Everyone loves seeing a heartwarming video where a coach surprises their walk-on player with a full-ride scholarship. There are not many other feel-good stories that can beat a moment when someone's teammates are equally excited about the goals one has accomplished by earning a scholarship.
But what happens after the camera is turned off? It is not clarified if he gets the money right away, how long the scholarship will last, or if they will be reimbursed for the semesters in which they were not on scholarship. This article will discuss the logistics of a surprise scholarship and how long it takes for a walk-on to officially turn into a scholarship athlete.
When does the the scholarships start?
When a walk-on earns a scholarship, they will not reap the rewards until the following semester. Any scholarship given to a student after the add/drop day for the specific college will not become active until the next semester.
For example, a player who has a tuition of $10,000 for the fall semester and has zero scholarship at the time will pay their full tuition. If that same player gets a surprising full-ride scholarship after the add/drop date, they will still have to pay the $10,000 for the fall semester because the scholarship will not be available for use. When the spring semester comes around, they will no longer have to pay anything because their full scholarship will be active.
Are they reimbursed for some past semesters?
A student-athlete who receives a full scholarship later into the year can not be reimbursed for their past semesters. The reason for this is because the scholarship will not start until the following semester. Anything that has been paid to the school is final and cannot be reimbursed.
However, if a student earns a scholarship amount over the price of tuition, they will be refunded for the overpaid amount. A refund can be used in any fashion a student wants. If they want to buy video games or a new flat screen, they may choose to do so, but if they have student loans, they can begin to pay those off with their refund money.
Scholarships has specific lengths
Scholarships have specific lengths. They are contracts. A scholarship could be for all four years, or it could be for one semester at a time or one year. Most scholarships are for one year at a time, but multi-year offers are becoming more common.
It is always important to read your scholarship offer and understand the rules and guidelines. A verbal offer from a coach is not a binding agreement. Ensure a national letter of intent, or a scholarship form from the schools' compliance office, is signed to guarantee your scholarship.