Special Assistance Fund

The Athletic Department (Compliance Office) will send completed applications for the Special Assistance Fund to Student Financial Aid. As these are received, they may be processed as follows:

Student-athletes are eligible for the funds if they are:

  • Pell-eligible (except non-qualifiers in their initial year of residence)
  • Receiving countable, athletically related financial aid and have demonstrated financial need*
  • Foreign student-athletes whose need is certified in writing by International Student Services

* Per the NCAA News, August 29, 1997, "need will be defined as initial need: the cost of attendance minus the expected family contribution prior to any athletics related aid or other aid being awarded to the student."

DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY For foreign student-athletes, need must be certified by International Student Services. For domestic student-athletes, determine as follows: Is the student Pell-eligible and/or does he/she have an athletics grant-in-aid (either full or partial)?

  • If no, not eligible
  • If yes, the student-athlete may be eligible

NOTE: If a student has an athletics grant-in-aid but does not have FAFSA data on file, the student must complete the FAFSA before eligibility can be determined.

Students who only have a Pell Grant and an athletics grant-in-aid are eligible even if they are already over-awarded.

Students who have loans in addition to the Pell Grant and an athletics grant-in-aid are subject to federal regulations. These should be handled as follows:

  • If student demonstrates remaining "unmet need" below COA, he/she is eligible.
  • If student has met COA, he/she is not eligible.

If a student is not Pell eligible but has "initial" unmet need and receives an athletics grant-in-aid, the student is eligible for the Special Assistance Fund, not to exceed unmet need.

The following is the NCAA Special Assistance Fund Procedures:

  • The Assistant Athletics Director informs head coaches those eligible student-athletes that have been pre-approved per demonstrated need (Pell Grant) for the clothing allowance.
  • On an ongoing basis throughout the academic year, the Athletic Compliance Office and the Sports Medicine staff distribute money between clothing, medical, dental and emergency.
  • Each February, the Assistant Athletics Director informs head coaches those eligible student-athletes that have been pre-approved per demonstrated need (Pell Grant) for the clothing allowance for the spring semester.
  • On May 1 of each academic year, the Athletic Compliance Office reconciles the Special Assistant Fund Account. Outstanding medical and dental items are computed.

The following is the process by which a student-athlete would receive money from the Special Assistance Fund:

  • Student-athlete submits application to the Athletics Compliance Office.
  • Application sent to Financial Aid Office for confirmation of Pell Grant or needs analysis.
  • The Athletics Compliance Office sends application to Conference Office for authorization.
  • Upon approval from Conference Office, student-athletes will be notified to pick up check for approved use.
  • The Athletic Compliance Office must give prior approval for any dental or medical requests prior to a student-athlete making an appointment or the bill will not be paid through the fund, no exceptions.


  • Medical expenses (except those covered by another insurance program, either institutional or personal);
  • Hearing aids;
  • Vision therapy (i.e., contact lenses, eyeglasses);
  • Off-campus psychological counseling;
  • Travel expenses for parents or student-athletes related to family emergencies;
  • Purchase of expendable academic course supplies (i.e., notebooks, pens) and rental of nonexpendable supplies (i.e., computer equipment, cameras) that are required for all students enrolled in the course, and
  • Articles or clothing and shoes, up to $500 per year / $250 per semester.