If I had a dollar for every time I hear, “He got a scholarship to go to “Insert Division III school name here.” Of course, when you correct the person they say, “Well, you know, they didn’t give athletic scholarship, but they helped him out with financial aid.” That is an even more egregious statement.There are only two ways to get financial assistance at the Division III level: Need-Based Aid and Merit-based Aid.
Federal student aid is need–based. That means it doesn’t discriminate by any factor apart from financial need. Eligibility is based solely on the assets and income of the prospective student and his or her family. Factors such as test scores or athletic ability have no bearing on any aid designated need-based.
On the other side of the coin is merit-based aid. Merit includes a variety of talents and interests: academic, artistic, athletic, and the list goes on. Assuming need is not a condition. A student with extensive assets and income is just as entitled to a merit-based award as a student with limited assets and income.
Now, this is public information and very accessible to anyone with Google. What gets misconstrued is the fact that coaches have influence over the financial aid or merit process. Coaches can simply guide you down the right path to find Need-based Aid or Merit-based Aid at their institution. Both of these forms of Aid are fairly straight forward. There are grades and financial thresholds in place at each institution that qualify and quantify the eligibility for a particular candidate.
How do I find out what it will cost?
1. Go to the school website and click to their ‘Tuition and Financial Aid’ page usually located within the Undergraduate Admissions section. Each school might have a different title for their website sections, but this should point you in the right direction.
2. Locate the “Net Price Calculator” (Here is a link to the Harvard NPC) within the web page. The Net Price Calculator will give you the Net Price that your family is expected to pay after grants and scholarship. This will give you an extremely accurate idea of what each college will cost.
TIP: We strongly suggest filling out the FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid). This form will determine your eligibility for Federal Financial Aid.