Outside Awards

Outside awards benefit undergraduate students by reducing and even eliminating your need to work to help meet your student budget.

Your outside awards will replace your Student Responsibility dollar-for-dollar. Your Stanford scholarship will be reduced only if your outside awards exceed your Student Responsibility. Outside scholarships cannot, however, be used to replace any expected parent contribution, if you are receiving need-based aid. The examples below show how outside awards can change your financial aid package.

Outside Award Comparison
Total Outside Awards 0 2,500 5,000 7,500
Academic Year Earnings 3,500 1,000 0 0
Summer Earnings (Student Contribution) 1,500 1,500 0 0
Stanford Scholarship 30,000 30,000 30,000 27,500
Federal/State Grants 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,000

Some scholarship organizations allow students to use outside scholarship funds for computer purchases.  If the total amount of your outside scholarships for the academic year exceeds your Student Responsibility, and you would like to use part of your outside scholarship funds for a computer purchase, you should complete the Computer Expense Request web form.  In Section 2 of the web form, for “Type of Request,” you should select the second radio button to request to use outside scholarship funds toward a computer purchase.

In certain cases you may not be able to replace the entire amount of your Student Responsibility with outside awards due to eligibility requirements for federal and state need-based aid funds. You will receive an updated copy of your individualized financial aid notification when your aid is adjusted for outside awards.

Employer-based tuition benefits and Veterans Administration educational benefits are treated as outside awards. They will reduce or eliminate the Student Responsibility in the undergraduate aid package.

Receiving outside awards

Undergraduate students must notify our office of all outside awards received, including awards paid directly to you. Failure to report this information will result in losing eligibility for Stanford financial aid.

Please report your outside awards for the academic year after May 15 through AXESS. You will find tools in the "My Finances" menu for managing outside scholarships. See the Using AXESS page for screen shots of what to expect.

  • Scholarship agencies should send your awards directly to our office. See the Contact Us page for address information.
  • Scholarship checks should be made payable to Stanford University so that the funds can be credited directly to your university bill.  Your full name and Stanford ID number should be included in the memo section of the check.
    • If your scholarship check has been sent to the Financial Aid Office, but is made co-payable to you and Stanford, we will mail the check to you to endorse and mail back to the Financial Aid Office.
    • If the check is made payable to you only, you may deposit to your bank account and use the funds to pay the balance on your bill, if any, or towards other educational expenses. 
  • If your outside award organization requires a financial need form to be completed by the Financial Aid Office, you may submit the form by email to financialaid@stanford.edu or via our secure Document Upload process.
  • If your outside award organization requires an enrollment certification, you may request one through Axess.  Please refer to the Registrar’s website for more information.
  • Awards of $500 or more are divided into thirds and credited over the three quarters of the academic year, unless an agency specifies otherwise.
  • If you have multiple outside awards that impact your eligibility for need-based funds, you may want to postpone disbursement of some of the awards until future academic years. Stanford cannot hold outside award funds for future years, so you will need to ask the scholarship provider if they would be willing to wait until a future year to disburse your award.

Outside Awards for Graduate Students

Graduate students should report any expected outside awards for the academic year in the Anticipated Resources section of the Graduate Application. If you receive outside awards after you have filed your application, you should report those awards to us using AXESS. You will find a link for "Report Outside Scholarships" in the Finances section of the Student Center tab, where you will also find tools for tracking the status of your outside awards.  Outside awards may affect your eligibility for loans and Federal Work-Study.

Updated on May 1, 2023 2:04 PM