Financial Assistance & Aid Limits

 

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

 

A: An institution can provide this sort of emergency relief for a student-athlete so long as such opportunities or benefits are available to all students on campus.

A: Yes. NAIA bylaws permit a third party relief organization to provide financial assistance to student-athletes in times of natural disaster or emergency, assuming such opportunities are available to other students who are similarly affected.

A: NAIA financial assistance bylaws passed in 2019 now allow student-athletes to receive financial benefits from third-party individuals.

 

Financial Aid and Maximum Team Limits

 

A: No. The NAIA Council of Presidents decided not to change the existing team financial aid limits for 2020-2021. All financial aid policies and academic exemptions will apply. Note: Independent of COVID-19 implications, the COP did accept recommendations from the Financial Aid Task Force to amend portions of the financial aid policy beginning August 2020. More detailed information will be coming soon regarding these changes, but in the meantime you can review the recommendations here.

A: Yes. Even though the student-athletes have been granted an exception that waives the season of competition, financial aid policies require institutions to report aid for students who participate. While the COVID-19 pandemic hindered students from competing and thus warranted an exception regarding seasons of competition, it does not substantially impact a school’s ability to submit financial aid reporting. Further, the analytical insights gained from having data on institutional finances related to athletics will be more important than ever, meaning the absence of any financial aid data for all spring sports would be very detrimental to NAIA schools in the future. Note: Beginning Fall 2020, the Year-End Report financial aid submission will be merged with ROA data. This means all NAIA institutions will submit one cumulative set of data that will be used to provide information on financial aid maximum team limits (previously known as Year-End Report) and also to populate ROA Insights analytics. Each school will submit its information regarding the 2019-2020 school year by December 1, 2020.

A: As mentioned in the above answer, it will be important that NAIA members have access to spring financial aid data, so we’ll have to make due the best we can in this scenario. The solution, for those spring sports that have did actually begin to compete, is to submit financial aid data reporting on the student-athletes the coaching staff anticipated would have been varsity participants. Obviously this is not an exact science, and there will be a significant degree of trust extended to athletics directors in submitting this information. The purpose here is to ensure all NAIA members have the benefit of thorough financial aid data across all sports when as viewed through the ROA Insights platform.

A: Dual-sport spring student-athletes will still have their aid split evenly between all sports for which they competed as a varsity student-athlete. Even if the spring team was not able to begin competitions, the student’s aid can still be split with the fall/winter sport(s) in keeping with what was previously anticipated.

A: Yes, the student can receive such funds from your institution. Per Article II, Section B, Item 1b, NAIA student-athletes can receive additional financial benefits from your institution beyond the standard tuition + room/board + books/fees if the financial benefits are available to all students and not just student-athletes.

As it relates to financial aid limits, generally any aid like this that is provided by your institution would meet the definition of countable aid. However, Article II, Section B, Item 1b specifically states that such aid should “not discriminate for or against presumed or recognized athletes,” meaning that institutions should be able to distribute such funds to student-athletes without negative implication. Therefore, financial benefits allocated to student-athletes through financial support such as the CARES Act and that are available to athletes and non-athletes alike will not count as countable aid and will not accumulate towards a team’s maximum upper limit.