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.