Full Cost of Attendance Scholarships and College Choice: Evidence from NCAA Football
Journal of Sports Economics, 2018, Vol. 19(7) 977-989.
12 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2015 Last revised: 16 Sep 2018
Date Written: September 4, 2015
In 2015, NCAA Division I schools were permitted to cover the “full cost of attendance” as a part of athletic scholarships for the first time. This policy change allowed schools to provide modest living stipends to its athletes. Each school has autonomy to set its cost-of-attendance allowance in accordance with federal guidelines, and the amounts vary considerably from school to school. Differences in cost-of-attendance allotments across schools have the potential to affect the allocation of talent, with higher stipends attracting better student-athletes. Using recently-published cost-of-attendance data, we estimate the impact of cost-of-attendance allowances on college football recruiting. Estimates reveal that cost-of-attendance scholarship allowances were positively associated with football recruiting quality immediately following their implementation, indicating that the modest differences in stipends swayed student-athletes’ college choice. This finding has implications for non-student-athletes whose financial aid is affected by the estimated cost of attendance.
Keywords: scholarships, higher education, student-athletes, NCAA, financial aid, competition
JEL Classification: I23, J42, Z22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation