Panic at the ACC: How Alston Case, Feds Fueled Financial-Aid Frenzy

"In October, the Atlantic Coast Conference reached out to the Department of Education to solicit guidance about the financial-aid implications of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in NCAA v. Alston, which determined that the NCAA couldn’t cap education-related benefits for athletes," Yahoo News reports. 

..."Prior to Alston, 'it hadn’t really been raised as an issue,' said Karen McCarthy, NASFAA’s vice president of public policy. 'That wording had been in the Federal Student Aid handbook, and we never knew some schools were interpreting it one way and others another way.'

On Nov. 16, after receiving a number of Alston-related questions from its members, NASFAA updated its own online advice 'to reflect a clarification from the Department of Education.' Specifically, NASFAA explained that for college athletes whose only source of federal aid was from Pell Grants, institutional athletic aid did not need to be reduced in circumstances where the total assistance exceeded the cost of attendance. By this determination, schools would not need to offset any new Alston monies to their athletes.

McCarthy says that this update seems to have ameliorated the concerns from most of its members about new benefits for athletes.

'My hunch is there is a common acceptance of what schools can or cannot do,' she said. However, several sources, including McCarthy, acknowledge there remains an open question about partial-scholarship players, who receive other forms of Title IV support besides Pell Grants, and whose total aid with Alston benefits may now exceed their cost of attendance."

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: 1/10/2022

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