Financial Aid Overview
Types of financial aid:
- Need-based - determined by your household income (fill out FAFSA and CSS Profile)
- Merit-based - determined by your ACT/SAT scores and grades
- Grant based - earmarked scholarships you can apply for or can be granted by the school
- Athletics based - college coach identifies students they want to recruit and decides scholarship amounts
Many student-athletes put together great financial aid packages using merit-based, need-based, grant-based, and/or athletic aid.
There are two different kinds of athletic scholarships depending on the sport and division:
- Head Count - Football, Basketbal (M/W), Tennis (W), Gymnastics (W), Volleyball (W)
- Teams are allotted a specific number of scholarships (sport-specific) and cannot split them up
- Students on an athletic scholarship in Head Count sports are on a full scholarship
- Full Scholarships covers tuition and fees, room, board, course-related books. Students should inquire about travel stipend to return home for breaks
- Equivalency - All other Division I sports that are not categorized as Head Count sports and all DII & NAIA
- Teams are allotted a specific number of scholarships (sport-specific) and can split them up as determined by the coach
- Most athletes in equivalency sports are on a partial athletic scholarship and many are on zero athletic scholarship
Is a scholarship guaranteed for four years or until I complete my college degree?
When you sign the National Letter of Intent, you agree to attend the school for one year and the college agrees to pay the agreed-upon financial aid package for one year. That agreement can be renewed each year.
- The coach determines whether or not to renew your scholarship. If your scholarship is not to be renewed, the coach must notify you by July 1 in writing and allow for an appeal.
- Division I schools may choose to offer multi-year scholarships.
- Colleges may also pay for completion of bachelors and/or masters degree after NCAA participation is complete.
Can I afford to play sports at Division III or Ivy League colleges, because they don't give "athletic scholarships"?
Many students get better financial packages from DIII and Ivy League (DI) programs using need-based and merit-based aid with no athletic aid.
When do I ask for financial aid?
- Athletic aid is determined by the coach and what is available in their allotment. It is appropriate to ask at the end of an unofficial or official visit. If you are a top recruit, the coach will be very receptive to your question. College is expensive. Most everyone could use some help.
- Merit-based aid will be determined by admissions. After you have filled out your FAFSA, admissions offices can then determine how much your household can afford to contribute towards your tuition. You will also need to fill out each specific college's financial aid documents. Then you can follow-up if you have not been contacted about what kind of merit-based aid they can offer. Coach or admissions officer can relay that information to you.
- Need-based aid will be determined by admissions. Can be relayed by the coach as well.