Interview with Kelly Webb on Athletic Scholarships

Please tell me a little about yourself. For example, what is your role involving athletic scholarships?

I am the Associate Athletic Director of Compliance. I write out from start to finish, twice a semester, the issue aid agreements for student-athletes. I make sure they follow the rules with their financial aid. Aid agreements are for a year, for the next academic year. It’s my first year here at Mason, I worked the same job at Towson University in Maryland.

How much or how many athletic scholarships are given each year to student athletes?

Every sport is given a budget. We spend about a little over 20 million, and 6.2 million of it goes to scholarships.

How do athletic scholarships differ based on the sport they play and based on the gender? For example, do the men’s basketball team have more scholarships to offer than the women’s basketball team?

There are headcount sports and equivalency sports. Headcount sports are men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball. These sports are fully funded and all student-athletes are given a full scholarship. As for the rest, there are the equivalency sports such as men’s soccer. Men’s soccer is given 9.9 scholarships, where not all are full scholarships. We can only offer the maximum scholarships as allowed by the NCAA.

Are there qualifications that a student must meet in order to receive an athletic scholarship? If so, what are they?

There are rules regulated by the NCAA. Scholarships aren’t taken away by injury, but they can revoke a student’s scholarship.

When a student is under an athletic scholarship, for what are they covered for? For example, are their books paid for? Their housing? Meal plans? How does this work and vary?

A full scholarship covers a standard double room at President’s Park, given a basic independence 100 meal plan and fully covers all university fees. The NCAA allows outside aid up to the cost of attendance outside of the athletic scholarship.

Are their parents traveling expenses to their games paid for? Even in away games?

No. Fees are only covered if it’s related to competition.

Do athletic scholarships vary based on if a student is coming from out-of-state or in-state?

Yes. The value of full scholarships is worth more for out-of-state students than it is for in-state students.

What are the rules for students under an athletic scholarship? For example, are they allowed to join a fraternity or sorority?

There are no rules against this in the NCAA, however, I don’t think they have time for it.

Are they required to meet once or twice a week to study together as a team?

Each coach can regulate their own rules, but all rules are reviewed by the Athletic Director.

Do they have to maintain a certain gpa or strictly A’s and B’s?

They must maintain a 2.0 gpa, which is a little lower than the NCAA rules.

Under what circumstance is an athletic scholarship taken away from a student?

Scholarships are taken away if the student-athlete breaks the law and they become ineligible. However, the student can appeal if the student’s aid is pulled, and this is handled through the Office of Financial Aid. If a student wants to transfer schools, they are voluntarily quitting so their scholarship is not renewed.

Do you think we will have a football team in the future?

No, I don’t think so. The financial commitment is hard for football scholarships. If we did have a football team, we would have to offer around a total of 85 full scholarships, and that alone costs about 2 million.

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