University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Board of Regents Governance

Regent Policy

No. 10




Policy on Financial Aid, Including Scholarships, Grants, and Fellowships, to Promote Student Diversity at the University of Washington



Scholarships, grants, and fellowships are important forms of financial aid for achieving diversity in the University of Washington student population. It is the policy of the University to use these tools to the fullest extent possible while still complying with state and federal laws. Financial aid that includes restrictions or preferences as to race, color, national origin, ethnicity, or sex will be administered based on the principles described below for each kind of funding source.

1.  Definitions

  A. "Financial aid" includes scholarships, grants, loans, work-study, and fellowships that are made available to assist a student to pay for his or her education at a college.

  B. "Endowments" are gifts to the University where the donor intends that the gifts be invested and that distributed income from the gifts be used to fund financial aid.

  C. "Current-use gifts" are funds donors give periodically with the intent that the University spends them during a specified period.

  D. "State sources" means state appropriations, tuition revenue, revenues from self-sustaining units, and other local funds, and excludes gifts, non-state grants, and federal funds.

2.  General Principles

  A. This policy applies to all forms of financial aid.

  B. The University will continue to accept endowments and current-use gifts for awards that express a donor's special interest as to the race, color, national origin, ethnicity, or sex of the recipient. Awards of new, endowed, or current-use financial aid will be made using one of the mechanisms described in Sections 3A, 3B, and 3C below. The University will encourage new donors who do not wish to have their endowments or current-use gifts administered in accordance with University policy to make their donations to a private foundation or trustee for the benefit of University of Washington students.

Endowments and current-use gifts accepted after the date of approval of this policy by the Board of Regents shall direct the University to transfer administration of the financial aid to a non-University foundation or trustee if a court of competent jurisdiction finally rules that the University cannot legally administer the trust in accordance with the wishes of the donor.

  C. The University will not violate the terms of, or return to the donors, any endowment or outstanding current-use gift expressing preferences on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, or sex accepted by the University prior to the effective date of Initiative 200. All such existing endowments and current use gifts will be reviewed by the University for compliance with federal law and this policy. The University shall, where possible, award such financial aid through one of the processes described in Sections 3A, 3B, and 3C. If experience shows that the University cannot effectively administer a particular scholarship consistent with donor wishes, the University shall, if possible, transfer that scholarship to a private foundation or trustee for administration. The private foundation or trustee must be able to administer the restricted scholarship in accordance with the donor's wishes.

  D. The University may award financial aid on the basis of affiliation with federally recognized or other American Indian tribes and Alaska natives when that distinction is made on a political basis. In consultation with appropriate tribal officials, the University will develop specific standards for this distinction before departments and schools will be authorized to apply this policy.

  E. The University will continue to seek, accept, award, and administer financial aid established by the federal government and restricted on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, or gender, in a manner consistent with the requirements of federal law and the specific contract.

  F. Qualifications for financial aid may include the ability of a recipient to contribute to the intellectual and cultural enrichment of the department or program because of life experiences, and such information may be solicited during the application process. Actual experiences or achievements of a recipient may be considered even though the experience or achievement may be related to the recipient's race, color, national origin, ethnicity, or sex.

  G. The University shall make no preference based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, or sex in awarding financial aid from state sources, except where authorized by state law. Monies from state sources may be included in diversity match pools.

  H. Gender-based scholarships may be awarded to athletes in the Intercollegiate Athletics Program, as permitted by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Initiative I-200.

3.  Administration of Financial Aid

The University may use any of three approaches to award financial aid that is restricted on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, or sex. The approaches vary in their use of these factors and therefore are subject to differing levels of review and approval by the Board of Regents and appropriate University deans and vice presidents. The University will choose among the options by considering the numbers of awards available in the particular department or awarding entity and the level of demonstrable need for these special efforts.

  A. Diversity Match Pool

This approach may be used for a group of students and applicants (such as undergraduates) or within a given school or department. From among those applying for financial aid, the University will select the recipients based on neutral criteria such as merit and financial need. After the selection of the recipients, the University will match awards with restrictive criteria to recipients who satisfy those criteria.  Each entity forming a diversity match pool will do so using restricted funds not being awarded under other options and a sufficient amount of unrestricted funds to allow for administration in accordance with this policy. The University may use monies from state sources in the pool. Schools and departments shall seek the advice of the Office of the Attorney General and approval of appropriate University deans and vice presidents before constructing such a pool, and on a biennial basis thereafter.

The University will award financial aid in a manner that does not result in an advantage or disadvantage to a recipient because of his or her race, color, national origin, ethnicity, or sex. In particular, the amount and type of a student's financial aid award shall be based on neutral criteria such as need, merit, adversity factors, and geographical limitations.

Restricted financial aid for which there is no match will not be given at that time. Students and applicants in the pool for whom there is no financial aid because of award restrictions will receive equal financial aid from a special fund set aside for that purpose. The University may use monies from state sources for this purpose.

  B. "Diversity Plus" Financial Aid

If a financial aid award exists, in whole or part, for the purpose of promoting diversity in the student body, the University may include race, color, national origin, ethnicity, or sex as factors where these factors will promote such diversity, provided that significant other factors also promoting diversity are considered at the same time. In order for use of this option to continue, the Board of Regents must explicitly renew it at four-year intervals, basing renewal on an assessment that the approach is still needed in order to promote diversity. A given school or department may use such an approach to financial aid after determining that a process not using race, color, national origin, ethnicity, or sex has not been or will not be effective in assuring a diverse student body. Schools and departments shall seek the advice of the Office of the Attorney General and approval of appropriate University deans and vice presidents before using such an approach, and at four-year intervals thereafter.

  C. Special Recruiting Financial Aid

The University may award financial aid restricted on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, or sex in order to recruit particular students for the purpose of achieving a diverse student body, provided that:

    1) Appropriate University deans and vice presidents determine that no alternative financial aid, targeting method or recruiting technique would be sufficient to recruit students from the group in question,

    2) The overall amount of such financial aid is no greater than needed to achieve a diverse student body,

    3) No financial aid shall be awarded from such funds if no qualified candidates are available, and

    4) The total awards of such funds shall not be an undue burden upon students not in the targeted groups.

    In order for use of this option to continue, the Board of Regents must explicitly renew it every four years. Renewals will be based on an assessment of whether such an approach is still necessary in order to assure a diverse student body. Schools and departments shall seek the advice of the Office of the Attorney General and approval of appropriate University deans and vice presidents before using such an approach, and at four year intervals thereafter.

  D. Financial Aid Awarded by Private Foundations or Other Outside Entities.

University of Washington officials may take limited part in the administration of restricted financial aid given to University of Washington students by outside entities. With student permission where needed, University officials may, for example, forward applications to the outside entities; identify and recommend students who meet specific criteria established by the outside entities; and receive funds for distribution to students. University officials, however, may not make the final selections of recipients of such restricted financial aid.

4.  Financial Aid Reporting Guidelines

In compliance with long-standing federal and University guidelines, the University requires students receiving any form of financial aid through the Office of Student Financial Aid to report awards from foundations or trustees or other sources and have their financial aid packages adjusted appropriately.

5.  Test Preparation Awards

The University will continue to solicit and accept endowments and current-use gifts for scholarships and grants to assist in preparation for standardized tests that are used as admission criteria to potential applicants where both:

  A. The test in question has a demonstrable adverse impact on members of the race, color, national origin, ethnicity, or gender group to which the person belongs, and

  B. Enrollment of members of that group is necessary to achieve a diverse student body.

BR, April 16, 1999.