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The FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2021-22 academic year becomes available on October 1st

Should I fill out the FAFSA?

Yes! Here’s why. Whether you believe you won’t qualify based on family income or because your athlete is being offered a substantial athletic scholarship, you should know that some coaches and athletic departments require that the FAFSA be completed by all student-athletes.

That’s because those coaches and athletic departments are trying to stretch their scholarship allotments for each sport as far as possible.

Having their athletes qualify for other types of scholarships and aid assistance that might be available is a way for them to do this. That’s true in any year, but even more true now with loss of revenue and fewer donations from alumni at many colleges and universities.

Furthermore, to maximize their financial aid “reach” some colleges have policies that prohibit ALL students (not just athletes) from accepting more than one scholarship or grant so that more students can receive financial assistance.

When your athlete’s recruitment is becoming “serious” with a coach, be sure to ask about campus scholarship policies during a recruiting call or when you’re on a campus visit.

Note also that some states award financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis so the earlier you apply the better your chances might be to receive some aid.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Issues Can Be Confusing!

For more information on scholarships and financial aid agreements, visit our website: https://informedathlete.com/how-we-help/scholarship-strategies/

If you have questions about your athlete’s specific situation, we provide confidential phone consultations to answer questions and discuss options. Schedule a confidential Scholarship Strategies consult online, or you can send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call 913-766-1235.

Last week, the NCAA Division I Council approved a very important change to the scholarship calculation rules that may benefit many student-athletes and families.

For Division I student-athletes who are or will be receiving an athletic scholarship in their sport, most institutional financial aid awards that are based on need or academic merit will be exempt from counting against a team’s scholarship limit starting this Fall.

Under the NCAA rules for Division I that have been in place for many years, when an athlete was receiving both an athletic and an academic or a need-based scholarship from their university, the combined total value of both or all scholarships had to be counted against the team limit in that sport.

That is unless the student-athlete had academic credentials to permit the academic or need-based aid to be exempt from the calculation.

Those academic credentials are/have been:

  • A cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.50 on a 4.00 scale (or a college GPA of at least 3.00 for a continuing athlete to exempt the renewal of an academic scholarship).
  • Ranked in the top 10 percent of the athlete’s high school graduating class.
  • A minimum ACT sum score of at least 105.
  • A minimum SAT score of 1200 (critical reading and math) for SAT tests taken before March 1, 2016, or a minimum SAT score of 1270 (critical reading and math) for tests taken on or after March 1, 2016.

With the new rule taking effect on August 1 of this year, academic scholarships will be exempt from counting against team scholarship limits regardless of whether an athlete achieved the standards noted above. Most need-based financial aid awards will also be exempt. This is basically the same rule that was approved for NCAA Division II two years ago.

If you have questions and want to discuss the impact of this new rule on your athlete ,schedule a confidential Scholarship Strategies consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.

Every day we get questions about athletic scholarships. It’s obvious that there’s a lot of confusion about the rules surrounding athletic scholarships and financial aid.

Some of the most commonly misunderstood facts about athletic scholarships are:

  • An athletic scholarship is valid ONLY at the school that awarded it. Scholarships are not transferable from one school to another.
  • Verbal promises from a coach are not always honored and are not legally binding.
  • The National Letter of Intent is not the same as an athletic scholarship agreement. They are 2 separate documents.
  • Athletic Scholarships are not all for 4 years or full scholarships.
  • Rules about athletic scholarships are not the same at all college levels. In fact, the rules differ between junior college, NAIA, and even within NCAA divisions and within conferences and schools themselves.

Common Questions we Receive:

Can a coach take away my athletic scholarship during the school year?

At an NCAA school, a coach can only take away an athletic scholarship for specific, limited reasons including academic ineligibility, student misconduct, violation of team rules or voluntary withdrawal from the team.

At NAIA or Junior Colleges, the rules are not clearly defined. And what’s worse is that they may not require an appeal opportunity as the NCAA rules do.

Can I receive a combination of athletic and academic scholarships?

Yes, however, you should check directly with the compliance department of your athletic department to avoid possible financial aid limitations. For more information, read our blog article: “Outside Source” Scholarships – What you should know. 

Do You Have Questions?

As I stated earlier, there’s a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about college athletic scholarships and financial aid and how it all works together.

In a confidential phone or Skype consult, we will explain how your student-athlete could be impacted in various situations. We will also advise your student-athlete’s rights if the coach reduces or doesn’t renew their scholarship for the next year.

ALL information shared is private and confidential – nothing is shared with schools, coaches, etc. unless you specifically ask Rick to contact someone for info on your behalf.

Schedule your scholarship strategies consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

The FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2020-21 academic year becomes available on October 1.

Should I fill out the FAFSA?

Even if you don’t want to complete the FAFSA form – whether you believe you won’t qualify anyway or because your athlete is being offered a substantial athletic scholarship – be aware that some coaches and athletic departments require that it be completed by all student-athletes.

That’s because those coaches and athletic departments are trying to stretch their scholarship allotments for each sport as far as possible. Having their athletes qualify for other types of scholarships and aid assistance that may be available is a way to do this.

Furthermore, to maximize their financial aid “reach” some colleges have policies that prohibit ALL students (not just athletes) from accepting more than one scholarship or grant so that more students can receive financial assistance.

When your athlete’s recruitment is becoming “serious” with a coach be sure to ask them about campus scholarship policies during a recruiting call or when you’re on a campus visit.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Issues Can Be Confusing!

For more information on scholarships and financial aid agreements, visit our website: https://informedathlete.com/how-we-help/scholarship-strategies/

If you have questions about your athlete’s specific situation, we provide confidential phone consultations to answer questions and discuss options. Schedule your scholarship strategies consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.