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Athletic Financial Aid Appeal Policy and Procedures

In accordance with NCAA regulations 15.3.2.4, the institution's regular financial aid authority shall notify the student-athlete in writing of the opportunity for a hearing when institutional financial aid based in any degree on athletics ability is to be reduced or cancelled during the period of the award, or is reduced or not renewed for the following academic year.

Appeals Committee:

The Appeals Committee is comprised of University administrators, consisting of four voting members plus the Chairperson, who are chosen from a pool of individuals identified by the Director of Financial Aid (who will serve as the Chairperson for the committee). The Chairperson has a duty to maintain an appearance of impartiality and therefore, is not a voting member unless s/he is needed to break a tie vote. None of the committee members report to the Athletics Department.

Student Responsibilities:

1. The student submits the appeal in writing to the Director of Financial Aid within ten business days of the issuance of the Cancellation or Reduction Notification letter.

2. The appeal must include:

  • Student’s name, ID number, year in school, sport;
  • Reasons for believing that the decision was improper, including names of institutional staff members (e.g., coach, Enrollment Services staff, etc.) with whom the student has discussed the aid;
  • Copies of any relevant documents (e.g., letter regarding initial athletics award).
  • Indicate type of appeal process requested (see Options 1 and 2 below)

Option 1: Written Appeal- If the student-athlete elects not to have an in-person hearing, the student should send the written appeal to the Director of Financial aid in the office of Enrollment Services.  The Director shall direct the written appeal to the Student Athletic Financial Aid Appeals Committee within 10 business days of receiving the Appeal from the student-athlete. The office of Enrollment Services shall also notify the Athletic Department of the Appeal and allow two weeks for a response. The chairperson will have the Appeal and the response read by the Committee. The Committee may request additional information if necessary. The Committee will reach a decision within two weeks of receipt of the Appeal and the chairperson will issue the Committee's response to the student-athlete in writing as soon as possible. The Committee's decision is final.

Option 2: In-Person Hearing- The student-athlete shall submit with the Appeal, a written request to the Director of Financial Aid in the office of Enrollment Services for an Appeal hearing before the Athletic Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The request for a hearing must be included with the Appeal and must be received within 10 business days of the date of the Notification Letter. The Athletic Department will be notified and given adequate time to prepare a written response. A hearing will be scheduled within 10 business days of receipt of the appeal, and the student-athlete and Athletic Department will be notified of the time and place. Each side presents its arguments to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee as determined by the chairperson. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will reach a decision and send it in writing within 10 business days to each party. The Committee's decision is final.

In-Person Hearing Guidelines:

1. A hearing will be scheduled within ten business days of receipt of the appeal. The actual date of the hearing may be outside of the ten business day window, but it will generally be scheduled within ten business days of receipt of the appeal.

2. The student and appropriate member(s) of the Athletic Department are notified of the time and place.

3. If the student has additional documentation to submit to the Appeals Committee, it should be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid at least two business days prior to the hearing.

4. If the Athletics representatives have written information to present, it must be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid at least two business days prior to the hearing.

5. Each side privately presents its arguments to the committee.

6. The student-athlete will meet solely with the Committee without any advisors present. Only in instances in which the termination of the athletic aid is related to a criminal matter where the student has been arrested or has a complaint filed against him or her and the matter has not yet been concluded in court, may an attorney be present. The role of the attorney/advisor is limited. He or she is not entitled to address the Appeals Committee or act in any advocacy capacity at the hearing. The student and attorney/advisor can confer at any point during the hearing, but the attorney/advisor may not formulate specific questions, responses, or statements for the student. Violations of the guidelines would result in a warning being issued to the attorney/advisor by the Appeals Committee. Repeated violations may result in the attorney/advisor being asked to leave the hearing room. The Appeals Committee reserves the rights to have an attorney serve as its advisor in appeals in which the student brings an attorney/advisor.

7. Both sides will provide a list of all individuals attending the hearing to the Director of Financial Aid at least two business days prior to the hearing. Individuals not disclosed to the Committee will not be permitted to attend the hearing.

8. If either party has substantive evidence as to why a specific person should not be part of the committee hearing the case, either of these parties will be given an opportunity to present this information to the chair of the committee at the start of the hearing. If the Chairperson deems that there is substantive evidence, the committee member in question will be excused and another member will be substituted. The decision of the Chairperson is final.

 

In-Person Hearing Process:

  • Appeals committee convenes (with no other attendees) and distributes any information it has obtained from the student-athlete or athletic department prior to the meeting.
  • Athletic department representatives are invited into the committee meeting to present its arguments to the Committee. Athletic department representatives are excused.
  • Student-athlete is invited into the committee meeting to present his/her arguments to the Committee. Student-athlete is excused.
  • Committee may invite either the Athletic department representatives and/or the student-athlete back into their meeting to ask additional questions.
  • Committee meets privately to deliberate on the evidence presented until a conclusion is reached by majority vote. The Chairperson votes only in the event of a tie vote by the four other Committee members.

Hearing Process Final Action:

 A written response to the appeal will be sent to the student and other appropriate parties within ten business days after the appeal has been heard. The Committee’s decision is final.







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