Understanding the Types of Student Payments

Student Payment Types
Payment type Counts as financial aid? Payment process Student Center account* Notes on taxes and forms**
Employment compensation
Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant positions held by students
No Entered as payroll (ePAR) in ConnectCarolina. Monthly payments made directly to student. N/A Reported on W-2
Students may be exempt from FICA if enrolled at least ½ time during the compensated period.
Pre-Paid/Non-Monetary Award
The value of gifts, awards, items, or services provided to students. Paid in other University systems (such as BuyCarolina or Pcard), recorded in GradStar for reporting purposes only.
Yes Entered in GradStar by department N/A – amount applied to financial aid only, not student account Reported on 1098-T
Taxes not withheld for US persons; may be withheld for non-US persons
Emergency Award
Awards provided are typically one-time in nature and used to address immediate needs of the student.
Yes Entered in GradStar by department Refund Only Reported on 1098-T
Taxes not withheld for US persons; may be withheld for non-US persons
Fellowships and scholarships
Paid to an individual to support the pursuit of study or research
Yes Entered in GradStar by department Pays outstanding charges on student account Reported on 1098-T
Taxes not withheld for US persons; may be withheld for non-US persons
Training grants
An agreement that provides a coordinated training program for students; not compensation (no effort reporting)
Yes Entered in GradStar by department Pays outstanding charges on student account
*trainee book allowance, dependency, and travel payment types are Refund Only
Reported on 1098-T
Taxes not withheld for US persons; may be withheld for non-US persons
Prizes/contests open to students only
Ex: Honors Taylor Research Award, Innovate Carolina Award
Yes Entered in GradStar by department Refund Only Reported on 1098-T
Taxes not withheld for US persons; may be withheld for non-US persons
Prizes/ contests open students, staff, faculty or public
Ex: Innovation in Equity and Inclusivity Service Awards
No Entered as a voucher in ConnectCarolina, direct payment to student N/A May be subject to reporting on 1099-M or W-2
Taxes not withheld for US persons; may be withheld for non-US persons
Research studies and internships opportunities (UNC or external)
Ex: Graduate School’s Off Campus Dissertation Fellowship
Yes Entered in GradStar by department Refund Only Reported on 1098-T
Taxes not withheld for US persons; may be withheld for non-US persons
Travel for the student’s academic benefit
Ex: attending or presenting at a professional conference; conducting fieldwork; and other research activities
Yes Entered in GradStar by department Refund Only Reported on 1098-T
Taxes not withheld for US persons; may be withheld for non-US persons
Travel for University business
Ex: attending an admissions recruitment event for the department
No Entered in University’s travel system, direct payment to student N/A Not taxable
Reimbursement of expense
Ex: a student purchases office supplies for their department from their own funds
No Entered as a voucher in ConnectCarolina, direct payment to student N/A Not taxable
Reimbursement of expense for personal research project or similar
Ex: an Art student required to create a project to graduate and is reimbursed for the supplies
Yes Entered in GradStar by department Refund Only Reported on 1098-T
Taxes not withheld for US persons; may be withheld for non-US citizens and non-Resident Aliens.

*Fellowships/Scholarships, Trainee Stipend, Trainee-Other and Trainee-Non-Degree award types pay against all outstanding charges on a student’s account, and if there is a credit balance, a refund is issued.

“Refund only” payments are refunded to the student without paying against outstanding charges. However, if a student has received a loan, and receives a departmental award that causes the loan to be reduced, the university is required to repay the loan amount, and the student is required to repay the university any amount from that loan that had been refunded for living expenses. Any departmental award applied to the student’s account will be used to repay the loan amount that had been refunded and is now due back to the University, but no other outstanding charges.

**Notes on Taxes and Forms are applicable to US persons. Non-resident aliens and others may have withholding depending on the situation. Even if tax is not being withheld, please consult your personal tax accountant on whether a tax liability exists.