Major Changes from the NCAA Board of Directors: Financial Aid
The NCAA Board of Directors recently enacted several dramatic changes to NCAA rules. This column will address three major changes pertaining to financial aid. First, an NCAA member institution may, beginning with the 2012-13 academic year, offer a multi-year athletic grant-in-aid (i.e., athletic scholarship) to incoming and returning student-athletes.
Second, beginning with the 2012-13 academic year, NCAA member institutions may provide some student-athletes with a “miscellaneous expense allowance” not to exceed the lesser of $2,000 or the difference between a full grant-in-aid (i.e. tuition, fees, room, board, and books) and the cost of attendance at a particular institution. This change is meant to address the criticism of NCAA athletic financial aid rules relative to the maximum amount an institution is allowed to provide to an individual student-athlete. Unfortunately, the NCAA has not changed many of its other financial aid rules and it cannot change federal financial aid guidelines, meaning that the sum effect of this highly publicized change may be negligible to nothing for several student-athletes.
Third, a student-athlete who did not graduate with his baccalaureate degree after having received five years of athletic aid or more than six years passing since his initial full-time enrollment in college may now receive athletic financial aid from an NCAA member institution in order to finish his undergraduate degree.
The NCAA Board of Directors reasoned that these changes reassert and prioritize the well-being of the student-athlete and NCAA member institutions’ commitment to their student-athletes’ degree completion. All these changes are optional for NCAA member institutions; the NCAA has not mandated, for example, that student-athletes must be given multi-year grants-in-aid out of high school, but these changes have already radically changed NCAA member institutions’ plans for the future, including those related to recruiting. This is about to get interesting.
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