Institutions members of NCAA as sporting organization offer scholarships to their athletes. Institutions under Division I and II offer their students athletics scholarships (NCAA Official Manual, 2014). Division III is known for offering academic scholarships to their students. The minimum duration that a student is to receive the scholarship is one full year with exceptions from the individual school programs. According to NCAA Official Manual (2014), Division I institutions have the privilege of offering their students multi-year scholarship programs, which are supposed to cover for the student's tuition fees, room, boarding and the required classes books. Different institutions have enacted policies to govern the process of acquiring scholarships. Current paper compiles a research of policies that different individual institutions have enacted and develop a policy that is student friendly. It also suggests improvements to be made for the benefit of the student athletes. In addition, the paper explores the requirements that a student has to meet to receive a financial aid as well as guidelines on how the financial aid is to be disbursed including the duration a student can benefit from the financial aid, reasons for the financial aid to be changed, and reasons that could lead to the withdrawal of a financial aid.
Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid
Students normally evaluate the institutions where they will receive financial aid that is satisfying to them prior to seeking admission. As a result, they have a tendency of shunning institutions where they are likely to benefit less (Wilkinson, 2005). Borgman(2007), reported that amending the policies to create financial assistance for the students is a sure way of resolving this problem. Financial aid has the main objective of helping students improve their athletics skills while concentrating on their academic progress. It also acts as a motivation for students who want to participate in these programs to participate in athletics as professionals. Talented students who perform poorly academically become motivated to meet academic requirements for them to receive financial aids.
According to Byers (1995), the application and selection of the students legible to receive financial aid is supposed to be fair; so as to promote the competitive nature that the aid is to create among the students. For a student to receive financial aid, he or she has to meet a set of requirements. All the requirements fully met by a student should qualify him or her to receive financial aid. Exceptions for funding students who are talented and do not meet the academic requirements to be legible should be minimized (Byers, 1995). Wilkinson (2005) maintained that sporting development considers academic achievements first, in the sense that student athletes ought to be students first. Therefore, in their applications for considerations for financial aid, all students must submit a copy of their academic transcripts. Any other information materials supporting their academic achievements may also be included. A student is eligible if he/she has successfully completed the core courses in the specified subjects and has attained the set standard scores, his/her SAT and ACT scores are at par with the requirements set by the institution. Lastly, their average test scores are to be exact with the requirements set by the institution. Every student must provide a drug-test form that confirms their commitment to not using drugs. A recommendation from a previous school if the student is transferring that explains his/her conduct should also be given. Strictness and fairness should be maintained in allocating financial aid to students. Students who maintain academic achievements and excellence in the duration which financial aid is given can be re-awarded the support; this helps to avoid cases of student athletes being involved in acts restricted by policies.
Length of the Award
NCAA requires that schools are to offer financial aids to students for one academic year but, with the administration of individual institutions, a student may receive a multi-year financial aid to help him or her continues with their education and at the same time participates in athletics. Considering the academic performance of individual students, an institution may decide to awards them an additional year to receive the financial aid.
Expectations of the Student-Athlete
Students apply for financial aids to help them continue with their education with much ease. Even after an injury during a game, a student still expects to finance his or her education with lots of ease. This calls for an exception for students who might have got injuries during their time of participation in sports. With the provision of an appeal for financial aid even after an injury or accident, student are assured that their education and career lives as athletes is secured.
Disbursement of the Financial Aid Allocated To a Student
Fairness is the first step in solving the pressure in the number of students applying for financial aid; therefore, in disbursing the funds to financial aid students, a specific standard should be set. A category of the student membership should be used as a basis for disbursing the funds. Full-time and part-time mode of study could be used as a way of ensuring equality of funds distribution. Students who are also transferring to other institutions are to experience a change in the amount of funds they receive (NCAA, 2014). Different institutions have specific policies they use in regulating their financial aids to students. Students are to receive financial aid to help their academic lives and help in the improvement of their athletic career; thus, the management of the financial aid program should create awareness to students about the best way of using these funds for their help (Borgman, 2007).
The financial aid is supposed to cover for the student's tuition fees, room, boarding and the required classes' books. These covers are to be the standard the institution sees fit for a student (NCAA, 2014), which are to be maintained in the best condition by the student who receives them. Tuition fees are normally compensated by the institution, and the student has no control over it. Copies of the receipts showing the payments are to be issued to the student. If the student is to stay away from the institutions premises, then the condition of the room that he or she is assigned to must be maintained as it was initially. Misuse or careless handling of these facilities is to be compensated by the student in order to reduce the number of incidences where the student mishandles the property and repeats the same habit somewhere else. If the student accepts to board within an institution, then the same rule applies. He or she is responsible for the facilities provided for in the boarding room allocated.
Duration the Award will be Given
A student receiving an athletic scholarship will benefit from it during one academic year. This will provide a platform for the student to nurture his/her talents. This duration also forms an opportunity for a coach and the institution see the need for supporting the individual student. In a complete academic year, a student's participation in the championships will help improve his or her skills. Limitations should be in place to bar excess provision of grants past one academic year to students in an institution. Provision of constant records of the student's progress and activities both in academics and athletics should be compiled. These records are then submitted at the end of every academic term. Students joining the institution in the middle of the year are entitled to a different type of financial aid. Since they join after one academic term in an academic year, their duration is to be extended to the next academic year at the same time they joined (NCAA Staff, 2013).
Financial support of student can be changed if the student acts contrary to the rules of the institution, transfers to another institution, or the federal government changes the amount of funds given to an institution (Wilkinson, 2005). Students who are disqualified from the financial aid program are to be denied receiving financial aid. There have been cases where students have been allocated extra amounts of funds; if such cases are realized, amounts that the student will continue receiving should be changed also. Funding is also regulated by the federal budgetary which is prone to changes at any time. In cases of changes or amendments in the legislative actions, the funding for a student will be changed to accommodate fellow students receiving the same (Borgman, 2007).
Withdrawal of the Scholarship Provided For the Student
A student is only legible to receiving financial help if he/she can maintain the qualifications the institution has set (NCAA Staff, 2013). Students who have submitted incorrect information to receive financial aid are disqualified. Academic progression of a student acts as a determinant if the student can continue receiving financial support or not. Student's records of class attendance and performance are to be recorded for every academic term. The moral conducts of the students are also to be maintained if they are to continue receiving financial aid. NCAA staff (2013) , advised that cases of violence, use of performance enhancement drugs, use of illegal drugs, theft, and report of vandalizing the resources of use make a student ineligible to receive financial aid. Students who intentionally or unintentionally withdraw them from participating in the championships also are to stop receiving financial aid. An exception is given to students who withdraw with injuries or in a poor health.
In support talents among students, financial aids are to promote the educational progress of students. They cut across the academic and athletic board for the students as requirements of students to participate in an institution program. Students are required to maintain a standard academic performance for them to continue participating in programs. Upon failure to maintain these standards, students are disqualified from participation. Strict policies regulating financial aid for athletic students deny students rights and opportunities to access facilities at given times. Athletes involved in the programs are able satisfy their needs. By amending the policies that guide disbursement of financial aid, institutions can solve complains that students have been putting forth. In receiving these funds, institutions emphasize on maintaining morals for the students. Misconduct of a student may lead to their disqualification from receiving financial aid.
- Borgman, C. L. (2007). Scholarship in the Digital Age. Hong Kong: MIT Press.
- Byers, W. (1995). Unsportmanlike conduct: Exploiting college athletes. Michigan: The University of Michigan Press.
- NCAA. (2014). NCAA official manual. Indianapolis, Indiana: SO&SO Co., LLC.
- NCAA Staff. (2013). The national collegiate association manual. NCAA.
- Wilkinson, R. (2005). Aiding students, buying students: Financial aid in America. Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Press.