Monday, February 6, 2012

Ivy League Athletics

Ivy League colleges don't give athletic scholarships, but as their general level of financial aid has risen, it now competes with athletic scholarships at other schools: Financial Aid Changes Game as Ivy Sports Teams Flourish

"This renaissance in a league known as the Ancient Eight can be traced to something that has nothing to do with sports: new policies that have substantially enhanced financial aid for all admitted students, making it easier to recruit elite athletes, coaches and athletic administrators said.

The Ivy League does not award athletic scholarships, but led by endowment-rich members like Harvard, Yale and Princeton, the conference has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in additional need-based aid — with most of the universities all but eliminating student loans and essentially doubling the size of grants meant for middle-income families.

The financial-aid enhancements have had a profound effect on the quality of athletic recruits. Rosters are now fortified with top athletes who would have turned down the Ivy League in the past because they would have been asked to pay $20,000 to $30,000 per year more than at other colleges.

At most Ivy League institutions, families earning less than about $65,000 annually are now asked to make no contribution to their children’s education. Families making $65,000 to $180,000 might be expected to pay 10 percent to 18 percent of their annual income on a sliding scale. Ten years ago, such families would have been expected to pay almost twice as much, and their child would probably have accumulated a debt of about $25,000 after four years.

Another special thing about the Ivy League, aside from their rule against awarding athletic scholarships, is that the academic standing of the athletes recruited each year is not supposed to deviate too much from the average of the regular admissions. There is a common method for measuring this, called the Academic Index, which described in this story: Before Recruiting in Ivy League, Applying Some Math

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