Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Athletic money combined with merit aid


Replies to: Athletic money combined with merit aid

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,543 Senior Member
    I can only worry about what my daughter receives, not what all the other kids claiming to have a full ride get. There is one on our team whose father has said, a number of times, that his D is getting a 'full ride.' I know she's not because I know what her athletic scholarship is and I know the COA. Those two numbers are not the same.

    planit, if the coach is willing to give a full scholarship to one freshman, he must really want your child. Fourteen scholarships just don't go that far when divided among a full team and are usually sliced a lot thinner.
  • planitplanit Registered User Posts: 158 Junior Member
    @twoinanddone , I appreciate that it is unusual, but she actually received another offer of a full athletic ride tonight. She is NOT an Olympic-level swimmer by any means. I think that she has just done a good job of targeting schools where she can score at conference with her current times, and she's made her interest known early. Still, I am as flabbergasted as anyone to have such generous offers on the table. We did not go into this even hoping for more than 50%.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,219 Senior Member
    By "full ride," don't a lot of people just mean full tuition?
  • BobcatPhoenixBobcatPhoenix Registered User Posts: 128 Junior Member
    There are a lot of things meant by "full ride", depending on who is talking. I think many parents mean "I am not paying COA/tuition out of pocket", which is very different from "My child's COA is fully funded without loans" or even "My child's COA is fully funded from athletics". I have heard all of the above called "full rides".

    Sorry for the digression!
  • crimsonmom2019crimsonmom2019 Registered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    @TheGFG A true "full ride" means the whole kit and caboodle: tuition, room and board, books (and in some conferences a monthly stipend).
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,543 Senior Member
    But I agree with Bobcat that people use the term 'full ride' and mean different things. I think the 'full ride!' bragging Dad of D's teammate meant 'I am not paying anything out of pocket', but I bet his daughter does have loans and non-athletic aid. He also bragged that she had a 'full ride' offer at a D1 school, and I know that's just not possible. No D1 school is giving full scholarships to freshmen, and not at this girl's skill level (she is good, she is not 'Write your own ticket' good and was not recruited by teams in the top 10). D1's have 12 scholarships to split and usually team size is 35 or so. No freshman is getting COA.

    Hey, he's happy and it didn't change my daughter's package in any way.
  • scmom2017scmom2017 Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    Yes, that is the true meaning, in my opinion and yours. If you look up an official definition, while it leans towards that, it appears there is a good bit of ambiguity when it comes to how the term is used. And, I believe that is the point of the previous comments - people have differing opinions of what it means and use the term accordingly letting the semantics play out in what sounds best about their child.

    I would even carry my interpretation of the meaning of receiving a full ride to be an earned scholarship that pays all costs (as used in COA). If a student's EFC is 5000 and he gets a 5000 merit scholarship and the remaining COA covered through financial aid, the family owes zero. is this really a full ride? Yes you have no out of pocket expenses and maybe no loans, but it is not a scholarship paying the rest.

    I know a family who insists (brags) about their child getting a full ride to college based solely on her academics. She is receiving financial aid and is required to play on the soccer team to keep the scholarship. They aren't trying to mislead - she wouldn't have gotten in without the grades and her scholarship is for being a good student who is an athlete and they are paying zero. So it sounds good - full ride for academics.

    My daughter got shopping sheets from 3 college's showing a zero bottom line. So full ride? Nope $5500 unsubsidized student loan $30,000 parent loan. How many people get led astray in how they think about who is paying what especially when telling others how wonderful their child is?
  • BobcatPhoenixBobcatPhoenix Registered User Posts: 128 Junior Member
    @crimsonmom2019, I tend to agree but that pretty much limits the true "full rides" to D1/2 headcount sports. Even then, there are players on headcount teams without scholarships.

    The number of full rides by your definition in equivalency sports must be quite small; probably limited to in-state athletes at public schools with lower in-state COAs and well-funded programs. Even then, they would most likely be upper class people (PC!) and one of the best players on the team.
  • txspartytxsparty Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    I guess I will piggyback on the original post and hope someone can clarify. My DD HS18 is being recruited to run track. I am hoping that she might be able to combine Merit based aid with a partial Track scholarship to cover full COA or close at one or more D1 schools. She would be conference competitive and near top of schools performers in her events. She also would be eligible for significant merit based aid just on test scores and grades/class standing. From notes above she would meet all three bylaw options. She would not qualify for any need based aid. She also would be competing for a Full Tuition ++ near full ride competitive scholarship at this school. Would NCAA restrict stacking merit based with athletic or would it be school based and specific? we are just getting into this as her first choice and full focus is on the Naval Academy so the scholarship portion is not applicable. Any info would be much appreciated.
  • planitplanit Registered User Posts: 158 Junior Member
    "Full ride" was defined to us, by two offering coaches, as out-of-state tuition for the state school (one was private), including summers if academically necessary, as would be the case for some majors, fees, room and board (but not room during summer, though training is included--don't know about food during the summer) and books. It is 88% of the COA at one of the schools, because COA includes travel to and from campus, spending money, etc. I don't know what % of COA it is at the other school. Neither of the schools that have offered my daughter full rides has any idea about our finances, and neither school included academic money. One told us that any automatic academic money for which she qualified would go towards the 12% of COA that she could get in cash, but she doesn't need that, so I don't care.
    I have zero reason to misrepresent what she's been offered on here, so believe me or not, but our experience is that there are full rides to be had in equivalency sports. It looks to me like a student who qualifies for automatic merit money would have an even easier time of cobbling together a full ride at a number of schools.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,543 Senior Member
    Would NCAA restrict stacking merit based with athletic or would it be school based and specific?

    The NCAA doesn't restrict it as long as the rule is followed, but the school might. You can ask the coach, or you can ask the financial aid people. They'd know (or at least one will know; I have a person in our FA office that seems to do the athletes). Some schools just don't want to deal with reporting in different ways.

    I just got an email today from a friend whose son received athletic aid and the school doesn't allow any stacking with merit aid. Just their policy.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,543 Senior Member
    One told us that any automatic academic money for which she qualified would go towards the 12% of COA that she could get in cash, but she doesn't need that, so I don't care.

    That would be up to the school and what they allow the merit money to be used for. The athletic money cannot cover the items you listed (travel, spending money, stuff at the bookstore that's not books) unless it is an official stipend at a school giving them to all athletes or all headcount athletes.

    At my daughter's school, merit money can only be used for tuition and it is applied first. There are some other grants that can be used for fees and other billed costs (student fees, room and board). Basically, the school's not giving you cash, even athletic funds. When my daughter lived on campus, it was no problem using up the merit and athletic money for billed costs, but now that she lives off campus, they won't give her money for rent or food. NCAA allows it, but the school doesn't.
  • toomanyteenstoomanyteens Registered User Posts: 923 Member
    My daughter was offered a "full ride" - but it was basically stacking generous academic $ with athletic $ making up the difference.
  • OnTrack2013OnTrack2013 Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    txsparty – How scholarships can be stacked does seem to vary by school, but my S, a D1 track athlete currently receives just as you described, merit aid applied to tuition (based on and dependent on grades) and then athletic aid applied to the balance after that. He does not have a “full ride” by any of the previous definitions, but based on our experience it is common to stack scholarships.

    He got several offers of this type (combined academic and athletic monies) both when he came out of hs and then again when he transferred after freshman year. We did not qualify for need based aid, so not sure how that would have come into the mix.

    The only thing to be aware of is that while the coach will know what academic money your D will likely receive, the dollars are awarded by Admissions at a different time and through a different process than athletic money. So in all cases we had to wait to hear back from two different departments at each of the schools to understand what the total picture would be.
This discussion has been closed.