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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.

While some people believe that all college athletes who receive athletic scholarships receive “full-ride” scholarships, the truth is that athletes in the majority of college sports programs receive only “partial” athletic scholarships if they receive one at all.

Full Vs Partial Scholarships

A “full” athletic scholarship covers the following costs of college: tuition, certain course-related fees, room and board, and the value or provision of books.

A “partial” athletic scholarship will cover only a portion of those expenses. An athletic scholarship may not cover all student fees, and also may not cover things like parking fines, a single room in the dorm, library fines or late fees, etc.

Head-Count vs Equivalency Sports

In NCAA Division I, the following sports are “head-count” sports: men’s and women’s basketball, football, women’s gymnastics, women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball.

All other Division I sports, as well as all Division II sports, are “equivalency” sports. In equivalency sports, coaches can divide their scholarships up as they desire, as they long as they do not exceed the total allowable scholarship value available in their sport. A few examples in Division I are baseball with 11.7, softball with 12, and wrestling with 9.9 scholarships.

One athlete on the team may be provided with the cost of tuition, a second athlete on the team may be provided with room and board, and a third athlete on the team may only be provided the value or use of books.

A special note: NCAA DI Baseball has a requirement that the athlete must receive at minimum a 25% scholarship. No other sport has a minimum requirement.

What is NCAA “Counter” Status?

Any student-athlete who receives any amount of athletic scholarship is considered a “counter” per NCAA rules. Once a student-athlete is considered a “counter” there are situations in which other types of financial aid may be required to be “counted” as athletic financial aid.

Academic Scholarships & “Counter” Status

In addition, if a Division I student-athlete also receives an academic scholarship from their college or university due to their high school GPA or their ACT or SAT test score, the fact that they are already an NCAA “counter” may affect the value or receipt of their academic scholarship.

Once a Division I student-athlete is a “counter” all other financial aid received from their institution is required to “count” as if it is an athletic scholarship, unless the student-athlete qualifies for an exemption based on the level of their GPA, their class rank, or their ACT or SAT test score.

Outside Scholarships

Any scholarships that a student-athlete will be receiving from groups such as a Rotary or Kiwanis club, a church youth group, or a high school booster club should be sent to the financial aid office of the college the student-athlete is attending. Most of these scholarships are permissible, but should be sent directly to the college so they can be processed properly.

Do You Need Help?

If you have questions regarding financial aid or scholarship offers and how they might affect your situation, schedule a private, confidential consultation online or by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com

This past week we received multiple requests from families for options their student-athlete can consider if he or she chooses to withdraw from all classes and leave their college now in the middle of the semester.

We often advise that the student-athlete not leave unless they have a well thought out plan in place.  The plan should include considering their current and future NCAA academic eligibility status, and how it affects their scholarship obligations.   A potential transfer to another school and the steps involved is another important consideration.

We have advised many student-athletes and prepared such a plan so that they don’t damage their future eligibility. When working with student-athletes and their families, the most important aspect of the plan is to review and discuss the academic eligibility requirements that must be satisfied to make sure they will be eligible at their next college.

If you have a student-athlete who is considering leaving their college before the “drop/add date” or one who just wants to plan ahead for a possible transfer at the end of this school year, we can work with and guide you through the transfer process. To schedule your personalized, confidential consultation, call our office at 913-766-1235.

For NCAA Division I student-athletes who are currently on a multi-year scholarship or recruits who are considering a DI multi-year scholarship offer, here are 6 things you should know:

-NCAA Division I is the only level of college athletics that CAN offer a multi-year scholarship. While they can do so, very few Division I coaches and teams actually do offer multi-year scholarships. Many are prohibited from doing so by their athletic department policies.

-Always be sure to read the fine print on the back of the athletic scholarship agreement to understand the conditions under which a coach is allowed to either cancel the scholarship in the midst of the academic year or not renew it for the following year.

-Make sure your student-athlete shares any team or athletic department team rules and conduct policies so you are aware of the means by which a coach  may try to take away a scholarship if your athlete is not performing as expected.

-A scholarship that is touted by a coach as a multi-year scholarship, but provides NO scholarship in the first year, is NOT a valid multi-year scholarship.

-A multi-year scholarship may be renegotiated during the period of the scholarship award. BUT, the renegotiation must result in an increase in the total amount of the scholarship provided.

-If a proposed restructuring of a multi-year scholarship doesn’t result in an overall increase, it is not permissible.

If you have questions about multi-year and athletic scholarships and how they affect your student-athlete, contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com to schedule a confidential consultation.

If An NCAA Division I or II student-athlete has been on an athletic scholarship during the 2017-18 year, they must be notified no later than July 1st if their scholarship will be reduced or not renewed for the 2018-19 academic year.
The official notification must come from the university’s financial aid office, and must include information about the opportunity to appeal the reduction or cancellation.

While the rules do give coaches and athletic departments until July 1 to make their final decisions, most coaches will inform student-athletes on athletic scholarships during end-of-the-year or end-of-the-season one-on-one meetings.

If your athlete has been verbally informed by the coach that their athletic scholarship is being reduced or won’t be renewed for next year, I suggest that you request information about the hearing opportunity as soon as possible.
Otherwise, if you wait to receive the official notification from the financial aid office, you could be waiting until near the end of July before a campus committee hears your appeal.

Here’s an example of how much delay could occur if you wait to request a hearing opportunity:

  • Student-Athlete is verbally informed by the coach at the end of their season in early May that their athletic scholarship won’t be renewed for next year.
  • But, the student-athlete is waiting for the written notification, and assumes that it may come after final exams, so doesn’t act on the word from the coach. The official notice actually isn’t sent until late June.
  • When the student-athlete receives the notice, he/she considers it for a couple of days, and now it’s early July when the student-athlete wants to request the appeal, but the campus is closed for the July 4th holiday.
  • The university has up to 30 days from receiving the student-athlete’s request for appeal in which to conduct the hearing, so it’s now late July or early August before the hearing takes place and a ruling is determined.

Obviously, not much time to plan for the 2018-19 school year!!!
Contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com if you have questions about scholarship reductions or non-renewals.