We were recently asked if there are differences between how athletic scholarships at NCAA schools are calculated for in-state vs. out-of-state student-athletes.

The difference is in the cost of tuition at an NCAA university and whether an out-of-state athlete is granted a scholarship or tuition waiver to waive the additional cost for out-of-state tuition.

Here’s an example of how 3 out-of-state prospects can have different scholarship amounts awarded at the same university.

In our example:

  • The tuition for an out-of-state or “non-resident” athlete is $20,000 per year, compared with $10,000 for an in-state resident.
  • The three out-of-state prospects are being recruited to an NCAA team that awards partial scholarships (referred to as an “equivalency sport.”)

Prospect 1 will be offered an athletic scholarship and will receive full tuition as part of their scholarship. This prospect’s scholarship offer will cover the full tuition cost of $20,000 for that year and this value will count toward the team’s overall scholarship limit.

Prospect 2 will be offered a non-resident or out-of-state tuition waiver as part of their athletic scholarship package. This prospect’s scholarship offer will include a non-resident waiver to waive the out-of-state or non-resident portion of tuition, but this prospect will still be responsible for the in-state tuition fee which is $10,000 for that year. The $10,000 value of the non-resident tuition waiver will count toward the team’s overall scholarship limit.

Prospect 3 is an academically strong non-resident student who is being recruited as a walk-on with no athletic scholarship. Even though no athletic scholarship is being offered, this prospect’s high ACT or SAT test score qualifies them for a waiver of non-resident tuition under the admission policies of that particular university. Like Prospect 2, this prospect – even though she/he isn’t receiving an athletic scholarship – will just be responsible for the in-state tuition fee of $10,000 for that year. Also, because this tuition waiver was awarded for academic achievement rather than athletic ability or participation, the value of this tuition waiver will NOT count against the team’s overall scholarship limit and the prospect will be considered a “non-counter.”

Scholarship Calculations are Frequently Difficult to Understand.

This is because the calculations can differ from one university to another and they also differ between athletes on the same team.

If you have questions about your athlete’s scholarship offer, contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or 913-766-1235 for a consultation session and we’ll help you understand the offer.

We get many calls and emails from parents of student-athletes asking questions about NCAA scholarships and financial aid agreements.  There’s no doubt about it, athletic scholarship calculations can be hard to understand because of the different types of scholarships and some of the terminology used.

Examples of those differences include:

  • Power Five athletic scholarships compared to a scholarship offered by a Division I non-Power Five program. The nuances of Power Five athletic scholarships are intended to provide more scholarship “protection” to athletes at Power Five universities. But, that’s not always the case.
  • One-year scholarships compared to multi-year scholarships. NCAA Division I teams can provide scholarships that cover multiple years, while Division II teams can only provide scholarships for one year at a time.
  • “Equivalency” sports vs. “Head Count” sports. Equivalency sports are more commonly known as partial-scholarship sports because a full scholarship can be divided among multiple team members, while Head Count sports are considered to be awarding a full scholarship to each athlete who receives one (even though some programs don’t have adequate funding to provide full scholarships).
  • A scholarship that may be reduced or cancelled “during the period of the award” compared with “after the period of the award.” A coach may have the right to reduce or non-renew a scholarship for purely athletic reasons “after the period of the award” but a scholarship can’t be reduced for athletic reasons “during the period of the award.”

Do you Need Help Understanding your Athlete’s Scholarship Offer or Athletic Financial Aid Agreement?

In a confidential phone consultation, we can review your scholarship offer and give you objective advice and information related to your offer.

Examples of this include:

  • Comparing the breakdown of the award and reviewing the financial aid conditions & criteria that must be met to retain the award. (Sometimes the offer is different than the official agreement and that can create problems for the athlete down the road).
  • Reviewing the academic standards required by the school to retain the award. (Are the university’s scholarship requirements higher than what is required by the NCAA?)
  • Considering whether a revision to the scholarship offer might be appropriate.

To schedule a scholarship offer review, schedule a scholarship consultation online or call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

We’ve recently been receiving a number of questions about the rules and academic requirements for a 4-2-4 transfer (from a four-year college to a two-year college, and then transferring to another four-year college).

This type of transfer can be useful for various situations, but here are three of the most common:

  • An athlete wants to leave their four-year college to have a better playing opportunity in their sport and to then be “re-recruited” back to the four-year college level.
  • An athlete needs to focus on their academic responsibilities, raise their GPA, and then return to the four-year college level (perhaps even to the four-year college they previously attended).
  • Or, an athlete simply wants to attend a less-expensive college closer to home while they determine where they want to eventually enroll to earn their four-year degree.

The confusing part about the 4-2-4 transfer rules

The academic requirements and other rules (such as number of semesters required at the two-year college) are different depending upon whether the athlete will end up at the NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III, or NAIA level.

Of course, the natural question then becomes “How do I know what requirements to satisfy if I’m not even sure what college level – let alone the specific college – that I’m going to end up at??”

This is a situation in which one of our confidential consultations can be very helpful to explain these specific rules and the differences between the rules for different divisions. We can also provide a detailed Transcript Review to advise on your athlete’s progress toward satisfying these academic requirements.

For help in navigating the academic requirements and rules for a successful transfer, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

We are often asked during a phone consultation “What is the best time for our son or daughter to request permission to contact other colleges about a transfer?” Certainly, this will depend upon a number of factors.

Here are important things NCAA DI athletes should consider before entering into the Transfer Portal:

  • Did the athlete sign a National Letter of Intent with this college, and how long have they been enrolled there?
  • Has the athlete already started competing during their season and triggered the use of a season of eligibility? (Or, for NCAA Division III athletes, have they continued practicing with their team even if they are not playing in games for their college?)
  • Is there an injury or illness involved which might permit them to receive a medical hardship waiver?
  • Is the athlete planning to finish out the academic year at their current college, or would they prefer to leave at the semester?
  • Do they want to retain their athletic scholarship through the conclusion of the academic year?
  • Does the athlete feel that it’s more important for them to finish out their current season with their teammates or do they want to get started right away on being able to contact coaches at other colleges?

What frequently happens once an athlete requests placement in the Transfer Portal

Once an athlete tells their coach they’re planning to transfer, they are often removed from the team. In addition, sometimes, the athlete will be asked to sign a form stating that they are voluntarily withdrawing from their team. Signing a withdrawal form can sometimes result in the athlete’s scholarship being immediately cancelled.

Do you Need Help Navigating the Transfer Process?

Contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or 913-766-1235 to schedule a consultation call regarding the factors an athlete should consider before taking action and the steps and rules involved with a transfer to another university.

Walk-on baseball athletes at the NCAA Division I level should assess their chances to make the 35-man roster if there were more than 35 guys practicing with the team in the Fall practice period.

Some coaches will keep 36-38 guys practicing with the team and not make those final cuts down to 35 until the end of January.

I believe that’s unfair and unethical to keep a player “hanging on” in hopes of making the 35-man roster and then having no options for the Spring to go elsewhere if they are cut.

Do you Need Confidential Advice & Guidance?

If you or your athlete are in this situation, we can discuss your situation, answer your questions, and provide transfer eligibility options for you to consider.

Schedule a confidential consult online, or by calling us at 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

If you’re a college athlete who was injured during your Fall season, you may want to consider whether you qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver.

If you did not compete at all during this season, it can be considered as a “redshirt” season for you, and even if you were injured, your athletic department may tell you that a Medical Hardship Waiver isn’t necessary since you didn’t use one of your four seasons of eligibility anyway.

However, if we look ahead and consider the possibility that you could possibly become injured again and miss another season, then two seasons with a Medical Hardship Waiver could gain you an extra year of playing eligibility.

We can discuss with you the guidelines for obtaining a waiver for an “extension of eligibility” and help you to be prepared for that possible option.

To schedule a private phone or Skype consultation, call 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

One of our clients recently shared their son’s personal experience as a baseball transfer and granted permission for us to share it anonymously with our readers.

Many of you have had your own transfer experience, but this is the first time that we’ve received this level of detailed feedback about going through a transfer. We thought some of you may find this of interest:

“Hi Rick,

Just wanted to update you on son’s transfer status:

XXXX was admitted to XXXX as a mid-year baseball transfer last week. He is excited to say the least. Arm health permitting he is eligible to play in Spring 2020.

Below are some take-aways from son’s very quick mid-year transfer experience:

– His original school did a good job getting him on NCAA Transfer Portal, no issues there.

-Transfer Portal brought significant interest from numerous D2’s and even JUCOs, maybe 15-20 over course of 2-weeks. I believe only one D1 contacted him through the portal. 

– Most traction came from son reaching out to programs who saw him before his surgery. They were all willing to bank on him getting back to his pre-surgery low-90s.

– Within the first 5-days he had target interest from five D1s and multiple high academic D3s. 

– Had offers from several schools.

– Committed to D3 XXX and with coach support was admitted Early Decision earlier this month.

– The transfer process was quick, with fall baseball ending in late October and mid-year transfer application deadlines being November 1 for schools that offer mid-year transfer.

That’s it, Rick. Thanks for all your counsel.”

Need Advice?

Considering a transfer to another school can be extremely stressful and so overwhelming that many student-athletes quit their sport altogether and sometimes they drop out of school.

We understand the frustration, anger, fear and insecurities that often result.  It doesn’t have to be that way – Rick Allen can help guide you through the process.

Schedule a confidential Transfer Consult Online or call us at 913-766-1235 to set your confidential session with Rick.

Recruits to NCAA Division I programs who have already made an official visit to a Division I campus are permitted an additional official visit to the same university if that sport program has had a head coaching change since the recruit’s original official visit.

This is an exception to the rule that limits a university to provide only one official visit to a recruit. Once a new head coach is hired at a Division I university, it is now permissible for a recruit to make a 2nd official visit to that university.

If you have questions about recruiting rules, or for advice about your athlete’s recruitment, schedule a confidential Recruiting Rules Consult online or contact us by calling 913-766-1235 or by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.