The NCAA Board of Governors have earmarked $200 million to be distributed to Division I schools for funding student-athlete benefits, the NCAA announced Thursday.
The one-time distribution of funds will be given to the schools in spring 2017. Athletic departments can use the money for funding academic purposes, like academic advising, tutoring and literacy and mental health programs.
The funds can also go to full-cost-of-attendance scholarships, guaranteed four-year scholarships and providing unlimited meals.
Schools that have the largest number of scholarship athletes will receive larger portions of the funds. There are currently 347 Division I schools, although not all of them offer scholarships.
“This is an important time for college athletics, in which our schools are finding new and innovative ways to support student-athletes,” said Board of Governors chair Kirk Schulz, the president at Kansas State University. “But we are mindful that these programs come at a cost that can strain schools’ budgets. So the decision to provide this one-time funding to the Division I membership will help schools through this transition and shows our continued commitment to student success.”
The funds come from a reserve that the NCAA holds as protection against significant financial disruption.