Clay Court is a tennis student-athlete at Ocean State University. Clay and a few of his teammates have qualified for the NCAA championships, so they are required to remain on campus to practice. Additionally, Clay has enrolled in summer school classes that will take place while he is preparing for the tournament. Clay is receiving a full athletic scholarship to cover his summer school expenses. As part of his full scholarship, Clay will receive the full cost of room and board.
Is it permissible for Ocean State University to provide Clay with the same room and board stipend as his teammates that are not enrolled in summer school?
No. Clay is receiving financial aid to cover the full cost of room and board, and he is not permitted to receive any expenses in excess of the full cost of room and board. NCAA Staff Interpretation- 5/13/11- Summer Financial Aid and Vacation Period Expenses (I)- states that a student-athlete who is enrolled in an institution’s summer term, and is required to remain on campus for organized practice sessions (e.g., practice in preparation for an NCAA championship), may receive financial aid in accordance with the summer financial-aid legislation and vacation-period expenses, provided the student-athlete does not receive vacation-period expenses, in combination with any room and board financial aid, in excess of the full cost of room and board (as determined for financial aid purposes) during the time in which the student-athlete is required to remain on campus for practice or competition.
[References: NCAA Bylaws 126.96.36.199.2 (enrolled student-athletes), 16.5.2 (vacation-period expenses) and staff interpretation (04/12/1991, Item Ref d), which has been archived]