NCAA Grapples With Covering Complete Cost of Attendance for Athletes

NCAA Grapples With Covering Complete Cost of Attendance for Athletes 1

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Penn State and Alabama played in September before a sold-out crowd of more than 100,000 and a national television audience. The billion-dollar TV deals that high-profile programs attract have helped fuel calls for paying athletes.

A new NCAA policy to narrow the gap between athletic scholarships and the full cost of attendance has been touted as a way to get more money to needy athletes and bring athletic aid up to the level of academic aid. But a Chronicle analysis shows that Division I athletes, on the whole, appear to be better off financially than the general student body—and financial-aid experts say merit aid hardly ever