STUDENT-ATHLETES: FINANCIAL AID/GRANT-IN-AID
Financial aid is designed to provide financial assistance to help students fund their education-providing financial assistance to students who otherwise would be unable to pursue an education. Financial need is defined as the difference between the cost of attendance and what the parents and student might reasonably be expected to contribute toward that expense. This contribution, called the Expected Family Contribution, is determined by using methodology developed by the U.S. Department of Education.
Generally, there are four types of need based aid: grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. The key to determining financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After submitting this form, based on eligibility, the University will develop a financial package for the student.
The University of Kansas awards financial aid to student-athletes in accordance with University policy, as well as Big 12 Conference and NCAA rules and regulations governing financial aid to student-athletes. The Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator oversees and administers the athletic financial aid program for Kansas Athletics. The Director of Student Athlete Financial Aid monitors the financial aid program for Kansas Athletics and serves as liaison with the University's Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (FAS) in meeting the financial needs of the student-athletes.
Athletically related grants-in-aid are awarded on an annual basis and are limited to required educational expenses, such as tuition, fees, room, board and use of required course-related books. Financial aid provided to student-athletes is not considered a "reimbursement for services performed" and cannot, on the basis of athletic performance, be gradated or discontinued during the period of its award. However, athletically related aid may be reduced or canceled according to NCAA Bylaw 15.3.4 Reduction and Cancellation During Period of Award (see Policy 502B, Student-Athletes: Eligibility, in this Manual). Any modification to the original grant must be approved by the Director of Athletics, or his/her designee, under the conditions or situations specified in the NCAA Manual, Bylaw 15.3.5 Renewals and Non-renewals and communicated to the student-athlete in writing with full explanation of the appeals process.
Allocation of Grant-in-Aid Awards
The Director of Athletics allocates funds through the budget process to each sport in order to provide a specific number of grant-in-aid awards within NCAA rules and regulations. Grants-in-aid are allocated within each sport upon the recommendation of the head coach.
Allowable grants-in-aid are calculated according to NCAA guidelines for head-count and equivalency sports, as described below. Further, the number of grants-in-aid for any team may be affected by NCAA sanctions which are imposed against the sport.
Study Abroad Programs
Kansas Athletics may finance study abroad programs that count toward the student-athlete's degree requirements. Student-athletes must obtain permission from their head coach, academic counselor, and sport supervisor in advance of enrolling in any study abroad program. If study abroad is approved for a student-athlete, Kansas Athletics may only finance an amount equivalent to the student-athlete's athletic financial grant-in-aid.
Head Count and Equivalency Sports
For purposes of financial aid computations, a player is considered a "Counter" when he/she receives financial aid based on athletic ability, and/or was recruited, receives financial aid and is competing as a member of a varsity team.
- Head-Count Sports
A head-count sport is one, designated by the NCAA, in which student-athletes who are awarded athletic financial aid receive full grant-in-aid scholarships. In this case, athletically related aid is calculated by the number of student-athletes receiving any amount of aid.
- Equivalency Sports
Equivalency sports, as designated by the NCAA, are those in which athletically related aid is calculated by the percentage of a full grant-in-aid. The University may administer such awards to any number of recipients on the basis of value (equivalency), provided the total dollar amount expended does not exceed the calculated full grant-in-aid at the University multiplied by the number of maximum awards permitted for the particular sport.
Kansas Athletics funds the maximum number of allowed grants-in-aid in the following sports: men's and women's basketball, baseball, football, women's soccer, softball, women's swimming and diving, men's and women's track and cross country, women's volleyball, men's and women's golf, women's tennis, and women's rowing.
I. Financial Aid Procedures
Although grant-in-aid allocations within each sport are recommended by the Head Coach, the procedures for administering grants-in-aid at the University of Kansas are the same for all student-athletes. These procedures are outlined in the Financial Aid Standard Operating Procedures Manual.
The Head Coach completes the Request for Financial Aid Form that includes recommendations of grant-in aid awards. The Aid Form is returned to the Director of Student-Athlete Financial Aid for review. Once approved by the Director of Athletics/designee and the Director of FAS/designee, the grants-in-aid are tendered. Recipients of financial aid are notified of the awarded scholarship by the Head Coach, which details the amount of aid and the terms and conditions of the grant.
- Prospective Student-Athletes
Financial aid agreements may be issued to prospective student-athletes with or without the National Letter of Intent (NLI). Prospects may not sign a National Letter of Intent prior to the times and dates noted on the Letter.
To be valid, the Kansas Athletics Financial Aid Agreement must be signed and returned to Kansas Athletics within 14 days after its issuance date. Upon receipt of the signed forms, the original Letter of Intent is forwarded to the Big 12 Conference Office by the Director of Student-Athlete Financial Aid. The Conference must receive these forms within 21 days of the final signature. One copy of the Letter of Intent and the Financial Aid Agreement is retained by the prospective student-athlete. The second original is maintained by the Director of Student-Athlete Financial Aid. Scanned Originals of the financial aid agreement and Letter of Intent are also disseminated to the Director of Athletics, Compliance, and the Office of FAS. The student-athlete's financial aid is not processed until this form has been received by KAI.
If the prospective student-athlete fails to be admitted to the University, the NLI and the grant-in-aid become null and void. The Kansas Athletics Compliance Office is required to send written notification regarding the null and void status of the NLI and grant-in-aid to the prospective student-athlete within five business days of learning that the prospective student-athlete has failed to be admitted.
- Enrolled Students
A student-athlete eligible for a grant-in-aid who enrolls at the University without having received a financial aid offer may, thereafter, be given grant-in-aid at any time; however, it may not be awarded retroactively.
A Head Coach who desires to make an initial offer of athletically related financial aid to a previously enrolled student initiates the procedure as described above for prospective student-athletes. Prior to tendering an offer of financial aid to the student-athlete, it is necessary to verify the eligibility of the student, as well as ensure compliance with squad limitations. (See Policy 502B, Student-Athletes: Eligibility for procedures related to initial eligibility requirements for the tendering of financial aid offers.) With the recommendation of the Director of Athletics/designee and the signatory approval of Director of FAS/designee, the Financial Aid Agreement is fully executed and ready for the student-athlete's signature. Signed copies are scanned and distributed to the Director of Athletics, the Office of FAS, and kept on file with the Director of Student-Athlete Financial Aid and with Compliance.
- Continuing Student-Athletes
Athletically related financial aid is awarded on a year-by-year basis and cannot be reduced or discontinued during the period of its award for any athletic, performance-related reason. NCAA rules and regulations stipulate that notification of athletically related financial aid must be sent to the student-athlete before July 1st of the academic year in which it is to be effective.
Each spring, head coaches meet with the Director of Student-Athlete Financial Aid and their respective sport supervisor to review their recommendations of grant-in-aid for the upcoming academic year. Using these lists, the Director of Student-Athlete Financial Aid generates the renewal letters and financial aid agreements notifying all prospective recipients of their renewal of aid. The letters indicating the amount of the awards are returned to the coaches for final review and are sent to the student-athletes. The student-athlete keeps one copy and returns the other signed copy to the Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator.
Per NCAA bylaws, grants-in-aid may be canceled or reduced during the period of the award if the student-athlete:
- Renders himself or herself ineligible for intercollegiate competition (e.g. by carrying less than 12 hours);
Fraudulently misrepresents any information on an application, letter of intent or financial aid agreement;
Engages in serious misconduct warranting substantial disciplinary penalty; or
Voluntarily (on his or her own initiative) withdraws from a sport at any time for personal reasons;
Additionally, grants-in-aid may be renewed at a reduced amount or may not be renewed for the reasons stated in #1-4 above as well as if the student-athlete:
- Demonstrates an inability to reach reasonable performance goals, exhibit problems
of motivation or incompatibility with the coaching staff or his/her teammates;
- Engages in misconduct serious enough to warrant disciplinary action and
cancellation of aid.
Regardless of their financial situation, student-athletes are encouraged to discuss any related questions they may have with their head coach and/or sport supervisor.
Non-Athletic Financial Aid
Any financial assistance in addition to the student-athlete's grant-in-aid must be approved by the Office of FAS to ensure that the additional aid is in accordance with NCAA, Conference, federal, state and institutional policies and regulations. All financial assistance including grants and loans during academic terms must be reported by the student-athlete to the Office of FAS and to the student-athlete's Head Coach. If necessary, those funds may replace a portion of the athletic grant-in-aid in order to permit the student-athlete and the program to remain in compliance with NCAA, Big 12 Conference rules, as well as with federal regulations and state and institutional policies. Student-athletes have the opportunity to document this information during the Student-Athlete Compliance Education meetings each year. Failure to report all such income could affect athletic eligibility.
Procedures for Receiving Grants-In-Aid
If a student-athlete is receiving cash in lieu of room and board, the student-athlete must have a signed copy of his/her lease on file in the Director of Student-Athlete Financial Aid office before funds will be issued. Funds, in the form of a check or direct deposit to the student-athlete's bank account, will be issued monthly.
Post Eligibility Aid
A student-athlete who has received financial aid from the University of Kansas and has completed eligibility for intercollegiate athletics competition but has remaining undergraduate degree requirements may petition the Post Eligibility Aid Committee for continuation of KU Athletics financial aid if the student meets the following criteria:
- The student has completed satisfactory progress towards a degree and has passed 96 semester hours.
The student demonstrates an intention to complete the undergraduate degree requirements.
The student satisfies Big 12 Conference and NCAA financial aid eligibility standards.
A student-athlete who meets the above requirements may petition that athletic financial aid be continued for such part of the two additional consecutive semesters immediately following the last semester of intercollegiate athletics competition. Student athletes who still cannot complete degree requirements may petition Kansas Athletics to receive athletic grant-in-aid aid for the summer semester following the fifth year fall and spring semesters.
Kansas Athletics reserves the right to discontinue such financial aid whenever it reasonably appears that the student-athlete is not making satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree. According to NCAA regulations, financial aid is limited to a maximum period of five (5) years which includes summer school terms.
Financial aid awarded should not be greater than the amounts received during the previous award. A student-athlete should make a petition as soon as the student is informed of the determination regarding continuation of financial aid.
The Committee reviewing petitions for post eligibility aid shall consist of the Associate AD/ Student Athlete Support Services, the Associate AD/SWA, and the Sport Supervisor. In the event that the Sport Supervisor is also the SWA, the Senior Assoc. AD shall participate in the committee deliberations. Petitions should be in writing, include justification for awarding an additional year of aid, and have verification from the student-athlete's academic counselor that the established academic/eligibility standards have been met.
A coach may petition the Director of Athletics for an increase in fifth year aid for the student-athlete; however, the request must be justified and based on funds available in the sport budget.
II. Reduction or Non-Renewal of Athletic Grants-in-Aid
Reference: This policy and procedure is written in consideration of NCAA Bylaw, Article 15, Financial Aid. Persons administering this policy, or persons who have questions about financial aid for student-athletes should familiarize themselves with the provisions of NCAA Bylaw, Article 15.
Under normal circumstances, renewal of aid for subsequent years is customary. Further, a student-athlete may receive an athletic scholarship for no more than five years within a six-year period, beginning with the student-athlete's initial full-time enrollment at any college or two-year college.
In the event of a career-ending injury or illness as a result of participation in the athletics program, Kansas Athletics normally renews the award, provided that the individual agrees to perform appropriate alternate tasks within Kansas Athletics. NCAA rules forbid the guarantee of an automatic renewal.
The renewal of institutional financial aid based in any degree on athletic ability shall be made on or before July 1 prior to the academic year in which it is to be effective. The institution shall promptly send notification in writing to each student-athlete who received an award the previous academic year and who has eligibility remaining in the sport in which financial aid was awarded the previous academic year informing the student-athlete whether the grant has been renewed, renewed for a reduced amount, or not renewed for the upcoming academic year. Notification of non-renewals must come from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Inability to reach reasonable athletic performance goals, problems of motivation, violation of team rules, incompatibility with the coaching staff or teammates, etc. are considered legitimate reasons for non-renewal or reduction of aid. If, during the school year, the student-athlete feels there is a possibility his/her scholarship may not be renewed or may be reduced, he/she should talk with the coach. Should the student-athlete disagree with the coach's assessment of his/her standing, the student-athlete should contact the Director of Athletics as soon as possible.
I. The decision to reduce or not renew a student-athlete's grant-in-aid (GIA) should include the following considerations:
- Coaches must have appropriate written documentation to support their decision for a reduction or nonrenewal of a student-athlete's GIA. Coaches will discuss with their sport supervisor their decision to reduce or not renew a student-athlete's GIA, and the reason(s) for the decision, prior to going forward with that decision.
- When a coach decides (and the sport administrator supports the decision) that a student-athlete's GIA award will be reduced or will not be renewed, the coach is responsible for discussing the reasons for the reduction or nonrenewal with the student-athlete. The coach will document the meeting with the student-athlete has occurred and include in this documentation the reasons for the reduction or nonrenewal of athletic grant in aid (GIA). If a student-athlete has been dismissed from a team, the coach or the sport administrator still has the responsibility to follow the procedure described above. This discussion may occur in conjunction with the dismissal from the team.
- After advising the student-athlete of the decision to reduce or not renew his/her GIA, the coach will notify the Kansas Athletics Associate Director/Senior Woman Administrator (Athletics AD/SWA) of the decision to reduce or not renew the student-athlete's GIA. This information, including a copy of the written documentation of the decision to reduce or not renew the GIA, will be forwarded by the Athletics AD/SWA to the Assistant Vice Provost, Financial Aid and Scholarships (FAS).
- When FAS is notified of a reduction or nonrenewal of a student-athlete's GIA, a letter will be mailed to the student-athlete. All letters must be mailed by FAS on or before July 1st to meet the requirements of NCAA Bylaw 15.3.5. The Athletics Director, Athletics AD/SWA, Athletics AD/Compliance, Athletics Financial Aid Director, Head Coach, and the Chair of the Student Athlete Appeals Board (SAAB) (or other SAAB member) are copied on the letter. FAS sends the letter to the student-athlete, via Certified Mail and 'Delivery Confirmation' to document the letter was mailed by the July 1st deadline and to document that the letter was delivered. The Athletics AD/SWA is sent copies to distribute to the Athletics Director and Head Coach.
If the student-athlete is an international student and the only address available in the KU student administration database is the international address, the non-renewal letter will be sent via regular mail since international certified mail is not cost-effective and delivery confirmation is not timely, whereas regular mail is much quicker. Athletics personnel should remind student-athletes of their responsibility to monitor and update addresses in the KU student administration system (Enroll & Pay) throughout their time at KU and upon departure from KU so all pertinent correspondence is received. If the coach and/or other Athletics personnel have a local, current address, s/he should provide that address on the Delete Form.
- If a student voluntarily withdraws from a sport at the end of or during an award period, the student and the Athletics AD (or designee) signs a "Voluntary Termination-of-Aid (VTA) Agreement." A copy of this VTA Agreement is sent to the FAS with the Delete Form. A non-renewal letter is sent to the student-athlete, following the procedures in paragraph II.D above.
- In some cases, the student-athlete is unable or unwilling to sign a VTA after voluntarily withdrawing from a sport at the end of or during an award period. In these cases, any correspondence (such as an email to the coach) that serves as a direct communication from the student-athlete may serve as notification of voluntary withdrawal and may be forwarded with the Delete Form to the Assistant Vice Provost, FAS, as written documentation. If no such correspondence exists, correspondence from the Associate AD/SWA or designee, documenting the request for a meeting with the student-athlete to complete a VTA, will serve as documentation that efforts were made by Athletics to obtain a VTA and will be forwarded to FAS.
II. Situations in which a non-renewal letter for a subsequent year, based on prior year awards, is not required include:
- A student-athlete who has exhausted eligibility for GIA (since student has no subsequent eligibility, there is no need for a non-renewal letter).
- A student-athlete who quit the team prior to the fall semester of academic year x did not receive GIA during academic year x and therefore does not need a non-renewal letter for the subsequent academic year y.
- A student-athlete who does not return to KU for the fall semester of academic year x would not receive GIA during academic year x and therefore a non-renewal letter is not required for the subsequent academic year y.
- A student-athlete who leaves KU & his/her sport during AY but plans to return the following fall (e.g. a baseball player who leaves during the Spring term for the pros, but plans to return to KU and the team sport in the following fall), does not need a non-renewal letter since student will receive GIA when he returns. (However, Athletics should submit documentation of this status to FAS, confirming Athletics' intent to pay the GIA when the student-athlete returns.)
- If a student-athlete's GIA is reduced or cancelled due to other aid resulting in maximum eligibility received, a non-renewal letter is not needed since the student may be eligible for GIA in subsequent years. This must be clearly documented by Athletics and communicated to FAS since without a non-renewal letter, Athletics would be required to provide GIA to the student-athlete in the future. In such a case, the student-athlete may request a SAAB hearing within 10 business days of the documented receipt of the letter from FAS (as detailed in paragraph I.D.).
Student-Athlete Appeals Board
The Student-Athlete Appeals Board (SAAB) shall conduct administrative hearings on cases involving student-athletes that have not been resolved utilizing other existing decision making channels. It shall only consider those cases that have been previously reviewed by the Director of Athletics as being appropriate to forward to the Board.
The Board will serve as the final appeals review for the institution and may consider cases involving two distinct areas as listed below:
Financial Aid. The Board shall act on student-athletes' appeals related to athletically-related financial aid, as prescribed by National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules and regulations (NCAA Bylaw 15).
Transfer Release. The Board shall act on student-athletes' appeals related to their requests to be released from university athletic obligations when transferring to another institution. These procedures are also prescribed by NCAA rules and regulations (NCAA Bylaw 14) as well as Kansas Athletics policy 502F.
- If a student-athlete appeals a non-renewal or a reduction in aid, the University of Kansas Student-Athlete Appeals Board (SAAB) is charged with determining whether the nonrenewal, reduction, or cancellation of aid was fair under the attending circumstances and determining whether procedural rules were followed. The SAAB does not determine whether the student-athlete will be reinstated as a member of the team.
- The SAAB is comprised of three individuals appointed by the Provost's Office (or Designee, currently the Vice Provost for Student Affairs). Typically, membership is for three-year terms, with the option for reappointment. One of the three must be a faculty member.
- The Athletics Senior Associate AD/SWA, the Associate Athletics AD for Compliance and the Assistant Vice Provost, FAS (or designees) will attend the appeal hearing as non-voting members to provide resource/regulatory guidance.
- A student-athlete who wishes to appeal the reduction or nonrenewal of his/her GIA must provide written notice of his/her appeal within 10 business days of the documented receipt of the non-renewal or aid reduction letter to the Assistant Vice Provost, FAS. In the written notice of appeal, the student-athlete will provide a brief statement as to the reasons why the student-athlete believes the reduction or nonrenewal of his/her GIA is unfair. Upon receipt of the student-athlete's notice of appeal, the Assistant Vice Provost, FAS, will forward a copy of the notice of appeal to the Senior Associate Athletics Associate AD/SWA. The SAAB hearing must occur within 30 calendar days of the letter of appeal (unless an extension of time is requested by the student-athlete and/or the coach, and the extension request is approved by both parties).
- The Senior Associate Athletics AD/SWA will contact all SAAB members to determine a minimum of two date/time options for the Student-Athlete Appeals Board hearing that are mutually convenient to all parties involved in the appeal. The Senior Associate AD/SWA will provide a minimum of two available dates/times to the student-athlete to determine which date/time is most convenient. The Senior Associate AD/SWA will then communicate the final date/time/location to the SAAB representatives as well as the Athletics and FAS staff members involved. At least three business days prior to the hearing, the AD/SWA will also send the student-athlete a letter detailing the date and time of the hearing. The Senior Associate AD/SWA will copy all parties involved.
- Those present for the hearing shall include the following: student-athlete, head coach, Senior Associate Athletics AD/SWA, the Student-Athlete Appeal Board members. The Associate Athletics AD for Compliance and Assistant Vice Provost, FAS (and/or designees) will be available for NCAA, Big 12 and KU rules clarification. If the head coach is unable to appear at the hearing, he/she may send a representative to present on behalf of the coach. Other participants may include, but are not limited to, the sport supervisor, and/or faculty athletics representative.
- The student-athlete may have one advisor in attendance at the hearing. Such advisor may only advise the student-athlete and will not be permitted to otherwise participate in the appeal hearing. The student-athlete must notify the Senior Associate AD/SWA at least 24 hours prior to the hearing of the name of the advisor and whether the advisor is an attorney. If the student-athlete fails to appear for the hearing, the SAAB will determine whether s/he received timely notification of the hearing date/time and if so, the SAAB hearing may proceed in the absence of the student-athlete.
- The SAAB members and those listed in sections G and H above shall be the only individuals in attendance during the hearing. The hearing is otherwise closed unless both the SAAB and the student-athlete agree otherwise.
- The SAAB Chair will conduct the hearing. The process shall not be adversarial and will not be recorded by the University. A student-athlete may record the proceedings at his or her expense. At the beginning of the hearing, the Chair shall introduce all parties present.
- The student-athlete will present his/her information and arguments first, followed by the information and arguments presented by the coach.
- The student-athlete and/or the coach may ask third-party witnesses to explain/describe their first-hand experience with a given situation and respond to SAAB questions. Third-party witnesses will only be allowed in the hearing for their individual testimony. Names of any proposed witnesses must be provided to the Senior Associate AD/SWA at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. One witness at a time may be called into the hearing by either party. If necessary, provision will be made for witnesses to wait in a nearby location until called.
- During the hearing the student-athlete and the athletics department will present their arguments concerning the fairness of the decision to reduce or not renew the student-athlete's GIA. The issue of fairness includes, but is not limited to, determining whether the notice of reduction or nonrenewal of GIA was sent by the July 1 deadline.
- The Senior Associate Athletic AD/SWA will provide a copy of documentation for distribution to the Student-Athlete Appeals Board and to the student-athlete at the hearing. If in the course of the hearing, an issue arises for which either party requests a recess in order to provide information or witnesses, the SAAB, may, at its discretion, adjourn the hearing to a later date (not more than 7-10 days) at which time the additional information or witnesses can be presented.
- Once each party has presented his/her information and arguments, the committee may ask questions of either party, or ask for clarification of any rules or other information referenced in the course of the hearing. At the conclusion of the presentation of the parties' arguments, everyone will be excused and the SAAB will deliberate.
- The SAAB Chair will call the student-athlete informing him/her of the SAAB's decision and advise the student-athlete that a written decision letter will be mailed shortly to him/her.
- The SAAB Chair will send the SAAB Hearing response letter to the student-athlete. All SAAB representatives and staff members involved with the SAAB Hearing as well as the Athletics Director will be copied on this letter.
- The SAAB decision is a final of the University and is non-appealable within the University.