NCAA Athlete Pay Confounds Financial Aid Forms and Pell Grant Awards

"Starting at midnight on July 1, when name, image and likeness rights officially went into effect, college athletes across the country began announcing a flurry of deals—ranging from social media endorsements to paid autograph-signing sessions. Apparel lines were launched; unpaid off-field endeavors turned into moneymakers. Each deal that pays, though, also comes with financial implications, particularly for college athletes receiving need-based financial aid," Sportico reports. 

..."Federal need-based aid is awarded using information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which most schools also use in their own financial aid decision-making. FAFSA forms use two-years-prior income information, meaning money earned, say, during a college athlete’s freshman year won’t affect their financial aid profile until their junior year. Similarly, today’s juniors and seniors shouldn’t be affected from a financial aid standpoint by NIL income they earn now, based on their FAFSA forms, but even then that might not be the case in this complicated financial web.

'There are rules [that apply] if the institution has conflicting information about a student’s level of income,' National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators director of policy analysis Karen McCarthy explained. 'It’s a really gray area as to what is considered conflicting information, but if people have very public financial situations that the school knows about, is that something that needs to be taken into account for right now? We’re not really sure how that will all play out.'"

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 7/6/2021

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