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Rescinding “Div. 3 Athletic Scholarship”

Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 3,648 Senior Member
edited November 2012 in Ask The Dean Topics
Question: Can a Division 3 college take back any scholarship given to a freshman to play sports if he or she doesn’t make the team sophomore year? Division 3 colleges do not offer athletic scholarships at all. So any money awarded to a Div. 3 athlete would be based on financial need, academic talent or [...]

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Post edited by Sally_Rubenstone on

Replies to: Rescinding “Div. 3 Athletic Scholarship”

  • GolfFatherGolfFather Registered User Posts: 1,519 Senior Member
    if the athlete doesn’t continue in his or her sport–for whatever reasons–the school cannot rescind the scholarship because of this.

    I'm curious to hear from anyone who went through a situation like this.

    After all the to-and-fro involved in recruiting I can't imagine a coach being very happy if a student quits the team after freshman year. (Other than for medical or academic reasons. I mean just up and leaves the team.)
  • boysx3boysx3 Registered User Posts: 5,164 Senior Member
    Students do quit Div. 3 teams all the time, and sometimes schools do change the financial packages the next year. For example, sometimes merit $$ is called a "community or campus involvement scholarship"....and not all merit $$$ is automatically renewable, or not in the same amount. This affects not only athletes, but also theater or orchestra people, etc. And financial aid is always subject to repackaging. Not all schools do these things, but if contemplating this, questions can be asked....especially of a student who has maybe quit the team previously.

    Sometimes students' interests or priorities change. My son was and is a soccer nut and was recruited by a lot of schools for soccer. He went back and forth on what he wanted to do. He ultimately decided that he did not want soccer to continue to dominate his life and made his final college choice accordingly. At times he had some regrets. But I could see that even if he played one, or even two years, at the college level, there would have come a time where he felt it was time to move on. This being said, he plays on his university's club team, and two community recreational teams (1 single sex, 1 coed), and also some intramural teams. But it doesn't rule his life....he has the freedom to make choices, if he wants to spend an extra hour or two in the lab or the library, or go visit his siblings out of town on a given weekend.

    Sometimes you don't like the team for whatever reason--socially or athletically. Some students don't like the travel associated with college sports. It's disruptive to both academic and social life. If you aren't enjoying the experience....it's too high a price to pay, unless you can't afford to attend the school otherwise.
  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 3,648 Senior Member
    not all merit $$$ is automatically renewable

    True, and I don't think I was sufficiently clear about this in my original "Ask the Dean" response.

    Any time a student is offered a merit scholarship, it's important to find out if the scholarship is renewable and, if so, to also ask about the terms that must be met in order to renew it. Typically it is a minimum GPA.

    However, a Div. 3 college can NEVER require continued participation in a sport in order to renew a merit award.

    Note also that Div. 3 athletes are free to quit their sport even in their freshman year ... and even before they start it.

    Although I would never encourage an athlete to pretend to plan to continue a sport in order to boost admission odds or garner merit money, a student who does expect to participate in college is nonetheless free to bail any time at the Div. 3 level ... even before the first day of practice.

    Keep in mind, too, that this lack of written commitment at the Div. 3 level can work in reverse as well. I've seen coaches make promises to high school seniors (e.g., "You'll be a four-year starter") that the coach doesn't keep.

    Because Div. 3 has no athletic scholarships or Letters of Intent, coaches can never be certain how many recruited athletes will actually show up in September. So some coaches will make big promises to more players than they can actually accommodate, based on the assumption that many will end up elsewhere. BUT ... in those years when more-than-usual enroll, there are inevitably disappointed kids who feel that the coach was dishonest during the recruiting period.

    So at the Div. 3 level, there can be a lot of changes that transpire in that first year ... both among students who say they'll play but don't and among coaches who woo players who may ultimately not even make the team.

    But any Div. 3 athlete who was awarded a merit scholarships and has met the renewal terms of that scholarship should contact the NCAA if the continuation of the scholarship appears to be directly linked to the continuation of the sport.
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