Financial Needs Assessment
Expenses Not Covered
Renewal, Reduction or Non-Renewal
The Compliance Office will work closely with the Financial Aid Office to assure adherence to all applicable NCAA, conference, state, and federal regulations.
Each sport has a specific number of grants-in-aid, according to budgetary restrictions and NCAA maximums. Grants-in-aid are allocated upon the recommendation of the head coach and the approval of the Director of Athletics or designee. The University's Office of Financial Aid awards grants-in-aid based on these recommendations and gives each student-athlete a written document indicating the amount of aid and the terms and conditions of the award (Financial Aid Agreement). Awards are tendered at the appropriate signing dates, as provided by the NCAA.
The Compliance Office will maintain the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics' copies of student-athlete squad lists and will compare departmental records to those in the Financial Aid Office at least once a semester to assure records are accurate. The Compliance Office will also review squad lists with head coaches on a quarterly basis.
The following benefits are considered incidental to athletics participation and therefore permissible for student-athletes to receive (see NCAA Division I Manual for full explanation):
- Meals and housing when dorms are closed.
- Expenses for off campus practice and competition.
- Travel insurance when on sports related trips.
- Complimentary admissions (up to four, with restrictions).
- Expenses for participating in special events.
- Tutoring and counseling.
- Medical benefits related to athletic competition.
- Expenses for eligibility investigation and legal proceedings.
- Expenses related to a permanent disability.
- Other incidental expense waivers (on appeal).
During the recruiting process, prospective student-athletes and their parents/guardians may request a financial need assessment to determine how much financial aid the prospect may be given should the prospect decide to attend Pacific. Before the needs assessment can occur, an Admissions Evaluation must be completed. After the Admissions Evaluation form has been completed and returned, a copy of the signed Admissions Evaluation should be included with the Upcoming Year Estimated Need Assessment Form which should be filled out by the student-athlete and his or her parents and turned into the recruiting coach. The coach will then forward the completed forms to the Financial Aid Office.
In order to initiate a National Letter of Intent (NLI) or Financial Aid Agreement request, head coaches shall submit a completed Coaches Request Form to the Compliance Office. The prospect must be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center and have completed the Amateurism Questionnaire. The Compliance Office will verify that the requested award meets applicable guidelines and budgetary limitations. The document(s) will then be forwarded to the Financial Aid Office for review and approval. Once approved, coaches are responsible for sending NLIs and/or Financial Aid Agreements to prospects. It is permissible to use mailing services such as FedEx and UPS for the purpose of sending the NLIS and/or Financial Aid Agreements.
A university may not waive, pay in advance, or guarantee payment of the following expenses for a prospective student-athlete, unless such benefits conform to institutional policy as it applies to other prospective student-grantees generally:
- The fee for orientation-counseling tests required of all incoming freshmen;
- The fee for pre-admission academic testing;
- Damage deposits for dormitory rooms or fines for damage to University property;
- Library fines;
- Key deposits or replacement of a lost residence hall key;
- Parking fees;
- School supplies such as dictionaries, reference books, pens, notebooks, paper, art supplies, film, etc.;
- Course-related fees (may be paid by the Student-Athlete Special Assistance or Opportunity Fund;
- Late or change of registration fees; or
- Any other pre-enrollment fees required of prospective student-grantees.
In accordance with NCAA rules, an athletics grant-in-aid is awarded for a period of no less than one academic year. Once a student-athlete has been accepted for admission and awarded financial assistance, the University is committed for the term of the original award even if an injury or illness prevents the student-athlete from participating in intercollegiate athletics for any reason.
Awards may only be granted for less than one academic year in accordance with NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199.1.
During the award period, the grant-in-aid may not be reduced or canceled based on:
- the student-athlete's athletic ability, performance, or contribution to a team's success;
- an injury that prevents the student-athlete from participating in athletics; or
- any other athletics reason. [NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52]
During the award period, the athletics grant-in-aid may be reduced or cancelled if the student-athlete:
- renders himself or herself ineligible for intercollegiate competition;
- fraudulently misrepresents any information on an application, letter of intent, or financial aid agreement;
- engages in serious misconduct warranting substantial disciplinary penalty as defined by the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct, the Pacific Student Honor Code, or the University of Pacific Student Code of Conduct; or
- voluntarily withdraws from a sport program.
Any such reduction or cancellation of an athletics grant-in-aid for misconduct as defined by the University of the Pacific Student Code of Conduct, Pacific Student Honor Code or the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct is permissible only if judicial action is taken by the University and/or Pacific Athletics and the student-athlete has had the opportunity for a hearing. Any such reduction or cancellation of a grant-in-aid for misconduct may be appealed through the process denoted below.
The offer and acceptance of athletics aid by a prospective or continuing student-athlete reflects the commitment of both the University and the student-athlete. Just as the University has a responsibility to each student-athlete, the student athlete has a responsibility to make every effort to perform to the best of his or her ability academically and athletically. The Director of Financial Aid, based on the recommendation of the coach with approval by the Director of Athletics, notifies the student-athlete prior to July 1 of the renewal, reduction or non-renewal of an athletics grant-in-aid for the following academic year. Clearly defined expectations regarding renewal or non-renewal will be provided to the student-athlete with all athletic aid agreements.
Each spring, the Compliance Office will provide head coaches with a worksheet that includes his or her sport's total athletics financial aid allocation for the upcoming academic year, the name and student identification number of all returning student-athletes, and each student-athlete's countable athletics aid award for the preceding academic year. The head coach must make an award recommendation for each returning student-athlete and return the form to the Compliance Office by June 15th.
Circumstances Warranting Reduction or Non-renewal of Athletics Financial Aid at the Conclusion of the Term of Award
Reduction or non-renewal of athletics financial aid may be undertaken by Pacific Athletics for, the following reasons:
- Violation of team rules, including training and practice regimen.
- Refusing to participate in an athletics contest when called upon to do so by the coaching staff.
- Engaging in activities, harmful to the student-athlete or to others.
- Violations of standards of good sportsmanship.
- Conduct that violates University, NCAA, Conference and/or Pacific Athletics rules and regulations and/or local, state, and federal laws.
- Deficiency in athletics performance, ability or effort.
At the beginning of each academic year, all team members will receive team rules relating to training, practice, competition, and deportment, including those that may affect an athletics financial aid renewal. At the beginning of each academic year, the guidelines set forth in this document, "Athletics Grants-In-Aid Policy," which alert financial aid recipients to the financial aid appeal procedures, will be provided to each student-athlete via the Student-Athlete Handbook.
In cases in which a coach considers recommendation of the reduction or non-renewal of a grant-in-aid, the head coach and/or Director of Athletics must provide a clear, unambiguous written warning to the student-athlete that non-renewal or reduction in aid is being considered, indicating the specific reasons for the action. The written warning must be provided in advance of the decision to reduce or not renew aid, so that there is sufficient opportunity for the student-athlete to meet the expectations of the head coach and/or Director of Athletics as expressed in the written warning.
Although non-renewal of aid should be the last option considered, if the decision is ultimately made by the head coach and/or Director of Athletics to reduce or not renew athletics financial aid, the coach and/or Director of Athletics shall provide the student-athlete with a statement of particulars in writing, outlining in detail the reasons for non-renewal. A statement outlining the appeals process shall be provided to the student-athlete at the time he or she receives formal notice of reduction or non-renewal of athletic aid from the Director of Financial Aid. A copy of that letter shall also be sent to the Faculty Athletics Representative. The notification of reduction or non-renewal of athletic aid must be sent to the student-athlete prior to July 1.
A decision to reduce or not renew an athletics grant-in-aid may be appealed. If the student-athlete elects to appeal, the student-athlete will provide the Appeals Committee a written statement explaining the reasons why their athletics aid should not be reduced or not renewed. The written statement provided to the student-athlete outlining the reasons for non-renewal will also be submitted to the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee may seek additional written clarification of issues raised in these documents. The head coach and/or Director of Athletics and the student-athlete shall have the right to respond to any new issues raised during the appeals process.
In considering any such appeals, the Appeals Committee deliberations will be governed by the understanding that: (1) the University is under no contractual obligation to renew an athletics grant-in-aid from year-to-year; (2) notwithstanding point (1), it is the customary practice of the University to renew the athletic grants-in-aid for student- athletes who comply with the conditions for initial awards set forth in Section a above.
In reaching its decision, the Appeals Committee may review both procedural and substantive issues. The committee will seek to determine:
(1) whether the procedures were correctly followed. Specifically, were the expectations of the coach and/or Director of Athletics sufficiently clear and communicated in a manner that the student-athlete should have understood them, appreciated the significance of a failure to comply with them, and provided sufficient opportunity to meet them?
(2) whether these expectations were reasonable or unreasonable. Specifically, were the expectations reasonably related to the requisites of successful team and/or individual performance or proper team and/or individual conduct?
If, in the judgment of the Appeals Committee, these requirements of due process and content have been met, then the recommendation of the coach and/or Director of Athletics will be affirmed. If, in the judgment of the Committee, these standards were not met, the Appeals Committee may mandate a renewal of the athletics grant-in-aid under such conditions and for such a time period as it deems appropriate, not to exceed one academic year. Such a renewal will customarily include the requirement that the student-athlete provide service to Pacific Athletics in lieu of participation in a sport program. Decisions involving student-athlete participation in sport programs are made by head coaches and the Director of Athletics and are not subject to appeal through this process.
It is recommended that the Appeals Committee consist of:
- Two (2) representatives from the Office of Financial Aid
- Two (2) faculty members, at least one of the faculty members should be a current or former member of the Athletics Advisory Board
- One (1) student-athlete who is a current member of the PSAC
Precautions will be taken to avoid any conflicts of interest between the student-athlete and committee members. The convener will provide the student-athlete with the names of the faculty and student members of the committee. If the student-athlete perceives a conflict of interest, he or she may discuss those concerns with the convener.
Student-athletes who receive any form of financial assistance other than parental support or institutional financial aid (e.g., hometown scholarship) are required to complete an Outside Aid Form. Incoming student-athletes will be provided an Outside Aid Form at the time they receive their NLI and/or initial Financial Aid Agreement.
Returning student-athletes will be provided an Outside Aid Form during renewals. The Outside Aid Form documents criteria for outside awards, allowing the Compliance Office and Financial Aid Office to determine whether specific awards must be counted against a team's financial aid limit.
Pacific typically does not grant fifth-year athletics aid awards. In some extreme circumstances, though, a renewal for a fifth year of aid will be considered. For that to happen, the student-athlete who has completed his or her athletics eligibility should submit a Fifth-Year Athletics Financial Aid Application Form, which includes the coach's signature of approval to the Compliance Office. The Director of Athletics must approve the application. Approved applications require the student-athlete to work in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for a set number of weekly hours.
Athletically-related financial aid for summer tuition is available on a limited basis for student-athletes to enroll in summer session courses. Since the supply of summer athletics financial aid is limited, some qualifying applicants may not receive an award, and financial aid will not be available for all courses. Student-athletes receiving summer aid normally have coverage for one or two courses per summer. Pacific Athletics provides these awards in order to assist student-athletes in meeting expected graduation dates (usually four years) and to assist those who have worked diligently to meet continuing eligibility requirements during the regular academic year, but have remaining deficiencies.
NCAA Bylaws require that summer athletics financial aid does not exceed the proportion in which athletics aid was awarded during the academic year just completed; e.g., if a student-athlete received half of a full athletics grant in the regular academic year, he or she could not receive more than half of a full summer grant.
In April of each year, interested student-athletes should obtain summer athletics financial aid applications from the Compliance Office. Completed forms should be returned to the Compliance Office in a timely manner in order to be considered. Consideration for summer athletics aid is based mainly on the reason for needing summer courses (e.g., degree progress, eligibility) and on the availability of funds. Additionally, evidence of responsible and conscientious academic performance during the preceding academic year and/or of a "good faith effort" to make satisfactory progress towards graduation will also be considered. Such efforts shall be judged primarily, but not exclusively, by a student-athlete's academic planning, consultation with faculty adviser, and adherence to a degree plan.
Please note, if a student-athlete chooses to drop a summer school class for which he or she is receiving athletics aid, or if a student-athlete fails a summer course, the student-athlete will be responsible for paying for the class (except in extenuating circumstances).
Student-athletes who wish to enroll in and receive credit for summer school classes offered by another university must obtain a Concurrent Enrollment Petition from the Admissions Office. The form should be completed and submitted before the student-athlete begins the course, preferably by May 1, or as soon as the course information is available. Pacific cannot award financial aid for such courses, and grades from those courses will not be included in the student's Pacific grade-point average used for eligibility purposes.