Sunday, November 27, 2016

NCAA Division II Athletic Aid

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The NCAA regulates the amount of athletic aid that an institution can give its student-athletes. This amount is determined for each student-athlete as well as each sport.2 The NCAA also regulates the types of aid that a student-athlete may receive.2

Permissible Aid
Institutional Financial Aid
  • all funds administered by the institution including but not limited to scholarships, grants, athletics aid, tuition waivers that are awarded based on athletics ability, and loans.1
  • aid from the government or private sources in which the institution is responsible for selecting the recipient or determining the amount of aid, or providing matching or supplementary funds for a previously determined recipient.1
Financial Aid from outside sources
  • a student-athlete may receive financial aid from
    • anyone on whom the recipient is naturally or legally dependent. 1
    • financial aid awarded having no basis on athletic ability. 1
    • financial aid from an established and continuing program even if the aid is based on athletics ability as long as the recipient's choice of institution is not restricted by the donor of the aid, and there is no direct connection between the donor and the institution. 1
    • employment earnings form a student-athletes’ on-campus or off-campus employment at any time provided
      • the compensation is only for work actually performed. 1
      • the compensation is at a rate consistent with the going rate of that locality for similar services. 1
      • the employer does not use the athletics reputation of the student-athlete employee to promote the sale of the employer’s products or services. 1

Limits for an Individual Student-Athlete
A student-athlete may receive financial aid that, is the lowest amount of the following calculations,
  • either does not exceed the cost of attendance that is normally incurred by students who are enrolled in a comparable program at the institution as calculated by the institution’s financial aid office,
  • or does not exceed the limitations established by the membership division of the institution that the student-athlete attends as calculated by the institution’s financial aid office. 1
Only certain types of aid are included in the individual limit and those are
  • government grants that are awarded for reasons other than financial need or educational purposes,
  • other scholarships and grants from the institution, outside sources, and grants-in-aid.
  • gifts given to a student-athlete, after exhausting eligibility, based on athletic accomplishments,
  • any bonus or salary from a professional sports organization,
  • any income received from participation in an athletics event, unless eligibility has been exhausted in that sport,
  • loans that are available to all students and are administered on the same basis for all students. 1

Limits for Sports
Each sport  is limited by the number of full scholarships that it can give. Any student-athlete who receives institutional financial aid based on athletic ability in any way counts towards the maximum award limitation for that sport. 1
  • Examples of individual sport limitations:
    • Men’s sports
      • Baseball – 9 full scholarships
      • Basketball – 10 full scholarships
      • Cross Country/Track & Field – 12.6 full scholarships
      • Football – 36 full scholarships
    • Women’s Sports
      • Basketball – 10 full scholarships
      • Cross Country/Track & Field – 12.6 full scholarships
      • Golf – 5.4 full scholarships
      • Softball – 7.2 full scholarships
      • Tennis – 6 full scholarships
      • Volleyball – 8 full scholarships
    • Every sport is limited each academic year to the respective individual sport limitation.1

Making sure that each sport, and each-student athlete, does not exceed the individual limitation can be very tedious and time-consuming. Hopefully this condensed description can clarify and define the aspects of determining countable athletic aid.


1National Collegiate Athletic Association. (2016). 2016-17 NCAA Division II Manual. Indianapolis, IN: National Collegiate Athletic Association.

2National Collegiate Athletic Association. Financial Aid Information. Retrieved from

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