Financial Aid & Employment

Oakland University's athletics teams are provided with a specific amount of athletics grants-in-aid (scholarships) in accordance with NCAA regulations and institutional budgetary restrictions. A "full grant-in-aid" consists of educational expenses that cover tuition and fees, room and board, and the use of required course-related books. In general, an athletic scholarship/grant-in-aid may not be awarded for more or less than a period of one academic year, which consists of Fall and Winter semesters. (This does not apply should a student-athlete meet an exception to NCAA rules, such as enrolling at midyear, a student-athlete who is in their final semester, etc.)

An Athletic Scholarship may be reduced or cancelled during the period of the award under any of the following conditions:
  • A student-athlete renders themselves academically or otherwise ineligible for intercollegiate competition;
  • A student-athlete gives false information on an Oakland University, Summit League or NCAA document;
  • A student-athlete violates the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct, any Oakland University, Horizon League or NCAA codes of conduct, policies or rules, or any state or federal law, or engages in misconduct resulting in disciplinary action;
  • A student-athlete voluntarily withdraws from the sport for personal reasons;
  • A student-athlete fails to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as determined by Oakland University;
  • A student-athlete signs a professional sports contract for this sport;
  • A student-athlete accepts money or other countable aid that is included in the calculation of NCAA, team or individual financial aid limitations; or
  • A student-athlete agrees to be represented by an agent (unless eligibility is exhausted).
In addition, the following and the aforementioned conditions may be used in consideration or reason for non-renewal or decreases in athletics aid. Note that the following are conditions in which an athletic scholarship may be reduced or revoked after, and ONLY AFTER, the conclusion of a full academic year:
  • A student-athlete is unable to reach reasonable athletic performance goals.
  • A student-athlete exhibits problems of motivation or demonstrates incompatibility with the coaching staff, or teammates.
  • Additional standards or terms as established by the coaching staff, Department of Athletics or Oakland University.
In accordance with NCAA rules, student-athletes whose aid is reduced or canceled during the period of the award, or reduced or not renewed for the following academic year will be notified of their opportunity for a hearing. Below are the Oakland University procedure and checklists for student-athlete appeal hearings.

Student-Athlete Appeal Hearing Checklist
Student-Athlete Hearing Procedures

Student-athletes may also receive aid from outside sources, but there may be NCAA limits based on the type of outside scholarships and/or aid that is received. Please contact the Athletics Compliance Office or the Student Financial Services Office with additional questions regarding financial aid.
It is permissible for student-athletes to earn income through legitimate employment and fee-for-lessons opportunities. However, the NCAA has established a few requirements that ensure employment is consistent with amateurism principles and protect against extra benefits. It is important to understand these rules in order to avoid jeopardizing eligibility. Student-athletes must also complete the appropriate paperwork if their employment status changes.

A student-athlete may receive compensation:
  • Only for work that is actually performed;
  • Only for the number of hours actually worked; and
  • At a rate that is consistent with the going rate for similar employment opportunities in the area.
A student-athlete may not receive:
  • Payment for the value they might bring to the employer because of publicity, reputation, fame, or personal following obtained because of their athletics ability;
  • Transportation to work or other benefits, unless the same benefits are available equally to all employees;
  • Compensation for any endorsement for a commercial entity or product.
The legislation governing employment is also applicable if a student-athlete is providing lessons for a fee. However, there are additional guidelines that student-athletes must follow when providing lessons, which are outlined below (per NCAA Bylaw

a. Institutional facilities are not used;
b. Playing lessons shall not be permitted;
c. The institution must obtain and keep on file documentation of the recipient of the lesson(s) and the fee for the lesson(s) provided during any time of the year;
d. The compensation is paid by the lesson recipient (or the recipient's family) and not another individual or entity;
e. Instruction to each individual is comparable to the instruction that would be provided during a private lesson when the instruction involves more than one individual at a time;
f. The student-athlete does not use his or her name, picture, or appearance to promote or advertise the availability of fee-for-lesson sessions.

Student-Athlete Employment Form