FINANCIAL AID FOR STUDENT-ATHLETES
How do I pay for college as a student-athlete?
Different kinds of financial aid:
- Need based aid - determined by your household income (fill out FAFSA and CSS Profile)
- Merit based aid - determined by your ACT/SAT scores and grades
- Grant based aid - ear marked scholarships you can apply for or can be granted by the school
- Athletics based aid - college coach has identified you as someone he/she/they want to recruit and indicated you will receive athletics aid - coaches decide who receives the scholarship, scholarship amount (equivalency sports) and if it will be renewed.
MANY STUDENT ATHLETES PIECE TOGETHER GREAT FINANCIAL 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 Scholarship" covers tuition and fees, room, board, course related books
- Also inquire about travel stipend to return home for breaks
EQUIVALENCY - All other DI sports not Head Count, All DII, All NAIA
- Teams are allotted a specific number of scholarships (sport specific) and CAN split them up as coach chooses
- Most athletes in equivalency sports are on 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 1 year and the college agrees to pay the agreed upon financial aid package for 1 year. That agreement can be renewed each year.
- Coach determines whether or not to renew your scholarship. If your scholarship is not to be renewed, coach must notify you by July 1 in writing and allow for 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 a Division III or Ivy League college, 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 - and no athletic aid.
When do I ask for financial aid?
- Athletic aid is determined by the coach and what is available in his/her 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 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.
- Grant aid will depend, but can come from either the coach or the admissions office.
- Need based aid will be determined by admissions. Can be relayed by the coach as well.