The National Collegiate Athletic Association will distribute more than $200 million to Division I members next year to help institutions pay for benefits and services for athletes. The money can be used to launch literacy and mental health programs or to expand academic advising services, as well as be used to help colleges cover athletes' full cost of attendance, pay for four-year guaranteed scholarships and provide unlimited meals and snacks for athletes.
“This is an important time for college athletics, in which our schools are finding new and innovative ways to support student-athletes,” said Kirk Schulz, the president at Kansas State University and chair of the NCAA's Board of Governors, the committee that approved the release of the funds. “But we are mindful that these programs come at a cost that can strain schools’ budgets. So the decision to provide this one-time funding to the Division I membership will help schools through this transition and shows our continued commitment to student success.”
The $200 million will come from assets that the NCAA holds in reserve as “financial protection against significant disruptions in the association's operations.” After the five wealthiest conferences began covering the full cost of attendance for athletes last year, the NCAA distributed $18.9 million to Division I institutions, or about $55,000 per institution. The NCAA estimated at the time that paying full cost of attendance would increase aid amounts by about $2,500 per athlete, or about $30 million a year across all programs. It soon became clear the NCAA’s estimates fell far short, with some estimates putting the total amount closer to $100 million.
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