How new NCAA rules are affecting scholarship offers

Swim Swam, a website for competitive swimmers, recently published an article on how the new NCAA rules are affecting scholarship offers. The article is written for students who are looking for a swimming scholarship but is applicable for all athletes looking to earn a scholarship in college.

The NCAA now allows coaches to guarantee scholarships beyond the first year. It is entirely up to the coach how the offer is written. Some coaches do and some don’t. If a coach doesn’t offer a guarantee, then your student needs to know this by asking before they sign the scholarship offer. Any guarantees should be listed on the scholarship agreement form.

Here are the questions they recommend your students asks before accepting any offer:

* What is the school’s policy on 5th year aid? It may take 5 years to complete the degree, but the swimming scholarship only goes for 4 years. Schools are allowed to pay for the 5th year, but I suggest asking up front.

* If there is not a full scholarship offered, ask about what it would take to get a scholarship increase after the first year.

* Will the school pay for health insurance (mainly for international students)?

* Where does the team go for Christmas training and who pays? This is not negotiable, but it could be an expense. A school is not allowed to pay for expenses for one student and not the rest of the team.

* Some coaches will offer a scholarship in a dollar amount and some will offer as a percentage. A dollar amount sounds good, but that remains fixed as the cost of school goes up. Ask the coach if the scholarship could be listed as a percentage.

* Keep in mind that a first offer may not be the best offer.

* Verbal commitments are not binding.

Here is a sample of a scholarship offer by a D-I coach that they offered as an example. It spells out the offer and cost to the recruit very well. It is important that your students have an understanding of your approximate cost to attend the school.

Notice that the first year offer is for a full, but the coach lists part of the first year scholarship as a “Signing Bonus.”

Out of State Resident (on Campus)

Tuition: $18,508
Rec Fees: $200
Room and Board: $8,890
Total Cost to attend: $28,398


Laptop Award: given on arrival
Athletic Scholarship: $15,619 (roughly 55%) ^Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4
Athletic Scholarship Signing bonus $12,779 (roughly 45%) ^Year 1 ONLY (Total: 100% Athletic Scholarship YEAR 1 ONLY)

Total Cost to you:

^Year 1= $0
Year 2= $12,779
Year 3= $12,779
Year 4= $12,779

Here is a link to the article: How NCAA rules are affecting scholarship offers