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Division III Financial Aid Regulation Compliance

Division III NCAA Financial Aid Regulation Compliance

NCAA Division III Bylaw 15.4.1:

15.4.1 Consistent Financial Aid Package.The composition of the financial aid package offered to a student-athlete shall be consistent with the established policy of the institution’s financial aid office, regular institutional agency, office or committee for all students and shall meet all of the following criteria: Financial Aid Reporting Process. An institution shall submit an annual report that includes data regarding the financial aid packages awarded by the institution to freshmen and incoming transfer studentathletes and to other incoming students. The policies and procedures of the financial aid reporting process shall be established by the Financial Aid Committee and subject to approval by the Management Council. (Source:  NCAA Division III Regulations)

Advice from the NCAA on Complying with Division III Bylaw 15.4.1:

  1. The WALL approach to complying with the NCAA Division 3 Athletics is INEFFECTVE
    The “wall” refers to a technique used by campuses whereby the financial aid office and the admissions office do not communicate directly at all
    • The NCAA says “the wall does not work”
      • ineffective at preventing violations
    • Communication Approach: Create an open dialogue (‘holistic approach’) between the various departments
      • BRING TOGETHER those who have a piece of financial aid / determining aid
      • More communication rather than operating in ‘silos’ is a better approach
  2. DO NOT chase the variance: DO NOT institute policies at the institution level to try to avoid a level one review
  3. Have CLEAR POLICIES AND PROCEDURES documenting and publicizing the rule: clearly document that financial aid committee CANNOT consider athletics
  4. Complete Self-assessment: on-going self-monitoring
    • Try the two-part testto Determine if athletics considered in financial aid award:
      1. What is the policy/procedure
      2. What is the policy/procedure impact on financial aid gifts
  5. Use NCAA Website Resources

Compliance Steps of NCAA Bylaw 15.4.1:

*It is always best practice to touch base with your campus counsel when you have questions related to complying with this NCAA regulation and any others*

Level I Review and Reporting: Campus Annual Report Submission and Level I Review

Each year, campus Financial Aid departments are required to submit data to the NCAA, and the NCAA scrutinizes the submitted data

Mandated Reporting - Stage 1

NCAA Level II Review: When the Level I data triggers a finding, the NCAA will complete a Level II Review

Mandated Reporting - Level 2


NACUA Note, February 15, 2013, written by SUNY Associate Counsel Andrea Stagg and Justin P. Sievert, Senior Counsel to the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm

NCAA DIVISION III FINANCIAL AID REPORTING PROCESS, Memo on specifics of 15.4.1 Bylaw, May 10, 2011

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The information contained on the SUNY Compliance website is for general campus guidance only and is not intended, nor can be relied upon, as legal advice or the imposition on SUNY campuses of specific policies or requirements. The site is intended to be an informational-only clearinghouse for some of the laws, rules, and regulations that may impact the State University of New York’s campuses. Additionally, given the rapid, changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be delays or omissions contained on this site which therefore cannot be relied upon as complete. For complete compliance information, consult your campus compliance officials. For legal advice, consult your lawyer.