Student Payment Guidance - FAQs

Departmental Student Payments Form

When should a department complete the Departmental Student Payments form?

When a department wants to issue a scholarship, grant, or fellowship that is not being funded by the FSU Foundation, or when a department wants to issue a payment to a student to pay a charge or reimburse the student for the payment of a charge on the MyFSU account, the department should use the Departmental Student Payments form.

When should a department not use the Departmental Student Payments form?

When processing an award through the FS4U (FSU Foundation) system, compensating the student for services rendered to the University of an employment nature, or paying a student research participant (i.e. a human subject who participates in research by being the target of observation, interaction or intervention by researchers), the form should not be used.

When does the Departmental Student Payments form need to be submitted to ensure payment?

Once the Departmental Student Payments form is submitted it will be routed to a committee for review and the appropriate payment process will be used to complete the payment. Since most payments will flow through Financial Aid, the form will need to be submitted according to the date guidelines found on the Student Business Services website.

How frequently can/should a form be submitted?

Financial Aid is typically disbursed once before the start of a semester, and then twice a week throughout the term. Departments should aim to disburse all of their funding during the early disbursement cycles of the term. However, subsequent forms may be submitted if the payment source requires payments in smaller increments or is allowable per the terms and conditions of the sponsored award, fellowship, or training grant. There is no limit to the number of forms or frequency with which they can be submitted.

Do Departmental Student Payments form submissions require any supporting documentation?

No. Departments should keep any supporting documentation on file for their own records, but only the form is required for payment.

Under Payee Information there is a column for term, does that mean the term we are currently in or the term in which the payment should be processed?

This is the term in which the payment should be processed.

Can multiple students with different Contract and Grant (C&G) funding sources be approved on a single Excel addendum form?

Multiple Contract and Grant funding sources can be combined on the same form, however they must all be within the same department ID and they must be funds managed by SRA OR funds managed by FSURF (i.e. you cannot have SRA and FSURF managed projects on a single addendum).


Payment Timing

Once a form is submitted, how long will it take for the student to receive their funds?

The answer depends on when the form is submitted and how the award is ultimately processed by the payment review committee.

i. Processed in Financial Aid: In general, forms submitted thirty days or more prior to the start of a term will see the payment post to the MyFSU account as early as ten days prior to the start of term. Forms submitted within ten days before the start of term will likely be processed by the end of the second week of the term. Forms submitted after the second week of the term will be paid within seven to ten business days.

ii. Process in Payroll: Forms that are processed in Payroll will follow the standard pay cycles outlined on the Human Resources Payroll Calendars and Schedules website. Forms should be submitted as close to the beginning of the pay period as possible to ensure payment by the paydate for that period

Is there a way to verify that funds were disbursed to a student’s account?

Yes. Departments will see an expense recorded to their journals as either an SF journal or a PAY journal for the amount of the payment made in the department and fund (and project if necessary) provided.

Domestic vs. International Students

Why is there a distinction between International Students and Domestic Students?

International and Domestic students fall into different tax reporting requirements and must be treated separately. Payments to students who are classified as non-resident aliens for tax purposes must be reported to the IRS on tax form 1042S and could be subject to federal withholding tax for any scholarship amount greater than the student’s Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses.

What happens when a department submits a payment for an International Student?

The payment review committee will determine whether the department is attempting to pay for QTRE or non-QTRE related charges and may reach out to the submitter for more information. If it is determined that the payment exceeds QTRE, the payee may be asked if they want to gross-up the payment to cover the student’s potential tax liability or pass that liability on to the student. If the liability passes to the student, their payment will be reduced by the value of the tax reported on a 1042S.

Student Payment Accounting

What general ledger expense accounts should be used to record department-funded student aid payments?

There are four expense accounts that should be used for the vast majority of all student payments funded by departments’ or projects’ budgets. Depending on the nature of the recipient, these are:

  • 741957 – Stdnt Aid Dept Tuition - Student aid paid for tuition ONLY
  • 742240 - Stdnt Aid Foreign - Nonqualified student aid payments processed through Payroll to foreign individuals (non-permanent US residents or non-US citizens)
  • 741958 - Stdnt Aid Dept – Student aid paid for stipends and other charges on accounts such as housing, dining, books, etc.
  • 741580 – Stdnt Aid Dept Hlth Insurance - Student aid paid for by FSU departments for health insurance ONLY

b. Other expense accounts associated with student aid payments that are not paid by departments can be located in the Expense Account Dictionary here. In general, the account description for these expense accounts should begin with “Stdnt Aid”.


What is an Item Type?

In the Financial Aid system, all accounting transactions are represented by a unit of work called an Item Type, which represents the credit and debit side of a transaction. An Item Type is a static 12 - digit number that always represents the same transaction. This means that if you routinely pay a student a scholarship from Department 032104-120, for example, the same Item Type which represents that transaction will be used every time. You can provide Financial Aid either with the known Item Type or with the chartfields (DeptID/Fund/Project).

Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (QTRE)

What are “Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses”?

Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (or QTRE) are strictly defined fee categories charged by the University. These definitions come from the IRS and are used to determine whether payments made to students are reportable on various tax forms such as the 1098T or 1042S.

Payments to Students Not Currently Enrolled

Is it possible to provide an award to a student who has already graduated?

The answer depends on the method of processing. For a student to receive a payment through Financial Aid they must be enrolled in the term for which the payment is processed. If the payment is processed through Payroll or Accounts Payable as an honorarium, enrollment is not a factor.

Is it possible to provide an award to a student after the semester has ended?

Awards processed through Financial Aid can be done retroactively but may have an impact on the student’s overall aid eligibility, which may cause them to have to return a portion of the aid received. Payments should always be made as early in the enrollment period as possible to avoid this issue.

Postdoctoral Appointments

I do not see Postdoctoral Scholars addressed in the guidance. How do I pay postdoctoral scholars?

Postdoctoral scholars are employees, not current students, and therefore are not included in the guidance. Postdoctoral scholars are appointed through OMNI HR and paid through the normal payroll process. For further information about postdoctoral scholars, please visit the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs website at

I do not see Postdoctoral Fellows addressed in the guidance. How do I pay postdoctoral fellows?

Individuals awarded postdoctoral fellowships that have no current relationship to FSU otherwise are paid through Accounts Payable using the Vendor Authentication and Direct Deposit Form for Individuals. The Vendor Classification section should be marked Other with the description Deans Postdoc Fellowship, Provost Postdoc Fellowship, NSF Postdoc Fellowship, etc. In addition, the Vendor Type should be marked Other. As these individuals are neither students nor employees, Accounts Payable processing is allowed.

Health Insurance

I want to pay a student’s health insurance, what do I need to do?

The first step in paying for a student’s health insurance is to determine if the student has a graduate assistantship appointment. Next, if you have confirmed that your student does not have a graduate assistantship appointment, submit the Departmental Student Payment form indicating in the “Purpose of Payment” field that the payment is to pay for health insurance, and select account code 741580 Health Insurance. If your student does hold a graduate assistantship appointment, please see the FAQ directly below to address that situation.

What if my graduate student is enrolled in the Health Insurance Subsidy, how do I pay for their insurance?

Graduate students with qualifying assistantships are treated as students and employees. As a benefit to graduate students with qualifying assistantships and as negotiated through the Graduate Union, they are eligible to participate in FSU’s employer provided health insurance as a fringe benefit thereby receiving pre-tax deductions for health insurance contributions and the Health Insurance Subsidy Benefit. If your graduate student is enrolled in the Health Insurance Subsidy Benefit, they do not have qualifying health insurance charges to pay and are not eligible to be reimbursed or awarded for health insurance costs. You can check with the graduate school for information on your student’s status in the plan. You will be able to pay their health insurance for future terms if they do not enroll in the Health Insurance Subsidy Benefit plan, but any student enrolled in the plan for the current term cannot have their insurance paid or reimbursed by a department. Any award or reimbursement to an individual enrolled in the Health Insurance Subsidy Benefit subsidy benefit would be in direct violation of the negotiated terms with the Graduate Union and deem the reimbursement or award taxable compensation to the individual subject to federal income tax and payroll tax withholdings.


I want to pay a student in monthly installment rather than all at once, how do I do this?

Students should be paid in full at the start of the term to avoid any over awards in financial aid caused by the late reporting of payments by a department.

If I pay a student all at once at the start of the term, what happens if the student withdrawals or unenrolls?

The answer depends on your department or the grant’s expectations for repayment. If the award is to be repaid regardless of the student’s refund status with the university, contact Student Business Services to have the award returned to your department for the full or prorated amount. If the award is to remain applied to any charges the student incurs and any excess returned to the department, the Campus Solutions system will automatically apply the award to eligible charges and return the excess to the award.


How should I pay a student for travel?

To determine the proper method to process a travel reimbursement for a student, you must first determine the purpose of the payment.

If the travel award has a clear University business purpose; is reasonable and necessary; and is specifically authorized by fellowship, contract, or grant; the payment should be made via Concur. See FSU’s travel policy for more information.

If the travel award does not meet the criteria above, the travel award should be processed following the Student Payment Guidelines.


How do I pay an honorarium to a student?

In general honorariums should not be paid to students. If you believe that a student payment is an honorarium and not a payment for service, please contact for further guidance.

Updated - 11/17/20