Financial Aid: Hearing Opportunity for Cancellation, Non-renewal or Reduction of Athletic Aid
Athletic grants-in-aid are awarded by Kennesaw State University (KSU) for a term of a designated length not to exceed one (1) academic year in accordance with regulations established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA has issued specific guidelines describing the circumstances under which an athletic grant-in-aid can be canceled during the term of the award. The following paragraphs detail the policies established by KSU relating to the cancellation, nonrenewal or reduction in size of an athletic grant-in-aid and the steps that a student-athlete may take to appeal changes in grant-in-aid status. These policies are established by KSU. Changes to the policy may be made at any time at the discretion of KSU.
At the beginning of each academic year, all new team members should receive team rules relating to training, practice, and competition, including those that may affect grant-in-aid renewal. At the beginning of each academic year, the guidelines set forth in this document, which alert grant-in-aid recipients to the grant-in-aid appeal procedures, shall be discussed with the student-athletes with the opportunity provided to ask questions.
Circumstances Warranting Nonrenewal or Reduction of an Athletic Grant-In-Aid at the Conclusion of the Term of Award
Reasons that a nonrenewal, cancellation or reduction of a student-athlete’s athletic grant-in-aid may be undertaken by KSU include, but are not limited to, the following actions of the student-athlete:
- Rendering himself or herself academically ineligible for intercollegiate competition;
- Fraudulently misrepresenting any information on an application, letter of intent or financial aid agreement;
- Engages in misconduct warranting disciplinary penalty;
- Voluntarily withdraws from a sport for personal reasons;
- Violation of team rules, and/or training and practice regimen;
- Failure to participate in athletic contest when called upon to do so by the coaching staff;
- Engaging in activities at athletic training, practice, contest or other sites that are harmful to the student-athlete or to others;
- Violations of standards of good sportsmanship as identified by the Atlantic Sun and the NCAA.
- Destruction or defacement of Institutional property;
- Conduct that violates the athletics departments and KSU’s rules and regulations;
- Conduct that violates NCAA or Atlantic Sun rules.
Procedures Governing Nonrenewal or Reduction of Athletic Grant-In-Aid at the Conclusion of the Period of the Award
- Nonrenewal or Reduction Based on Items A-K: To serve as grounds for nonrenewal or reduction of an athletic grant-in-aid, the circumstances listed above in items A-K must be documented by the coaching staff and/or another institutional staff member as they occur. Documentation shall include the name of the student-athlete and the date and circumstances of the infraction. The head coach must provide the student-athlete with written notification within ten (10) days prior to the conclusion of the award or prior to the conclusion of the student-athlete’s athletic season verifying that the student-athlete was made aware of the potential reduction or cancellation of athletic grant-in-aid for the subsequent academic year (or semester).
Circumstances Warranting Cancellation or Reduction of an Athletic Grant-In-Aid During the Term of Award
Reasons that a cancellation or reduction of a student-athlete’s athletic grant-in-aid may be undertaken by the KSU during the period of the award include the following actions of the student-athlete:
- Rendering himself or herself academically ineligible for intercollegiate competition;
- Fraudulently misrepresenting any information on an application, letter of intent or financial aid agreement (either by not reporting for practice or after making only token appearances as determined by the institution);
- Engages in serious misconduct warranting substantial disciplinary penalty (as determined by the universities regular student disciplinary authority); or
- Voluntarily withdraws from a sport for personal reasons.
Procedures Governing Cancellation or Reduction of Athletic Grant-In-Aid during the Period of the Award
- Cancellation or Reduction Based on Items A-D: To serve as grounds for cancellation
or reduction of an athletic grant-in-aid, the circumstances listed above in items
A-D must be documented by the coaching staff and/or another institutional staff member
as they occur. Documentation shall include the name of the student-athlete and the
date and circumstances of the infraction(s). The head coach must provide the student-athlete
with written notification of the cancellation of the award within ten (10) days of
the head coach notifying the student-athlete of the change in his/her grant-in-aid
status. The Office of Student Financial Aid will notify the student-athlete in writing
that his/her athletics aid has been cancelled or reduced and that he/she has a right
to appeal the decision.
Student Appeal of Cancellation, Nonrenewal or Reduction of Athletic Grant-In-Aid to the KSU Athletic Appeals Committee
A student-athlete may appeal to the KSU Athletic Appeals Committee (KAAC): a decision by the head coach and/or athletics director to cancel, not to renew or to reduce the amount of an athletic grant-in-aid. Such an appeal must be initiated within ten (10) days of the Office of Financial Aid notifying the student of the change in grant-in-aid status. The desire to appeal must be communicated in writing to the director of OSFA. It shall not be the responsibility of the Athletics Director or OSFA to seek out 3 statements, evidence, or any other documentation pertinent to the decision. If called upon, the burden shall be upon the student and/or coach to prove his or her case by a preponderance of evidence.
The KAAC shall complete its review of a student’s appeal of a grant-in-aid decision within a reasonable time frame, reporting the decision in writing to the involved student, coach, Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance and the Athletics Director.
Procedures for reaching a decision shall be at the discretion of the KSAC.
- The student will submit an appeal in writing , addressed to the “Kennesaw State University
Athletic Appeals Committee,” and delivered to the Financial Aid Office that includes:
- The student’s name, KSU ID#, sport;
- Reasons for believing that the decision was unfair;
- Copies of any relevant documents;
- The Athletics Department will then be asked to submit written documentation to support their reason for cancelling or reducing the Athletics Grant-in-Aid.
Students who fail to submit the appropriate written appeal within the 10 day deadline will forfeit his/her appeal opportunity.
Once the Appeal Committee has met, one of two actions is taken:
- If the Athletic Appeals Committee finds that the decision to cancel, reduce or not
renew aid was not warranted and/or justified, the appeal is approved and the Athletics
Grant-in-Aid is reinstated for the following semester and/or academic year.
- If the Athletic Appeals Committee finds that the decision to cancel, reduce or not renew aid was warranted and/or justified, the appeal is denied and the Athletics Grant-in-Aid is cancelled, reduced or not renewed for the semester and/or academic year the aid was scheduled to be awarded.
After the committee meeting, the decision of the Appeals Committee will be emailed to the student’s email address on file with KSU and the Athletic Department will also be notified.
The decision of the Athletic Appeals Committee is final.
Athletic Grant-In-Aid Hearing Guidelines
- The hearing shall be under the control of the Committee
- The committee may make a record of the hearing
- Any witness called may stay in the hearing only during the witness’s testimony, unless otherwise directed by the chair.
- The parties should address their comments and questions to the committee and not directly to each other or to any witnesses, except with the permission of the committee
- The Department of Athletics representative will first present information regarding the decision.
- The Department of Athletics’ representative may present witnesses in support of his or her position, and may offer documentary exhibits to the committee.
- The student-athlete will present information responding to the decision. The student-athlete may present witnesses in support of his or her position, and may offer documentary exhibits to the committee.
- The Department of Athletics’ representative may respond to the information presented.The student may respond.
- Members of the committee may ask questions at any time with an additional opportunity for closing questions.
- The committee may briefly recess to discuss the relevance of a witness or supporting documentation, and may decline to hear any testimonies or consider any supporting documents if the committee deems it to be, irrelevant, immaterial, unduly redundant, or inappropriate.
- The committee will make the decision to close the discussion and excuse everyone. Following deliberation, the committee will then render a decision in writing.
- The committee shall retain all correspondence (including email) and documents pertaining to the hearing in accordance with an approved records-retention schedule. The committee shall compile the hearing records into an official record, with separately marked sections for procedural correspondence, exhibits from the student-athlete, and exhibits from the Department of Athletics. The official record shall be prefaced with a table of contents that clearly identifies each document. The official record shall be kept on file in the Office of Student Financial Aid and available upon request.
Procedure for Financial Aid Appeal for Athletics
A Financial Aid Appeal Hearing is an Administrative Procedure, not a legal procedure. As such, the following procedures will be utilized.
- By April 5th, AADC and Financial Aid Liaison will remind Head Coaches that non-renewals are due by May 15th. Spring sports (Baseball, Lacrosse, Softball, Track) are not due at this time.
- Head Coach completes Request for National Letter of Intent/Athletic Scholarship form and submits to Compliance Office. Compliance will garner appropriate signatures from program administrator and business office. It is recommended that the coach discuss this action with program administrator prior to submitting this request to the Compliance Office;
- The Office of Financial Aid is notified in writing of the decision made by the Athletic Department.
- AADC submits (email) requests of non-renewal to Financial Aid Liaison;
- Financial Aid Liaison will prepare non-renewal letters, including financial aid policy on appeal hearings per NCAA guidelines. This information will be sent via email and/or mail from the Office of Student Financial Aid Services. Copy of non-renewal letter will be sent to AADC and Head Coach;
- Financial Aid Liaison will monitor request for hearing and notify AADC and Head Coach whether a hearing has been requested or not.
- This request must be made by the deadline indicated in the appeal letter.
- The student will be asked to prepare a written appeal relating why the Athletic Scholarship should not be altered. The student may attach supporting documents and statements from other individuals for review by Appeals Committee.
- The Athletic Department will be asked to prepare a written statement relating why the Athletic Scholarship should be reduced or canceled. The Athletic Department may attach supporting documents and statements from other individuals for review by the Appeals Committee.
- All written materials must be provided at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled hearing so all members of the Appeals Committee will have time to adequately prepare
- The student and the representative from the Athletic Department may be present during all parts of the hearing except during the committee’s deliberation. The student and the Athletic Department may have a support person but this individual cannot participate in the hearing process*.
- All hearings are closed and all hearing information shall remain confidential. The
appeal hearing will generally proceed in the following manner:
- The participating individuals will be introduced in the following order; the committee, the student, the Athletic Department’s representative, and any support persons. The committee chair will ask if any participants have questions concerning procedures related to the hearing.
- Both the student and the Athletic Department’s representative will be given five minutes to summarize the major points from their written statements.
- The committee will direct questions to the student or the Athletic Department’s representative.
- The committee will determine when all appropriate information has been heard and call for deliberation. All persons are then excused from the hearing room except the committee members.
- The committee deliberates in executive session until a decision is made. The decision is based on the preponderance of evidence and is decided by a simple majority vote.
- The student will be notified of the committee’s decision as soon as possible following conclusion of the committee’s deliberations.
- The decision of the committee shall be the final appeal related to the student-athletes grant-in-aid award.
- A support person for the student is an individual who is present solely to provide emotional support and/or advice to the student. A support person for the student cannot participate in the hearing process, nor may he/she address any member of the committee of the Athletic Department Representative.
- A representative for the Athletic Department is generally the head coach of the sport in which the student competed as a scholarship athlete. A support person for the Athletic Department cannot participate in the hearing process, nor may he/she address any member of the committee or the student.