel not-for-credit and will have the same tax and financial aid implications.
Whether the student or another individual is being reimbursed for the travel costs, the student’s account will include the travel reimbursement on their 1098-T form as a scholarship/grant for tax purposes unless the travel is business related.
Financial Aid Implications:
Business Purpose: Travel costs will not be included in the student’s financial aid award.
Travel for-credit: Travel costs will be included in the student’s financial aid award as a travel grant.
Travel not-for-credit: Travel costs will not be included in the student’s financial aid award, however, it will show on the student account as a travel grant and will be included on the 1098-T form.
Employment Service Award
In rare instances, students may be awarded additional funds in conjunction with their student employment for outstanding service or exceptional performance. These amounts are awarded at the discretion of the employing department.
These additional payments are reported to the Internal Revenue Service on form W-2 and may be considered taxable income to the student. There are no financial aid implications.
Scholarships, Grants, Awards, and Prizes
Scholarships, grants, prizes, or awards to students, except for those related directly to student employment, need to be processed through the Office of Financial Aid using the Student Remuneration Form. This form is located under Forms for Faculty.
Please contact email@example.com directly before notifying the student or completing the Student Remuneration form.
Scholarship: The Art department has a named or specific scholarship that they award to a student annually from a dedicated scholarship fund. The department completes the Student Remuneration Form and the Office of Financial Aid disburses the scholarship to the student.
Prize or Award: The Department of English has a general fund that they use to give students a prize/award for winning a writing contest. The department completes the Student Remuneration Form and the Office of Financial Aid disburses the scholarship to the student.
Award not related to employment: A student employee working for the Biology Department wins an award for a particular laboratory competition. Because this award is not related directly to the student’s employment, the department completes the Student Remuneration Form and the Office of Financial Aid disburses the award to the student.
Employment service award: A student employee working for the Biology Department receives additional earnings for exceptional leadership on a special project. This payment for outstanding service is given in conjunction with the student’s job responsibilities. The department completes the Student Check Request form and submits it to the Accounts Payable Office.
Financial Aid and Tax Implications:
All scholarships, grants, awards, and prizes, except for employment service awards, will be counted as a part of the students financial aid and will be disbursed into the student’s account. These funds will be recorded as part of the student’s scholarships or grants on the 1098-T form for tax purposes.
Employment service awards are reported to the Internal Revenue Service on form W-2 and may be considered taxable income to the student. There are no financial aid implications for these awards.
In rare situations students may purchase supplies on behalf of the university. Often times these purchases are related to student clubs/organizations. These supply purchases may be reimbursed submitting the Student Check Request form to Accounts Payable along with the original receipt.
Reimbursements to students for supplies used during classroom related activities could be considered an award. An example of this is when several students purchase supplies for a project; however, only one student is singled out for reimbursement.
- Decorations for organization’s Homecoming float.
- Sidewalk chalk for notes regarding student club meeting.
- Unique parts for building a robot as part of a class project (pre-authorized purchase for reimbursement).
- $100 reimbursed for having the outstanding poster when the total cost of supplies was $200. (Award)
- Three students build robots, one is selected as the most innovative, and supplies for said robot are reimbursed. (Award)
Financial Aid and Tax Implications:
Most supply reimbursements will not be included in the students financial aid or 1098-T form. Only supply reimbursements that are considered an award will be counted as a part of the student’s financial aid and recorded as part of their scholarships or grants on the 1098-T form for tax purposes.