Payments Non-Service

Payments for which Services are Not Required – Scholarships / Fellowships 

As defined by the Internal Revenue Service, scholarships are amounts paid for the benefit of a student at an educational institution to aid in the pursuit of studies, and fellowships are amounts paid for the benefit of an individual in the pursuit of study or research. 

A qualified scholarship or fellowship grant is tax free only if the recipient is a candidate for a degree at an educational institution. 

Qualified scholarship and fellowship grants are amounts paid for tuition and fees required to enroll in, or to attend, an educational institution, or for fees, books, supplies, and equipment that are required for the courses at the educational institution. 

Amounts paid for incidental expenses are taxable.  Incidental expenses include expense for room and board, travel, research, clerical help, equipment, and other items not required for either enrollment or attendance at an educational institution, or in a course of instruction at the educational institution. 

The following table indicates the tax treatment of scholarship and fellowship payments:

Payment for
Degree candidate
Not a degree candidate
Tuition
Not Taxable
Taxable
Fees
Not Taxable
Taxable
Books*
Not Taxable
Taxable
Supplies*
Not Taxable
Taxable
Equipment*
Not Taxable
Taxable
Room
Taxable
Taxable
Board
Taxable
Taxable
Travel
Taxable
Taxable

 * Must be required of all students in a course of instruction at an educational institution

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents 

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents must have a social security number in order to receive a scholarship or fellowship from Syracuse University. 

By law, the grantor of scholarships and fellowships to United States Citizens and Permanent Residents of the United States is not required to report these payments to the Internal Revenue Service or to the recipient. Likewise, there is no tax withholding required.

It is the responsibility of the individual receiving the scholarship or fellowship to determine whether it is taxable and to report such payments as required on their personal income tax return. 

Scholarships and grants which are applied to your University Bursar Account may be viewed via My Slice. If you receive fellowship/stipend/grant/awards that are paid to you, and are not applied to your Bursar Accoount, you may contact Disbursements Processing at disburse@syr.edu or by phone at 315-443-2484 to request a summary of such payments made to you during the calendar year.

Internal Revenue Service Publication 970 – Tax Benefits for Education , provides additional information, and may be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service web site or by calling 1-800-829-3676.

Non-Resident Aliens 

Non-Resident Aliens must have a social security number or an individual taxpayer identification number in order to receive a scholarship or fellowship from Syracuse University.

Non-qualified scholarships and fellowships given to Non-Resident Aliens must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service and to the recipient on form 1042-S. 

Qualified scholarships (scholarships for tuition and fees required for enrollment at Syracuse University) granted to candidates for a degree are not subject to tax withholding.  Absent the existence of a tax treaty with an appropriate provision, scholarships and fellowships that are not applied directly to tuition and fees required to enroll in, or to attend an educational institution, or that exceed such fees, when given to Non-Resident Aliens must have taxes withheld (at a rate of 14% for individuals on an F, J, M, or Q visa), even if the excess moneys are used for the purposes described above as being tax free. Where appropriate, the individual may apply for a tax refund upon filing their personal income tax return. 

Absent the existence of a tax treaty with an appropriate provision, all scholarships or fellowships (qualified and not qualified) for study, training or research at an educational institution granted to individuals who are not candidates for a degree, that are present in the U.S. on an F, J, M, or Q visa, are subject to withholding at 14 %. 

Non-qualified scholarships and fellowships other than those described above are subject to withholding at 30%. 

To enable the University to determine the proper tax status for a Non-Resident Alien fellowship recipient, for each calendar year it is necessary for the individual to complete the online questionnaire in the Foreign National Information System. Contact Payroll at payroll@syr.edu to obtain a user name and password to access the site. Based upon the information provided, the individual’s proper tax status will be determined.  Any required forms will be sent to the individual for signature and return to Payroll. 

Internal Revenue Service Publication 519 – Tax Guide For Aliens, provides additional information, and may be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service web site or by calling 1-800-829-3676.

Processing Requirements 

Regardless of how a scholarship or fellowship payment is spent by the recipient, this type of payment is a financial aid expense to the University.  Accordingly, the appropriate accounts must be used in the Chartstring, and the appropriate University forms must be used. 

Requests for scholarships, fellowships, and academic awards to undergraduate students against non-sponsored accounts must be submitted to General Accounting on a Grant Authorization Form. 

Requests for tuition scholarships to undergraduate students on sponsored projects must be submitted to Sponsored Accounting on a Scholarship Tuition Information Sheet. 

Requests for fellowship payments to undergraduate students on sponsored projects must be submitted to Sponsored Accounting on a Stipend Information Sheet. 

Requests for scholarships and fellowships relating to tuition and fees made to graduate students on non-sponsored accounts by University departments other than the Graduate School are submitted to General Accounting on a Grant Authorization Form (click on the link at the bottom of the Graduate Awards Information page).

Requests for payments of fellowship support stipends to graduate students on non-sponsored accounts by University departments other than the Graduate School are submitted to General Accounting on a Stipend Information Sheet.

Requests for tuition scholarships to graduate students on sponsored projects must be submitted to Sponsored Accounting on a Scholarship Tuition Information Sheet. 

Requests for fellowship payments to graduate students on sponsored projects must be submitted to Sponsored Accounting on a Stipend Information Sheet. 

Requests for reimbursements to undergraduate or graduate students for non-employment related travel and other incidental expenses must be processed on a Stipend Information Sheet. It is important to realize that requiring receipts does not change the nature from being a scholarshiip/fellowship, or have any effect on taxability.

Under no circumstances should scholarships, fellowships, grants, or any other payment for which services are not required, take the form of a direct purchase or payment to a vendor on behalf of the recipient. 

Questions regarding the payment of scholarships, fellowships and grants should be directed to the Comptroller’s Office at 443-5373.