Boise State student-athletes on full scholarships will receive several thousand more dollars per year beginning with the 2015-16 school year.
The Power Five conferences, through the new autonomy legislation, approved cost-of-attendance scholarships in January. Other schools in Division I are allowed to offer the scholarships if they choose.
Boise State plans to offer full cost-of-attendance scholarships to all of its scholarship athletes, Athletic Director Mark Coyle said. The school doesn’t have a firm number but expects an average around $5,000 per athlete.
Boise State has 230 scholarships — putting the bill at approximately $1.15 million per year based on a $5,000 average.
However, it’s impossible to get a concrete dollar figure. Cost of attendance is computed by the university, not the athletic department, based on a federal formula. It changes every year. It also changes for every athlete because it includes two round-trip flights home for students from distant places.
The number also varies from school to school.
“We just don’t know what that number is yet for us,” Coyle said.
Full cost of attendance includes items like transportation, clothing, laundry, recreation and, on a case-by-case basis, health insurance, a computer, dependent care and other miscellaneous expenses.
The traditional athletic scholarship only covers tuition, fees, room and board and books.
For sports that offer partial scholarships, their scholarship budget will increase by the additional value but they can distribute that money however they like (for example, an athlete with a 50 percent scholarship doesn’t necessarily get 50 percent of the cost-of-attendance addition).
The Broncos will absorb much of the new cost through two major marketing deals announced in the last year. The extension of the multimedia rights deal with Learfield produced $250,000 more annual revenue and the naming-rights agreement for Albertsons Stadium is worth $472,159 to Boise State in 2015-16 (the value increases throughout the deal).
“If you want to compete at the highest level, you’ve got to do it,” Coyle said. “You have no choice. We’re going to have to get creative and fund-raise.”
Football coach Bryan Harsin, who began offering four-year scholarship guarantees instead of the traditional year-to-year offers with the 2015 recruiting class, said he’ll encourage his players to save some of their additional money. That way, they could leave Boise State with a degree, a savings account and no college loans.
“What I do like about that is it’s going to provide financial assistance to some of these guys that need it,” Harsin said. “Some guys, mom and dad can pay for some groceries. Some not. These guys that use their money wisely, they’re going to have additional money. You may walk out of here with X amount of dollars that could be invested, put toward something. That’s a great head start.”
I’ve been working on an in-depth story on how cost-of-attendance scholarships work and how the issue might play out across the Mountain West and the country. The story is scheduled to run Sunday, Feb. 15.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.