Frequently Asked Questions
- How much is the amount of the scholarship award?
- For how long does the scholarship last?
- What will happen if a student is in her final year of school and has paid all of her tuition?
- What if the idea is not exactly one million USD or cannot be quantified?
- Is the candidate responsible for the implementation of the idea?
- What role does the mentor serve?
- What are the criteria of evaluation?
- Is the award transferable?
- What if we are participating as a team?
- What if I am on financial aid? How will the scholarship affect my award package?
- Can international students participate?
- Can I use the scholarship funds on things other than tuition, fees, and room & board?
- Is the scholarship considered taxable income?
- What are the rules of the competition?
- Can I break up the scholarship so that it can be applied to my account in parts year to year?
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1.How much is the amount of the scholarship award?
The amount of the scholarship is 50,000 USD and will be distributed to the winner depending on how the award money is spent. The student may use the funds toward tuition, room and board, textbooks, school supplies, and to pay off student loans. The Organizing and Coordinating Team for the competition will work with the winner to ensure the award is appropriately distributed.
2.For how long does the scholarship last?
The scholarship may last between one and five years. The student may choose to use the entire scholarship award within one year, choose to break up the award into varying installments, or defer the award to a later time during which the student will continue her studies at GW.
3.What will happen if a student is in her senior year and has paid all her tuition?
The student will have the option to defer the scholarship amount to a later time that is within five years of June 31st, 2014 to further her education at GW, if she so chooses. If the student decides not to return within five years, the funds will not be distributed.
4.What if the idea is not exactly one million USD? Or cannot be quantified?
All idea submissions must provide estimated financial outcomes for their ideas. While it may be difficult to collect information to calculate precise numbers, students must do their best to quantify their project in the initial round.
If selected to advance on to the Business Plan round, the student(s) will work with her mentor to develop more accurate estimates.
5.Is the candidate responsible for the implementation of the idea?
No. As soon as the winning idea is approved it will be migrated to the ownership of the Innovation Task Force and appropriate offices. These offices will be responsible for all of the decisions associated with further planning and implementing the idea.
6.What does the mentor do?
The mentor will guide the shortlisted candidates in developing a business plan for their initial ideas. Mentors will be assigned to an idea in which they have expertise, providing the candidates with a resource that will help them develop a thorough business plan.
7.What are the criteria of evaluation?
There are certain requirements that must be filled with each idea submission:
- The idea must be a positive sum game, meaning no one is losing anything through the implementation of the idea. The idea produces a win-win situation for all involved parties.
- The idea must be in line with GW’s strategic objectives
- The idea must create net savings or generate net revenues of $1,000,000 or more per year
The evaluation criteria will be consistent throughout each round.
8.Is the award transferable?
No. Solely the award winner(s) is given the scholarship award. The funds may not be transferred in any way and must be allocated toward the student’s educational expenses at the George Washington University.
9.What if there was more than one person on the team?
Students may enter the competition as a group of up to four members. If the winning idea was submitted by a group of students, the $50,000 award will be distributed equally across the participants. Each group member must to participate in each round of the competition.
10.What if I am on financial aid? How will the scholarship affect my award package?
The Scholarship award will supplement your current financial aid and scholarship package provided it does not violate any federal and institutional financial aid packages.
11.Can international students participate?
International students are eligible to participate but will face different tax implications. Please refer to FAQ number 13 for detailed information.
12.Can I use the scholarship on things other than tuition, fees, and room & board?
No. The scholarship of up to $50,000 may only be applied to items associated with the your student bill.
13.Is the scholarship considered taxable income?
The tax implications for current students or those returning for another degree are:
This scholarship is available tax-free to the extent that a candidate for a degree uses it for tuition and fees. The remaining scholarship would be considered taxable income for federal and state purposes.
For US citizens and US permanent residents, GW is not required to report the taxable portion of the scholarship on a 1099-MISC. You should self-report it on your income tax return(s).
For international students, it will be necessary to meet with the Tax Department to determine the treatment of the taxable portion of the scholarship. Generally speaking, the taxable portion of the scholarship will require 14% federal tax withholding (assuming F or J visa) with GW issuing a 1042-S tax form. Tax treaty exemptions may be available. Also, depending on US history, an international student can sometimes be treated like a US citizen for tax purposes, which means the withholding is not required. Your individual circumstances will need to be reviewed with the Tax Department to confirm exact treatment.
14. What are the rules of the competition?
The Rules and Regulations of the competition go into depth as to how the competition will run.
15. Can I divide the scholarship to be applied to my account year to year?
Yes. You may choose to break up your scholarship from one academic year to another. The winner will work with the Innovation Task Force Scholarship Competition Committee to ensure the scholarship is implemented accordingly.