Ground Ball is a softball student-athlete at Ocean State University (OSU). Ground is receiving a 50% athletic scholarship from OSU for the 2016-17 academic year. Ground also received a $2000 scholarship from an organization in her home town based on academic excellence and citizenship. Due to an administrative error, the scholarship money was just received by the OSU financial aid office this week.
Is it permissible for Ground to receive the $2000 scholarship since it was unrelated to athletic ability?
Yes with conditions. NCAA Staff Interpretation- 1/4/17- Certification of Outside Aid Unrelated to Athletics Ability (I)- states that an institution may certify that a student-athlete’s financial aid from outside sources is unrelated in any degree to athletics ability (even if the student-athlete lists athletics participation or achievements as part of his or her extracurricular activities), provided: (1) The application form does not request the applicant to list athletics participation, achievements, extracurricular activities or any other category in which athletics may be relevant (e.g., honors); and (2) The awarding agency verifies, in writing, that it does not consider athletics participation in the awarding of the aid.
[References: NCAA Division I Bylaw 126.96.36.199 (no relationship to athletics ability) and official interpretation (10/22/03, Item No. 1), which has been archived]
Jennifer M. Condaras
Deputy Commissioner, NCAA Relations & Administration
Colonial Athletic Association
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