NAIA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete

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Financial Aid

NAIA rules on financial aid are straightforward. Each school determines how much aid it awards to an individual student-athlete. Under no conditions may anyone else provide direct financial assistance to any student-athlete. Scholarships, grants-in-aid or student loans are controlled by each institution through the same committee that handles all student loans and scholarships.

Financial aid to student-athletes is limited to the actual cost of:
• Tuition
• Mandatory fees, books and supplies required for courses in which the student-athlete is enrolled
• Room and board based on the official room and board allowance listed in the institution's catalog

Each sport has an overall limit on the amount of financial aid it can award as full or partial grants to students in that sport. For example, the overall limit in baseball is 12. Baseball scholarships can be awarded to any number of students (for example, 1 full scholarship, 10 half awards and 24 quarter awards) as long as the combined total does not exceed 12. Limits on the total amount of aid that can be given to varsity athletes in each sport:

Baseball 12
Basketball (Division I) 11
Basketball (Division II) 6
Competitive cheer and dance (cheer) 12
Competitive cheer and dance (dance) 10
Cross country 5
Football 24
Golf 5
Indoor and outdoor track and field 12
Soccer 12
Softball 10
Swimming and diving 8
Tennis 5
Volleyball 8
Wrestling 8

 Academically gifted students can be exempted from these limits if they meet grade or test score criteria established by the NAIA. Aid to students who play at the junior varsity level does not count in the overall limits.

Questions for parents to ask about financial aid

• What types of financial-aid agreements does your school have?

• Which campus representatives have to sign off on the agreement for it to be valid?

• What will the financial-aid agreement cover? Housing? Food? Books? Tuition?

• How long will the agreement last? A quarter/semester? A full academic year?

• If my student signs a financial agreement with your institution, can she/he sign with another school within your conference without penalty?

• What if my student quits the team after the season, will he or she continue to receive the scholarship?

• If my student suffers a season-ending injury, will the financial-aid agreement be honored?

• If my student becomes academically ineligible, will the agreement be honored?

• On your campus, who is responsible for checking the student-athlete's eligibility?

• Is there an academic support program in place for student-athletes on your campus?

• Do you offer my student's major?