Colorado State to provide cost-of-attendance stipends for student-athletes

Keegan Pope

Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker has been a big proponent of improving student-athlete welfare. (Photo Courtesy: CSU Athletics)
Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker has been a big proponent of improving student-athlete welfare. (Photo Courtesy: CSU Athletics)

Colorado State University, one of the major players among “Group of Five” schools, took a big step forward with its athletic programs Wednesday.

CSU will begin to provide student-athlete stipends to cover the full cost of attendance beginning with the 2015-16 school year. The additional funding of $654,000 to support scholarship student-athletes comes after recent NCAA legislation intended to improve the overall student-athlete experience was approved.

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CSU will provide approximately $2,400 annually for an in-state full scholarship student-athlete and approximately $3,100 for an out-of-state full scholarship student-athlete.  CSU A which offers 16 Division I sports, funds its allotted 214.1 scholarships each year.

Scholarship athletes in football, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and women’s tennis receive full scholarships, and thus would receive the full $2,400 or $3,100 cost of attendance stipend. Four of those five are considered “revenue sports,” while the tennis team reportedly recently had its funding cut. Scholarship student-athletes in men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, soccer, softball, women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s track and field are eligible to receive partial scholarships, and will receive a percentage of the full cost of attendance stipend equal to the percentage of a full scholarship they receive in agreement with the coach of their program.

The new legislation goes into effect Aug. 1, and student-athletes at Colorado State will begin to receive the additional stipend this fall.

“For decades, a full scholarship has been defined as tuition, room, board, books and fees,” CSU director of athletics Joe Parker said in a press release. “The demands to balance academics and athletics have grown over that period. Most of our students simply do not have time to engage in part-time or summer employment to supplement the costs of their education. The new stipend is important and helps to address the incidental expenses associated with attending CSU.”

The cost-of-attendance stipends now allow CSU to compete stay competitive in terms of recruiting with other Group of Five schools, as well as schools in the Power Five conferences. CSU also opened a nutrition center in Moby Arena in January on the heels of the passage of NCAA legislation allowing student-athletes to receive meals and snacks incidental to practice and competition. With their training schedules, student-athletes can supplement their regular meal plans with nutritional food options between workouts and on the way to and from classes.

During the 2014-15 school year, Colorado State’s combined winning percentage of 81.3% in the revenue-generating sports of football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball ranked No. 1 among all Division I institutions.

Collegian Senior Sports Reporter Keegan Pope can be reached at kpope@collegian.com and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope.