▪ The five major conferences in college athletics (Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, ACC) approved a rule allowing schools to cover the full cost of attendance for scholarship athletes. Boise State, in the Mountain West, a conference outside the five majors that isn’t obligated to provide stipends, approved it shortly after to begin with the 2015-16 academic year.
The NCAA defines the stipends as “the additional funds are intended to cover the real costs of attending college not covered by the previous definition of a full scholarship, which included tuition, room and board, required fees and books.”
Student-athletes already received approximately $790 per month in their scholarship checks to cover room and board.
▪ Boise State athletes receive the stipend checks monthly, for 10 months, from August to May. The two summer months are not covered. There are four criteria that athletes fall under, with varying stipends.
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According to Boise State Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Matt Brewer, the typical check, which can vary depending on if the student-athlete has any fees or needs to pay for their own insurance, are: $332 (on campus, in-state); $354 (on campus, out of state); $362 (off campus, in-state) and $399 (off campus, out of state).
▪ The annual cost to Boise State is $750,000 to $1 million per year, Athletic Director Curt Apsey said, covering more than 200 scholarship athletes. Some of that money is covered by stadium naming rights fees and media contracts, and also has been included as part of fundraising efforts.
“The (Bronco Athletic Association) has been able to raise quite a bit to help cover that. We’ve made it a point to explain how this helps the student-athlete as part of their experience,” Apsey said.
▪ Now in its fourth semester available to athletes, recruits have begun to add that to the checklist of questions when looking into a program. Junior football player David Moa said when he hosted one this winter, the recruit’s family “were kind of relieved” when he told them about the stipends.
▪ The next step in improving the experience is a program called “Bronco Life” that has slowly become more of a focal point. The program discusses with incoming freshmen how to budget the stipends, how to prepare for job interviews, how to speak in public, how to conduct oneself properly at a dinner table and more.
“We’ve started talking about what we can do to develop these young people as persons that can succeed at the next stage of life,” Apsey said.