Cost of Attendance: The impact it will have on UVU

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Last summer, USU was granted $1.5 million by the state legislature in order to pay the cost of attendance for student-athletes. Members of the Western Athletic Conference, New Mexico State and Grand Canyon also pay the cost of attendance for student-athletes.  BYU athletics approved to pay its student-athletes $4,500 last May.

Unfortunately, UVU does not pay the cost of attendance to student-athletes although, according to one person in the athletic department, they would pay the COA in a heartbeat if they had the funds.

Being able to pay the cost of attendance would greatly enhance the athletic department at UVU. Think of it this way: an athlete is debating between Weber State and UVU. They have similar facilities and similar success and are both commuter schools. Now lets say the UVU recruiter includes the cost of attendance stipend on top of the scholarship offer, whereas Weber can’t.

Which school do you think the athlete is more likely to choose?

Most likely, the athlete is going to sign with the school that can afford to pay extra money on top of the scholarship. With all the time and work the student-athletes put in, don’t they deserve, in a sense, to be paid for their work? I receive a scholarship to go to school but also have to work to help pay for other expenses. What these student-athletes do is similar and they deserve to be compensated for the work they put in.

Many will argue that paying cost of attendance will cost the school more money, and it might in the beginning, but the long-term benefits may outweigh the initial costs.

For example, coaches will be able to recruit better athletes, leading to more wins, and when a school wins consistently it draws national attention. There might also be the opportunity for more games to be broadcast on television. And winning increases a fan base, which brings in more money. The school might be able to draw more corporate sponsors as well as get more alumni involved in the program and donations back to the department. With more money, better facilities could be built and champions could be made at UVU in even greater terms than they already are.

It would be a great boon to the UVU athletic department if they were able to pay the cost of attendance, and it has been stated they are willing to if they have the funds. As a UVU fan, winning championships and seeing the teams perform at a higher level than they currently are is my hope. Being able to offer the cost of attendance stipend to student-athletes will help make that hope a reality.