What is a scholarship overaward?
An overaward happens when the amount of your scholarships is greater than your tuition and fees balance. That excess amount is called an "overaward." Because you are an international student, additional tax paperwork must be completed before it can be paid directly to you.
If you received an email from ISS notifying you of a scholarship overaward, then please follow the directions on this page to get your award. All information on this page is specifically for overaward scholarships to international students (primarily in F-1 or J-1 student status) in degree programs. This information is not meant for other situations.
Download and complete the WH-1 form. Do not use an old form. Forms are updated each calendar year.
Included with the WH-1 is an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) form for direct deposit into U.S. bank accounts only. Completing the EFT forms is strongly recommended to avoid payment delays. This does not allow for payments to non-U.S. accounts.
After completing the WH-1, you must do one of the following:
- If claiming tax treaty benefit on WH-1: download and complete the W-8BEN, and complete Parts I, II, and III. If you do not have an SSN or ITIN, you may not claim a tax treaty benefit.
- If not claiming tax treaty benefit on WH-1: download and complete the W-8BEN, and complete Parts I and III only.
- If a resident alien for tax purposes after passing the Substantial Presence Test on the WH-1: do not submit a W-8BEN. If you do not have an SSN or ITIN, you may not claim resident alien status.
- Download the Guide to Completing the W-8BEN (for scholarships awarded to international students).
You will need to make copies of your:
- passport ID page
- I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 students)
- most recent I-94 (download and print out from CBP website)
Submit these copies with your forms.
If you are determined to be a resident alien for tax purposes, your overaward will be issued through your MyUH account. We strongly recommend that you sign up for eRefund so that any payments going to your MyUH account may be transmitted directly to your bank account. If not, make sure your mailing address in MyUH is up-to-date, as your check will be mailed to that address. Do not use campus department addresses.
If you are determined to be a nonresident alien for tax purposes, your overaward will be issued through the UH Disbursing Office. If you completed the direct deposit bank form attached with the WH-1, your overaward will be transmitted to that account. (This direct deposit is not the same system as eRefund.) If not, then a check will be mailed to the U.S. mailing address you entered on your WH-1.
If you are outside the U.S. and do not have a U.S. bank for direct deposit, you must indicate to which address to mail your overaward.
U.S. mailing addresses need to be complete and formatted correctly to avoid lost or returned checks.
Avoid using symbols (e.g., @#$&) or diacritical marks (like okina or kahako) in your address. Name of the building is not needed, but apartment/unit/room number is required if you live in a building housing multiple units.
Log into ISS Student Request and submit a request for "Scholarship Overaward."
Scan all your documents CLEARLY and upload via UH Filedrop to <email@example.com>:
- signed and completed WH-1
- signed and completed W-8BEN - You do not have to submit W-8BEN if you pass the Substantial Presence Test on the WH-1 and are a Resident for Tax Purposes.
- copy of passport ID page
- copy of visa
- copy of I-20 or DS-2019
- copy of I-94
- ISS will check for completion and forward to UH Disbursing Office.
- UH Disbursing Office will determine and/or update your tax status. Depending on your tax status, you may or may not have taxes withheld from your overaward.
- Once your tax status is updated, ISS will submit a request for payment.
- Due to Covid-19, payments are only disbursed twice a month, around the 15th and end of each month.
- This process may take 2-4 weeks from the date of submission.
- If any information changes before your payment arrives (e.g., address, bank routing), you should submit your revised information to ISS as soon as possible.
Please do NOT contact the UH Disbursing Office to check on the status of your overaward.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: I don't want to get the scholarship overaward. What do I do?
A: Contact your scholarship award agency/office, and ask them to withdraw the excess amount from your total award.
Q: I know already that I will be getting an overaward. Can I contact ISS to expedite the process?
A: No. Do not contact ISS if you have not received an email alerting you to the overaward. Overawards can only be officially determined by the Cashier's Office after all UH accounts are settled, which is after the deadline for 50% tuition refund, which can be about 3-4 weeks after the beginning of the semester.
Q: Do I have to submit tax forms each time I receive an overaward?
A: You must submit paperwork to update your tax status for each calendar year. If you have already submitted paperwork once for a calendar year, then you probably do not have to submit again unless there are substantial changes like your mailing address. You must submit these tax forms to update for a calendar year even if you were a resident for tax purposes in the previous year.
Example 1: You received your first overaward in spring semester, and submitted tax paperwork. You received another overaward in fall of the same year. Since you already submitted your paperwork, and there has been a determination of your tax status, you will not have to submit again for fall.
Example 2: You received your first overaward in fall semester, and submitted tax paperwork. You received another overaward in spring of the following year. Even though you submitted your tax paperwork for fall, you must submit again because the spring semester is in a new calendar year.
Example 3: You received your first overaward in fall semester, and submitted tax paperwork that determined you were a resident for tax purposes. You received another overaward in spring the following year. Even though you submitted your tax paperwork for fall, you must submit again regardless of your past tax status because the spring semester is in a new calendar year.
Q: Can I receive tax advice from ISS?
A: No, ISS does not provide tax advice. Please consult a licensed tax advisor.
Q: What is the role of the ISS Office in this process?
A: ISS acts a an intermediary for communication purposes only. ISS advocated for the equal treatment of international students when receiving overawards, and accepted to be the office for the intake of tax documents. Because of U.S. tax laws, any payments made directly to international students must first be reviewed for tax withholding. However, ISS only accepts the tax forms and forwards them to the UH Disbursing Office on behalf of the student. ISS is not involved in the accounting, tax determinations, or payments.
If this is your first time receiving an overaward and have questions that can't be answered by this page, you may schedule an appointment to see an ISS advisor.