NCAA Financial Aid Policy
Financial Aid Policy
Policy on the Reduction or Cancellation
Athletically Based Financial Aid
Definition of Key Terms
Financial Aid. "Financial aid" is funds provided to a student-athlete from various sources to pay or assist in paying their cost of education at Western Washington University. As used in NCAA legislation, "financial aid" includes all institutional financial aid and other permissible financial aid as set forth by the NCAA (NCAA Bylaw 15.2.4). To be eligible for financial aid (including federal student loans not based on financial aid eligibility, the student-athlete must make satisfactory academic progress towards a degree as defined in the NCAA Bylaws (Article 14.4) and in Western Washington University's Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (pp. 354-356, 1998-99 University Bulletin).
Athletically Based Financial Aid. A financial aid award made on the basis of the recipient's past performance and overall record, as measured by established criteria of which athletics participation may be a major criterion (NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199).
Award Period. Period set forth in financial aid agreement during which aid is received; may not exceed one academic year without renewal by Western Washington University (NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52).
Reduction or Cancellation of Financial Aid During Award Period. Applies to the decision to decrease or cancel financial aid during the period from the time the student-athlete signs the financial aid award letter until the conclusion of the period set forth in the financial aid agreement, for reasons related to the conditions set forth in the NCAA Bylaws (NCAA Bylaw 184.108.40.206.2).
Renewal of Financial Aid. Applies to the decision to renew or not renew financial aid at the conclusion of the award period. Financial aid may be renewed annually by a decision of Western Washington University, not to exceed time and aid limits set by the NCAA. Renewal is not automatic. The decision to renew, reduce, increase or not renew financial aid is made by the Athletic Director, in conjunction with the Head Coach in the sport for which the student-athlete has been awarded financial aid, on or before July 1 of the academic year in which the aid is to be effective, and the student-athlete is informed of the decision by the financial aid office (NCAA Bylaw 220.127.116.11).
Reduction or Cancellation of Financial Aid During Award Period. Any reduction or cancellation of athletically based financial aid during the award period is permissible only if such action is taken for proper cause by the regular disciplinary or financial aid authorities of Western Washington University and the student-athlete has been provided written notice of an opportunity for a hearing.
Western Washington University may not decrease a student-athlete's financial aid from the time the student-athlete signs the financial aid award letter until the conclusion of the period set forth in the financial aid agreement, except when the recipient:
- Fraudulently misrepresents any information on an application, letter of intent or financial aid agreement; or
- Engages in serious misconduct warranting substantial disciplinary penalty as determined by Western Washington University's regular student disciplinary authority; or
- Voluntarily withdraws from a sport at any time for personal reasons; however, the recipient's financial aid may not be awarded to another student-athlete in the term in which the financial aid was reduced or canceled (NCAA Bylaw 15.3.4)
Financial aid may not be decreased or canceled during the award period on the basis of athletics ability, performance or contribution to the team's success, because of injury that prevents the recipient from participating in athletics, or for any other athletics reason (NCAA Bylaw 18.104.22.168).
Renewal of Financial Aid. The renewal of institutional financial aid based in any degree on athletics ability shall be made on or before July 1 prior to the academic year in which it is to be effective. Western Washington University shall promptly notify in writing each student-athlete who received an award the previous academic year and who has eligibility remaining in the sport in which financial aid was awarded the previous academic year whether the grant has been renewed, reduced, or not renewed for the ensuing academic year. Notification of financial aid renewals, reductions, and non renewals must come from the financial aid office and not from the athletic department.
If it decides to reduce or cancel financial aid during the award period, or to not renew or reduce financial aid for the ensuing academic year, Western Washington University shall inform the student-athlete in writing that he or she, upon written request, shall be provided a hearing before the financial aid committee. The Faculty Athletics Representative shall receive a copy of letter.
A student-athlete wishing to appeal a decision to cancel, reduce or not renew athletically based financial aid must do so in writing. The written request shall include:
- The student-athlete's name, student number, year in school, sport;
- Type and amount of previous financial aid;
- Reasons for believing that the decision was unfair, including names of institutional staff members (e.g., coach, financial aid officer) with whom the student-athlete has discussed the aid; and
- Copies of any relevant documents (e.g., letter regarding initial award of athletics grant).
The student-athlete should submit these materials to the financial aid office within fifteen (15) days of receiving written notification of the action to reduce or not renew financial aid. The student-athlete may request an in-person hearing before the financial aid appeals committee. The financial aid appeals committee shall conduct a hearing within fifteen (15) days of receiving a written request for such a hearing unless all parties agree to a delay.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the chair of the financial aid appeals committee shall in writing:
- Request additional information, to be considered at a future hearing, or
- Find that there is insufficient cause to rescind the decision to reduce or not renew financial aid, or
- Find that there is sufficient cause to modify or overrule the decision to reduce or not renew financial aid. The financial aid is then made available to the student as soon as possible.
The committee's recommendation to rescind, modify, or support the decision to reduce or rescind financial aid is left to a majority decision of the committee. The decision of the financial aid appeals committee is final. There is no appeal beyond the financial aid appeals committee. The student-athlete shall be notified in writing within fifteen (15) days of the committee's final decision. If the student-athlete wishes to discuss the results of the appeal, a meeting with the chair or a designated member of the financial aid appeals committee is arranged.