New Legislation: Financial Assistance, Part 1.

New Legislation: Financial Assistance, Part 1.

Edited on 5/21/19.

Legislative Services is going to spend the next few months writing briefs on the new legislation that was passed at the 2019 convention. You can find all of the changes here. The first three briefs are going to focus on the changes to the financial assistance bylaw found in Article II, Section B. The entire bylaw with the changes are below but this week we are only focusing on Item 1: Institutionally Provided Financial Aid and Financial Benefits. 

The portions that are highlighted in yellow are changes proposed prior to the convention. The green highlights are friendly changes to the language that was made at convention. Lastly, the words and terms that are crossed out are what was stricken from the previous version of this bylaw.

Since we are only focusing on Item 1 this week that is all that we have provided below. If you would like to see the bylaw change in all of its glory and all the other changes that were voted on, please go here.



Amend Bylaws Article II, Section B as follows:

Assignment of scholarships, grants in aid, or student loans shall be controlled by the faculty through the regularly constituted committee on student loans and scholarships.


1. Institutionally Provided Financial Aid and Financial Benefits

a. Any financial aid or scholarships provided assistance to prospective or enrolled students in money or in kind, except that which comes from members of their immediate family or from those upon whom they are legally dependent, shall be administered by the institution’s regular process as approved by the office of financial aid.under policies and procedures established by the institution through its regularly constituted committee on student loans and scholarships. Under no conditions may an individual or organization provide direct financial assistance to a previously enrolled or prospective student.


All donations to the general athletics program and/or the athletics scholarship fund by outside organizations shall be deposited in an institutional fund and be administered by appropriate institutional committees under the control of the chief executive officer.


A member institution shall award no more financial aid or scholarships to a student-athlete than the actual cost of attendance as published by the institution. This may include but is not limited to:


1.   Tuition;

2.   Mandatory fees, books, and supplies required for courses in which the student-athlete is enrolled; and/or

3.   Board and room for the student-athlete only, based on the official board and room allowance listed in the official institutional publication.


b. Additional financial benefits in money or in kind provided by the institution and awarded to prospective or enrolled students is permissible so long as such items are available to the general student body, and awarded on such bases as will not discriminate for or against presumed or recognized athletes.


Further financial assistancebenefits to a student-athlete by a member institution, other than listed above, is prohibited.



Article II, Section B, Item 1

*We are only focusing on Item 1 in this brief, please stay tuned in the coming weeks for a breakdown of Items 2 & 3.

This section of the bylaw is specifically talking about aid and benefits provided by the institution to their athletes. The immediate family provision was struck from the original language as this type of funding is addressed later in the bylaw. One of the biggest changes to this entire bylaw is that it is now allowable for schools to provide the same assistance to athletes that it provides for all students. Before this bylaw change a student-athlete was prohibited from receiving anything in excess of tuition, room and board, and fees. The previous version basically treated athletes differently, often times to their detriment. This section is an attempt to end that treatment and allow our members to help all students on campus equally.


Case Studies

*Assume all schools are NAIA institutions unless otherwise noted. Also, assume that all students have an eligible determination from the Eligibility Center unless otherwise noted.

Scenario 1:

Apple College has a fund set up to help all students secure transportation home in cases of emergency. Terez is a football player at Apple College and his mother was recently in a very bad car accident. Can Apple College pay for Terez to fly home and be with his mother?

Answer 1:

Yes! This would fall under Item 1b, and since it is available for all students, then Terez can also utilize this program. Before this bylaw change this would have been technically prohibited under the NAIA’s bylaws.

Scenario 2:

Steph is trying to decide between two different NAIA schools to attend after she graduates from high school. School A is offering her a $10,000.00 scholarship that would cover her tuition, fees, and room and board. Once Steph gets on School A’s campus her tuition, fees, and room and board are calculated and the actual cost is $500.00 less than the $10,000.00 that was allocated. The coach advises Steph that they will issue her a check for the leftover $500.00. Is this allowed under the new bylaw changes?

Answer 2:

NO! Schools are still prohibited from providing more financial aid than the actual cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board. Thus if the school issued her a check for the remainder they would be violating Article II, Section B.

Scenario 3:

Rollins University (RU) has the topped ranked football team in the NAIA and are playing for the national championship. RU’s athletic director wants to try to get as many student-athletes as possible to attend the championship game and has promised $10.00 to any athlete that attends the game. Is this allowable under Item 1?

Answer 3:

No! This is prohibited because it is an additional benefit beyond tuition, etc.

Scenario 4:

Would the answer to scenario 3 be different if the AD was going to give the 10 dollar bills to any student from RU?

Answer 4:

Yes! This would be allowed as long since it would be available to all members of the student body. This language is again found in 1b.

Scenario 5:

Professor May would like to have his entire philosophy class over to his house for an end of year party. He has applied to utilize a fund governed by the office of financial aid to pay for the party. Can the athletes in his class attend without fear of being in violation of Article II, Section B?

Answer 5:

Yes! The athletes can attend this function since it will be open to all members of the philosophy class.


Please join Legislative Services at noon central on Tuesday for Facebook live, where Legislative Services will discuss this topic in more detail.