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NCAA Awards UVU Athletics $900,000 Academic Grant

29 August 2014 No Comment

August 29, 2014

For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Melinda Colton | 801-863-6807
Written by: UVU Athletics

The NCAA has announced that Utah Valley University will receive a multi-year Accelerating Academic Success Program (AASP) grant worth approximately $900,000 over three years. The grant will help support UVU Athletics’ academic outreach and programs.

The AASP grants are aimed to help schools meet the requirements of the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program, which was developed to ensure schools provide an environment that supports education while enhancing the ability of student-athletes to earn a degree. One of those standards calls for increasing the graduation rates and academic success of student-athletes at Division I institutions outside the Football Bowl Subdivision. Schools eligible to apply for the program are in the bottom 10 percent of resources as determined by per capita institutional expenditures, athletics department funding and Pell Grant aid.

“First and foremost, UVU is a teaching institution which provides opportunities that promote student success,” said President Matthew S. Holland. “We are committed to helping our student-athletes experience academic success in their respective fields of study, and increasing their graduation rates. We are honored to be among the 21 schools in this program.”

Schools could request a maximum of $300,000 per year for three years. The participating schools are required to match grant dollars each year of the program with either direct funds and/or in-kind contributions. In the first year the school must commit a 25 percent match, 50 percent in year two and 75 percent in year three. In all, Utah Valley University will contribute another $400,000 to the fund bringing the total monies allotted for UVU’s AASP grant to $1.3 million.

“The NCAA remains committed to the academic success of all student-athletes,” said NCAA Executive Vice President Bernard Franklin. “These AASP grants allow the association to offer financial backing for projects that contribute measurable benefits to our campuses.”

UVU’s award marks the second round of AASP funding distributed by the NCAA. The inaugural pilot program distributed $4.3 million to six chosen schools: California State University, Northridge ($900,000), Coppin State University ($900,000), Jackson State University ($900,000), Tennessee State University ($900,000), Morehead State University ($360,000) and Norfolk State University ($330,000).

The NCAA also offers single-year grants through the AASP program. More than $1 million was awarded to 21 qualifying schools for the 2014-15 academic year. Grants for 2014-15 ranged from $20,000 to $80,000, but the single-year funds will increase in 2015-16 to a maximum of $100,000.

An oversight committee consisting of UVU President Matthew S. Holland, Vice Presidents Val Peterson and Linda Makin, as well as Director of Athletics Vince Otoupal, conferred with the NCAA grant committee, affirming the University’s involvement and commitment in the implementation of the grant initiatives. The oversight committee also endeavored to commit to the sustainability of its grant enterprises once funds are no longer available after year three.

In its application, UVU Athletics detailed a number of initiatives to be supported by the grant with most emphasis placed on the addition of academic support staff, an enhanced academic facility, and a summer bridge program. Added staff is expected to be commensurate with both the supplemented services provided by the academic program as well the number of student-athletes utilizing those services.

Grant funds will also be used to augment the Wolverine Service Center — UVU Athletics’ academic hub. Expected additions include privatized study areas and the purchase of technology and other resources aimed to enrich the academic experience. Lastly, a newly implemented summer bridge program will provide aid to academically at-risk student-athletes making the transition from high school to UVU.

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