NCAA pledges $18.9 million to help schools with cost-of-attendance

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

The NCAA has pledged to help Division I schools pay for cost-of-attendance.

NCAA chief financial officer Kathleen McNeely told USA Today that the association will distribute a total of $18.9 million to its members, meaning schools will receive around $55,000 each.

The NCAA Board of Governors approved this new sum of money in January, adding to the more than $500 million already provided to D-I schools and conferences.

From USA Today:

In a separate interview with USA TODAY Sports, McNeely said this pool of money will be in addition to the more than $500 million the association now annually distributes to Division I schools and conferences. It will begin in the NCAA’s 2015-16 fiscal year, which starts Sept. 1, and in the future will receive the annual inflationary increases that the NCAA’s other revenue distribution pools receive. The first payments from the new fund will occur in June 2016, McNeely said.

McNeely said the fund is being financed through cuts elsewhere in the association’s operating budget and through reallocation of money that had been going to an NCAA endowment fund that had grown to more than $385 million as of the end of the NCAA’s 2014 fiscal year and has been capped for now.

The NCAA has placed certain restrictions on the use for the money from the new fund. For example, McNeely said athletic departments could only put this money toward student assistance (helping athletes pay for personal items) or academic enhancement funds (for academic support programs) as opposed to general operating expenses or for facilities.

Providing cost-of-attendance goes beyond what had been provided in athletic scholarships – room, board, books and other fees. Now schools from power five conferences can cover the full cost of attending a school for student-athletes. With cost-of-attendance in play, plus the NCAA’s decision to provide increased access to food, that extra $55,000 could go a long way for some programs.

“For some institutions (cost of attendance and the additional food) was a lot of money and a challenge on their budget,” McNeely said.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!