Several incoming freshmen at Ocean State University (OSU) have incurred an additional curriculum fee because of their designated degree program. All of these student-athletes are receiving athletic aid. Since this fee is not required of all incoming students, can OSU pay the expense?
Yes. With this being an autonomy proposal, institutions that are members of non-autonomy conferences must refer to their conference policy to determine whether they are permitted to opt-in to this piece of legislation. NCAA Educational Column- 3/11/16 (updated 8/16/16)- Proposal No. 2015-20 Autonomy Proposal — Recruiting — Offers and Inducements — Institutional Pre-Enrollment Fee (I)- provides further clarification on the application of Autonomy Proposal 2015-20.
Editor’s Note: Question No. 5 was updated August 16, 2016, to clarify the application of the proposal as adopted. The original publication date was kept to maintain a link to other autonomy proposal questions and answers with the same publication date.
This document contains questions and answers to assist the NCAA membership in its understanding of Proposal No. 2015-20 (institutional pre-enrollment fees).
Question No. 1: What types of fees are considered to be pre-enrollment fees?
Answer: A pre-enrollment fee is any fee that is required of a prospective or incoming student by the institution. In addition to the fees listed in the proposal, an admissions application fee and a housing application fee are additional examples.
Question No. 2: Must a pre-enrollment fee be required of all prospective students at the institution in order for it to be paid for a prospective student-athlete?
Question No. 3: If a prospective student-athlete receives pre-enrollment expenses, does he or she become a student-athlete?
Answer: No. Receipt of pre-enrollment expenses does not cause a prospective student-athlete to become a student-athlete.
Question No. 4: May the institution cover a fee that is part of an element of financial aid (e.g., advance tuition payment, advance room and board payment)?
Answer: Yes; however, such a payment will be considered financial aid and the recipient will become a counter.
Question No. 5: May an institution guarantee payment for required pre-enrollment fees before the prospective student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or before the institution has received a financial deposit in response to its offer of admission?
Answer: Yes; however, payment or reimbursement of required pre-enrollment fees may not occur until after a prospective student-athlete has signed a National Letter of Intent or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or after the institution has received a financial deposit in response to its offer of admission. Before August 1 of a prospective student-athlete’s senior year, an institution shall not indicate in writing that it will cover a fee that is part of an element of financial aid (e.g., advance tuition payment, advance room and board payment).
The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The BIG EAST Conference or JumpForward. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.