The scholarships will be funded by fees from a 2007 Associated Students referendum, with additional private support from alumni, families and friends.
UC San Diego is the only school in the California Collegiate Athletic Association conference that has not awarded or raised funds for merit-based athletic scholarships.
The change, approved by the Academic Senate Council during the 2013-14 academic year, will help make UCSDmore affordable to student-athletes from all backgrounds, including those from low-income families who come from underserved regions. The scholarships will also help UCSD athletics remain competitive with other UC campuses as well as with competitor schools in NCAA Division II, which provide athletic scholarships to attract top students.
“Athletic scholarships will allow the campus to recruit outstanding prospective Tritons and retain impactful student-athletes who maintain exceptionally high academic standards,” said athletic director Earl Edwards. “UC San Diego athletics has a tradition of athletic and academic excellence. This tradition will only be bolstered by athletic scholarships.”
UCSD has consistently been ranked as the top NCAA Division II school in the National Collegiate Scouting Association’s power rankings based on student-athlete graduation rates, academic strength and athletic prowess. The campus recently won the NCAA Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence based on strong graduation rates.
The average GPA of student-athletes at UCSD is higher than that of the student body as a whole. In order to keep their scholarship funding, student-athletes will be required to maintain a GPA of 2.6 or better.
The NCAA requires that scholarships be provided to student-athletes at Division II colleges and universities. To meet this requirement, in 2007, the Associated Students held a special election in which students voted to provide funding for scholarships to student-athletes as part of their annual registration fees. In past years, the funds were split up so that every student-athlete who maintained the required GPA received $500 per year.
Funding from the 2007 referendum will continue to provide support for student-athlete scholarships, which will be distributed as part of the new structure to be phased in over the next three years. Student-athletes who entered UCSD under the previous athletic aid process will continue to receive at least $500 as long as they maintain a 2.6 GPA and remain on the team.
Gifts can be made online to a general athletics scholarship fund, or specific team scholarship funds may also be set up. To learn more about making a gift to a team scholarship, please call (858) 534-3540.
--Staff and contribution