Welcome Check Scholarships


Welcome checks are payments made to newly admitted students, generally graduate students, to assist with initial living expenses at the start of their program. These type of payments are considered scholarships; they represent financial support to the student and are part of a student’s financial aid package. Welcome payments must be detailed in the student’s award letter. Below are a few guidelines related to processing Welcome Check Scholarships:

  • 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 at year-end on student’s 1098-T form.
  • Welcome check payments must be submitted by September 1 of each academic year for disbursements in Fall and by January 15 of each year for disbursements in Spring. Any payments submitted after these dates, needs to be processed as a scholarship and will be applied to any outstanding balance and remaining excess funds will be refunded.
  • 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 Common Scholarship Application (CSA) should be used for awarding the students. Questions related to CSA should be directed to scholarship_support@em.wisc.edu.
  • Departments will need to setup an item type for Welcome Checks. Depending on departments’ current process for scholarships, you may need to process these payments through your Divisional Dean’s Office. To setup a new Item Type for Welcome Checks please contact the Bursar’s Office at Scholarships@bussvc.wisc.edu.
  • 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.