Colorado State to cover cost-of-attendance with Jim McElwain buyout

Wednesday May 13th, 2015

Beginning with the 2015–2016 school year, Colorado State will pay cost-of-attendance stipends to scholarship athletes by using the $7 million buyout Florida is paying CSU after hiring former Rams coach Jim McElwain in December, reports the Coloradoan.

Cost-of-attendance stipends are regulated by the formula set by federal financial aid guidelines and are unique to each campus. Colorado State said in-state students on full athletic scholarships will receive approximately $2,400, while out-of-state students on full athletic scholarships will receive $3,100. Students on partial athletic scholarships will receive a percentage of the full cost-of-attendance stipend equal to the percentage of a full scholarship they receive.

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Full-scholarship sports at Colorado State include football, men's and women's basketball, volleyball and women's tennis. Partial-scholarship sports include men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, soccer, softball, women's swimming and diving, and men's and women's track and field.

The legislation will go into effect Aug. 1, allowing Colorado State student-athletes to receive the stipend beginning in the fall.

"For decades, a full scholarship has been defined as tuition, room, board, books and fees," Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker said in a release. "The demands to balance academics and athletics have grown over that period. Most of our students simply do not have time to engage in part-time or summer employment to supplement the costs of their education. The new stipend is important and helps to address the incidental expenses associated with attending CSU."

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Florida hired McElwain, 52, in early December after he went 22–16 over three seasons at Colorado State. He had signed a five-year contract with CSU last August that paid him $1.5 annual and included a $7.5 million buyout. According to the release Florida issued upon his hiring, McElwain's total compensation package at Florida will average $3.5 million annually over six years.

Parker told the Coloradoan​ he expects McElwain's buyout to cover Colorado State's cost-of-attendance stipends for the next three to five years. After that period, CSU could look to revenue streams such as ticket sales and donations, the newspaper said.

The NCAA passed cost-of-attendance legislation in January, allowing schools to determine how to budget for additional costs.

Mike Fiammetta

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